Beer Can Chicken (Beer Butt Chicken)

  • This Beer Can Chicken (or Beer Butt Chicken) is tender, moist, and flavorful! It’s easy to make and you can grill or roast it in the oven!

    Beer can chicken fresh off the grill.

    Beer Can Chicken

    *Originally published May 2015. Recipe, post, and pictures updated.*

    Are any of you deep into grilling season yet? I have to say I haven’t done a ton of grilling yet. We are having a very mild summer so I have used my oven more and I’m not complaining!!

    However, I have been hungry for simple grilled foods and I love how easy this beer can chicken is to make.

    A few other easy grilling recipes you may like are: BBQ Marinated Chicken Kabobs, Simple Marinade for Chicken, and Grilled Teriyaki Pork Chops.

    Picture of all the ingredients for Beer Can Chicken

    How to make Beer Can Chicken

    I typically use a 4-5 pound bird because that’s what’s most available in my local store. I also need that much to feed my family, lol!

    Start by making sure you chicken is nice and dry when you remove it from the packaging. I do this by patting it with paper towels. This is a crucial step and a must for crispy skin!

    Beer can chicken sprinkled liberally with beer can chicken rub and ready for the grill or oven!

    Rub a small amount of olive oil or cooking oil of your choice all over the bird. This will help the seasoning to stick. Now sprinkle the entire bird with the beer can chicken rub. This rub provides a ton of flavor!

    Now it’s time for the grill or if you prefer the oven that works great too! Grill or bake until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.

    Pieces or Beer Can Chicken on a platter.

    Tips for Beer Can Chicken

    • Use any beer you like to drink. We mostly use Coors when we make this but use whatever beer you have on hand.
    • If you don’t want to use beer no problem! You can use a can of coke or even sprite instead. Actually a can of root beer would pair well with this rub as well. I may have to try that next, sounds so good!
    • Be sure to pat the chicken dry or you won’t have crispy skin.
    • You can bake this in the oven as well! Bake at 400 degrees F for about 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through and you have an internal temperature of 165 degrees when inserted at the thickest part of the breast.
    • Be sure to let your bird rest before carving it. I let mine rest for 10 minutes. This will allow for all the juices to redistribute into the meat instead of on your plate.
    Cut beer can chicken breast on a plate with salad.

    What to serve with Beer Butt Chicken

    Beer Can Chicken
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr 30 mins

    This Beer Can Chicken (or Beer Butt Chicken) is tender, moist, and flavorful! It's easy to make and you can grill or roast it in the oven!

    Course: Chicken
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Beer Butt Chicken, Beer Can Chicken
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 89 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    • 1 (4-5 pound)(1.8-2.2kg) whole chicken, neck and giblets removed
    • 1 can beer, opened and half of the liquid removed
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, light or dark
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • ½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1. Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 375 degrees F).

    2. In a small bowl combine the salt, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne; set aside.

    3. Dry chicken very well using paper towels. Coat the chicken in olive oil. Sprinkle the entire chicken with the reserved spice rub. Place chicken over the can of beer and place in a small baking pan. You can also use a beer can chicken pan or holder instead.

    4. Turn off one burner on the grill and place chicken over the unlit burner. Reduce heat to medium (350 degrees F) and cook for 1 ¼-1 ½ hours or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted in the thickest part of the breast. (Towards the end of cooking I like to crank up the heat to really crisp up the skin)

    5. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

    Recipe Notes
    1. OVEN DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Follow steps 2-3 above. Bake for about 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted in the thickest part of the breast.
    2. If you prefer not to use beer, use a can of coke, sprite, or root beer instead. 
    3. Nutrition Facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

    What to serve with Beer Can Chicken

    Nutrition Facts
    Beer Can Chicken
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 89 Calories from Fat 63
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 7g11%
    Saturated Fat 1g6%
    Cholesterol 1mg0%
    Sodium 1756mg76%
    Potassium 77mg2%
    Carbohydrates 6g2%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 3g3%
    Protein 1g2%
    Vitamin A 1115IU22%
    Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
    Calcium 8mg1%
    Iron 0.5mg3%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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