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Beer Can Chicken on the Grill

One of our tried and true staples back since my Round Rock days has been beer can chicken. First and foremost, who doesn’t love a recipe that starts off 1) Open beer, 2) Drink half… (I feel like Jim Belushi in the Johnsonville Brats commercial.) As summer lurks just around the corner, it’s time to get back to grilling. If the idea of roasting a whole chicken scares you – this is a super easy way to prepare it perfectly every time. The chicken is so tender and moist – probably the hardest part of your process is lighting your grill!

As for grill lighting, I’m becoming the master. After a tragic winter of failed attempts at chiminea lighting, I simply won’t be outdone by my grill. Incidentally, I can not believe I haven’t blogged about my awesome new grill/smoker combo. Mr. Richard bought this mammoth grill then only used it three times, at the end of the day, realized his vision was merely a pipe dream and lovingly passed the grill to me. Because of course I want/need a way to cook for a small army at one time. Back to the point, if you’ve been thwarted when lighting a charcoal grill, look no further. This method is absolutely fool proof. First, you need a chimney starter [1].  Next, you need lighter cubes [2].  You can light it using newspaper coiled into tubes in the bottom of the chimney starter, but if you live with someone like me, all newspaper is instantly recycled upon delivery.

To start, open the grate, pour in most of your charcoal into a small group, but no more than to about two briquettes deep.  My grill has two grates, if yours only has one, hopefully it will swing open halfway, otherwise, I don’t know what to tell you.  Place two lighter cubes on the remaining grate, then place the chimney starter on top.  Pour a small bunch (15? briquettes) onto the top grate of the chimney starter.  Light the cubes and then wait about 10 minutes until the large flames begin to die down.  Use a heavy potholder glove to dump the freshly lit coals onto the waiting pile in grill.  Wait about 20 minutes and you will have a piping hot fire, that’s hot, but not too hot.

If you’re a boy scout reading this, you’re surely laughing at my step-by-step breakdown of charcoal kindling.  And embarrassed by my necessity of gear and equipment.  But I’m neither a boy nor a scout (I don’t think that brief stint in Brownies counts) and even though I’ve done this a bunch of times, I still have to look up directions from Google.  Heaven help me, I could have never made it before the Internet, I’m certain I would have simply starved on the spot.

Beer Can Chicken on the Grill

serves 4

1 whole roasting chicken, giblets removed, rinsed, and patted dry

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp cayenne

12 turns fresh ground pepper

1 beer in can

2 wedges lemon

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Prepare a grill.  Use the instructions above to light charcoal grill until coals are nearly completely white or turn a gas grill on medium high.  Open beer, I of course, prefer Bud Light, but please use your beer of choice.  Drink half the can.

Mix together all the spices in a small bowl, then rub all over the skin.  Squeeze the lemon juices into remaining beer and add chopped garlic.  Place beer on grill, then lower the chicken onto the beer can so the bottom of the drumsticks are standing tripod fashion on the the grill.  That’s it!  This will need to cook for about an hour on the grill, check for an internal temperature of 165, being sure not to press the thermometer to the beer can.  When you’ve reached this temperature, we use a combo of turkey forks to remove chicken and tongs to slide out the beer can and leave it on the grill.  Be gentle!  The chicken is unbelievably tender and the bones will pop right out!