Beer Can Chicken

I love grilling season. The truth is I grill all year long which is no small feat in Canada. In the winter months I will bundle up in my winter coat and toque to cook on the grill. Even though I will fire up the BBQ any month of the year, there is nothing like those warm summer months, sitting on the deck, sipping a nice cool beverage, while meat is cooking on the grill.

A classic BBQ recipe is beer can chicken and it is amazing how simple it is. Stick a chicken on an open can of beer or other beverage, place it on the grill at medium/high heat and close the lid. Come back in about 90 minutes. It is that easy. I like to add some of my favourite BBQ rub and sauce for added flavour.

I got these little stands from Dollarama, a Canadian dollar store. They are cheap and provide a stable base for the chicken and the perfect holder for the can.

Rub the chicken with your favourite BBQ spice rub. Here is the recipe for my Basic BBQ Rub. Β Heat the grill to medium/high heat so that the temperature of the grill is around 375F.

Near the end of the cooking time, baste the chicken with some BBQ sauce and close the lid for a few more minutes so the sauce glazes on the skin of the bird. Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F.

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5 from 1 vote

Beer Can Chicken on the Grill

Classic beer can chicken done on the grill. Easy recipe for BBQ chicken with a spicy rub and sauce.
Servings 2 people
Author Steve Cylka


  • 1 large roasting chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 can of beer or other beverage
  • 3 tbsp your favourite spice rub
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce


  • Set your grill to medium/high so the grill heats up to around 375F.
  • Open a can of beer, or other beverage, and set the bird on top of the can, ensuring that the chicken is on well. Use a beer can chicken stand if you have one.
  • Rub the chicken with BBQ spice rub. Place the bird on the grill, set up on the stand or can and close the lid.
  • Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is  165F. It should take around 75-90 minutes. Make sure to check occasionally for any flare ups.
  • WIth about 5 minutes remaining, baste the chicken with BBQ sauce. Close the lid again and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F.

How to Grill Beer Can Chicken

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. this is my FAVORITE part of summer!

  2. I always laugh when I see beer can chicken…they just look like little people to me (sitting on the potty:)! Kidding aside, these look so appetizing! The photography is some of your best! This will be my go-to for beer can chicken! Thanks!

  3. I love those nifty stands. I haven’t seen any of those in Australia.

    I agree with Bonnie about the potty but the chicken TASTES so good I don’t care. πŸ™‚

  4. I don’t know what I’m more impressed with the gorgeous beer can chicken or the fact you go those great stands at the dollar store!! Wow!! You made so many of them…. what a great feast! πŸ™‚ Well done and Happy Sunday!

  5. fun recipe! i’ve heard of beer can chicken but never made it, + i’ve actually been looking for a recipe. thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve been meaning to do this since its gotten warm!

  7. You forgot to mention that after you open the beer can, you are supposed to drink half of it (or dispose of it in some way). πŸ˜‰ Have you experimented with any other liquids? Honestly, I have not noticed the liquid imparting any flavor to it and I’ve used various beers, wine, juices and even plain water.

  8. Love beer butt chicken, the meat is always so moist and full of flavor. The hubby always adds a whole bunch of fresh herbs inside the beer mix before grilling them. I’ll be very keen to try your BBQ rub. Your chickens look scrumptious

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