Grillin' With Wolf: Beer Can Chicken

Thursday night Atlanta, GA will host the Techmo Bowl. While Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, Georgia Tech's annual contest against Georgia is their biggest game, we're quickly building a great rivalry. The winner of this game will be the Coastal Division champ just as it has been since the ACC expanded. Hopefully you guys will be able to make it to Atlanta to tailgate this beautiful Thursday night (high is 58 degrees btw). While you are cracking jokes about the university that brought you Jeff Foxworthy, fire up that grill and use the extra time you have to make something exceptional. Here is my recipe for beer can chicken.


  • Whole Chicken
  • 12 oz Can of Beer
  • Paprika
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic

Drink half a can of beer. Then using a key or knife punch holes in the top. Rub down a whole chicken with a four part rub of paprika, brown sugar, salt, and pepper on the skin and underneath it. Put a little of the rub into the beer can and cut the onion in half. Put the garlic, half onion, and the beer can into the chicken opening (the can may be hard to fit in the chicken but work it in there and it will eventually fit). Use the chicken's legs and the can to create a tripod so that the chicken stands straight up on an indirect heat grill. I like to split the charcoal on both sides of the grill so that I do not need to spin the chicken while it is cooking. A 5 pound bird should take around 3 hours to cook at 300 degrees. If you want to smoke it then add wood to your coals and keep the heat around 250. Regardless, you are aiming for an internal temperature of 175°F to be safe. Once you remove the bird let it rest 10 minutes before carving. As always, bring lots of napkins!

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difficult to stop drinking at half way...

It's a great day to be a Hokie!

I agree

that is the hardest part of this recipe

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them.' So I'm going with God. I'm going with Virginia Tech." Lee Corso Aug 23, 2000

beer used

I dont think it matters what kind you use right? Ive heard some swear by one of the major brews over another but its more of personal preference as it doesnt influence the taste greatly. unless im wrong here.

It doesnt matter

It doesn't matter what beer you use. In fact, you can use a can of soda instead if you don't have beer around, or even juice.

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them.' So I'm going with God. I'm going with Virginia Tech." Lee Corso Aug 23, 2000


I mean, unless you really go for some sort of flavored concoction, it doesn't matter- it's really just to keep the chicken moist. Another popular option is Dr. Pepper, which is outstanding if you haven't tried it- I also use it as a base for my homemade barbeque sauce for ribs and chicken.

Try Cheerwine (if you can get it) for your BBQ sauce - one of the winningest BBQ joints in SC has a Cheerwine based sauce that will knock you out of your shoes. Yum!

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

I would use something fairly light. My go to for this recipe is Bud Tough, although bud lite or a Silver Bullet would probably also suffice. Love the the beercan chicken, so juicy. I would recommend saving a little bit of the rub (separately) and then sprinkling it on the chicken after it has cooked it and you have boned/pulled it.


Natural Light, the beer with the taste for food.
I use Natural when smoking chicken and ribs and the price point to flavor is just about at perfect 10.

I'm a man! I'm 40!
Hokie thru and thru.

Beer can chicken is always delicious. If this game wasn't a week before thanksgiving break, then I would be there in a heartbeat. I just can't afford to go home 4 days after getting back to VT.