Blanketing a chicken with salt and refrigerating it for a couple of hours before roasting will draw out some moisture and strengthen the flavours of the chicken. Don’t worry, the chicken will not taste salty. The next step is to rinse off the salt.
After you have rinsed and seasoned the chicken, open a can of beer and pour out half (into a cold mug). Use a can opener to make two additional holes in the top of the beer can to allow steam to escape.
Fold the wing tips behind the back of the chicken to shield the tips from the heat.
Working with a solid surface underneath, slide the chicken over the beer can as far as it will go.
Set up the barbecue with a tray of water in the centre and lit charcoal briquettes on either side. Add a couple of handfuls of damp wood chips to each pile of coals.
When the wood begins to smoke, place the chicken and the can over the tray of water, balancing the chicken on its legs and the can, like a tripod. Close the lid and cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 70° to 74°C in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone).
When the chicken is fully cooked, grab the back with tongs and slide a spatula under the can to lift it. Be careful—the beer will be very hot. Leave the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before sliding it off of the can (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time).