Beer Butt Chicken

OK– so, apparently, Beer Butt Chicken is dangerous and a waste of time. I have noticed, doing it a few times, that there really isn’t much liquid lost. But the resulting meat quality is pretty damned epic. Roasting the chicken upright with a bunch of herbs and spices under the skin is totally yummy, though, and it should work exactly the same without the can.

Beer Butt Chicken

I have been insanely busy lately. Writing lots of lots of code. Insanely busy requires a bit of down time to maintain what is left of sanity. So, we had some friends over last night and I made beer butt chicken.

Juiciest, most flavorful, chicken meat ever. And it isn’t hard to do, either.

Recipe/instructions can be found by clicking through to:In this case, I made a marinade out of fresh basil, fresh lemon basil, hot chili sauce, dried scotch bonnet peppers, salt, pepper, honey, orange juice, lime juice, dried dill, dried thyme, fresh garlic, and butter. Stick all of the ingredients in a food processor and let run until thoroughly pureed. Adjust the ingredients to taste and availability.

If your chickens are fatty, you’ll want to cut away some of the fat from the butt end of the chicken. The chickens pictured were organic, free ranging, chickens that I bought at the farmer’s market. Virtually no fat for an otherwise huge bird.

Take a spoon and separate the skin from the chicken down the back and front of the chicken. Go under the skin by the neck since that will be pointing up while cooking and you don’t want the juices to leak out. Make sure you don’t puncture the skin or make a hole in the bottom.

Put a bunch of the marinade under the chicken skin and spread it out as much as possible. The more marinade the better. Since the marinade should be fairly liquidy, it will boil while the chicken cooks, forcing the flavors deep into the meat of the chicken.

Cut the top off of a full 12 oz can of beer (open the beer first). I used budweiser because cooking (and removing duct tape) is the only thing budweiser is good for. Add minced garlic and onion to the beer. Lots of garlic and onion. You might want to pour off a bunch of beer before doing this as it will foam. A lot. You can add beer back into the can afterwords. Regardless, the can should be nearly full when done.

Place the can upright on a cookie sheet that can be sacrificed to the grill. Place the chicken over the can such that the chicken stands up like the ones in the picture. Rub the chickens thoroughly with marinade.

Repeat for each chicken.

Home made chandeler

Carefully put the cookie sheet onto a pre-heated grill. You’ll want to cook the chickens for somewhere between 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on size of the chickens and how hot the grill runs. The hardest part is to make sure you can put a lid on the grill without touching the chickens. I took the grilling grates off of my gas grill, turned on grate sidewise, and put it on the rack above the heating elements in the grill, then set the cookie sheet on that.

Periodically open up the grill and baste the chickens with more marinade. I also like to pour a stout beer down the neck of the chickens to refill the can a bit. This will also increase the moisture, thus ensuring even juicier results.

Ideally, use a meat thermometer and turn the gas off on the grill when the internal temperature of the chicken hits 150-155 degrees. Be careful when poking the chicken. You don’t want to puncture the skin such that the marinade drains out, but you need to make sure you get a reading from the middle of the biggest pieces of meat.

Let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes as the chicken will continue to cook a bit.

Carefully remove the can from the chicken, trying not to spill the contents. The veggies in the can are really tasty, the boiled beer less so. The juice that comes out of the chicken itself is amazing on bread.

I would suggest accompanying the chicken with excellent microbrew beer.

(The candles are sitting on a chandelier I made out of 4 wall sconces.)

4 Responses to “Beer Butt Chicken”

  1. Jason Clark says:

    Looks and sounds delicious. The recipe/instruction link seems to be missing, however. If you can update with the link, I’d like to try it out.

  2. burris ewell says:

    Try adding some grated coconut to your marinade… You want the unsweetened dessicated or fresh grated stuff , not the sweetened bags they sell for making dessert.

  3. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Chicken, Probe & Camera Trauma says:

    […] I made another round of Beer Butt Chicken over the weekend. Perfect. Key difference this time around was using a temperature probe to monitor the internal temperature of the bird. Kill the grill when it hits about 140 to 145 degrees. Leave the birds on the grill and their internal temperature will climb a bit before removal. Perfect, juicy, flavor infused chicken meat will result. I used a ton of rosemary from my neighbor’s rosemary hedge (yes, it grows as a hedge around here). […]

  4. Chris says:

    I found your pictures on Flickr “GREAT”, check out my grills I’ve worked on my account is Tommy8

    Keep grilling !!!!!


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