A beer can chicken is one of those things I love to grill because it just looks so cool. When entertaining guests who have yet experienced the magic, there is, usually, a collective sigh as the kettle lid slides back to reveal the cooked bird high on its beverage roost.
However, with the grilling and presentation out of the way, there is one final step which is sometimes overlooked: how to easily, and more importantly, safely, remove the can from the chicken.
After an hour plus on the grill, not only is the chicken hot, so is the can and its contents. Whether using beer, soda or even water, watch out.
At this point in the operation, there are two things that could go wrong. One, you ruin dinner by knocking the chicken over and covering it with hot beer. Two, you end up with a trip to the emergency room for burns after telling your guests “watch this!” Neither is exactly a great outcome for dinner. Here is how I avoid both.
Move the chicken from the grill onto a sturdy cutting board by placing a spatula under the protruding can and grabbing the chicken with a pair of tongs.
Carry the cutting board into the house and place next to the sink.
Slide the chicken to the edge of the board so that the can is directly over the sink, but the bulk of the chicken is still over the board.
Hold the chicken with a fork and a pair of tongs, carefully pull the can out of the chicken and place in the sink.
If something should go wrong, or the can slips, having the can already over the sink will protect not only you, but dinner.
Now it’s time to crack a cold beer and serve up dinner. Your hungry guests await!