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Beer can smoke or not?

gdp

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So I used a beer can on a whole chicken last weekend for the 1st time with another bird next to it on my weber charcoal grill, using lump charcoal which I always do. I couldn't tell much diference between the 2 birds except the beer can didn't have grill marks and seemed to take longer to cook.
Curious to see the opinions here if you use the beer can or not, and why? Thanks in advance for the comments!
 

bregent

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Beer can chicken is a waste of beer. Brining or injecting is the way to go.
Yup, a waste of beer and time and a waste of any herbs/spices you put in the beer. I've seen a few blind tastings studies with the conclusion that it does nothing to add flavor or moisture. And it does slow down the cook which could end up drying out the bird.
 

gdp

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Thanks to both of you. That's what I figured but thought it was worth asking. I almost cried putting good beer inside a raw chicken :)
I did inject with Tony Chachere, 1st time using it, and seemed to make it juicier. I cook a lot of thighs and wings, but just now trying to see if it's worth doing the whole bird.
I'll share a funky rub I've invented that's pretty good on chicken and I think would be good on pork too.
  • Garlic powder
  • Thyme, ground
  • Hot seasoning Salt
  • Lemon and Pepper seasoning, large bottle in pantry
  • Tumeric
  • Ginger Powder from asian store
  • S&P
I'm still working on the quantities but pretty liberal with the garlic, seasoning salt, lemon/pepper and tumeric. Tumeric is the key ingredient but I'm cutting it down to about 1/2 of the others I just listed. Give it a whirl and see what you think.
 
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bregent

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I did inject with Tony Chachere, 1st time using it, and seemed to make it juicier.
You mean the Creole Butter? That's good stuff.

I cook a lot of thighs and wings, but just now trying to see if it's worth doing the whole bird.
Many folks like to spatchcock the birds - they cook quicker so less likely to dry out and cook more evenly. Also, you can quarter which lets you pull the light and dark meat at different times depending on your preference.
 

GaryHibbert

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  • Garlic powder
  • Thyme, ground
  • Hot seasoning Salt
  • Lemon and Pepper seasoning, large bottle in pantry
  • Tumeric
  • Ginger Powder from asian store
  • S&P
Everything looks good, but... tumeric???
Gary
 

gdp

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You mean the Creole Butter? That's good stuff.



Many folks like to spatchcock the birds - they cook quicker so less likely to dry out and cook more evenly. Also, you can quarter which lets you pull the light and dark meat at different times depending on your preference.
yep, creole butter. I think I'll probably stick to thighs, love em
 

noboundaries

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One trick I've learned is only put about an inch of a liquid in the can. That inch needs to be exposed to the chamber heat so it can boil. A half can won't boil because too much of the liquid is insulated by the colder chicken. I figured this out by using a turkey cannon on the 4-6 turkeys I used to do each year. A turkey cannon is basically a fancy beer can contraption.

Save the beer. I use a cheap white wine in an empty soda can. The cheaper the wine the better. I've tried beer, soda, seasoned water, and concoctions of juices. The wine wine and juices gave the best flavors. Very subtle. 7 Up was okay, too.

Pour the 7 Up in a glass of ice, but leave an inch for the chicken in the can. Add a squeeze of lime to the glass, a couple jiggers of whiskey, and load the bird.
 
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gmc2003

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Wow you guys use actual beer!!! You won't see much(if any) added flavor using beer. I pour the beer into a glass, and drink it(for medicinal purposes you know). Then refill the can a quarter of the way with plain old water. If you want flavor do as stated above and season the chicken with a good rub or injection. The reason for beer can chicken is so you have the legs closer to the heat source then the breasts. Not the steam moisturizing the meat. It helps keep the breast meat moist.

Chris
 

lancep

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Hey, I’m with most of the others and prefer to just drink the beer. I’ve done both but spatchcocked at 325-350 gives me super juicy chicken and crispy skin. Usually just an S&P rub, maybe some herbs.
 

SmokinLogs

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I've done a few beer can chickens and they all turned out good, but I dont think it's because of the beer or the cooking process. They would have been good either way. I couldn't taste the beer much. It does slow down the process, but if you want more smoke it gives you more time in the smoke. I think you can get more moisture and flavor in a bird by brining or injecting.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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Beer can chicken falls in among the other BBQ myths like adding beer, juice or whatever to the water pan during a smoke.
None of those myths will impart any flavors into the meat.
Brining, injecting, marinating, or adding beer, whiskey, or whatever to the sauce is the way to go.
Any other way is a waste of alcohol and is considered alcohol abuse.
 

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