BBQ Beer Can Chicken


I tried several beer can chicken recipes and changed the ingredients up until I found one the whole family loves!!

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
8 servings


  • 2 cups cherry wood chips

  • 2 (12 fluid ounce) cans beer, half full

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar

  • ½ cup kosher salt

  • ½ cup paprika

  • ¼ cup ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 (3 pound) whole chickens


  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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

627 Calories
33g Fat
23g Carbs
53g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 627
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 205mg 68%
Sodium 5856mg 255%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 53g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 653mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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