You Want Me to Put that WHERE?!?

beer can chickenEditors Note: As my friend Evo Diva is into biology and all that crazy science/animal shit, I’m not surprised that she sent me a meal consisting of shoving something up a chicken’s ass. I mean when you spend your days studying fish fucking, nothing can really bother you in the kitchen.

Since my usual weeknight meal consists of a salad, stir fry, or grilled cheese, I like to take Sunday to prepare a heartfelt home cooked meal. When searching the freezer last Sunday, I came across a small whole chicken desperately in need of cooking.

I had purchased this with the intent to shove it full of the usual stuffing and serve it with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. But with the holidays only two months behind us, I was still sick of that typical fowl prep. With summer right around the corner, I was longing for a backyard with a grill but alas, not even a balcony adorns this condo in the burbs.

Needless to say, I was at a loss for how to cook this neglected bird. A call home to small-town Pennsylvania (where the public schools get a day off for the first day of deer hunting season) was in order. Mom suggested my dad’s newest specialty: “Now that we have an empty nest, you wouldn’t believe what we have time to do!”

If you haven’t had the pleasure of shoving a can of beer into the body cavity of a chicken, you don’t know what you’re missing . Combining the ultimate food staple with the ultimate beverage staple: It’s brilliant! Dad got me started with this one but I made my own adjustments; his are striked-out (don’t be mad!) 

Clean the bird as usual and cover with vegetable olive oil.

beer transfer

Pour out Drink 1/3 of a can of Old Milwaukee Miller Lite. Note: I completely emptied the Miller Lite and replaced with a more flavorful New Castle we had in the fridge (bottles don’t work in the oven – gotta pour it into the can!). This was a great excuse to have a good ol’ fashioned chugging contest with the boyf.

Season the bird with lemon pepper seasoning whatever you have around the house. I used fresh garlic and parsley, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Also place some of the herbs and spices into the beer can.

Shove that OPEN beer can right up into the bird and create a tripod with the legs so that the bird is standing upright in a roasting pan.

Cook in oven for 90 minutes at 350° or Grill over indirect heat until meat thermometer reads 180°.

And last but not least, don’t forget to take the can out of the bird…unless your dinner guests are goats…which is not unheard of in them-there parts where this dish is a delicacy.

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  • BS March 25, 2008  

    mmm…I am all for the beer can chicken – but, um – what the hell is coming out of the head of your chicken?

  • gansie March 25, 2008  

    i think that’s the neck, no?

  • Britannia March 25, 2008  

    I’ve seen it all now, I thought this was just one of your American myths, outstanding. I think I’ll have to do this soon, maybe using Chimay instead of Newky Brown.

  • Evo Diva March 25, 2008  

    It is indeed the neck of the bird – it makes for a good handle when pulling the beer can out of there!

  • BS March 25, 2008  

    wow – intense looking.
    ps – one of my favorite ES headlines ever.

  • JoeHoya March 25, 2008  

    For the record, this method also works REALLY well on a charcoal grill or a smoker like a big green egg.

    Beer-butt chicken was a good friend’s signature dish, but he was quite content to use the original contents of the can in question…might as well have been using a can of water.

    I can think of more than a few beers that would really take this to the next step – boozy Belgians immediately come to mind, as do somewhat fruitier offerings like Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

    Great headline, and great chicken prep option as grilling season approaches!

  • HumbleGourmand March 25, 2008  

    We underwent a similar experiment with beer can chicken and used a spice rub that was pretty tasty (you can check it out here:

    cheers! love this site.

  • Edouble March 25, 2008  

    We grilled up a beer can chicken at Monroe House a few years back. It made for a super succulent dinner. Instead of using the grilling rack, you lay a metal pan onto the bed of coals and throw on the lid!

  • BS March 25, 2008  

    so does this work with any liquid? because i could get behind a champagne can chicken or maybe even a kool-aid chicken

  • gansie March 25, 2008  

    what i want to know is how you cut that bird apart. i’ve yet to dismantle something of that size.

  • Evo Diva March 25, 2008  

    I bet it would work with any sort of liquid – the can is merely for dispensing the liquid to the bird but you can choose what goes in there!

    As an instructor for the comparative anatomy class, I suppose I should know how to dissect a bird, but I leave the this one to the boyf. We don’t have any power tools which are usually dusted off for family fowl cooking events (i.e., Thanksgiving). Here are some tips:

  • El's dad March 25, 2008  

    use a hearty stout (guinness) along with a fresh sprig of rosemary under the breast skin – also can never use too much fresh garlic

  • DAD GANSIE March 26, 2008  


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  • Bob Chapman June 14, 2015  

    We are going to try this, I would assume the things you can put in the can are endless… including bourbon.. LOL

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