The Best Beer To Use
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Beer Can Chicken does not taste like beer. The purpose of the beer is to essentially steam the inside of the chicken keeping the meat juicy and moist.
The flavor of the beer isn't a major factor in choosing the right beer for this recipe. A domestic, light beer such as a lager is my go-to choice and what happens to be in our garage fridge most of the time. Save the fancy, flavored beers for enjoyment on their own, and choose a more basic beer for this recipe with great results.
How To Make An Easy Roasted Chicken
The combination of spices is basic, but ensures the chicken turns out flavorful. To begin, mix together Kosher salt, paprika, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and thyme. Take about a tablespoon of the spice mixture and mix it with some softened butter.
To prep the chicken, remove it from the packaging and remove any innards. Pat the chicken with a paper towel to get it nice and dry. Next, gently lift the skin up and rub with seasoned butter. Seasoning under the skin allows the butter and spices to directly cook into the meat.
Next, drizzle the chicken skin with some olive oil and season the entire chicken with the remaining spice mixture (the cavity too). Using olive oil on the skin helps the spice mixture stick well and also helps the skin crisp up.
Here's where the beer comes in. You'll need to remove about ⅓ of the beer from the can. The most obvious way to do this is to get yourself a glass and start happy hour. Place the beer can with the remaining beer in the center or a roasting pan or cast iron skillet.
Carefully place the chicken cavity on top of the beer can. It will look as though the chicken is sitting on its legs in the pan. I always chuckle when I see the chicken sitting so proper and upright ready to be cooked.
Roast the chicken in a 400 degree oven for 70-80 minutes or until the thickest part of the thigh (not touching bone) reaches 180 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving.
Side Dish Ideas
Potato side dishes like Parmesan Potato Stacks and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes cook at the same oven temperature as the Beer Can Chicken, making them great side dish ideas! You can also serve the chicken with a simple garden salad, coleslaw or pasta salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you prefer to not use an alcoholic beverage, you can still make this recipe with great results. A can of lemon-lime soda in place of beer will still give you the juicy, tender chicken.
Food safety requires poultry be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees to kill any bacteria. After reaching that temp for safety, anything higher is for texture. Having the thickest part of the thigh reach 180 degrees ensures the dark meat is tender and the connective tissue has a chance to break down further.
I've never found the need for an beer can stand that's sold specifically for techniques like this one. I've found I can get a 4-5 pound chicken to balance pretty easily on the beer can. If possible try to get the 12 oz. "slim" cans, as they are taller and help the chicken sit up.
Other Recipes You'll Love
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Oven Beer Can Chicken
- 4-5 # whole chicken giblets removed
- 2 tbsp. butter softened
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 12 oz. beer a light lager
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together all spices. Add a tablespoon of spice mixture to softened butter. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Rub chicken with seasoned butter under the skin.
- Season entire chicken with the rest of the spice mixture, including the cavity.
- Pour out (or drink) about a ⅓ of the beer. Stand can with remaining beer up in center of the skillet. Carefully place whole chicken on top of the beer can so it looks like it's sitting on it's legs.
- Place chicken in the oven and roast 70-80 minutes until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees. *
- Remove pan from oven and allow chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving.