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Smoked Beer Can Chicken [Recipe]

Author // Chef John

Canned beer has always had a reputation as a bottom-shelved, tasteless brew. But, there’s lots of great qualities to the underrated can. Sunlight, which can damage flavor, can't enter through aluminum. Also, the packaging process during canning leaves a lot less air in the container, which means a better tasting beer. And one more great quality of an aluminum can is you can use it to cook your chicken at your next outdoor BBQ! Narragansett Summer Ale, native to New England, seemed to be an ideal choice for a hot summer day meal in Boston (but you can substitute your own favorite local canned brew). 

Smoked Beer Can Chicken Recipe

This cooking technique will give you the most moist and flavorful chicken you’ve ever had. If you don’t have a smoker, add pre-soaked wood chips wrapped in tin foil with holes poked in it onto the hot side of a grill, with your chicken on the other side with the burners turned off. Knowing the rest of the folks at Drink Craft Beer I’ve also added a great vinegary BBQ sauce recipe. Try this recipe out with with Devon’s Shandy recipe for a great summer meal.

Gansett Smoked Beer Can Chicken
Serves 4

1 3lb whole chicken
1 16 oz can Narragansett

Dry Rub
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chipotle powder
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cayanne pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp salt

Cooking Instuctions
1. Add hot coals to smoker and then add black cherry wood chunks that have been soaked in water on top of hot coals.
2. Pat dry chicken with towel.
3. Mix all dry rub ingredients together then apply generously to chicken.
4. Pour ½ can of beer out and reserve.
5. Slide the beer can up the carcass of the chicken and place it upright on the grill.
6. Smoke at 250 degrees for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 162 degrees. 
7. Before slicing let rest for 10 minutes to let the chicken continue to cook to 165 degrees and let the juices settle.

BBQ Sauce
½ small red onion minced
1 slice smoked bacon diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
½ can Narragansett Summer beer
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp mustard powder
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp hot sauce

Cooking Instructions
1. Saute onion and bacon until fat from the bacon releases and the onion is translucent.
2. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
3. Add liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar and Narragansett and reduce by half.
4. Add last 3 ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. If sauce is a little thick add a little bit of water to thin it out.