Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Beer Can Chicken


I have a couple of those contraptions made especially to hold the beer can in place and to stand the chicken upright. I have done it without the special chicken stand, but I prefer the stability the special "stand" provides. Check at your local grill store, or maybe at your lawn and garden center.

I usually do two chickens at once to take advantage of the fire. I cook this on a 22.5" Weber. I bank the fire on two sides of the grill leaving the middle open for an aluminum drip pan. I flavor my fire with hickory chunks.

Wash the chickens thoroughly and pat dry. Remove giblets and sprinkle inside with Chef Paul's Salt-free Magic Seasoning. Insert four cloves of garlic under the skin down each side of the breast. That's right -- 8 cloves of garlic for each chicken.

Rub the bird with oil; then rub Chef Paul's seasoning on the outside. Mount chickens over the beer cans. I use soft drinks rather than beer. It's up to you. I stop up the neck cavity with a half a lime, a potato, or even with excess chicken fat if I have nothing else on hand. This helps seal the steam in so the chicken cooks faster from the inside out.

Place over a drip pan away from the heat in your grill. Cook until instant read thermometer inserted in breast reads 160. For me, that takes about 2 hours. I'd rather undercook the chicken than over do it.

Sometimes I debone the chicken, and if it needs more cooking, I put it in a cast iron pan and return to the Weber for more smoking.


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