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BEER CAN CHICKEN - Smoked on a propane grill

Savory, smoked chicken using a propane gas grill. Video recipe below:

Beer can chicken is an easy way to get juicy chicken every time. The beer doesn’t really change the flavor of the chicken but it works as an insulator, evenly distributing heat within the chicken while propping the the chicken breast above and away from direct heat. Feel free to use beer or soda as you won’t notice any difference in cooking nor much in flavor.

Propane and gas grills get a bad wrap. They aren’t smokers but they are consistent, versatile and easy to use. Using the indirect cooking method on a propane gas grill also gives you the ability to "smoke" your foods. Make sure your propane gas tank is full. Simply light the far left burner at medium to medium-high heat, fill a grease catch with wood chips/pellets, cover with foil and poke holes to vent. Then place the “smoke box” over the far left burner, close the lid and in about 10 min you should see smoke. Adjust the heat throughout the cook if necessary to ensure a consistent cooking temp. The chicken won’t know the difference.

With that said, if you have a smoker and more time then by all means use the smoker. Beer can chicken is easy to make and you shouldn’t be limited to good food simply based on your cooking style. Let’s dive in!

Beer Can Chicken Recipe:

Prep 20 Min

Cook 3 hours

Total 3 hours 30 min

Serves 4-6


1 whole chicken - neck and gizzards removed

1/2 can beer or soda

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Propane Gas Grill with smoker box

Can opener

  1. Crack a cold beer, drink half, cut top off with can opener, season beer with 1 Tablespoon Back Rub and set aside.

  2. Remove chicken neck and gizzards from chicken cavity and either throw them in the trash, smoke them or use for a chicken broth. Clean chicken, coat in Sepay Olive Oil and season with remaining HLM BBQ Back Rub.

  3. Set beer can in beer can stand, slide chicken onto can so the can is inside the cavity. Let sit at room temp for 30 min.

  4. Prep grill to 325° using only 1 burner using the indirect cooking method. Fill wood chip smoker box with two handfuls of wood chips of your favorite flavor, once wood chips start to smoke place the chicken on the indirect side of the grill and smoke for three hours checking every 30 min.

  5. Insert meet thermometer into deepest portion of the breast without touching a bone. Internal temp should be at least 165°F. Remove from grill on cutting board with juice grooves and let rest for 30 minutes before cutting.

  6. Remove thighs wings and breast and serve with a side of ranch beans and cornbread.

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