Alexa

Give chicken a beer before you grill it

Celebrate summer with a cookout. And what better way to celebrate than with beer can chicken? It's a novel and easy way to grill a chicken: Get a whol...

Celebrate summer with a cookout. And what better way to celebrate than with beer can chicken? It's a novel and easy way to grill a chicken: Get a whol...

Celebrate summer with a cookout. And what better way than with beer can chicken?
It's a novel - and easy - way to grill a chicken: Get a whole chicken, season it, stick it on a can of beer and grill.
You'll find some kind of recipe for it in many grilling and barbecuing cookbooks. Some recipes call it beer butt chicken, because the chicken sits on a can of beer. But you don't have to use a beer; a pop can will work, too. There are even grilling accessories designed to hold the can of beer and the chicken.
You can cook one or several whole chickens on the grill - depending on the size of your grill. My home grill will hold six comfortably - enough to feed a crowd. And the prep needed is pretty simple, too:
Season the chicken inside and out.
Open the can of beer, pour some out and season the remainder in the can.
Position the chicken on the beer can and place on the grill. Grill away.
The beer helps steam the chicken without giving the meat any beer flavoring. Cooking a whole chicken this way just about ensures it will not be overcooked or dry.
It's best to grill beer can chickens over indirect heat - away from the heat source - for even results. It also helps prevent burning or charring of the legs, which are closest to the grates.
If you are doing more than two chickens, you will most likely need to cook them over direct heat. Just be sure to start the grill on medium-high and reduce the heat to low with all burners. Keep an eye out for flare-ups - and have a squirt bottle of water handy to tame any flames.
Because the chicken sits upright, the fat drips and bastes the bird - just like how those grocery rotisserie chickens are basted.
If you use a gas grill with a warming rack, it's best to remove the rack first because it could knock over the chicken when you close the lid.
Once the chicken is done, be very careful when removing it from the grill. The best way is to slide a wide metal spatula under the can while using tongs at the neck to hold the chicken steady and to transfer it to a platter.
Let the chicken rest at least 10 minutes. Use tongs again to lift it off the beer can. Carve the chicken into serving pieces and grab another beer.
BEER CAN CHICKEN
Serves: 12 / Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
2 whole chickens, about 4 pounds each
6 to 8 tablespoons favorite dry barbecue rub or seasoning (see note), divided
2 cans (12 ounces each) beer
Discard the giblets and fat inside each chicken's cavity. Blot the chickens dry with paper towel.
Sprinkle each cavity with 1 tablespoon of the rub. Generously rub another 2 to 3 tablespoons all over the skin of the entire chickens. If desired, rub an additional 1/2 tablespoon under the skin of each chicken.
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling. For charcoal grills, bank coals on separate sides of the grill and light. Coals are ready when covered with a light gray coating of ash. For gas grills, preheat all burners on medium-high and then shut the middle off if you have three burners or the right or left if you have two. For either grill, place a drip pan in the center just below where the chicken will be placed. Pour some water (or beer if you like) in the drip pan.
Open the beer can. Poke six or seven holes in the top of the can. Pour out the top inch or so of each beer can; put 1 tablespoon dry rub into each.
Holding the chicken upright, with the opening of the body cavity down, insert the chicken on top of the beer can. Repeat with other chicken.
When ready to cook, oil the grate. Stand the chickens up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan. Spread out the legs to support each chicken.
Cover the grill and cook until the chickens are tender, about 1{ to 2 hours depending on the size. If using charcoal, you may need to add more fresh coals per side after 1 hour of cooking. The chickens are done when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees.
Carefully lift each chicken to a cutting board or platter, holding a large metal spatula under the beer can. Be careful not to spill the hot beer. Let stand for 5 minutes; remove from the can before carving the meat off the upright carcass.
Cook's note: To make your own basic barbecue rub, in a small bowl combine 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder (or favorite chili powder), 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon paprika (if using smoked paprika - use 1 teaspoon), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic powder and 2 teaspoons onion powder or 1 tablespoon minced onion.
From and tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. Nutritional information without skin.


Updated : 2020-12-05 11:27 GMT+08:00