A spice rub and actual cans of beer double-up to give Rach's grilled chickens the hallmark flavors of this fun and easy technique.
"I use a beer can chicken pan, but the birds can be taken on and off grill on a grilled vegetable pan or grill tray and literally placed over a half-full can of beer," Rach says.
Rach's Pro Tip: Preheat the grill or Big Green Egg for an hour beforehand for extra-crispy skin.
Rach likes to serve her Beer Can Chicken with a summer-ready side of Succotash.
- 4 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika or pimenton
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Two 4-pound whole chickens
- Non aerosol cooking spray
- ½ can beer per chicken (12 ounces total light lager)
- 1 lime, halved
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup prepared mustard of choice
- 2 tablespoons molasses or dark brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce (Rach's go-to is Frank's RedHot)
- About 2 tablespoons reserved rub
Preheat outdoor grill to high then reduce to 325˚F to 350˚F for indirect heat. For Big Green Egg, prepare coals and top with ceramic insert and rack for indirect heat, adjusting vents to keep temperature at 325˚F to 350˚F. For oven preparation, place rack one below center and preheat to 425˚F.
Combine spices to make a rub and reserve about 2 rounded tablespoons for sauce.
Rinse cavity of chickens and pat completely dry. Loosen the skin of each bird. Lightly season the meat under skin with the rub and heavily season the birds with remaining spices inside and out. Fill the beer can baking tray cans with half a beer each or place 2 half-filled cans on a baking sheet or grill tray and set birds into place on cans. Cook chickens 1 to 1 ¼ hours over indirect heat to 160˚F to 165˚F on a meat thermometer. Let rest, then grill lime cut-side down and douse chicken with its juice.
For the sauce, in a small bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, molasses, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Stir in reserved spice mixture. Place a skillet on stovetop or grill burner, add drippings from beer cans to pan, bring to boil and reduce by half, 5 minutes, then whisk in sauce and reserved spice mixture.
Quarter the chickens and serve with sauce.