Beer Butt Chicken Recipe

A fabulous BBQ party needs a show-stopping entree. Beer Butt Chicken fits the bill. Not only is it fun to look at and promises to be the butt of many jokes (pardon the pun), but everyone we know swears that it’s the most moist and delicious chicken that they’ve ever had. The bonus – it’s really easy to make.

Beer Butt Chicken

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 474

Fat per serving: 18.8 (g)

Carbs per serving: 3.2 (g)

Protein per serving: 32.5 (g)


  • 1 whole organic chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • *Note - smaller chickens may not be big enough to hold a beer can and larger chickens may be too big to fit upright in a closed grill
  • about 3 tablespoons, spice rub (see suggestions below) - optional
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer - any kind will do
  • Dry Spice Rub
  • 2 tablespoons, ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons, chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon, ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon, ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon, ground cinnamon
  • Wet Spice Rub
  • 1/2 teaspoon, ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon, chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon, paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon, ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon, fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons, fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons, good olive oil
  • 1 small clove, garlic - minced very fine
  • 1 tablespoon, minced cilantro leaves
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 teaspoon, cayenne pepper (adds spicy heat)


  1. Rub the chicken thoroughly and generously with salt and pepper OR with your choice of spice rub mixture. Rub the spice mixture inside the cavity of the bird, under the breast skin, and all over the outside of the chicken.
  2. Open the beer can and drink (or pour out) about 1/4 cup. With a can opener, punch two additional holes in the top of the can (for a total of 3 holes). Insert the can into the cavity of the chicken, so that the drumsticks reach the bottom of the can, and the chicken can be stood upright on the “tripod” formed by the can and the two legs.
  3. Using the “indirect” method of grilling, place the chicken over the drip pan with lighted, medium-hot charcoals on either side (or place the bird on the unheated side of a two-part gas grill - the heated side calibrated to about 350 degrees).
  4. Cover the grill and roast for about 1 hour, rotating the bird at the half-way point if necessary to produce even browning. The cooking time will depend on the size of the bird, and the heat of the grill - begin checking for doneness after about 45 minutes. The temperature in the thickest part of the thigh meat should be 160-165 degrees (thermometer should not touch bone to insure an accurate reading).
  5. Remove the chicken from the grill (keeping the chicken upright, with the can inside) and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the can, carve the chicken and serve.
  6. If you don't (or can't) use beer, you can substitute any kind of juice, which will provide the same amount of moisture and impart a great aroma into the chicken.
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