In the Ewer household, it's a "can-do" barbeque treat: a whole chicken cooked on a hot seat. Grilled upright. while seated on a half-full can of beer, soda or stock, Beer Can Chicken is steam-basted from within, grilled smoky golden-brown without.
The unusual cooking method, combined with a spicy rub and aroma from smoker chips, creates a tender meat, dripping with tangy juices. Beer Can Chicken is a late-summer favorite paired with potato salad and a platter of homegrown tomatoes. Happy grilling!
In a 2-cup bowl, pour half the beer over the wood chips. Set aside to soak for 1 to 4 hours, adding water if necessary to cover the chips.
Using a bottle opener, make three more openings in the top of the beer can. Add 1 tablespoon spice rub to the beer remaining in the can. The beer can should be half-full of liquid. Lightly oil the exterior of the can with salad oil.
Remove fat from chicken, then wash inside and out, patting dry with paper towels. Sprinkle one teaspoon dry rub inside the crop (neck) cavity, and two teaspoons inside the main body cavity. Rub the outside of the chicken with remaining dry rub.
Set up gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling. For charcoal grills, mound briquettes into two piles on opposite sides of grill. . Light. Preheat only one side of gas grill, at a temperature of 350 degrees.
Stand the beer can on an aluminum pie plate, piece of aluminum foil, or special beer can chicken roasting pan. Carefully ease the chicken onto the can, and spread drumsticks away from the body to support the bird in a tripod position.
Drain wood chips, and place them directly on charcoal, or in a smoker box for gas grills. Add chicken, locating the bird between the two piles of charcoal on charcoal grills, or on the side away from heat on gas grills.
Cover the grill and barbeque chicken over indirect heat for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the breast meat reaches 165 degrees. Remove chicken carefully, as there may be hot liquid remaining in the can.
Makes 4 servings.