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Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Smoked Beer Can Chicken – The most tender, juicy, and delicious whole chicken made on your smoker. The beer helps steam and flavor the chicken so it turns out so juicy!

Beer can chicken has been for a long time, and there is a good reason why. It is delicious! The beer can helps steam the chicken from the inside out. So not only is it perfectly cooked, the beer helps make the chicken so juicy and tender!

I think this is as close as you can get to making a good quality rotisserie chicken at home, without actually having a rotisserie. It is perfectly seasoned on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.

cooked whole chicken on the smoker

 

What You Need

beer can chicken ingredients

How To Make Beer Can Chicken

  1. Preheat smoker to 250º F.
  2. Use paper towel to pat dry the chicken, make sure it is nice and dry before adding any spices.
  3. Mix together whatever rub ingredients you are using and sprinkle evenly over the entire chicken.
  4. Open the can of beer and drink or discard about half of in. Use a can opener to remove the top and carefully add the onions to the can.
  5. Place the chicken onto the can of beer and put it on the preheated smoker.
  6. Let it cook for 2-3 hours, until it reaches 165º F in the thickest part of the thigh. This ensures that every part of the chicken is fully cooked.
  7. Remove from the smoker and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

The best way to know when the chicken is done is using a thermometer. There is a range on the cook time because every smoker is different and keeps it temperature slightly different. And chickens also range in size, so taking the temperature is how you really know it is done.

I use the Thermapen Mk4 to check the temperature of the meat throughout the cooking process. It is the most accurate thermometer I have found and have been using it for years!

putting seasoned chicken on the smoker

Best Wood Chips To Use

When smoking chicken I like to use a mild wood, so it doesn’t completely over power the chicken. Some kind of fruit wood like cherry or apple is great. There are also fruit wood blends or even competition blends of wood and pellets you can buy that are great to use in this smoked beer can chicken recipe.

How To Use Chicken

I like to use this chicken like I would a rotisserie chicken. So we always eat it for dinner the first night with a Tossed Salad or Air Fryer Potato Wedges and then the leftovers are so good to use in other recipes. You can even make 2 chickens at once, so you can have a whole chicken to divide up and use or freeze for later.

beer can chicken on the smoker

Recipe Tips

  • Almost any kind of beer will work. Mostly you are using it for the steam it creates. It does incorporate some flavor, so I like to avoid light beer. But most Ales and Lagers are great. You don’t need to a fancy craft beer for this.
  • Pat the chicken dry. Washing your chicken is something people feel very strongly about. It really isn’t necessary, but if you want to, you definitely can. Either way, use paper towel to pat dry the chicken. This helps the rub really stick to the chicken.
  • They do sell Beer Can Chicken Holders that make it easy and you don’t have to use the actual beer can! But if you don’t want to purchase that you can put the chicken on an old baking tray that goes on the smoker, or put the chicken and beer can directly on the grill.
  • If you are not a beer drinker you can use a can of ginger ale to make this. I think root beer might be delicious too with all the spicy flavors in there.
  • Don’t have a smoker? You can make this on the grill! Cook at 350º-400º F for about an hour or until the internal temperature is 165º.
  • Make sure to empty half of the beer from the can. You need the space for the beer to heat up and steam the inside of the chicken.
  • Be careful when you add the onions to the can of beer, it will foam up if you add them all at once. Just add a few at at time to make sure it doesn’t over flow.
close up smoked beer can chicken

More Recipes For The Smoker

Yield: 6

Smoked Beer Can Chicken

close up smoked beer can chicken on the smoker

Smoked Beer Can Chicken - The most tender, juicy, and delicious whole chicken made on your smoker. The beer helps steam and flavor the chicken so it turns out so juicy!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pound whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup favorite spice rub (link below for the one I used)
  • 1 can beer
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

Instructions

    1. Preheat smoker to 250º F.
    2. Use paper towel to pat dry the chicken, make sure it is nice and dry before adding any spices.
    3. Mix together whatever rub ingredients you are using and sprinkle evenly over the entire chicken.
    4. Open the can of beer and drink or discard about half of in. Use a can opener to remove the top and carefully add the onions to the can.
    5. Place the chicken onto the can of beer and put it on the preheated smoker.
    6. Let it cook for 2-3 hours, until it reaches 165º F in the thickest part of the thigh. This ensures that every part of the chicken is fully cooked.
    7. Remove from the smoker and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 752Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 266mgSodium 251mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 83g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Did you make this recipe?

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Carolyn T

Saturday 21st of May 2022

I don't have a smoker or grill? Is there another way you can make beer can chicken?

Erin S

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

You can cook like you normally would a roast chicken. 350º F in the oven for about an hour. You need to cook to 165º F internal temperature, so the size of your chicken will determine how long it takes to cook.

Sandra

Thursday 5th of August 2021

I just tried it and it turned out so good!! Thanks for the recipe!

Catalina

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

I am so curious to make this beer can chicken. I have everything I need to make it!

Erik

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

Even more reasons to enjoy beer. ;) Thanks for sharing!

Beth

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

This is perfect for our BBQ on the weekend and it looks so juicy, and full of so much flavor! Everyone is going to love this recipe and I’m so excited to give this a try! Sounds like the perfect meal and I can’t wait!

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