Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beer Butt Chicken

Ok, I know the name sounds horrendous but I can guarantee this recipe is totally awesome. This may be a Wisconsin thing, but one of our favorite ways to cook chicken in the summer is on the grill over a beer can. Yup, that's how recipe gets it's name. The bottom end of the chicken sits on a beer can half filled with beer.

There is actually a kitchen device that takes the place of the can (for those "classy people" :) I was given one for Christmas a couple of years ago but have found it be no more effective but a whole lot messier than using a can. Instead of dealing with clean-up I just use a can and then throw it away.

Now lest you think that Wisconsin children are weaned on beer, let me assure you that's not the case. At least not in our household. While we do use beer (even though I'm not a fan of drinking beer I do think that it gives a nice subtle flavor to the chicken) any kind of carbonated beverage will do. If you prefer not to use beer I would recommend Seven-Up or Sprite as the alternative.

Beer Butt Chicken

1 can beer (or clear carbonated beverage) half full
Desired spices (i.e. rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, etc)
1 chicken

While preparing chicken, heat grill on high. Dump (or drink) half the contents out of your can. I typically throw into the can 1-2 garlic gloves, a little bit of rosemary as well as some salt and pepper. Rub the chicken with oil, season chicken as if you were going to bake it in the oven. (I use seasoning salt, garlic, salt and peper) Place can on cookie tray, settle chicken (large opening down) on top of the beer can. The legs can be used to help stabilize the chicken. Turn down heat on grill (to about medium), grill with lid closed (for about 45 minutes) until thoroughly cooked. I personally use a thermometer that sits in the chicken while it bakes. I take it off the grill the the temperature in the breast reaches about 165 - 170.

Here's what I find works best for me. I put the chickens (I always use two) on a cutting board to prepare, inserting the thermometor into one of them. One a cookie sheet I put the prepared cans of beer. Once the grill is ready, I put the cookie sheet on the grill and then place the chickens on top of the cans. If you don't have a grill or prefer to make it in your oven that's possible too. Just make sure that the grate is low enough so that the chicken isn't brushing the top of the oven.


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