Thirsty Bird

I really enjoy using the no hormone antibiotic free chicken, they have a nice complexion and taste. The big chicken producers in the States are starting to catch on and I hope they are not using loopholes to label inferior chicken. At least the people are asking for a better healthier product. The beer can method produces a juicy and flavor full bird.


  • 3 to 5 lb whole chicken (used a 3-1/2)
  • 12 oz can of beer or non-alcoholic beer
  • 1 tbls. fresh lemon or lime juice

Spice Rub mix

  • 2 tbls. (or more) paprika
  • 1 tbls. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (if using kosher use 2 tsp.)


Mix all ingredients for spice rub mix in a small bowl and set aside. Rinse the chicken if you want (I don’t) and pat it dry. Coat the outside and inside of the chicken with the spice rub mix. I also try to get some under the skin of the chicken breast. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

Preheat grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350 degrees F. or so) using soaked hickory or mesquite chips. I use charcoal so if you have a gas grill you will need to make a smoker pack. I had to remove the upper rack in my grill to fit the chicken.

Pour out 1/3 of the can of beer and add lemon or lime juice. Place the can in the center of a drip pan and carefully position the chicken over the beer can. Adjust the legs to balance. Cook on grill for 1 hour until the breast is 160 F. minimum. I let this one get away from me and it hit 172 F. but it was still very moist. Using tongs or oven mitts remove chicken and can from grill, tent with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Remove beer can and carve or cut into serving pieces.

Tips: Try not to lift the grill lid if possible but you may want to rotate the chicken after 45 minutes to even the color. If your using heat to one side of your grill point the breast and legs towards the coals.

If you have leftovers it makes terrific chicken salad!


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