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BBQ Beer Can Chicken

Rated as 4.56 out of 5 Stars

"I tried several beer can chicken recipes and changed the ingredients up until I found one the whole family loves!!"
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1 h 55 m servings 627
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Soak wood chips in water for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for indirect medium heat, about 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Mix together dark brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Place two half full cans of beer on a baking sheet. Spoon 1 teaspoon seasoning mix into each can. Be careful, this will make the beer foam up and out of the can.
  4. Rinse chicken under cold running water. Discard giblets and neck from chicken; drain and pat dry. Rub each chicken with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Rub the remaining seasoning mix over the entire chicken, inside and out. Fit each chicken over a can of beer with the legs on the bottom; keep upright.
  5. Drain the wood chips and place them with the coals or in an aluminum pan on or under the grill grate as directed by the grill's manual. Place the two chickens, standing on their cans directly on the grill. Close the lid and barbeque the chicken until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the chickens from the grill and discard the beer cans. Cover the chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.


  • Cook's Note
  • Check the chickens after an hour on the grill, if they are beginning to brown too much, loosely cover the tops of the birds with aluminum foil and continue to cook with the lid closed.
  • Editor's Note
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the beer, oil, and spice rub ingredients. The actual amount of these ingredients consumed will vary.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 627 calories; 33.2 22.8 53 205 5855 Full nutrition

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  1. 41 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

There's nothing quite like Beer Can Chicken at an outdoor BBQ! Ever since stumbling onto recipes like these here on AR we make these every summer. And, since there's never a shortage of beer in ...

Most helpful critical review

way too much salt and paprika

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

There's nothing quite like Beer Can Chicken at an outdoor BBQ! Ever since stumbling onto recipes like these here on AR we make these every summer. And, since there's never a shortage of beer in ...

I used this recipe as my template - I sprayed the chicken with cooking spray, rubbed on my favorite spices and used the rest for the beer can. Wood chips are a must! I used indirect heat (one ...

I also put a small red potato over the neck of the chicken so the meat steams from the inside and stays nice and moist. you could also use small balls of aluminum foil. 6/24/2010 For those of...

My new FAVORITE chicken of all time! FANTASTIC! The only change I made was olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

Very good recipe. This method makes for really tasty chicken. Play with the rub depending on your tastes or mood. I like to do one chicken with the paprika, brown sugar, cayenne and another more...

So delicious!

very fun to make. Might look for a different spice recipie sometime. Lime beer...not sure if i'd use again...

AWESOME! I have never done Beer Can Chicken before, and I'm so happy this recipe was my first try...Loved It! Used Smoked Paprika instead and all any of us can say is YUM!

way too much salt and paprika