A beer can chicken can be cooked on the BBQ or in the oven so try one today.
The preparation of the chicken is exactly the same. Firstly the beer can needs to be at room temperature otherwise you have something cooling the chicken from the inside whilst cooking the outside, good news for the chef, the can needs to be half full so you have a little drink whilst preparing this.
Take a chicken, at least 4 lbs so the can fits, then you position the bird on top of the beer can so the can is inside the cavity. The drumsticks help balance the bird on the roasting tin. You may need a scewer or two to make it really stable. If you have a really good roasting tin you can use this on the BBQ too. (It takes some cleaning afterwards!)
Take a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and brush it or rub it all over the skin. Use your favourite herbs and seasoning and pat that on the oil. I like garlic salt and thyme, use what looks like too much because a lot will fall off.
Cover the bird with aluminium foil and leave it to get to room temperature.
That's the preparation - really simple. The theory behind the beer can is that as it heats up the steam enters the cavity and you end up with a roasted and beer steamed chicken.
Cooking in an oven:
All ovens are different so the cooking temperature is a guide, you know your oven so go for the temperature you would normally roast at. I set mine at 180 - 190.
Put the chicken in and leave it for an hour. Don't touch it because the steam will escape! The cooking time will vary on the chicken size, oven and how you like yours done. 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours is a guide. For the last 20 minutes or so remove the foil and let the chicken develop a lovely colour. Use a meat thermometer to check it's done (we have some in the shop).
When cooked take it out of the roasting tray carefully. You really do need to be carefull because the can can drop out and it will be very hot along with the remaining beer, plus when beer spills into the fats it will spit!
Leave the chicken to rest with the can still in place. I cover mine with a double layer of foil and place a towel on top. Serve when ready and enjoy.
Cooking on the BBQ:
Before you start you need a BBQ with a lid, or enough tin foil to make your own lid.
The Beer can Chicken doesn't cook over the coals or gas it cooks to the side using the trapped heat.
If you are using charcoal have enough to heat for at least 1 1/2 hours (I made that mistake first time!) Get them good and hot and then push them over to one sife of the BBQ. Place the chicken, prepared as above on the side without coals and cover. Don't touch for an hour (You really don't want the chicken directly over the charcoal!!!)
If you have a gas BBQ you need to light the gas on the opposite side to the bird. (make sure you use some smoking chips otherwise you may as well use your oven!)
Use the same guide as above to check that it is cooked properly.