Big J’s Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Smoked chicken can be done so many different ways. Why not shove a beer in its rear? You don’t have to just use beer either! You can always drink the beer and then pour a liquid of your choice in the can. Just an idea.

Big J's Smoked Beer Can Chicken
Josh loves smoked food. So, naturally, he ventured into cooking a beer can chicken. This involves stuffing a beer can into the rear of a bird. Now there is the convenient way of just taking the can and setting the chicken on top or you could get a stand like the one pictured. I only recommend getting a stand if you plan on making this chicken regularly.This is a really fun thing to cook when you invite company over. You can be social and hang out by the grill while cooking this, which is a nice perk! For our basic instructions on smoking, food go to How We Smoke Food!
  • 1 can of Yuengling or any beer you like
  • 5-8 Whole Sprigs of Thyme
  • 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
*You do not have to cut the can open. The adding of the herbs and garlic is optional as well. You may want to stand near a sink if you are going to put herbs in the beer because it will usually foam up and overflow slightly.*
  • 4-6 lb Chicken
For the Chicken, we always make a rub. This can honestly be any seasoning blends that you like. Here is our basic blend:
  • Six Pepper Blend
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Sugar
*We used about 1 tbsp of each. Whisk them together.
  1. Open the beer and pour (or drink) about 1/3.
    smoked chicken
  2. Use a strong set of metal shears and cut a large opening in the top of the can. BE CAREFUL the metal is sharp and can be jagged.
    smoked chicken
  3. Bundle up the thyme and rosemary. Stuff them into the can.
    smoked chicken
  4. Add the Garlic.
    smoked chicken
  5. Place the can in the stand (or bird) if you have not done so already.
    smoked chicken
**Remember the can will be hot when the chicken is done cooking!
  1. Clean out the chicken.
    smoked chicken
  2. Make a small cut in the skin below the breast and place the legs through them crisscrossed. This will hold the bird tightly and make for a more even cooking.
    smoked chicken
  3. Place the chicken on the beer can or beer can stand.
    smoked chicken
  4. Coat with the seasoning and place on preheated smoker.
    smoked chicken
  5. When chicken is cooked to temp pull it off.

    smoked chicken
Recipe Notes

For this one, we cooked it at about 285 degrees Fahrenheit. It took about 4 hours and we rotated it midway through cooking. Make sure you use your thermometer when cooking poultry. The meat should be at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let rest and then remove from can. Carve and ENJOY!

smoked chicken

smoked chicken


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  3. Pingback: How We Smoke Food – Our Happy Kitchen

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