How To Use A Beer Can Chicken Cooker

Beer Can Chicken Cookers are Awesome for Camping

Whether you are camping or at home, a beer can chicken cooker will give you the most delicious, moist, tender, golden crispy chicken you will ever eat. 

You've got to try it - you won't believe it! 

Take one of these on your next camping trip and surprise everyone with this outstanding way to cook chicken.



Benefits and Features of a Beer Can Chicken Cooker

This is a non-stick, vertical chicken roaster that accommodates a can of beer or coke.

The unique center core can be used for "beer can" cooking or you can fill it with water or marinade to add flavors.

The wide base makes it sturdy and stable so it doesn't tip over like it could if you just use a beer can with out using a cooker.

A beer can chicken cooker will hold a fairly large chicken safely.

They are reasonably priced and a great value.

Vegetables can cook in the tray while the chicken is roasting.

The vertical chicken roaster lets the fat drip out while the steam puts moisture in.


The Biggest Mistake Made When Using a Beer Can Chicken Cooker

The biggest mistake that people make when using a beer can chicken cooker is to not let the grill or oven heat up properly to begin with.

It usually takes about 10 minutes to heat up the grill and to burn off any left-on meat pieces that are stuck to the grate.  The oven will be ready when it beeps.

If the grill or oven is not at the proper temperature when you begin, the outside won't get seared and golden brown.

Part of what is so good on this chicken is the golden brown, crispy skin on the outside - you don't want any blah looking chicken.


About The Chicken Used For A Beer Can Chicken Cooker

You can use either a whole fryer chicken (2 to 3 pounds, young and tender) or a roasting hen (4 to 5 pounds, older and needs slow cooking).

The smaller chicken will take less time to cook, but won't feed as many people.

Don't buy a stewing hen - their meat is tough and stringy.  They are good to boil for stock used in soup or gravy.

A neck and giblets are usually included in a whole chicken - remove them and if you want, you can boil them for stock to use in stuffing or gravy.

One fryer will serve 3 to 5 people, and one roasting hen will serve 6 to 8 people.

The "Best By" date means the last day that the grocery store should sell that chicken - use within 2 days of purchasing or freeze until ready to use.

Keep your chicken cold until you are ready to cook it.

Any odor or pasty looking skin probably means the meat is spoiled - don't use it!  If it came from the store that way, return it for a refund or if you left it too long before using, discard it.

Wash anything that came in contact with the raw chicken in hot, soapy water - you don't want to get sick from bacteria that can be on chicken.



Cooking with a Beer Can Chicken Cooker

If you just use a beer can and not a cooker, you run the risk of it tipping over - then you have a mess!  Juices, grease and beer will be everywhere inside your grill or roaster pan in the oven.  The base on a cooker is sturdy and stable so the chicken won't tip it over.

Use 1/2 can beer (drink half if you want) - or soda (coke or dr. pepper is the best),wine or even chicken broth.  If using wine or broth, fill an empty soda or beer can about half full to use.

You can use this cooker on a grill, in the oven or in a smoker.  If using a smoker, keep the temperature at 250 degrees and cook for about 3 1/2 hours.  Keep the grill temperature at 300 degrees and cook for 2 to 2 2/1hours. 

If you are using a charcoal grill, you will have to replenish the charcoal after about 30 minutes to an hour, so have some ready - start them about 10 minutes before you need them.

Grill indirectly - have heat off to the side, or on both sides, or arranged around the middle.  When heat is on one side only, you will have to rotate the cooker about every 30 minutes, so all sides get cooked.

Obviously, the only way you can surround with the heat or have it on both sides is with charcoal.  Using charcoal gives the meat an excellent smoky flavor.

If you are using this cooker in the oven, place it in a roaster pan with a little water in the bottom - drippings will collect in the pan and you can make good gravy with them.  Put it on the lowest rack and bake at 325 degrees for about 2 hours.

Cook the chicken until it registers internally 175 degrees on a thermometer - this is an excellent time to use a remote thermometer - just place it and walk away to do other things.  Put the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, not touching a bone.

When the chicken is done, let it rest on the cooker for about ten minutes before cutting and serving.

You can cook some vegetables like squash, onions, peppers while chicken is cooking.  Just lightly stir them with olive oil and seasoning before cooking.

You will want to check for flames about every 15 minutes or if you see a lot of smoke coming out of the grill - the grease may have caught on fire and you sure don't want charred chicken!

When preparing this chicken with a rub, you will get your hands dirty - some people choose to put on disposable gloves when they do this.

Spray the can holder with Pam, or something similar, so the chicken won't stick to it.  If it does stick, lay it down (most, if not all, the liquid should be gone) and pull on the cooker.  Use a hot pad or tongs, because it will be hot!


The Way I Do It - Grilling with a Beer Can Chicken Cooker

I love cooking chicken this way when we are camping - it turns out awesome - tender and juicy inside with golden, crispy, salty skin!

I use a whole chicken that weighs about 5 pounds and marinate it overnight in the refrigerator.  I cover the chicken with water that has salt and minced garlic added to it.  Before I start to cook it, I drain it and let it dry.

When it is dry, I rub some cajun seasoning all over inside and outside.

I put a 1/2 can of beer in the holder - any kind will do.  I can't tell any difference in what kind of beer I use.  I punch 2 more holes in the top of the beer can so the chicken can be bathed with steamy beer while it is cooking.

Then slowly and carefully, I place the chicken on its beer can perch.

Then I place the cooker on a pre-heated grill.  I use a Coleman LXX grill and it works wonderfully for this - putting the chicken over the unlit burner and turning it every 30 minutes. 

I cook it until the thermometer registers 175 degrees - I use a digital remote thermometer for this and it works great!  That way I can go join the rest of the campers for happy hour.

When it is done, I turn off the grill and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.




Some More About A Beer Can Chicken Cooker


These cookers are known by many other names - "Beer Butt Chicken Cooker", Beer in the Butt Chicken Cooker", "Drunk Chicken Cooker", "Vertical Chicken Cooker" - just to name a few.  But they all do basically the same thing - they cook the chicken "sitting up".

You might be wondering why beer works so well with this type of cooking - the yeast and malt in the beer reacts with the chicken making the inside juicy and the outside crispy - hard to beat!

Here are some more popular pages you might want to look at:


Coleman Table Top Gas Grill; If you are looking for a gas camping grill that will give you perfectly cooked food every time - this is it!

Camping grills; How to choose - do you want a propane grill, a charcoal grill, a smoker grill? Learn about different ones so you can decide.

Montana Camping Guide; Learn all about camping - tips and ideas, gear you might need, camping with kids, Montana campgrounds, fixing meals, camping in Yellowstone Park and Glacier Park, plus much more

Cooking Tips for Gas Grills; Learn how to be a great grill chef - it's not difficult when you have at hand these tips from grill chefs all over the country.

Cheap Family Vacations; Discover how Montana camping will give you fun and inexpensive family vacations - as well as incredible memories!

Learn which are the best charcoal grills under $100 - see what features make the best barbeque charcoal grills for camping

Deep Fry A Turkey; Learn how to deep fry a turkey - so delicious and moist with no greasy taste and crispy, salty skin.

Camping with kids; Children love to camp - they love discovering the outdoors - they love the campfire - and they love getting dirty! Having kids with you truly means fun family camping!

Camping in Yellowstone; Mystical thermal areas, magnificent forests, lots of wildlife - all this when you go camping in Yellowstone. What an awesome way to experience the wonders of nature!


Go to the top of the Beer Can Chicken Cooker page

Happy cooking!

Montana Camping



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