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Beer can Chicken

Close up of a cooked chicken sitting on a beer can inside a aluminum tray

Beer can chicken is a lot of fun, something that you might do for a dinner party with friends, or while camping. Or perhaps just because you want a reason to open a beer – LOL

I don’t really drink much in the way of beer, but in the really warm weather, it’s a great thirst quencher. There are so many to choose from these days and with hubby being a beer maker and competition winner a few years back, well, I have to taste test them all.  😉

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

A steel beer can is preferred, as its a little heavier and thus better suited to support the chicken.

Beer can Chicken in a vertical gas oven
Vertical gas oven

Cooking is low and slow, with actual cooking time depending on both the temperature (which can be a little hard to control in a Webber or other BBQ oven) and the size of the chicken. As a guide, we tried a few different chicken sizes, 1.2KG to 1.8KG, with cook times varying between 2 and 3 hours.

Chef Bec standing in front of 3 beer can chickens straight from the oven
Beer can Chicken – 3 at Once!

The beer can (and chicken legs) support the chicken in an upright position. The beer/butter mix, and basting provide lots of moisture, so the cooking time is not too critical. Don’t think this chicken isn’t cooked because it is pink; it is beautifully cooked and moist.

Beer can Chicken being dismembered
Beer can Chicken being dismembered

Served up with a few simple vegetables, it makes for a tasty (and fun) dinner.

Beer can Chicken - as a meal with vegetables
As a meal with vegetables
Chef Bec standing in front of 3 beer can chickens straight from the oven

Beer Can Chicken

4.67 from 3 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

Beer can Chicken is lots of fun. The chicken tends to be moist, and is reasonably forgiving on cook times.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Dinner
Cuisine Australian
Servings 4
Method Conventional


  • An oven (kitchen, Webber or BBQ)


  • 180 g butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 10 g salt
  • 15 g paprika sweet or smoked
  • 1 tsp pepper to taste
  • 1 can beer 375 ml (steel can preferred)
  • 1.5 kg whole chicken


  • Preheat a Webber, BBQ oven (or oven a kitchen oven) for low heat of around 150 c.
  • In a small pan, gently melt 180 g butter.Mix in 1 tablespoon garlic salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the paprika, pepper, salt and garlic (which should be crushed and finely chopped)
  • Discard (or drink) 1/2 the beer, leaving the remainder in the can. Add some of the melted seasoned butter to the can so that its about half and inch from being full.
  • Place the can on a disposable baking tray.
  • Set the chicken on the can; inserting the can into the cavity of the chicken.
  • Baste the chicken with some of the remainder of the melted, seasoned butter.
  • Place the baking tray with the beer/chicken in the oven, and cook for 2-3 hours, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 80 degrees °C. I suggest a temperature probe inserted into the chicken (in a thick part of flesh, making sure you don’t hit the can).
  • Baste again once or twice during the cook.


You can also use smoking chips, as a great way to get a deep smoky flavour and deep mahogany colour.

Want to know more?

Here is a blog post for perfect roast vegetables

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