There's one method that's GUARANTEED to result in juicy, tender chicken on the smoker, and that's the Beer Can Chicken! Here's all you need to know about these drunken chickens, so you can cook them at home. Let's go!
1 Whole Chicken (with the neck & giblets removed)
Squeeze butter / mustard / another sticky agent to help the rub stick
1 can of your preferred beer (we used Coors Banquet Beer)
Some nifty stands to keep everything upright so you don’t have any spillage
Let's get started! We've got two disposable roasting pans, our chickens (we're cooking 4 of them), and all of our ingredients within arm's reach. It is suggested you wear single-use gloves (nitrile, not latex or powdered ones) while handling raw chicken. Food safety is always important, but especially with poultry, we're taking a few extra steps to avoid cross-contamination. So, even with our gloves on, we're keeping one hand clean, so we can use it to pick up the cutlery and various ingredients.
So, after unpacking the birds, drain out any liquids, and place them in a roasting pan. Give them a good rub with your binding agent of choice (squeeze butter and mustard work great), making sure to cover all outside surfaces. Then season them generously with your rub of choice - one coat of Dirty Bird, followed by a lighter layer of SPG did the trick for us. Again, try to get the rub into the nooks and crannies of the chicken.
Now, depending on the chicken stands you use, they could either have room to pour some of the beer in or to shimmy the can itself into the stand. The OG redneck way of doing this is putting the open beer can directly into the chicken's cavity (hence the name "bird can chicken"), but balancing it on the smoker might be tricky for larger birds.
Time to get smoking! Fire up your smoker, aiming for cooking at around 300ºF (149ºC). Once the cooker's good to go, place the drunken chickens over indirect heat, and let the smoke do its magic.
Now, once the beer can chicken has been cooking for about 1 hour, it's time to start monitoring its internal temperature for doneness. Use an instant-read digital thermometer to check in both the thigh and the breast. The chicken should be cooked to at least 165ºF (74ºC) to be safe.
Since the thigh is not as thick as the breast, it's going to be the last spot to hit the target temp - when that happens, pull the chickens off the heat.
Put the chicken in a clean roasting pan, and rest under a foil tent for at least 10-15 minutes. You can cut it, or our personal favorite: glove up, and pull the chicken like pulled pork! Then hit it with some of the rub used on the chicken previously, and then serve!
Enjoy the juiciest, tenderest smoked beer can chicken you have ever had the pleasure of eating!
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