Beer Can Chicken

Propping a whole chicken on top of a beer can (Pilsner works well!) ensures even cooking and results in a crispy skin and juicy bird.
Servings 4
Difficulty Medium





  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp Paprika, smoked
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Chilli powder


  • 4 lbs Chicken, whole, rinsed and dried
  • 1 can Beer, preferably lager


  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and chili powder.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Rub the chicken and its cavity with neutral oil. Season the chicken and cavity with spice mixture from step 1.
  • Pour out ¼ of the beer can into the cavity and sit the chicken on top of the can. Place in the center of the hot grill and cover.
  • Cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 75°C / 165°F, about 1 to 1½ hours.
  • Once cooked, remove from grill and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.


  • Use the chicken legs to support its body, preventing the chicken from falling over.
  • If you don’t have a grill, you can use the same method in a large roasting pan and cook in oven at 220° C / 425°F
  • Exercise caution when removing chicken from grill, ensuring you don’t spill hot beer on yourself 
  • Make sure to empty the cavity of the chicken (giblets etc.), prior to seasoning
  • Pair with roasted potatoes and/or coleslaw, if desired