Everyday Meals

Beer Can Chicken

Active Time: 30 MinsTotal Time2 Hours 30 MinsBrine Time8 Hours
Yield: Serves 8

Beer can chicken should be your go-to grill recipe this summer. This recipe makes two grilled chickens, perfect for company or for plenty of leftovers. Rub the chickens with the spice mixture, then refrigerate them up to a day in advance. Keep them uncovered so the skin can dry out and crisp up on the grill.


  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2(3 1/2- to 4-lb.) whole chickens
  • 2(12-oz.) cans beer (such as Modelo Especial)

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together salt, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. (If necessary, remove giblets from chickens, and discard or reserve for another use.) Sprinkle skin and cavities of chickens with salt mixture. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Step 2

Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) on 1 side. Open beer cans; pour out 1/2 cup beer from each can. (Drink the poured-out beer, or reserve for another use.) Working with 1 chicken at a time, hold chicken upright with cavity facing down, and insert 1 opened beer can into cavity. Pull legs forward to form a tripod, allowing chicken to stand upright.

Step 3

Place chickens upright on unoiled grates over unlit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, until the skin is crispy and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thighs registers 165°F, about 1 hour, 40 minutes. Remove from grill; rest 10 minutes. Carefully remove cans; cut chickens into quarters.

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