Beer Can Chicken in the Oven

Posted on 29/01/2011 by Erock

You can cook beer can chicken in the oven?! Well I wish I had thought of this idea sooner…it’s 49 degrees and the rain is blowing sideways in Seattle today. Who would cook outside on a day like today?! That’s INSANE! Although it hasn’t stopped me before… It’s high time we talk about moving the party off the back porch and making an oven beer can chicken.

Beer Can Chicken in the Oven

The Eagle Has Landed! Oven Beer Can Chicken is a delicious dish for summertime grilling flavor all year long. 

So recently a friend asked me about doing a beer can chicken in the oven. Yes, it’s completely legal – however in certain states you might lose some face if your neighbors ever find out you are taking a time-honored grill and bbq favorite and cooking it safely inside like some kind of pencil neck pansy. To hell with them I say! It’s pissing down rain outside and who’s gonna know?First a few observations:

  • If you have read anything online about cooking a bird in a standing position, you have probably read a lot of squawking about “vertical poultry roasters.” Well, I’m here to tell you – beer can chicken is the original vertical roaster, and it’s a fine way to roast your Sunday dinner.
  • Any time I have a party, everyone migrates to the kitchen. So why not throw a beer can chicken in the oven party in January?

Here’s how I did the latest and greatest Oven Beer Can Chicken.

Some Tips on Beer Can Chicken in the Oven

If you have ever baked a chicken, and have taken a look at our Basic Beer Can Chicken Recipe, then there’s not a lot left to say about this method. If you haven’t read through the basic recipe, take a minute to read that over. That covers the basics. Now, crack open a cold one and take a look at a few pointers, particular to the oven chicken tip.

  • Good idea to have a Beer Can Rack — this is one of those gizmos used to hold your beer can upright and stable on the grill.  (We reviewed a few you can read about here.) This makes moving, rotating and removing the bird much, much easier. Of coursse you can simply mount the chicken on the can, and use the legs and can as a kind of tripod…the problem as I see it is when you try to slide your oven rack out of the oven, the bird is a might top-heavy. Well, what the hell, it was time to clean the oven anyway, right?
  • Beer. Don’t forget your can of beer. If you are attempting this without a can-holder, it’s better to use a tall boy. (16 oz. Can) I used a can of Pilsner Urquell. NOTE: Always open the can first, and drain or drink about 1/3 of the beverage first.
  • Liquid Smoke. Without the benefit of hot coals and/or hickory chips on the grill, I took a tip from Mr. Steve Raichlen – author and Beer Can Chicken Guru – and added about a teaspoon and 1/2 of Liquid Smoke to the open beer can before putting the bird on top. The idea is to infuse the breast meat with some of that smoky flavor from the inside out.
  • Pre-heat to 400 degrees F. Put the bird in on the can for an initial 10 minutes, then reduce the temp to a nice even 350 for an hour. I find this gives the bird a nice crisp sear.
  • Basic Rub. I used the standard generic chicken rub, which you can grab from the earlier post on Rubs. Of course any rub you like will work, including the old school standby of: Salt, Ground Black Pepper and Paprika. I also applied a little butter to the breast, working it in before I applied the rub. Butter + Spice Rub + Beer = How could you go wrong?!
  • Cooking Time. After turning the temp down to 350 I let the bird cook for an hour, then checked with my handy and ever-reliable meat thermometer. You want the Dark meat to read at about 175, and breast meat at about 165.

Final Verdict.

Well in the end, it was pretty damn easy to make the beer can chicken in the oven. In fact I think it was one of the best oven chickens I’ve ever made. The rub & butter combo created a rocking crispiness, with a solid back-beat of smokiness provided by the beer can and liquid smoke. I could have gone with a little bit more liquid smoke I think, but other than that, no regrets. I’m warm, dry, and I’m looking out at the wind and rain…and waiting for spring.

6 Responses to “Beer Can Chicken in the Oven”

  1. Carl

    14/03/2011 at 3:16 AM

    Okay there are lots of dry rub recipes out there .What ever recipe you use,
    not only on the skin but under the skin. I put a little lemon zest
    under the skin . I like to slow roast at 325 . For a 4 lbs chicken
    about 2 hrs 160 145 deg or until the juices run clear.

  2. Carl

    14/03/2011 at 3:19 AM

    that ia 160 165 deg

    • Allie

      28/06/2011 at 12:03 AM

      Thanks guys, I just about lost it liokong for this.

  3. Erock

    21/03/2011 at 6:52 PM

    Thanks Carl. I have a post I’m working on that works in lemon zest in the rub…sounds good to me!

  4. Melea

    11/07/2011 at 1:06 AM

    This sounds awesome. I’m definitely going to try it. Have you ever done this with cornish hens? I have a studio apartment with a smaller-than-average oven and a regular bird may be too large to stand up.

    • Erock

      11/07/2011 at 9:18 PM

      Indeed you CAN use a CAN to cook a game hen. The master of the art, Steve Raichlen even spells it out for you here…and of course his book “Beer Can Chicken” has a bunch of game hen stuff, some that even call for those airplane-sized orange juice cans! Here is an interesting root beer version. Check out our Resources page for links to this and other books.