Beer Can Chicken

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Original poster
Dec 5, 2015
Leland, NC USA
This weekend I will attempt to do a beer can chicken (7.5 pounds) using Weber's poultry roaster setup on my new 22.5 WSM. I did 1 dry run when I first assembled it and then a rack of St Louis style ribs last weekend. I took a old cheap chimney, split the seam on and shrunk the diameter down to about 4.75 inches (originally 7 inches). As you can see I have it in the center surrounded by pioneer brand lump charcoal. I plan having a chunk of applewood in the center of the chimney before dumping about 15 lit Kingsford briquettes into the chimney. At that point I'll pull the chimney up and should be ready to rock. (fingers crossed). I will be using water in my water pan. I will have my Maverick ET-733 setup also. Probable going to sprinkle cherry chips on top of the unlit lump charcoal also. I probable have way more unlit lump charcoal in the fire ring than I need but, the last time I used it all the coal extinguished within a hour of closing all 4 dampers, so I'm not really concerned with wasting charcoal. I'm thinking 5 hrs @ 250 degrees? Is there anything I over looked? THANKS

Hi there!! I'm also a wsm owner and if your looking to get crispy skin then you need to smoke it at a higher temperature. I would say between 300-400* you can do that by not using the water pan. Smoke the chicken on the top grate with no water pan.

if you don't care about the skin then 250 is fine. It just will take a little longer.

But make sure you use a thermometer to probe the meat to check temp until you reach 165* in the breast and 170* in the thighs. Food safety is always first! Happy smoking!!!
Leave the water pan in and cover it with foil. That's it.

Beer can chicken is a neat novelty but doesn't really do much for the finished product. You don't get any flavor from what's in the can and there's no need for the moisture to get moist chicken meat.

Read up here on spatchcocking. It's hands down the best way to smoke a chicken.

Check out this thread on high temp chicken smokes:

Also check out the poultry section in my mega list of smokes for many ways to cook chicken.
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I always spatchcock and cook at high temp with chicken. It's done really quick and had an amazing crispy skin. I normally do mine in my kettle though. Very moist and juicy.
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These guys are all giving good advice.  Just no benefit to doing chicken low and slow.

And I agree that spatchcock or individual pieces is the way to go.  With individual pieces you can pull each piece as it hits target internal temperature.

I do individual pieces most often or a grill full of dark or light meat.

Best luck with your smoke. 
While Splatchcocking seems a funny word my wife did one last year and it came out great. would be a good cut in a smoker.
I've read that beer can chicken can be potentially more dangerous to cook as the can fills the cavity and stops the heat getting in. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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