The Original Beer-Can Chicken

Serves 4

Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium Heat
Special Equipment: Chicken Sitter


  • A 4- to 5-pound roasting chicken
  • Olive oil
  • 12-ounce can of beer
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite dry spice rub recipe, divided, or
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Remove neck and giblets and rinse chicken inside and out if desired; pat dry with paper towels. Coat chicken lightly with oil and season with 2 tablespoons dry rub. Set aside.
  2. Use a Chicken Sitter or a beer can. If using a chicken sitter, pour the beer inside the Chicken Sitter. If using a beer can, open beer can, pour out about ¼ cup of the beer and make an extra hole in top of the can with church key can opener.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of the dry rub inside beer can.
  4. Place beer can in center of cooking grate and "sit" chicken on top of the beer can. The chicken will appear to be “sitting” on the grate.
  5. Twist wings “akimbo” and make sure that the drumsticks are in front of the beer can—this will stabilize the chicken on the cooking grate.
  6. Cook chicken for 1-1½ hours or until the internal temperature registers 165°F in the breast area and 180°F in the thigh.
  7. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. 

Cook's notes:

If you prefer a more classic roasted chicken flavor, omit the dry rub and use only Kosher salt and black pepper.

When removing chicken from grate, be careful not to spill contents of beer can, as it will be very hot.

©2015 Elizabeth A. Karmel, Girls at the Grill®