The lazy, hazy days of summer are here and I couldn’t be happier. I finally get to say, “Hasta lavista” to my oven and “Hello, sunshine” to my barbecue. It also means that we, as a family, change our routines too – especially on the weekends.
In the cooler months, Friday night is our Pizza and Movie Night. We snuggle up on the couch together and eat pizza on tray tables. It’s gloriously simple and the kids love it. But once the warmer weather hits, we switch gears and take late afternoon walks into town instead. We stop at our local Farmer’s Market to pick something up for Saturday night’s dinner and then we grab a bite to eat at one of our favorite family restaurants.
Come Saturday, we usually spend our days at the beach or at the pool. So when we get home, we’re a little bit tired and just want to sit back and relax. But when you have kids, you still have to make something for dinner…because letting them starve isn’t really an option.
This is when it’s important to have our BBQ Beer Can Chicken Recipe on hand. Regardless of whether you call it Drunken Chicken, Beer Can Chicken, or my personal favorite, Beer Butt Chicken, this simple recipe shows you how to make beer can chicken with minimal effort on your part.
Since my husband and I are craft beer enthusiasts, we always make sure that when we cook with beer, it’s a beer that we also like to drink. We’ve made this recipe several times over, and each time we’ve tried different craft beers, but our favorite one for this BBQ Beer Can Chicken Recipe is Great South Bay’s Blood Orange Pale Ale. This is my go-to beer when it’s hot as Hades outside and I just want something refreshing to drink. It’s not too sweet, it’s not too tart – which makes it just right for this recipe!
Whenever we make Beer Butt Chicken, we also toss some corn on the grill as well as an aluminum pan full of “everything but the kitchen sink.” This means lots of baby potatoes, asparagus, peppers, onions, carrots – you name it, we cook it. Just douse the veggies with some extra virgin olive oil and your favorite spices!
We use a handy dandy chicken roasting pan for our Beer Can Chicken. You don’t necessarily need one, but it makes life so much easier!
BBQ BEER CAN CHICKEN RECIPE
- 1 bottle or can of beer (lager or pale ale)
- 1, 3.5 – 4-pound chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons orange zest (If you’re using a non-citrusy beer, feel free to swap this out for paprika.)
- Fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley – just rip off a bunch out of your garden and shove it into the cavity of the chicken. If you don’t have fresh herbs, just substitute dry.)
- Sides: grilled corn, grilled pineapple, whatever floats your boat
Step 1: Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken and discard. Give the chicken a good rinse, inside and out, and pat dry with a paper towel. Place chicken on a cutting board and lightly rub with extra virgin olive oil and seasonings. Take a handful of fresh herbs and place into the center of the neck cavity. Set aside.
Step 2: Now, if you have a chicken roasting pan, open up your bottle of beer and drink half of it. I know it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! Then fill the can that comes with your pan with the remainder of the beer.
If you do not have a chicken roasting pan, open up a can of beer and drink half of it. Again, tough job, but suck it up, buttercup! Now place your beer can on the cutting board and plop the chicken, legs side down, on top of it.
Step 3: Carefully place your chicken on the grill. If you are using the traditional beer can method, you will need to balance the chicken carefully on the grill – it should be in the shape of a tripod with two legs supporting the slightly tilted can.
Step 4: Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat with the grill cover closed, until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. This usually takes about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours if you leave the chicken alone while it cooks – quit peeking at it! Remove from the grill when done and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
Here’s to summer,