Beer Butt Bird, Beer Can Chicken or even Drunken Chicken is one of our favourite things to BBQ during the summer. You do not need to spend money on a beer butt chicken holder, the can and proper positioning of legs on the grill will do the trick. Too many gadgets make for too much clutter. At least that’s my motto!
Recently I heard about brining the chicken the night before you grill it. We’ve brined a turkey before so why not a chicken. Made perfect sense to me. There is a lot of debate between Celebrity Chefs on to brine or not to brine. I say do what you want. I’ve found brining imparts flavour into the bird and makes it come out incredibly moist and juicy. But it is an extra step. We brine our beer butt chickens on a regular basis now.
I took a couple photographs of the bird on the grill while it was still cooking. They ended up being too close and as such I can not post the “better” photos. Note to self to zoom out next time. When it was done it was completely browned and looking delicious. We’ll be making it again soon, I’m sure. Better photos next time.
We really like using an IPA beer with our chicken but have also played around with other types of beer. The type of beer you use really does enhance the taste of the bird. If you are not a beer drinker you can try ginger-ale, 7 up or even coca cola.
In all our variations of beer butt bird, we’ve used a fresh poultry herb blend purchased from the store instead of individual thyme and rosemary, we’ve set up our smoker box with some wood chips and allowed the bird to smoke while cooking (no pun intended). Tossed in some orange or lemon peel into the brine. And even rubbed the bird with a buttered spice blend before cooking. Many ways to make this delicious meal and the leftovers always taste better the next day.
- 1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs
- 5 garlic cloves peeled and lightly smashed
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 cans IPA beer
- Ziplock bag
- salt and pepper
- Place garlic, thyme, rosemary and pour 1 can of beer into a large ziplock bag. Add the bird and seal. Give a shake and put in refrigerator overnight.
- The next day get your grill preheating. Remove bird from ziplock bag at least half an hour before grilling. Open beer, drink a little (or pour out), slide bird on beer can pushing all the way down and season outside with salt and pepper.
- Place on grill and let cook with lid down approximately 2 hours depending on your BBQ and size of your bird. Your meat thermometer should also register an internal temperature of 165F.
- Remove from grill and carefully (with oven mitts or help) remove bird from can. Let rest 10-15 minutes before carving.