Beer can chicken is a popular dish among barbecue enthusiasts. This flavorful recipe involves cooking a whole chicken over a can of beer, which steams the chicken from the inside out, creating a juicy and tender meat. However, cooking beer can chicken can be a bit tricky, and knowing how long to cook it can be the difference between a delicious meal and an undercooked or overcooked one. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about cooking beer can chicken, including the cooking time, temperature, and some tips and tricks.
Hi there! Today, we’re going to be discussing a popular method of cooking chicken – beer can chicken. This unique cooking technique involves placing a chicken on top of a half-full can of beer and grilling it to perfection. However, one of the most commonly asked questions about this method is how long to cook the chicken for. So, in this discussion, we’ll be exploring the ideal timing and temperature needed to achieve delicious, succulent, and perfectly cooked beer can chicken. Let’s dive in!
What is Beer Can Chicken?
Beer can chicken is a cooking method that involves cooking a whole chicken over a can of beer. To prepare the chicken, the cook first cleans and seasons the chicken with their preferred spices and rubs. Then, the cook opens a can of beer and takes a few sips (or pours out a small amount) before placing the can inside the chicken’s cavity. The chicken is then placed on a grill or in an oven and cooked until it reaches the desired internal temperature.
Why Cook Beer Can Chicken?
There are several reasons why beer can chicken has become such a popular recipe. First, the beer adds flavor to the chicken, creating a juicy and tender meat. The beer also steams the chicken from the inside out, keeping it moist during the cooking process. Additionally, cooking a whole chicken over a can of beer is a fun and unique way to cook chicken, making it a perfect recipe for a barbecue or summer cookout.
How to Cook Beer Can Chicken
Cooking beer can chicken is a simple process, but it does require a bit of preparation. Here are the steps you need to follow to cook beer can chicken:
Prepare the chicken: Remove any giblets or organs from the chicken’s cavity and rinse the chicken under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and season with your preferred spices and rubs.
Open a can of beer: Open a can of beer and drink a small amount or pour out a few ounces of the beer.
Insert the can into the chicken: Hold the chicken upright and slide the can into the chicken’s cavity so that the can is sitting up inside the chicken.
Cook the chicken: Preheat your grill or oven to 350°F. Place the chicken on the grill or in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
Rest the chicken: Remove the chicken from the grill or oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.
Tips for Cooking Beer Can Chicken
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your beer can chicken:
Use a drip pan: Place a drip pan under the chicken to catch any drippings and prevent a fire from starting in the grill.
Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that the chicken is cooked to the correct internal temperature, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken.
Use a dry rub: A dry rub will help the chicken develop a flavorful crust and keep the skin crispy during the cooking process.
Use a flavored beer: Experiment with different types of beer to add different flavors to your chicken. For example, a dark beer will add a rich, malty flavor, while a light beer will add a subtle, refreshing flavor.
How Long to Cook Beer Can Chicken
The cooking time for beer can chicken depends on several factors, including the size of the chicken, the temperature of the grill or oven, and the desired internal temperature of the chicken. As a general rule, you should cook beer can chicken for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
Cooking Time by Chicken Weight
To help you determine how long to cook your beer can chicken, here is a general guideline for cooking times based on the weight of the chicken:
- 2-3 pounds: 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 3-4 pounds: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes
- 4-5 pounds: 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours
When cooking beer can chicken, it is important to maintain a consistent cooking temperature to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly. The grill or oven should be set to 350°F for the entire cooking time.
FAQs for how long do you cook Beer Can Chicken
How long do you cook beer can chicken on the grill?
The cooking time for beer can chicken on the grill depends on various factors such as the size of the bird, the grill temperature, and the method of cooking. Generally, it takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to grill chicken weighing 3 to 4 pounds at a temperature of 350 to 375°C. It is always best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
How long do you cook beer can chicken in the oven?
To cook beer can chicken in the oven, preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the chicken on a can of beer or soda in a roasting pan next to the heating element. Cook the chicken for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F. Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
Can I cook beer can chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can cook beer can chicken in a slow cooker. To do this, place the chicken on a can of beer or soda. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer before serving.
How do I know when beer can chicken is done?
The best way to confirm that beer can chicken is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken should register at least 165°F in the thickest part of the meat. Also, check the juices that run out of the chicken when it’s cut; they should be clear instead of bloody.
Do I need to remove the beer can from the chicken before serving?
Yes, you should remove the beer can from the chicken before serving. The chicken is cooked, and the beer in the can has done its job of adding moisture to the chicken. Grab the can with tongs, and gently lift the chicken off of the can onto a cutting board to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.