Beer Butt Chicken Recipe

January 14th, 2008

If you like cooking with beer, try the beer steamed mussels.

Beer Butt Chicken Recipe

Beer Butt Chicken Recipe

Okay, so I was hoping to post this over the weekend but football playoffs proved to be a little distraction. Speaking of, this Beer Butt Chicken Recipe may be what your next football gathering is missing!

Just like any other American who has numerous Thanksgiving feast experiences under the belt, I am a huge fan of the roast turkey. But the idea that we have to wait all year to have a roasted bird is just absurd. However, the commitment of brining and roasting the beast is more than just a quick chore. As a kid growing up in another country, the roaster of the choice for my family was chicken. Although it may not sound as grand, never underestimate the power of a perfectly roasted chicken.

Roast chicken can be comforting, satisfying, and impressive if well executed. I try to buy my chicken when it is on sale for under $1.00/pound. I grab a couple birds, cook one of them immediately and usually freeze the other for later use. But don't forget that roasting two chickens is just as easy as roasting one, and the leftover chicken could be used throughout the week for sandwiches, salad, quesadillas, soups, pasta, and etc. Broiler chickens you see at most grocery stores are about 12 weeks in age, making them extremely juicy and tender. I typically go for ones that weigh in around 4~5 lbs.


Beer Butt Chicken photo by SheeeeeUTE

For those of you scared of roasting a chicken, wanting to wow your dining guest, or even just looking for an escape from grilling yet another burger; behold, the beer butt chicken!

Beer Butt Chicken Recipe

Olive Oil
Whole Chicken
Kosher Salt
Fresh Pepper
Can of beer

How to Make Beer Butt Chicken

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; make sure that it is heated all the way, don’t throw the bird in to the cold oven. Check the temperature using an oven thermometer.2. Open the can of beer, take a good swig, and enjoy the cold refreshing drink.

2. If you take small drinks take another sip leaving just over half the liquid in the can. Resist the temptation of finishing what is left, you need this for the roasting. The beer will make the chicken exceptionally juicy and moist.

3. Set chicken on can, inserting can into the cavity of the chicken. The chicken should be standing on its legs supported by the beer can inserted in the cavity, hence the name of beer butt chicken. Lightly oil, using enough to make the entire surface of the meat glisten, but not so much that you leave a puddle. It's nice to have an inexpensive tool like this one, if you are new at it.

4. Season the chicken well. Kosher salt and freshly ground peppers are all the seasonings you need. Most people go too easy on them, I say don’t be shy. See below for other seasoning variations.

5. Place baking sheet with beer and chicken in the pre-heated oven. Word of advice: two sets of hands here are better than one! The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. For a 4~5lbs bird, you are looking at any where from an hour to an hour and half, at the most. But don’t let the time decide the fate of your dinner guests; stick an instant read thermometer to make sure that you don’t undercook, or even worse overcook.

6. Once the chicken is done, let the bird rest for 10~15 minuets so that your guest have time to view and wow over it :) Okay, so this is to allow the juices to settle back into the meat, but there's nothing wrong with impressing. Remove the chicken from the beer can using oven mitts and spring-loaded tongs. Be very careful, the can is still very hot. All BBQ aficionado's will agree, insulated food gloves comes in super handy for occasions as such. Again, two sets of hands are best.

The end result, is roasted chicken without the usual hassle. Brown and crusty all over, juicy and flavorful inside; and some argue, superior to the standard oven roasted bird.

Variation: Beer Can Chicken

Try adding the spice/herb  listed below to your classic salt and pepper seasoning.

  • 1/4 cup of minced rosemary and crushed and minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano
  • Ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper equal portions

Feel free to get creative here and don't be shy about sharing your seasoning combination in the comments section below!

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114 Responses to “Beer Butt Chicken Recipe”

  1. VotingFemaleNo Gravatar Says:

    Oh yes. I found what I was looking for, Yumi! The chicken was a absolute smash. I had just gotten a new mortar and pestle yesterday and put it to use on grinding the coriander seeds.

    Thanks to all and may your post-Rapture beer butt chicken always be YUM!

  2. ToddNo Gravatar Says:

    For those of you who are non drinkers fear not, the alcohol is the first thing to boil off so using a non-alcoholic beer is moot, it’s the malt flavoring that accentuates the chicken. I rub with EVOO, mix several seasonings including garlic salt, Adobo with a touch of Webers Smoky mesquite and sea salt.

    let’s face it, this is a damn hard recipe to mess up!

  3. pegNo Gravatar Says:

    I have the ceramic beer butt oven bowl. The last time I used it, the chicken took over two hours and never got a crispy crust like your picture. What did I do wrong? Was it the rub? I cooked it at 350 degrees. Should I try 375? I am trying it again tonight. Really want that great crusty skin this time! Thanks for your help.

  4. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    Peg, have you tested your oven for accuracy? Put an oven thermometer at the center of the oven and set the oven to 350 degrees F. After 20 minutes, check the temperature indicated on the thermometer. If it’s not within 5 degrees, you should adjust the dial on your oven control.

  5. pegNo Gravatar Says:

    thanks for the quick response, I will try that right now!

  6. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    You are welcome Peg! Let us know if that does not work, we can figure something out.

  7. PacoNo Gravatar Says:

    I like cooking mine with a can of Squirt. Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to a Mexican seasoning called Chef Merito-Pollo, which I will try this time.

    The first time I wanted to try the whole beer butt chicken thingy, I had my hubby pick up a chicken on his way home & sure enough he brought me a small turkey… now we joke about making beer butt turkey, but I still had fun & it still tasted great…

    I loved reading all the comments even though some are 3-4 years old. I highly reccomend the stand, very inexpensive.

  8. chuckNo Gravatar Says:

    how come mine was dry?

  9. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey Chuck, how long did you cook in the oven/grill and what temperature?

  10. SarahNo Gravatar Says:

    Thank you for giving an oven option versus grilling. I soak my chicken in Coke (or any cola) overnight and turn it over in the morning before cooking that night for dinner. I pat the chicken dry and prepare as you suggest sans oil. So tender and good!

  11. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    that sounds great, perhaps we will try the cola soak this weekend, thanks for sharing your tip Sarah. Have a great labor day weekend!

  12. RudyNo Gravatar Says:

    Today is Black Friday: Went to the store. Buy one chicken and get the 2nd for free not bad for today. I can’t wait to eat dinner with my family….party in the house/….

  13. Whitaker SofiaNo Gravatar Says:

    This has to be one of my favorite posts! And on top of thats its also very useful topic for newbies. cheers a lot for the info!

  14. SuryaNo Gravatar Says:

    Thanks for this awesomely fun, easy and successful recipe. According to my South African barbecue expert husband it was the best home-made chicken he has ever had. As an addition, I laid potatoes, carrots and onions on the same pan around the sitting bird and they, too were delicious. 1 hour in the oven at 180 degrees (celsius) and everything was done.

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