Beer-Brined Beer Can-Barbecued Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Whole Bird
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 12oz cans of beer, plus 1 additional 12oz can of beer
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, sprigs of rosemary and thyme, plus additional for stuffing
  • 1 4-5 pound whole chicken, thawed, trimmed and giblets removed
  • Olive oil, plus additional for basting
  • Barbeque seasoning, optional
  • Kosher salt, fresh ground black peppercorn and garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 cups hard or fruit wood grilling chips wrapped in homemade tin foil packet
  1. In a large pot bring water, salt and sugar to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, toss in herbs and allow the water to cool to room temperature. Immerse chicken in the cooled water, pour in 3 cans of beer, cover with a lid and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. Remove chicken from brine, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Discard brine. Place chicken uncovered back in the refrigerator for 1 hour to further dry and tighten the skin.
  2. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling and rest on the counter to begin returning the bird to room temperature. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil inside and out, then massage a seasoning, garlic, salt and peppercorn into all portions of the chicken. Open a beer, drink (or discard) half the contents, then slide the whole chicken onto the beer can.
  3. Preheat the grill to 275F and simply place the stuffed chicken over the grill grates – balancing the bird upon the beer can and it’s 2 legs. Slowly roast the chicken for 90-120 minutes, lightly basting every 30 minutes with olive oil, or until the internal temperature of the dark thigh meat reaches 165F and juices run clear.
  4. Carefully remove the chicken from the smoker (attentive to the scolding metal beer can inside the chicken) and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with tin foil and rest for 10 minutes before discarding the beer and cavity aromatics. Carve, season additionally to taste, and serve.
Recipe by "A Bachelor and His Grill" at