"Beer Can" Chicken

I’ve notoriously had a really hard time roasting a whole chicken all the way through. Even with my handy dandy meat thermometer there always seems to be some pink left in the bird when I attempt to serve it. For a time I thought I had it whipped when I discovered beer can chicken. You know beer can chicken? Essentially, you shove a half full can of beer up the butt of a whole chicken and then cook it vertically on your grill. This method is very successful: the chicken ends up quite moist and quite cooked.

Unfortunately there are few things more wheaty and barleyey than beer so I haven’t done this in quite some time. Today, however, while cleaning I rediscovered my Williams-Sonoma vertical roaster that I acquired at a yard sale and the slightly fermented cider in my fridge: a new idea was born!

“Beer Can” Chicken

  • 1 Whole roaster
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 t ground pepper
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 C apple cider
  1. ♥ Mix herbs together into a spice rub
  2. ♥ Pat whole bird dry and run spice rub over skin and cavity (remove guts if needed)
  3. Sit bird on the vertical roaster with cup filled with apple cider
  4. Roast on indirect medium heat for at least 90 minutes

The kids ended up picking the bones clean. The chicken was very moist and cooked all the way through.

Please note, the heart symbol (♥) indicates steps your children can help you do!

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  • Good idea with the cider!  Thanks for sharing this on Chowstalker, Paleo Parents! 🙂

  • flynnzo

    Totally new to your site here, but I had to comment about roasting chicken. My fiance and I just figured out how to make a perfect roast chicken every time, with no braising or anything. Anthony Bourdain did a special on cooking techniques for basic foods and one of them was roast chicken.


    Honestly, we just salt, pepper, and spice it a bit and roast it at 450 until it’s done. The hotter temperature cooks it all the way through and crisps the skin into deliciousness. There’s a bunch of other stuff at that link about thyme and mustard, but we haven’t gotten there. It’s good enough on its own.

    And the episode is fun to watch, too. I think this is it:


    • Thanks for the link – we LOVE Bourdain!  In the winter that’s how I (Stacy) like my chicken too – but it’s just heats up the house too much in the summer.  We’ll keep this in mind once the fall rolls around!