There's Still Time to Master Beer Can Chicken Before Summer Ends

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Late August is the height of the lazy days of summer. So even though you’ve had likely had your fill of burgers and kebabs by this point in the season, the thought of trying anything new can make you want to roll over in your hammock and order pizza. Enter beer can chicken, the clever grilling technique that’s easy enough to master the first time you make it.

The surprisingly simple technique is magical for a few reasons: Chiefly, the can acts as a DIY upright roaster, ensuring all sides of the chicken get nice and crispy. Plus, the beer in the can helps steam the chicken from the inside, preventing it from drying out on the grill. And finally (and the most fun), you have to drink some of the beer before you position the chicken over the can! Here’s four ways to try it out tonight.

Of course, when Bobby Flay makes beer can chicken, he wants make sure his grill will help amp-up the flavor as well. Sprinkling some well-soaked apple wood chips over the coals is an easy way dial up the smokiness.


Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Food Network Magazine found that the best way give the chicken lots of beer flavor is to, well, use that beer everywhere you can. This recipe calls for standing the chicken over a half-filled beer can, adding some beer to the drip pan and brining the chicken in beer (with orange peel, cardamom and light brown sugar). And with a rub that combines brown sugar, coriander, cumin, paprika and all-spice, the final result is a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy.

Bobby took a lesson from food writer Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue University in classic beer-can chicken technique and learned that you can swap the beer can for a soda can or even a can of juice, if you want to try different flavor combos. This version of Raichlen’s recipe does start with a beer can, but ends with a sweet barbecue sauce that combines cola, ketchup, steak sauce and some savory aromatics.

Leave it to Guy Fieri to take beer-can chicken to the next level. With a bib of bacon draped over the bird, his recipe is extra smoky, extra savory and extra juicy.

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