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BBQ Beer-Can Chicken- No BBQ required!

Summer has landed and although the sun seems to have disappeared behind a few clouds we are never one to grumble at the oh- so- British weather so we decided to make a summer BBQ favourite this weekend- Beer-Can chicken.

On inspection, we sadly discovered that the BBQ gas wouldn’t have gone the distance so the chicken, and the beer can both ended up in the oven instead. This is a great alternative to the BBQ since the weather can never be 100% guaranteed meaning you don’t need to change meal plans at the last minute.

If you’ve never made, or even heard of Beer-Can (or Beer-Butt) chicken then this is how it is done…

What you’ll need

    • One chicken- small, medium or large depending on family size (we went with small)


    • One can of beer- size dependent on size of chicken. For this we used Allendale Vienna- a light a fruity pale ale.  


    • A few herbs- Paprika, thyme, coriander (whatever your preference). We used paprika and olive oil to rub the chicken, and popped some fresh coriander leaves in the beer can prior to it ending up at the business end of the chicken


    • A baking tray


    • Oven or BBQ

The chicken should fit neatly on top of your beer can with some room at the top for it to breath


    • Pre heat the oven to gas mark 180


    • Rub chicken with olive oil and herbs of choice (we went with paprika)


    • Add herbs to beer can- you could use thyme, or lemongrass but we went with coriander as the Allendale beer we used was a light, fruity beer and felt this was a great accompaniment


    • Sit the chicken on top of the beer can (you need the can to go as far in as possible to allow the beer to permeate the chicken, but not too far in that the beer doesn't have room to breathe)


    • Cook chicken according to weight- instructions are usually found on the chicken- This one said 45 mins per kg plus 25 mins and was 1.25kg so it went in for 1.5 hours

A Paprika rub was used to coat the chicken prior to it going in to the oven


Whilst the chicken was in the oven, we set about our usual Sunday chores- lawn mowing, washing etc and after 30 mins checked on the chicken to find it had fallen over in the oven with the beer now covering the bottom of pan.

Oh dear.

Plan B- The chicken will now be fully roasted in the beer, which actually turned out to be a great alternative since we used the chicken juices and beer to make a great boozy gravy to accompany our meal!



And after adding some lovely herby potatoes and garden pea’s our beer-butt chicken was ready to be served with our impromptu and delicious boozy gravy! Alternatively you could enjoy an Al fresco meal in place of the BBQ and serve with a garden salad and fresh bread and butter.



Could we taste the beer?

Definitely. The chicken was very moist, with a hint of fruit, coriander and definite subtle undertones of beer. The gravy gave a real beery boost to the meal which we will definitely consider making again in place of the beer-but chicken which (hopefully) might stand up-right on a BBQ!

Next week- Honey and Beer glazed pork.