Beer Can Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme


by: Cristal

Have you been to that party? You know the one where the host—let’s call him Innocent Ed—takes a stab at making barbecued chicken. Innocent Ed is a great guy but he is not much of a cook and he sees no use for cookbooks. He figures all guys can grill. It’s part of our genetic code. So Innocent Ed trots off to the market to buy bone-in chicken pieces and some barbecue sauce. Back home, he fires up the coals, taking great delight in the blazing heat. He scatters the raw chicken pieces on the grate and begins a male ritual that has survived countless generations. He flips his food. He figures he is not really grilling unless he is poking the food and turning it over regularly. Trouble is, the chicken is sticking. Every time he picks up a piece, he leaves a little skin behind on the grate. The fat in the skin melts and drips into the grill. With the lid open, the fat begins to flare-up. Innocent Ed has created the ideal environment for burning: lots of heat, lots of fat, and lots of air. Ed notices that the chicken pieces are looking dark, so he tries to cover up the blackened spots with some barbecue sauce. He brushes the sauce on liberally and continues the ritual. Turn, turn, turn. Burn, burn, burn. Eventually the sauce has burned so much that he figures the chicken must be cooked, so he pulls it off the grill and serves it. Guess what? It is still raw at the bone.


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serves: 4

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)

1 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 can (11 ounces) beer, at room temperature

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts
Beer Can Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 1029

  • Total Fat: 69.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 19.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 340.5 mg
  • Sodium: 916.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 5 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
  •     Sugars: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 85.1 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  To make the rub: In a small bowl, mix the rub ingredients.

2.  Remove and discard the neck and giblets and any excess fat from the chicken. Lightly rub the chicken all over with the oil. Season the chicken inside and out with the rub. Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken’s back.

3.  Open the beer can and pour out about half the beer. Put the rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, and red pepper flakes into the beer can [so they will flavor the steam]. Using a can opener, make 2 more holes in the top of the can. Place the beer can on a solid surface. Plunk the chicken cavity over the beer can.

4.  Transfer the bird-on-a-can to the grill, balancing the bird on its two legs and the can, like a tripod. Grill over Indirect Medium heat until the juices run clear and the internal temperature registers 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thickest part of the thigh, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Carefully remove the chicken and can from the grill [do not spill contents of beer can, as it will be very hot]. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting from the beer can and cutting into serving pieces. Serve warm.

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