February, the cantaloupe of the months. The very thought of this month finally coming close to it’s ending date literally brings tears of joy to my look-sees.
Another exciting factoid: grill “season” is basically here (For those of you who are going to get all high and mighty telling me that grill season is all year round, you’re nuts. Unless you live somewhere that lacks in winter. There is no way in hell I’m going to freeze my fingertips off for a burger in January).
BUT if you are one of those grillzillas we should probably date. So you could be the one flipping me burgers and dogs while I warm my toes up by the fire (and by fire I mean heat vent).
With that being said I figured I’d kick off the season of grilling with some good ol’ fashioned Beer Can Chicken. Beer can chicken almost always turns out a tender juicy and flavorful bird, with skin that is perfectly crisp it should be illegal (yes. I did just say that).
To create a crispier skin and more even cooking (all around) stand your chicken upright. The only reason mine is belly down is because my grill wasn’t big enough to handle all the junk in the trunk that my chicken had to offer. I couldn’t close the lid. IF this happens to you, just make sure the mouth of your beer can is facing up (so the beer won’t all pour out). If this confuses you, you’ll understand when your beer all pours out when you lay it down. That means you did the opposite of what I’m saying. SO just drain, turn the can over and keep on grilling.
When stuffing under the skin, first carefully loosen it up with your fingers/hand. I like to loosen it all around before I distribute the goods (in this recipe I use lemon, butter & garlic). You don’t want to break the skin (which is more difficult than you think, but it can happen, which is why I suggest your hands vs a knife) because you want to contain all the juices and flavor. Stuffing the skin with butter will also create a shinier/crispier skin. You may also drizzle oil if you prefer a more …. ‘heart friendly paleo’ chicken.
I say to grill the chicken over indirect heat, this means wherever your heat is coming from (in this case, the coals) place your coals on one half of the grill and your chicken over the half that has no coals directly underneath. Also if you want a super smoky chicken, continuously add your wood chips about 1/2 cup at a time every 30 minutes.
- 5lb fryer chicken (about)
- ½ lemon thinly sliced into rounds
- 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp butter sliced into thin squares
- 16 oz beer can (any kind will do)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp coarse black pepper
- Heating coals
- 1-2 cups wood chips for smoking (optional)
- First set up your grill. You'll want to keep a temperature of about 250 degrees (roughly) Also set up your grill for indirect cooking. Next add your wood chips (about ½ cup starting off) onto coals.
- Next while your grill is heating up pour all of your rub ingredients into a small bowl and mix together.
- Next take your chicken, rinse with water and then pat dry. Discard innards (or save and add those to the grill as well).
- With your hand gently lift up the skin and stuff all over with the butter, garlic & lemon slices.
- Take about ¾ of your rub and rub all over the chicken and on the inside.
- Next crack open your beer of choice and discard (drink) about ½ the liquid. pour remaining rub spice into beer can.
- Place beer can into butt of chicken (if your chicken will be laying belly down, place mouth of beer can facing up so liquid does not pour out).
- Add another ½ cup of wood chips to coals and then take your chicken and place on grill (side with indirect heat aka no coals underneath). Cover lid and let chicken grill/smoke for about 1½ hours or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- One chicken is done cooking, remove from heat and tent with foil for at least 15 minutes before eating. Remove beer can. tear apart and serve.