They say you haven't truly lived until you've stuck a can of beer up a chicken's ass. Okay, so maybe nobody says that, but they should because it's true. Beer can chicken is a way of life.
The method, as Neanderthal as it may seem, is actually quite ingenious. As the chicken cooks away on the grill, the beer can works as a steamer, adding moisture to the meat. The yeast and malt in the beer keep the meat incredibly juicy and tender while the skin crisps.
From pig-wrapped to Creole-spiced, here are Five Ways to Make Beer Can Chicken:
Lemon Zest & Spice-Rubbed
This basic recipe is our go-to. Lemon zest, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder bring intensity to the rub, while an onion set on top of the chicken locks in moisture as it cooks. In the end, you have incredibly tender, fall apart meat packed with flavor. Bacon-Wrapped
Guy Fieri took drunken chicken to a new level when he wrapped it with
donkey sauce a half pound of bacon. Sea salt, dried sage, ginger, paprika and two cloves of smashed garlic add a kick, while good 'ole American Budweiser keeps the meat moist. See the recipe here.
Creole Style w/ a Crab Boil Splash
This recipe adds crab boil to the beer before stuffing it into the chicken, giving the chicken even more flavor as it cooks. A spice rub of bay leaves, Creole seasoning, dried thyme, oregano and garlic brings even more intensity.
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Oak wood chips, dark ale, and a brown-sugar-and-chile spice rub make for a sweet, smoky and spicy slow-cooked chicken that falls right off the bones. See the recipe here.
Serve this Chinese-five-spice-rubbed beer can chicken from Daphne Oz and Carla Hall with Chinese pancakes, hoisin sauce, and a ginger-spiced Asian cabbage salad. For extra flair, add a few crushed garlic cloves to the beer before cooking.