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How to Make Beer Can Chicken - An Easy Recipe!

Beer Can Chicken

Beer can chicken is an essential - and incredibly easy - way to make roast chicken. Beer can chicken is a no fuss recipe that anyone can successfully make, and you will end up with super tender chicken. I know that roasting a chicken can seem daunting, but once you learn how, it really is one of the easiest things to make! I absolutely love this recipe because it calls for just 4 ingredients, and it takes just 5 minutes of preparation time. You just need to plop the chicken over a half can of beer, slather it in butter, and sprinkle it with your favorite barbecue seasoning. Then you put the chicken in the oven to roast - and you just let it do its thing. No basting necessary. It doesn't get much easier than this.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 Chicken
  • 1/2 can of Beer I used Revolution Brewing's A Little Crazy
  • 1 tablespoon of Butter at room temperature
  • about 1 tablespoon of Barbecue Seasoning


  1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees, you may need to move your oven rack down so that there is room to cook the chicken standing upright. Then remove the chicken from the bag. If there are giblets in the inside of the cavity of the chicken, remove those (I just throw them away).
  2. Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken, and then pat it dry with paper towels. You need to pat the chicken dry, otherwise the butter won't really stick to the chicken.
  3. Pour out half of the beer. Place the half full can of beer in the center of a roasting pan. Slide the chicken over the can, making sure that it will balance upright.
  4. Next, slather the butter over the chicken. Then sprinkle the barbecue seasoning over the chicken.
  5. If you are using an in-oven thermometer, now is the time to insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, above the thigh.
  6. Place the chicken in the oven to roast. After 45 minutes check on the chicken and just make sure that the skin isn't getting to brown, tent it with foil if necessary.
  7. It will take about an hour and 15 minutes for the chicken to reach 165 degrees. At that point remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest while you prepare the gravy.
  8. To make the gravy, scrape up any of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then pour all of the drippings through a strainer and into a glass container. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in a tablespoon of flour. Next, use a baster to suck up all of the juices below the line of fat that will rise to the top. Whisk in the juices and bring to a simmer and let thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the gravy is too thick, thin it with a bit of chicken broth.
  9. Carve the chicken and serve it with the gravy.

Recipe Notes

I used a 4 pound chicken and it was just the right size to fit over the can and say upright. Charles and I are big beer lovers and I chose Revolution Brewing's A Little Crazy for this beer can chicken. A Little Crazy is a Belgian-Style Pale Ale. Revolution is a Chicago-based brewery, it might not be available everywhere. I recommend picking a nice easy to drink pale ale or pilsner. Choose a beer that you love to drink.