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Birthday Beer Can Chicken FAIL!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
If you've seen my post in the beef room that I was doing another pastrami

You also know that today's my birthday and I'm smoking several things I've never tried before. Including this, a beer can chicken.

I started with this bird at 6.7 lbs. It was frozen so I let it thaw in the refridgerator for 3 days. It was still a little frozen in the cavity when I cleaned it this morning. So I'll be watching internal temps closley to make sure she's done.

Using the minion method in a WSM. Using cherry chunks and a few apple chips here and there.

water pan filled with beer, apple juice and water

I decided that since I'd never done one before, I'd make up my own "rub". I used a stick of butter, some of my homemade rub, minced garlic, ground black pepper and fresh lemon juice.

I put it all in a bowl and decided to heat it slightly to get the butter softer and get it all mixed evenly together.

Here's the bird all cleaned and rinsed.

I used a can of Coors Light. I poured half of it out, and poked holes all around it for the steam to escape. I also put in a few tablespoons of the butter/rub compound.

I put the chicken on the can rack and plugged the neck whole with the other half of the lemon that I didn't use for the rub. What a nasty greasy mess this project is turning out to be.

Ok, so this is where the pictures end. Because this is where the FAIL began. I grabbed the wife and said I needed her to lift the top grate that was full with the pastrami, the country style ribs and the SPAM, while I tried to set the chiken on the lower grate.

So, long story shorter, it was too tall. I couldn't exchange where the placement of the meat was because I didn't want the chicken on top. So I quickly (wife was complaining that the grate was hot and heavy, what a whiner) pulled the chicken off the rack and just laid it flat.

Guess we'll have to see how she turns out. I'm bummed cause this is what I was really looking forward too. Oh well. Lesson learned.

I'll be back later with updates.

Thanks for looking.
post #2 of 29
First, happy birthday Dude. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Sorry about the chicken, but don't worry, you won't taste any beer in it any way. Keep it over the water pan and turn it over from time to time. I am sure it will still be good as long as you get some nice crispy skin on it.
post #3 of 29

Sorry things ain't goin yer way. But don't feel bad, I'm having the same problems with the spare ribs I'm tryin to do the asian style. They're still partly frozen but at least I got them seperated now. But havin a helluva time gettin the back skin off cause they're still real frosty.PDT_Armataz_01_03.gif
post #4 of 29
Hey man....sorry to hear about the accomodations. That was a BIG chicken, though. No worries, it'll still taste good and chalk it up as experience.
post #5 of 29
Some days you get the chicken and some days the chicken gets you!

post #6 of 29
ROTFLMAO......PnI, yer killin me!!!! Great pic!!!!!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gifPDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #7 of 29
Well at least it isn't a complete failure Dude.
That happened to me once, was doing my first ham and didn't realize the top rack in my sNp would hit it so I had to get some help and unscrew the rack while the smoker was fully going and smoke rolling.
post #8 of 29
It will all work out in the end...biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

Turned out just fine

It was nice to hear that I'm not the first to screw up a perfectly good smoke. LOL Anyhow, it turned out just fine. Took a little over four hours to hit 170* in the thigh and 180* most everywhere else. I was a little nervous when I took the top grate off (it finished at the same time the ribs did, YEAH) and the skin looked almost too crispy. My first thought was that turkey they ate in the movie "Christmas Vacation". I was sure I'd hit it with the knife and it would just crumble. But nope, it was just fine.

No complaints from me or the family. Here's some final picts.


I did learn three things.
1) That rub mix I made tasted great and the butter made the skin nice and crispy.
2) Check to make sure it's gonna fit in the smoker.
3) Learn how to carve a whole bird. It kind of looked like I carved it with a chainsaw.

No harm though, it tasted great even if the presentation left a little to be desired.

Have a great night everyone!
post #10 of 29
Excellent smoke job!!!!!!tongue.gif
See, I knew you would pull it off!!!!PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #11 of 29
Glad it turned out in the end.
Great job on the skin with the rub/butter, it looked nice and crisp and if Dude jr. approves then you know you've got a winner.
You think you were upset when the bird didn't fit, imagine how that poor guy must have felt when he realized he had a can stuffed up there for no good reason...
post #12 of 29
So, long story shorter, it was too tall. I couldn't exchange where the placement of the meat was because I didn't want the chicken on top. So I quickly (wife was complaining that the grate was hot and heavy, what a whiner) pulled the chicken off the rack and just laid it flat.

This is exactly why i went and bought a langbiggrin.gif And LMAO @ FIU !!!
It turned out great Dude !!!
post #13 of 29
Good to see and read Dude! Gotta love the lessons learned:

1) Yep, real nice and looked mighty tasty!
2) Yep, that makes sense.
3) Yep, it sure did biggrin.gif

Great smoke Dude, congratulations!
post #14 of 29
Happy Birthday.


post #15 of 29
Looks might tasty Dude - what temp were you smoking at?
post #16 of 29
I can try and describe how to cut up a chicken; next time I have one I'll take pix for ya:

1) Lay her on one side, cut off the wing. Start underneath it in the 'armpit' area, cut through to the joint, bend the wing out to expose the joint and cut through it. Flip her over on the other side and cut off the other wing.
2) Lay her on her back, slice down each thigh to the board. (Using a gloved hand, it will be hot) reach under the thigh and 'break' it from the backbone, popping out the thigh bone from the socket. Cut off the thigh from the backbone. Repeat on the other side.
3) Flip her over on her breast. Imagine a line going down each side of the backbone, a total width of about an inch. Cut down each side from the thigh socket to the neck. If you get too wide you'll get interference from the shoulder blade bone; if so, come in a little towards the center of the spine and miss that wide, flat bone. Now you should be able to remove the entire backbone (good for knawin' on!).
4) What's left is the whole breast laying skin side down. Spread it apart a little and in the center is the 'keel' (or breast) bone. At the top is some cartilage you need to cut through; make a small cut at the V of the neck on the underside of the breast (where the wishbone would be) to the edge of the keel bone. Then, turn the breast over, skin side up, and grip it with both hands, fingers on each side of the keel bone inside the breast and thumbs on top of the breastbone, and push down, 'breaking' the breast open to expose the edges of the keel bone. Flip it back over and grip the keel bone and pull it out. You may have to run your fingers down each side of it to loosen it. Also, at the base of the keel bone is cartilage, you want to pull that out too should the bone itself breaks off.
5) Then, skin side down still, just lay the breast open and cut it in half. You'll have to cut through the wishbone at the top of the breast, but the rest should be easy to do, no other bones in the way.
6) on the legs, cut between the drumstick and thigh. If you lay the leg down on the 'inside' of the thigh and pull the skin back, you'll see a line of tissue. Just cut on the line and you'll go right through the joint.

Now, you have two wings, two thighs, two drumsticks, and two half breasts ready to serve! Don't mix in any finger parts, however!

Pops ยงยง
post #17 of 29
Great post ... and

post #18 of 29
Dude. I cannot believe others on here did not pick up on this. You said you, POURED out half the beer? Thats alcohol abuse!!! Other than that, I have no complaints LOL. Looks like the bird turned out in the end thought. Looks very very tasty. Good job. I have yet to do the beer can chicken, but I think it's something I need to try. Oh yes, happy B-day to you and many more..........
post #19 of 29
Happy Birthday to You!

It is never a failure if you can still eat it. And even if you can't eat it.... you learn something.
post #20 of 29
I'll second that! Way to improvise on the fly.
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