24 June 2010

Beer Can Chicken

My favorite way to cook chicken on the grill.  Just stick a whole chicken over a can of beer and let it cook for about three hours.  The result is a deliciously moist, tender, and flavorful chicken the whole family will enjoy.

I first tried this application about three years ago as kind of an afterthought.  We were having a big cookout at my mom's house and I was smoking a brisket as the main course.  I suggested we also serve chicken since some of the guests might not like beef.  I remembered seeing those beer can chicken holders at all the stores, so I decided to give that method a try.  I was unable to find any of those holders, so I just stood the chicken up over a can of beer and placed it directly on the grill.  I cooked two chickens that day, and they turned out to be the hit of the party.

Since then, we have upped the two chickens to four and they all fit nicely on the grill.  The application couldn't be easier, and it really does produce the best chicken I have ever eaten.  We upped the ante this year with some deluxe beer can chicken holders that worked like a charm and took the stress out of worrying about the chickens falling over (which has happened to me a time or two).  I also like to use a gas grill to cook the chickens because it is a lot easier to control the temperature for such a long cooking time. 

Once I get the grill up to temperature, I am able to go lounge in the pool while just asking someone to check the grill temp for me every once in a while (thanks mom!).  It is also nice because with the chicken standing up, the dark meat is closer to the heat source; and since it takes longer to cook than the white meat, everything comes to temperature at the same time.  Beautiful!

Needless to say, I highly recommend this cooking method.  Here's how I do it:

Preheat grill to 250 degrees.  Rub chicken with barbecue rub (I use AB's).  Open a 12 oz. can of beer and dispense 1/4 of can, so the can is 3/4 full. Hold chicken so that the cavity is at the bottom and place chicken over beer can so that the cavity covers the can.  Stand chicken upright in the center of grill and cook for 3 hours or until a thermometer tells you it's done.  Remove from grill, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Cut, serve, and consume in mass quantities.

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