Loving the BITE: Grilled Beer-Can Chicken

beercanchickenThis summer, our dinner themes have been grilling and keeping dinners “Light at Night.”

This week, for even more fun, we’ll throw in a beer.  If you’ve never heard of beer-can chicken, keep reading because this recipe, using beer, produces a wonderfully moist and flavorful whole chicken.  To keep it light at night, we’ll skip the grains and starches and use a fresh salad or grilled vegetables, and a healthy fat to round out a satisfying and fun meal.

This week, grab a beer (you can only drink 1/2 of it!), grab a whole chicken, and head outside to the grill.


Recipe of the Week: Grilled Beer-Can Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 1  12 ounce can beer (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves garlic, mincedbeercanchickendone
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For Rub:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Prepare Grill with Medium-High Heat.
  2. Combine all rub ingredients and set aside.
  3. Prepare chicken by removing giblets & neck, if necessary.  Rub mix all over chicken, within cavity and under skin as much as possible.
  4. Open beer can and discard (or drink) half.  Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice & pepper flakes to the beer.  Also, pierce 2 extra holds in the top of the can.
  5. Place chicken on top of can. Place chicken/beer on grill (either directly or within a roasting pan, balanced on the beer can.  To hold in moisture, you can also stuff a ball of aluminum foil into top neck cavity of the chicken.
  6. Grill over heat (indirect if placed directly on grill) 1.5 to 2 hours until internal temperature of thigh is 180 degrees.
  7. Remove chicken when finished cooking and let sit (with beer can still intact), for 10 minutes before carving.

Comments: beercanchickendone

It may sound crazy to use a beer to cook chicken, but after a bite or two you’ll understand and appreciate the sacrifice.  And, since it has quite a few ingredients, this one might seem like a difficult recipe – it’s not.  Many of the ingredients are repeated, and it’s actually quite quick to prepare.

As most readers know, I recommend a dinner meal sans starches and carbs most of the time.  I like to keep it to just protein, loads of vegetables, and healthy fats.  If you’ve already read a “Light at Night” post, this is just review and you can skip it and just focus on the recipe.  If you’re new to eating “Light at Night,” here’s why you should consider it, and how beer-can chicken fits in:

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