Elizabeth Karmel’s Original Beer-can Chicken

It’s a technique that is easy to love, I know that beer-can chicken will become your go-to winner dinner. I make it at least once a week! I use a porcelain chicken sitter because it stabilizes the chicken as it grills. If you prefer a more classic roasted chicken flavor, use only kosher salt and black pepper to season the chicken. If you want it to have a “barbecued” flavor, use your favorite dry rub. NOTE: When removing the chicken from the grate, be careful not to spill the contents, as it will be very hot.


  • 1 whole roasting chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, preferably Amish or organic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon favorite dry rub or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12-ounce can favorite beer


  1. Remove the neck and giblets, and rinse the chicken inside and out if desired; pat it dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken lightly with olive oil and season with 2 tablespoons of the dry rub. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the Memphis Wood Fire Grill to 325 F. Fill the chicken stand with the can of beer, or open a beer can, pour out about 1⁄4 cup of the beer, and make an extra hole in the top of the can with a church-key can opener.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of the dry rub inside the beer can. Place the chicken stand or beer can in the center of the cooking grate over indirect medium heat and sit the chicken on top of the beer can. The chicken will appear to be sitting on the grate. Make sure the legs of the chicken are in front of the stand or can to support the chicken as it cooks.
  4. Cover and cook the chicken for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours, depending on size, or until the internal temperature registers 165°F in the breast area and 180°F in the thigh. Remove it carefully to a platter, holding the sitter or can with tongs.
  5. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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