Smoked Beer Can Chicken

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Fire Starter
Original poster
OTBS Member
Dec 31, 2005
Central Indiana
It rained here most of the day, and that's when my wife starts to worry, :roll: , says it inspires me to try something different. A couple days ago, I received 2 new stainless steel beer can smoker grates from Cabelas, and just had to try them. Started with the usual, 2 half cans of beer (got frozen somehow) that could not be used, 2 med., size chickens and a brand new bottle of Southwest Spicy Mustard that fell into the grocery cart. I rubbed the mustard all over the birds and then decided to sprinkle them with some of my BBQ flavor jerky seasoning, and into the smoker they went. Some cherry wood for smoke and at about 175 degrees they were done. Man, what a treat, nothing left but the bones, not even that, the dog finished off the bones. Here's a before and after pic. BEAR
Sorry, Pictures are in reverse order. Hey I'm old!

Nice work, Bear! Those birds look awsome!

Beer can chix is one of the wife's favorites! She asks me to make 'em all the time. I couldn't tell from your pictures if you did this, but one trick I use is to stuff 1/4 onion into the neck hole to trap the beer steam in the cavity. This helps ensure a moist and juicy result. Also try adding a Tbs of your favorite rub in the 1/2 can of beer for more flavor!

Hey Bear those look awesome. I had never heard of beer can chickens in Canada. (probably because there is rarely such a thing as 1/2 a beer left). I'm definitely gonna give them a whirl sometime. Nice job. Gary
Nice tip Brian, I will try the onion in the neck next time. I'm already with you on the spices in the beer, I sometimes add some chopped up garlic as well. Sometimes when not using the beer can method, I season the bird, wrap in bacon and then put a few strips inside the bird also. Man, now that's startin to sound good, the wifes gonna kill me if I suggest more chicken so soon. BEAR
Hey gang,

I did a great beer can chicken a couple of weeks ago, just fell apart!

I rubbed the chicken inside and out and put the rest of the rub in the beer can. Then I set it all on a plank over some charcoal and closed the lid.


Hmm, after checking my preview, it appears I have that same photos-in-wrong-order thing too!

man all of those look GOOD!!!

DT i love that plank idea!!!

if yall like BCC yall should try some cornish hens on an energy drink can
they come out really really juicy
Man that sure looks good Deserttoad, they always look almost to good to eat, (I said almost). I have an excuse for my pics being in reverse, I'm OLD. BEAR
Man Crazyhorse, your fast, as I was typing a reply, you snuck one in between. I will try the cornish hens that way, they sure look good. I normally just lay em down, and stuff em full of bacon. BEAR
I like to do the cornish hens over those itty bitty orange juice cans... perfect fit and the OJ lends a nice flavor...

Ya'll are making me hungry!

Hey Toad, what is the purpose of the girdle (uh string) aronud your bird? Just ot keep the wings from flopping around?

Hey! What ya mean "almost"?!

Did I use the wrong kind of beer? hehe!

As for the string around my bird - yep, it's to keep the wings tucked in, otherwise they can hang out past the edge of the plank and get pretty roasted.

DT-I usually pull the wings down behind the back (kind of like the 'At Ease' position-if you know what I mean) or I'll just wrap the wing tips in foil.
One other tip that I have done is instead of the onion stuffed in the neck is to use a lemon instead. That is if you like lemon chicken. It does come off quite strong if you leave it in the whole time.

This just struck me you can place a lemon in the first part and an onion in the last part!
Man do those birds look good!!!

I'm curious to know if anyone has ever tried this with anything other than beer? I have always used 1/2 a beer with some soy sauce and trappey's red devil sauce mixed into it.

I haven't had the guts to try anything else like pop, but I'm thinking that it might work OK, or even a 12 ounce can of cider.

I was thinking about chicken tonite..... All of these yummy looking pictures might have just put me over the edge. Especially since BC chicken is one of the few things that come out of the smoker that my wife doesn't mind over-indulging in...

I pour a generous cup of apple juice into my water pan when I smoke a chicken.

DesertToad, does your wife know that you took her hair thingys and used them to hold the wings of your chicken in place? :D Good idea!

I've tried several different types of cola/soda/pop/coke
, juices, and even plain water and have not noticed any differences in flavor. The smoke and spice provide the only flavor differences I can distinguish. Since we don't consume alcohol I don't know if there are detectable subtleties between brands or not but have only heard the bolder dark beers have some effect on the taste.

Water is cheap and I can't tell the difference.
I used pineapple juice in a can for a chicken. Different taste, but it was still devoured!

All the pictures look great. I got a digital camera for Christmas, so I'm going to post some on my next smoke, which is going to have to be soon!!

Never tried anything other than beer. Others that I know have tried pop and said it was good but really should make sure to add some seasoning to the pop. Really I can not see how anything would be better than BEER but I suppose there is the slight chance.
I'm going to smoke a couple of chix this weekend. I think I'll probably stick with beer on one of them, but I might try some apple juice or cider on the other one. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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