06 July 2010

Beer-can chicken

Warning:  The following post contains pictures of raw chicken.  If there are small children, or anyone who is immunocompromised, please have them step away from the computer before you scroll down.

This is my post about smoked beer-can chicken.  Modified from my favourite bbq book, Serious Barbecue.  The marinade:
½ cup canola oil
½ cup water
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp ancho powder
1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 serrano, chopped
Mix the marinade ingredients.  Place in a ziploc bag with the chicken.  Seal and refrigerate overnight.  If you can remember, mix the marinade a few times during the 18ish hours you have it in the fridge, so all that delicious goodness gets all over the chicken.

When you're ready to fire up the grill, light your fire and remove the chicken from the fridge.  Pat it dry.

Marinated chicken

Heat the grill up to 300 °F. Meanwhile, crack open a can of beer.   I use Budweiser, which I find unfit to drink. But really, the beer can is there for two reasons.  One - a stand to hold up the chicken.  Two - a chicken humidifier.  None of the beer actually gets on the chicken, so it matters not one whit what kind of beer you use.  So go ahead, use something loathsome and cheap, like the King of Beer. Pour off the top 10% of the can. Mount the chicken on the beer can, and set it on the grill.  Plug a meat thermometer into the breast.

Mounted chicken

There's not much you can do to make a mounted raw chicken look attractive.  Not much at all.  Sorry about that.  I do take a small amount of joy to see the outside of that Bud can getting raw chicken juice all over it, though...

Close up the grill.  Maintain the heat at 300 °F, smoking with hickory or applewood.  Melt some butter, and prepare a brush out of some thyme sprigs.  Brush on some butter periodically during the cook.

Butter and brush

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze:
½ cup orange marmalade
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Mix the ingredients in the glaze.


Nuke the glaze in the microwave for a minute to melt it, and stir.  Continue checking on the chicken, brushing it with butter every fifteen minutes or so.

Beer-can chicken

Look at that colour!  Yum.

When the chicken reaches 155 °F, brush the chicken liberally with the glaze.

Beer-can chicken

Look at that!  Okay, close up the grill for 10-15 more minutes, until the chicken breast hits 165 °F.

While it's finishing off, prepare the cutting board:
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Chop the chives and parsley, spread it all over the cutting board.  Zest the lemon all over the board.

Serving board

When the chicken hits 165 °F, gently remove it, and set the can somewhere the chicken can rest without being disturbed by cats, dogs or small children.  After all, that beer can is full of scalding hot beer.  So, you know, be careful.

Beer-can chicken

After 15-20 minutes, when you're ready to carve the chicken, squeeze the lemon over the cutting board, and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve immediately.

The skin on this chicken is a real sweet treat.  The chicken meat underneath doesn't seem to pick up the marinade much (not surprising, really), but the dressing on the cutting board makes up for that.  This is a really nice way to prepare a chicken on a Sunday afternoon.

Served with:

Drink with


* said...

the photo of raw chicken offends me... :)

Anonymous said...

i'm so offended by your pictures of raw meat along with a bud can stuffed up the rear of a bird that i'll have to give this a try (totally kidding of course). working on it right now...

Bbq Dude said...

Heh, still working on a good way to photograph raw chicken. It is slightly alarming, isn't it?

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