Coach Cristina’s Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

If you have ever tried your hand at cooking a whole chicken, you know just how tricky it can be. Aside from the preparation, you need to be mindful of getting the temperature just right, so it cooks all the way through without drying out. Do you rotate it? If so, when? Do you use a marinade or spices? Or both? When should you take it out of the oven or off the grill? And do you let it rest before slicing into it?

There are so many variables at play when it comes to cooking a whole chicken, so why not lessen the load with a foolproof method of cooking it?

Enter beer can chicken.

In my (not-so) professional opinion, a beer can chicken recipe is the simplest way to cook an entire chicken, which is both evenly cooked and juicy/moist. The beer can approach may seem like a novelty; however, it is really quite genius as the beer from the can actually steams the chicken to make it super tender.

What type of beer can be used? I think the better question is what type of beer can’t be?

The Best Beers For Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Personally, I think whatever type of beer you would consume would work pretty well with this. Considering you have to discard half of the beer anyway… But let’s run through the list of some popular types of beer and what they can lend to the recipe, according to the folks over at Spruce Eats:

Stout: Most dry stouts (e.g., Guinness) wouldn’t make as good of a choice as they tend to be too bitter. Sweeter stouts, like oatmeal or chocolate stouts, on the other hand, could be really good choices.

Some they recommended include Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout for its “sweet, dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors.” If you can’t find the right sweeter stout, a good porter could work as well.

Sour Beers: Look for flavors that are commonly paired with chicken, such as lemon or other sour citrus fruits for inspiration. Sour beers often have a citrus punch to make your chicken come alive. Spruce Eats specifically recommends Berliner Weisse to “make the chicken stand up and shout.” Another recommendation is a Belgium lambic beer. Another option would be Flanders brown ale, which also adds “interesting complexities of malt and old beer.”

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Malty Beers: To stay on the safer side, go with a rich malty, low-hop beer, such as brown and mild ales. Spruce Eats specifically suggests the easy-to-find Newcastle Brown Ale.

German Beers: “Bock, double bock, Oktoberfest, alt, and weizenbock would all add some pretty interesting flavors to chicken.” Specifically recommended includes Rauchbier, or smoked beer, though it can be difficult to find.

Wheat and Fruit Beers: Again, going with flavors that pair well with chicken, a good hefeweizen would work well too. Other fun varieties to experiment with would include raspberry wheat, apricot ale, strawberry blonde, or even a hard cider like Woodchuck Cider.

Chili Pepper Beer: What pairs better with chicken than chili peppers? There are a number of beers infused with the flavor of chili that could do a chicken good.

Now that you’ve picked out the right beer for your flavor preference, it’s time to get going with this beer can chicken recipe.

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Beer can chicken is the simplest way to cook an entire chicken, which is both evenly cooked and juicy/moist.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbeque, BBQ
Calories: 295kcal


  • 3-4 lb chicken
  • 1 can beer
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • your choice of spices
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Set up your grill for indirect heat.
  • Brush chicken with olive oil and rub chicken with spices of choice as well as salt and pepper.
  • Take a few drinks from the can (up to half) and set the chicken around the open side of the can.
  • Balance beer can and chicken vertically on the grill.
  • Cover and cook for about an hour.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy!


Chef Note: Cut the entire top part of the can off to allow for more of the beer to be released for steam.
Chef Note: Add herbs and citrus (e.g., rosemary, thyme, lemon, etc.) into the cavity of the chicken or even in the beer can for some additional flavor.


Calories: 295kcal | Fat: 20.7g | Protein: 21.4g | Carbohydrates: 2.6g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!