Jun 6, 2013

Hickory-Smoked Beer Can Chicken Recipe from Weber's New Real Grilling™ by Jamie Purviance

Rating: 5 stars

18 Reviews

Serves: 4 // Prep time: 15 minutes | Dry brining time: 2 hours | Grilling time: 1¼ to 1½ hours | Special equipment: 4 large handfuls hickory or oak wood chips, church key–style can opener, instant-read thermometer

Grocery List

Meat / Poultry / Seafood

  • 1 whole chickens, each 4 to 5 lb

Oil and Spices

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • .5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp granulated onion
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp paprika

Wine / Beer / Spirits

  • 1 cans beer (each 12 fl oz)


  • 1 tsp golden brown sugar

Special Equipment

  • church key–style can opener
  • instant-read thermometer
  • 4 handfuls oak or hickory wood chips


  • 1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, neck, giblets, and any excess fat removed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon packed golden brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (12 ounces) beer, at room temperature


  1. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the meaty parts of the chicken and inside the cavity (but not on the back). The chicken will be coated with a visible layer of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  2. Combine the rub ingredients.

  3. Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F). Keep the temperature as close to 400°F as possible throughout the cooking time.

  5. Rinse the chicken with cold water, inside and outside, to remove the salt, and then pat dry with paper towels. Brush the chicken with the oil and season all over, including inside the cavity, with the rub. Fold the wing tips behind the chicken’s back.

  6. Open the can of beer and pour out about two-thirds. Using a church key–style can opener, make two more holes in the top of the can. Place the can on a solid surface and then lower the chicken cavity over the can.

  7. Drain and add two handfuls of wood chips to the charcoal or put them in the smoker box of a gas grill, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and close the lid. When the wood begins to smoke, transfer the chicken-on-a-can to the grill, balancing it on its two legs and the can like a tripod. Cook the chicken over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), registers 160° to 165°F, 1¼ to 1½ hours. After the first 15 minutes of cooking time, drain and add the remaining wood chips to the charcoal or to the smoker box. If using a charcoal grill, replenish the charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature, adding 6 to 10 unlit briquettes after 45 minutes. Leave the lid off the grill for about 5 minutes to help the new briquettes light.

  8. Carefully remove the chicken-on-a-can from the grill (do not spill the contents of the beer can, as it will be very hot). Let the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time) before lifting it from the beer can and carving it into serving pieces. Serve warm.

18 Reviews

Average Rating

Rating: 5 stars

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Rating: 5 stars

Jun 23, 2013

Darren C


I skipped the dry brine because the chickens that I purchased were floating in a chicken broth already. I didn't realize that when I purchased them. But, the final outcome was delicious anyway. That was the most juicy chicken I have ever cooked.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Jun 24, 2013

Brian F

Very easy, wonderfull flavour...even without the beer!

Wanted to try a whole bird on the OneTouch Gold and this seemed pretty strait forward. Skipped the "dry brine" as well as the beer can.

Set up the kettle with a full chimney's worth of lump charcoal with a water pan in the middle, placed the chicken in the center over the water. Had to add coal after about 30 minutes but then was able to maintain 375 no problem. Checked internal meat temps at 2 hours and it was more than done. Probably could have come off sooner but was still VERY moist after a rest. Delicious, flavorful, with a nice subtle kick of heat from the cayenne.

"We've never cooking chicken in the oven again!"

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

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Hickory-Smoked Beer Can Chicken