Prep Time:  15 mins
Cook Time:  60 mins
Total Time:  75 mins
Servings:  4
Fully seasoned and grilled beer can chickenwith an image of Chuck Matto on the right

In terms of human ingenuity, we’d put the invention of beer can chicken right up there with the printing press or the internet. (OK, fine, maybe those are a little more important). But just as those creations have been improved upon time and time again, our good buddy Chuck’s Flavor Train has his own take on this classic grilled chicken dish. Chuck’s beer can chicken recipe uses only a handful of basic ingredients, but they beautifully blend to give you the juiciest and most tender results you can imagine. We’d raise a pint to Chuck’s chicken, but the beer is being used elsewhere.


Ingredients for Part

  • 1 can of beer
  • 3–4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp of minced garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Chicken rub of choice
  • 3-3.5 lb whole chicken
  • 1 onion or lemon (to seal top cavity)

Items You'll Need


  1. Preheat your grill or smoker to 400–450°F.
  2. While your grill or smoker preheats, make the beer mixture. Pour about ⅔ of your room-temperature beer into a small bowl, then add the rosemary, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine, then place the seasoned beer mixture into your chicken throne and set aside. (It’s important that you don’t use the full can of beer. The goal is for the beer to steam; the more liquid in the chicken throne, the longer that process will take.)
  3. Season the entire chicken with a poultry rub of your choosing. Don’t forget to apply seasoning to the inside of the bird (you might want to use a gloved hand for this) and under the wings.
  4. Place the chicken on the beer-filled throne, legs down. Seal the top cavity of the chicken with a lemon or onion — this will trap the steam inside the bird, infusing it with more juice and flavor while cooking it faster.
  5. Place the seasoned, throned chicken in your grill or smoker. Close the lid and let it cook for about 1 hour, or until the bird’s internal temperature reaches 165°F. (Pro tip: when you insert your BBQ thermometer into the chicken, make sure it’s in the thickest part of the breast so you can be confident the bird is completely cooked.) If you notice during the cook that the chicken is getting darker than you’d like, you can cover it with foil to stop the browning process.
  6. Once the bird hits 165°F internally, remove it from your grill or smoker, lightly tent with foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Then, enjoy! (If only you had some leftover beer…)

NOTE: If you’d rather not use beer, you can substitute soda, juice, or any other liquid mixture you prefer. Just be sure that it’s room temperature because cold liquid lowers the internal temperature of the chicken, which could result in an undercooked or unevenly cooked bird.