A Pinch of Summer: Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nyc

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to tell you all about this beer can chicken for a few days now.

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycPhoto Jul 20, 8 40 57 PM

I can tell you it’s delicious and you should be firing up your grills right now. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycPhoto Jul 19, 5 53 15 PM

But besides that, what else can I possibly add to the vast quantity of chicken recipes already out there? What do I know that you don’t also know? Probably nothing.

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycPhoto Jul 19, 5 56 20 PM

As luck would have it, though, I found the next book to add to my queue, which is actually a few books deep right now. Finally! I’ve been twiddling my thumbs and listening to podcasts on the subway for a few weeks and I’ve been really anxious about not reading.

Photo Jul 19, 5 57 47 PM

I met up with my friend Katie last night to drink a few beers and catch up and she pulled out what she’s reading right now – Tastes Like Chicken: A History of America’s Favorite Bird by Emelyn Rude.

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nyc

Bless you, Katie, because I can’t wait to dig in and load up on mad chicken facts I can casually drop every now and then, fully impressing those who read this lil blog here.

And for those of you out there who are surely concerned about and invested in my ongoing grilling education, it’s going well! You’ll notice the step-by-step photos of my dad lighting the grill. I’m quickly getting over my reservations about getting a grill for myself. Because, surprise surprise, grilling isn’t difficult and any insecurity I have re: grilling is silly. But you all knew that already, didn’t you?

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycBeer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycPhoto Jul 20, 6 00 26 PMPhoto Jul 20, 6 02 27 PMPhoto Jul 20, 6 03 22 PM

We served these two beautiful birds with some roasted brussels and carrots and I made a roasted potato salad with whatever my mom had hanging out in fridge, plus some basil from the garden.

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycPhoto Jul 20, 6 09 48 PMPhoto Jul 20, 6 10 59 PMPhoto Jul 20, 6 12 01 PM

After ripping into that succulent chicken, my dad and I got right to Game of Thrones. Oh boy, am I glad it’s back. Anyone else? What else should I make for Sunday night GoT viewings? I’m thinking ribs could be a good challenge, once I get that grill. Thoughts…? Bueller…?

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycPhoto Jul 20, 6 13 33 PMPhoto Jul 20, 6 14 22 PMPhoto Jul 20, 6 15 23 PM

Well, would you look at that? I managed to babble on for a bit considering I didn’t have anything to say. Just one of my many, useless talents, I guess!

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Hey guys. Have a great weekend. More grill updates to come.

Beer Can Chicken | apinchofthis.nycPhoto Jul 20, 8 44 19 PM

P.S. Wilding alert! JKJKJKJKJKJK. That’s just my dad north (well…technically east…) of the wall. Just a little Game of Thrones humor for y’all. I’m killin’ it, just like Arya kills…everyone.

Photo Jul 19, 5 58 32 PMPhoto Jul 19, 5 59 08 PM

Game of Thrones Ale Can Chicken

(AKA Beer Can Chicken)

Guided by Sam Sifton and Food52

*Note: I made two chickens for five people, just to be safe. One chicken is usually good for four people. This recipe will be for one chicken.

*Another note: The dry rub is very flexible. If you don’t have everything, use what you do have. If you want to add something to the mix, go for it. Just try to keep the sweet and savory levels even for that whole crowd-pleasing aspect I mentioned earlier.

*Last note: Sam Sifton will tell you what to do if you want to do this in the oven.


1 4-5 lb chicken

2 tablespoons room temperature butter

6 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

4-6 garlic cloves, minced or grated

Heavy dash of onion powder

Dash of red pepper flakes

1 can beer, your choice, half poured out (or consumed)


  1. Prepare your grill. If using a charcoal grill, keep the coals to one side. If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high and when ready to cook, turn half of them off.
  2. While the grill is heating, make the dry rub. Mix the brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, mustard powder, garlic salt, cumin, pepper, onion powder, and red pepper flakes together in a medium bowl.
  3. Pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle a few pinches of rub in the cavity of the chicken, making sure to hit all sides. Rub the outside of the chicken all over with the butter, then rub all over with the rest of the rub. Get in all those nooks and crannies.
  4. Bring the chicken and the beer out to the grill, which should be around 300-350 degrees. Carefully perch the chicken on top of the beer, so it’s mostly inside the cavity. The legs will help it sit up. Place the chicken, sitting up, on the unlit side of the grill. Cover and let cook for an hour before checking on it. It will take between an hour to and hour and a half to cook through.
  5. When the temperature reads 165 (take this in the thickest part of the thigh or breast), remove from the grill to a rimmed sheet pan. There will be now hot beer still in the can, so you’ll want to remove the can from the chicken near a sink. After you do that, let the chicken rest, covered by foil, for about 10 minutes.
  6. Carve, and serve. Utensils optional.

2 thoughts on “A Pinch of Summer: Beer Can Chicken

  1. Pingback: Alison Roman’s Smashed Potatoes | A Pinch of This

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