Country Boy Grilling

Throw in a top hat and that chicken is putting on the ritz

Throw in a top hat and that chicken is putting on the ritz

Many people out there may consider beer can cooking to be slightly country bumpkin. Most others would just classify it as redneck cuisine.

What it lacks for in class, it makes up for in simplicity. Due to the beer can the chicken does not have to be brined before hand. It also cooks the darker meat faster than the white, helping retain moisture in the breast during grilling. And let’s face it, cooking with a beer can is fun.

I jazzed this concept up a little and the results were fantastic, but really any spice combination could work and remember the beer can is really a way to steam even more flavor into the meat so the sky is the limit. For this recipe I went with a lighter Mexican beer to mix with the spices. But any type of beer will work, just adjust the spices accordingly. Do not use any beer cans that have a nitrogen widget inside.

For those folks new to a grill this is a really easy way to cook a whole chicken. When preparing the grill create a large amount of coals. When ready to cook the chicken move the coals around the outside of the grill creating a space in the center with no coals. Place the meat over the area without coals. This is called cooking over indirect heat. If using a gas grill then turn off the burners under the chicken and leave the burners on around it. Although this will work on a gas grill, charcoal or an open fire are going to yield the best flavors.

Beer Can Chicken

  • 1 12 oz can of Modelo Especial or other light beer
  • 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 large sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tsp file powder
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

Wash chicken well and remove the giblets. Let air dry for 30 minutes. Drink 1/2 of the beer and remove the push tab from the top. Pull the rosemary leaves from the sprigs and chop well. Place rosemary twigs into can of beer, breaking them if necessary to fit inside. In a bowl mix file powder, chopped rosemary and 1/2 the juice of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper and add enough olive oil to create a thick paste. Juice other half of lemon in beer can and add all of the lemon rind to can as well. (It will have to be cut up to fit inside the pour hole). Use your fingers to loosen the skin from the chicken body and rub the herb paste into the flesh, trying not to tear the skin on top. Tuck skin tightly to the body to help hold the paste in and place the beer can into the chicken cavity. Arrange the can and legs like a tripod to hold the chicken in a standing position. Drizzle outside with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Prepare grill for indirect cooking. If using charcoal you may need to refresh the coals halfway through the cooking process. Place chicken on grill grate and cover. Roast for 1 hour before uncovering. If your grill lid is too shallow them build a tin foil tent to trap the heat from the grill. Continue cooking chicken until done, about 30-45 more minutes, adding more coals if necessary. When done remove can from chicken cavity and let meat rest 20 minutes before carving.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Recipes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Country Boy Grilling

  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Beer can chicken is something I’m planning on making as soon as the rain stops and we actually get a dry weekend. Thanks for the appetizing post to keep the interest/inspiration high. I’m curious what the file powder adds to the dish. I know it’s a thickening agent in gumbo but does it also add a flavour component?

  2. Kristy says:

    It’s high time we get our grill out. This is on our list this summer for sure!

  3. G’day and thanks as I always enjoy learning something new!
    Am formerly American born and bred but never previously heard of file powder too!
    Am curious re the above question….TRUE!

  4. This looks great. I’ve always wanted to try grilling on a beer can and you used file powder! What an innovation.

  5. peasepudding says:

    I like the note “drink half the can first!”

  6. egg me on says:

    Doooood! Nothin’ redneck about beer can chicken at all – especially if it looks as good as this one.

  7. billpeeler says:

    I’ve never cooked chicken this way, but always been curious about the flavor. This looks awesome!

  8. Alison says:

    I have always wanted to try this! It looks like fun as well as a great chicken dish.

  9. Truly a fine looking chicken, and I am intrigued with the flavor the file must impart!

  10. Redneck or not, this way of cooking chicken is always amazing and yours looks spectacular!

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve never tried a beer can chicken but you sure do make it look tempting.

  12. Raymund says:

    Yeah! this is the way to do it.

  13. We don’t drink here so I couldn’t try this out (unless there’s an alternative to that, too :P). Regardless I have never heard/seen of this technique – it’s really interesting though – and something I wouldn’t mind trying if I could :) Learnt something new from your blog yet again!

    • Instead of using beer any liquid could be put inside the aluminum can if you wanted. The real secret to the recipe is the can itself, which works as a tripod to hold the chicken up and a built in flavor moisturizer. Of course the beer flavor is also part of the recipe but nothing says broth and vinegar wouldn’t work as well.

  14. Pingback: Drunken Whole Chicken | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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