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How do you keep whole chicken moist and tender on the BBQ? Master griller and British chef Simon Rimmer has some tips.

One dish - so many options

“Beer chicken is such a brilliant dish to cook, and one of the best things to barbecue if you’re just starting out,” says British chef Simon Rimmer. As a self-taught cook, he knows how important it is to start with recipes that suit your skill set. Now famous for his appearances on the BBC programme Something for the Weekend and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, both with Tim Lovejoy, he has authored numerous books and has continued to appear on-screen, most recently as a presenter on Britain’s Favourite Food. And one of his favourites? The barbecue classic of juicy chicken, infused with the flavours of malty beer. “You won’t believe the amazing results you get from it, because it’s juicy, it’s packed with flavour, and you can get really creative with it by adding different bits and pieces to make it your own.”

His go-to flavours for this versatile dish are butter, herbs and strong beer. “You can make any flavoured butter; one of my favourites is tarragon and lemon.” And, with this recipe, getting the flavours into the meat is simple: “All you do is ease the chicken skin away from the flesh and pack it with the herbed butter, so it gets really moist. I also like to season the skin quite heavily with salt and pepper to give it a nice bit of crispiness. As far as liquids go, I like to use a pale ale or a dark stout which gives it lots of flavour and a good aroma.”

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This recipe is easier than ever to recreate using the Weber Poultry Roaster. The 2-in-1 design features a central liquid container that props up and flavours the poultry, serving you a chicken with crispy skin and succulent meat, while its tray allows you to simultaneously cook your vegetable sides.

“This accessory is so simple to use; you load the central cup with whatever liquid you want, and then you literally place the chicken on top of it, so that the bird is sitting upright. It looks strange, but it’s brilliant!” Plus, the possibilities of what to put in the cup are endless.

“To make sure your chicken is cooked through, you want it to hit 75 º C”

“It’s normally called beer chicken, but really it’s about the liquid – you could use flavoured water, beer or wine.” Judging when a chicken is done is always tricky when trying out a new recipe. Rimmer suggests focusing on the internal temperature of the chicken, rather than how long it’s taking.

“To be sure your meat is cooked through completely, you want it to hit 75° C,” he says. “The Weber iGrill thermometer is superb because it does all the work for you.” With just a few accessories and some tips from the pros, you too can get succulent, crispy chicken with the best flavour in town.

Ingredients

  • circleServes: 4-6
  • 2 kg whole free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 can dark stout beer (such as Guinness)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Tarragon butter
  • 15 g fresh tarragon
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Rub
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorn
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp soft brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  •  
  • Special Equipment
  • GBS Poultry Roaster

Instructions

  • In the kitchen:

  • 1. First, make the rub for the chicken by finely grinding all the ingredients in a pestle and mortar.

  • 2. Make the herb butter by finely chopping the tarragon, holding back one sprig for later. Zest half the lemon. Add the chopped tarragon and lemon zest to the butter along with the salt and pepper. Mix until the butter is well combined, then roll into a cylinder-shape and refrigerate until firm.

  • 3. Cut two rounds from your roll of butter, then using your fingers, carefully feed the butter between the skin and meat of the raw chicken. Take extra care not to tear the skin.

  • 4. Lightly oil the exterior of the chicken and coat evenly with the rub.

  • 5. Half fill the cup in the center of the GBS Poultry Roaster with the dark stout beer. Add the garlic and the remaining sprig of tarragon.

  • 6. Firmly sit the chicken on the GBS Poultry Roaster cup, making sure the bird is stable and upright. Cut a wedge from the remaining lemon and plug the neck cavity of the chicken. This will keep the steam inside the chicken and stop it from escaping.

  • 7. If desired, a selection of lightly oiled and seasoned baby root vegetables can be added to the poultry roaster at this point, around the outside of the chicken.

  • At the barbecue:

  • 1. Prepare the barbecue for indirect heat, approx. 180 °C. Place the chicken over the area of indirect heat and close the lid. Roast the chicken for around 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the core temperature of the meat has reached 75 °C. You can check this with a Weber Instant- Read or iGrill thermometer.

  • 2. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

  • All of our recipes are created by our expert chefs at the Weber Grill Academy. View more inspirational recipes or book a course at the Grill Academy now.

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