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Beer Can Chicken

While it might seem like a waste of a good beer, beer can chicken actually tastes yummy. Our version is cooked in the oven.

What started out as a silly recipe experiment has turned into one of the most popular ways to cook a chicken in the oven. Our beer can chicken recipe is one of the best ways to bake a chicken in the oven, ensuring that it comes out crispy yet tender and flavorful. This recipe is for a 5 lb chicken, but could easily be adjusted for a chicken that is 6 lb or more. Not into beer? Consider cooking our chicken recipe with a coke instead! Plus, look out below for our beer can chicken rub recipe. 
From the Chef: When I first heard about this recipe, I had two thoughts. 1) This is one of the most ridiculous recipes I've ever seen. 2) When can I try it out? It looks a little flashy, so make sure you try it out sometime when you have an audience to please. They won't be able to resist how it's moist and juicy on the inside and crisp and flavorful on the outside.
- Addie Gundry

This recipe is from RecipeLion's 103 Cookbook series, Easy Chicken Recipes: 103 Inventive Soups, Salads, Casseroles, and Dinners Everyone Will Love.


Preparation Time20 min

Cooking Time1 hr


  • 1 (12-ounce) can of beer
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 (4–5-pound) whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican-style chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  2. Open the can of beer and pour one-quarter of the can into a large oven-safe skillet or baking dish. Drop the garlic cloves into the can and set it in the center of the skillet.

  3. Remove any giblets and rinse the chicken well. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

  4. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt, cumin, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.

  5. In another small bowl, mix the softened butter and one-third of the spice mix together until smooth. Using your thumbs, carefully life the skin of the chicken and rub the butter under the skin. Gently slide lime slices under the skin all around the chicken.

  6. Place the chicken on top of the beer can, sliding the can into the chicken cavity as far as it will go, keeping the chicken in an upright position.

  7. Rub the entire chicken well with olive oil. Press the remaining spice mixture into the skin all over.

  8. Roast the chicken for about 1 hour. Check the temperature of the chicken; it is done when the thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165°F. The chicken will be crispy and firm. Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for 20 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, gently remove the can from the chicken. Slice and serve.

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My dad and grandpa used to make beer can chicken on the grill during family barbecues when I was a kid. This sounds even yummier now that I am an adult and like the flavor of beer. Plus, I don't have a grill, so I am glad this version can be made in the oven.

I prefer my chicken to be roasted

Chicken is so versatile, but my favorite is roasted chicken in the oven with rice and veggies on the side.

I've had this before and it was delicious! I like chicken almost any way it's cooked, but this method does keep it very moist.

deep fried

Hmmm, being such a big fan of chicken this is a tough one for me but, if I had to choose I think I'd have to say my favorite way to cook chicken is...marinated overnight in a ton of yummy spices and grilled to perfection with apple wood chips on a charcoal grill. Then once it's about halfway cooked through, brushed generously with BBQ hot sauce plus a touch of honey mixed really is a treat in the summertime and the leftovers if there are any, make the best chicken salad!

I usually broil chicken, or purchase a rotisserie chicken

I prefer to bake chicken with vegetables alongside...also for the get-out-of-kitchen factor.

I prefer to bake chicken so I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing something else I want to. And it's always tender and tasty.

I would take roasted or any chicken recipe cooked in the oven over fried any day. However, my husband is just the opposite. For years I have been trying to get him to back off of fried foods and this may be one of the oven recipes he will agree to. I will try this one soon.

I have seen this before but have never tried to prepare it. I think there is even a gadget you can purchase to prepare this recipe. With chicken being one of the least expensive meats, I will give this a try as an attempt to present a different dish for chicken. Making a whole chicken can lend itself to leftovers and one day out of the kitchen.

This method of cooking chickens has been around as long as beverage cans have been around but it remains a surprisingly good way to cook a chicken. The only change we made was to use crushed fresh garlic cloves instead of garlic powder. The end result was a sublimely succulent chicken that we simply could not stop devouring because it was so absolutely delicious!


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