Beer can chicken

Beer can chicken probably started out as a joke amongst mates, but it is a concept that really works, even if it still looks as a joke. I have cooked it on my barbecue a couple of times with different sized birds, and found that the smaller bird worked best. If cooking on a barbecue, you need one with a lid, otherwise you can do it in a large oven. I used a recipe from Ben O’Donoghue who recommended using the South African chimichurri rub.



  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 shallots
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 free range chicken
  • 1 can of beer (I used a 375ml VB can – not the best beer, but it does not need to be)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary


  1. Prepare the chicken by cutting off excess fat at the neck, removing giblets and tucking the wings in.
  2. Rub the chicken all over with the chimichurri, rub over and under the skin and in the cavity.
  3. Push the quartered lemon up into the cavity.
  4. Open the beer can and take a big gulp. Place the can on a flat surface and fit the chicken on top. The chicken will balance fine sitting on the can.
  5. Fire up the barbecue, using all burners for a few minutes, then turn off the middle burners for indirect cooking. Although I found with my 4 burner I actually need to keep the middle two burners on very low to keep the temperature up at 160ºC.
  6. Place the chicken in the barbecue and cook for 1-1.5 hours. The chicken is cooked when the juices of the thigh run clear when pricked.
  7. Make sure everyone sees the hilarious picture of the chicken, then take it off the can to carve.

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One Response to Beer can chicken

  1. Pingback: Roast honey ginger beer can chicken with noodle salad | Mrs Sam's dinners, preserves, and of course baking

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