Beer Can Chicken
17 October, 2013
One of my favorite ways to prepare a whole chicken is the “beer can” or “dancing” method. The bird is cooked in an upright or “dancing” position and perched on top of an open beer or coke can. The moisture from the canister helps prevent the chicken from drying out. The steps to cook and prep are simple, and it will produce the juiciest chicken you’ve ever served.
Traditionally, the cook needed to navigate the tail end of a chicken across the top of a beer can, and then balance the two on top of the grill. This can be quite cumbersome and often results in the can tipping over and dousing the fire. Thanks to some innovative new products, cooking in this method is much easier. Rusted Truck Ranch is proud to offer the Stainless Steel Chicken Roaster from Cameron Products. This nifty stand replaces the beer or coke can and provides a much more stable foundation to “dance” on.
First step, BRINE the chicken. Soak your bird in a solution of water and salt. This process makes the chicken moist by holding moisture during the cooking process. You can use a plastic bag, small cooler, or large bowl to bring. A basic brine recipe is below.
Make sure you place your chicken or poultry in a COLD brine. We don't want to start the cooking process by dunking in hot or warm water.
When the brining is complete, rinse the bird THOROUGHLY in cold water. Coat the chicken in ranch dressing and apply Classic Cruiser and or Petal to the Metal. Next, add your liquid to the beer roaster canister. I generally use light beer or apple juice. Slide the chicken on to the roaster stand, and you are ready to begin cooking.
Chicken should go on at a temp around 275 degrees. If cooking in an offset smoker, make sure the bird is placed in an area that won’t receive any flare ups from the fire. Total grill time will be about 3 hours. Cook the chicken un-covered for about 1.5 hours. This allows the meat to absorb a nice smokey flavor. At the half way point, I cover the bird with foil creating a tent over the chicken. This tent helps maintain the moisture and prevents the chicken from drying out. I continue cooking with this configuration for the remaining 1.5 hours.
When the bird reaches 165 degrees in the white meat, and 185 degrees in the dark meat, it’s ready to serve. I use my PT100 quick read thermometer to ensure the meat is done (make sure the thermometer doesn’t touch bone)
Lay the chicken on the cutting board and use a knife to remove the breast meat. Next, cut off the wings and legs, and then continue working removing the meat separating into two piles – white and dark.