Beer Can Chicken Rack
Get the Low-Down on Keeping your Bird Upright
With so many can holders and gizmos on the market, which beer can chicken rack is right for you? Do you even need one? Let’s get to it. If you are in a hurry, scroll down to see our top 3 picks for the best beer can chicken roasters around.
If you read the basic recipe on our blog or a consulted a good cookbook on how to prep a chicken on a beer can for the grill then you are probably ready to take the plunge. Ready to rock the Beer Can Chicken Rack? Here are our top 3 picks. You can click over to Amazon for more details or read our write up on these contraptions down below. We also wrote up some beer can rack reviews, which you can see here.
- Bayou Beer ChickCAN Rack
- Cameron’s vertical roaster
- Steven Raichlen Beer-Can Chicken Rack with Drip Pan
Why use a Beer Can Chicken Rack?
The basic trick is to open the beer can, pour a little out and put that bird on top to cook. The original version of this recipe called for just that — a chicken and a can.
Sure, you can be a commando and perch a bird on a can …but saying it can be done and doin’ it aint the same thing, cousin. The trick to cooking a drunken chicken on a can freestyle is this — you must balance the bird on top of the can, and balance the chicken by carefully arranging the legs and using the can as the base.
Having said that…getting a nice even sear on a bird requires rotating it with only a can to support it which can be tricky. The legs have a tendency to stick in the grill of our Weber kettle. Have you ever tried to lift a hot chicen and a boilin’ can of beer back up after it tips!? No fun. But more importantly, your guests will laugh at you. (Not that we’d know AAaanything about that!)
Conclusion: For our money a basic beer can chicken holder at around 8 bucks is well worth the money. In fact you can spend a LOT more than that, with some vertical roasters setting you back 20 to 30 bucks. No need to break the bank though, we list a few of our faves below, and we wrote some rack reviews, which you can see here.
Can the Can? About Vertical Roasters
The most expensive Cadillac vertical roasters eliminate the can altogether. There are cast iron vertical roasters made by Staub, Weber and even Emiril! Those can set you back 60 bucks at the high end.bucks or more. Sorta defeats the purpose of beer butt chicken, doncha think?! To each his own. On the more economical side we have had great success with Sittin Chicken Ceramic Roaster, which won’t break the bank. The Sittin Chicken line even makes a Jumbo sized deal for beer can Turkey. All of these vertical roasters do offer the advantage of allowing you to easily add any kind of liquid your recipe requires, including wine, cola, fruit juice or ginger ale. But then, we’ve been doin that with the humble can of Pabst for years. Just drink the beer….then refill the can. You are welcome. We just saved you 60 bucks on a beer can chicken rack.
Gear we Like – Beer Can Chicken Blogs Top 3 Picks for Beer Can Chicken Holders
- Intermediate. Two-way tie here, between the aforementioned Sittin Chicken ceramic deal and the Cameron’s vertical roaster. The Cameron’s roaster offers an advantage in having a sort of circular tray underneath a vertical tube. That catches all the drippings and extra beer that you normally have to put a pan down for. Keeps your grill nice and clean and with a wide, sturdy spatula and a pair of bbq tongs it’s not hard to get on and off the grill. Read our review here.
- Advanced. But not overpriced, although technically it’s a vertical roaster. The man who literally wrote the book on Beer Can Chicken, star of BBQ U and author of many grilling books also has a line of products. Not surprisingly, Steve Raichlen’s vertical roaster/beer can chicken gizmo is pretty good. Here’s why. The Raichlen Roaster is not strictly speaking a beer can chicken rack, but an all purpose vertical roaster. It gives you a small tray with handles, just the right size to catch the drippings. The wire rack fits nicely inside and is fairly stable after you have the bird mounted on the 3rd piece, a stainless steel “can” contraption. This has a removable lid, which allows you to put any liquid you want inside, not to mention herbs and/or spices. The whole thing cleans up real nice in the dishwasher after a bit of scrubbing, and that’s reason enough for us to endorse it, check out the review.
Well that about covers it. There are hundreds of beer can chicken racks, holders and vertical roasters to choose from, including a few models that allow you to mount multiple birds for a big feast on the grill. No matter how you decide to roast your drunken chicken, duck or turkey, be sure to send us a photo or post it on our Facebook page. We’d love to see what you been cookin’.