Beer Butt Chicken Triumph

Beer Butt Chicken doesn’t really sound too appetizing, this is where you place a chicken over an open can of beer and cook, but I have been yearning to try this for a long time.

I’m a big chicken fan at Our Little House, especially roasted chicken.

You know how sometimes people say a girl finds husbands who have similar traits of their fathers?

Dale has more than one trait similar to my dad’s and one is a mutual dislike for chicken. We rarely had the bird at home when I was growing up.

Dad grew up on a farm in Arkansas where his mother literally rang the bird’s neck, defeathered and dressed them herself.

Somewhere along the line, Dad found he had an aversion to feathers – maybe grandma didn’t get them all plucked – and always said he could “taste” the feathers anytime he ate chicken.

This came from a man who, upon finding a hair in his food or hearing any childish talk of vomit, poop or even animals, would slam his fork down and get up and leave the table.

For a tough guy, he was pretty squeamish when it came to his food and this limited table conversation.

I don’t know Dale’s reasoning for his opposition to fowl, but he usually doesn’t care for chicken unless it is fried.

We knew we would be home all weekend and we like to try different meals, especially on the grill. When I saw an organic chicken at the store, along with the beer butt holders, I talked him into grilling one of the birds for Sunday supper.

I can honestly say that our Beer Butt Chicken was a rousing success. Neither of us had ever tasted a bird so full of flavor.

The outside was nice and crispy and the inside was melt-in-your mouth tender and extremely juicy.

“Now tell me you don’t like roasted chicken,” I said to him.

My statement was met only with a smile.

There are many recipes for this type of chicken on the Internet, but I made up my own, which I share with you below.

Have you ever had Beer Butt Chicken? How do you cook it?


Our Little House Beer Butt Chicken   

1 whole chicken

½ 12 oz. can of beer (you get to drink half!)

¼ stick of butter (you can substitute healthier olive oil)

McCormick’s chicken spice (enough for the rub and about 3 tbsp.

¼ of lge. Onion, diced

2 whole garlic cloves

Grill warmed to about 350 degrees (they can also be done in
the oven)

Beer Butt Stand


Removed any neck and giblets that may be in the chicken, wash and pat it dry. Place on a cookie sheet and use the butter or olive oil and rub into the chicken skin. Rub the chicken spice all over the outside of the chicken. Take your ½ can of beer and cut two additional holes in it with the sharp end of a church key. Place the diced onion, garlic cloves and 3 tbsp. of chicken spice into the can. Place the beer in your stand and place the chicken over the beer on the stand and carefully place it on the grill (placing an aluminum pan underneath to catch the drippings helps clean up). if it is a charcoal grill, place the chicken indirectly over coals. Make sure the grill remains at approximately 350 degrees for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh is 180 degrees.

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29 Responses

  1. Jane Boursaw says:

    Well… it sounds great, but I’ve had issues with roasting a whole chicken ever since I saw the movie Eraserhead about 25 years ago. If anyone has seen that movie, they’ll know what I’m talking about. Still, I do love chicken. As long as I don’t have to cook it.

    • Kerri says:

      Hmm, I do not know what you’re talking about, but I did have some issues with chicken after initially seeing the original “Poltergeist” movie!

  2. Alisa Bowman says:

    My dad cooks like this a lot. You can do it with any canned beverage. He’s even used Pepsi.

  3. sarah henry says:

    Would love to know the history behind this beer-infused cooking technique. There’s a story there, for sure.

  4. This looks sooo good. We’ve done this at my house with Coke–the meat just turns out so tender.

    • Kerri says:

      The coke method sounds so good, I wish we could do it, but I’m wondering how much of the sugar gets into the actual meat?

  5. merr says:

    I have to admit the name alone caught me off guard!

  6. This looks amazing. Kudos to you for pursuing the chicken idea with a reluctant spouse.

  7. Heather L. says:

    That really sounds delicious. I don’t know if my husband would have the patience to grill for two hours, though. He seems to like to burn the meet in five minutes.

    Can you make the same thing in the oven?

    • Kerri says:

      You can make it in the oven, Heather. We like the smoky flavor of grilling and this isn’t grilling so much as it is putting it in the grill and allowing it to bake on its own. You put the charcoal to the side, just making sure you keep it at 350 for 2 hours or so. But, the oven would work just as well, I think.

  8. I’ve made this but with chicken broth (we don’t like alcohol) and it was good.What I really loved was the rotisserie chicken we recently made on our new grill.

  9. Alexandra says:

    I have never heard of this method before. Will try this summer.

  10. I would be in BIG trouble if my DH didn’t eat chicken. It’s our go-to protein. I’m glad it turned out so well. I’ve never tried it.

    • Kerri says:

      He eats it more now, I just really have to dress it up. We didn’t like it grilled previously as it always came out so dry. Not anymore! 😉

  11. Mat says:

    I love me some beercan chicken! We keep it simple, though. Rub the chicken with olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt, and fresh pepper, then grill to perfection. I never thought to add onions and aromatics to the can though–that’s clever. Most of the time, we end up lightly “painting” it with BBQ sauce to get some nice, sweet char on the outside.
    Glad to see Dale was willing to eat outside his comfort zone–I’ve been pushing my wife to eat onions for years now…and she’s finally coming around to not needing them completely cooked to death.

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, that sounds good too, Mat! So, are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and try some really good brussel sprouts!? 😉

      • Mat says:

        You know, I tried about 2 years ago, Kerri. I swore them off when I moved out of my mother’s house, but I tried them again at my wife’s urging. She sauted them in butter…which normally would appeal to me…but I couldn’t choke down more than 2 or 3 of them. There’s just something about hot micro-cabbage that doesn’t do it for me.

        But I’ll tell you what: you’ve got my e-mail address–send me a scan of that recipe and I promise to give it an honest chance.

        • Kerri says:

          I’m kidding you more than anything, Mat. 🙂 I know there are some things that people just cannot stand. Mine is mashed potatoes. I don’t like the texture, it almost makes me gag, no matter how they’re flavored. For this little cabbage recipe, I chop the brussel sprouts finely, put a lot of lemon pepper seasoning and butter on them and put them in the oven at 350, wrapped in parchment paper. If you didn’t like your wife’s, you most likely won’t like these. 🙂

  12. Alfredo says:

    I do a similar chicken dish. I call it Coca-Cola chicken. I rub the chicken down with a spice rub of equal parts (1/4 cup) kosher salt, paprika, brown sugar, then a tablespoon each of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and one TEASPOON of cayenne pepper. prop the chicken on a coke can that is half full of cola. I make a coca-cola dipping sauce using this recipe.

    Coca-Cola Barbecue Sauce

    24 servings
    Hands on: 15 minutes
    Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

    This versatile sauce works great on ribs or chicken or even brushed on burgers.

    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 cup roughly chopped onions
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    1 (12-ounce) can Coca-Cola
    1 1/2 cups ketchup
    1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    Hot pepper sauce, optional
    Salt and pepper

    In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium flame, heat vegetable oil. Add onions and brown for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not overstir. Add the garlic for the last 5 minutes. Add the cider vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add Coke, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Puree the mixture using a hand-held blender, food processor or blender. Taste the sauce and add hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

    I found the recipe in an old Southern Living magazine. Great reviews every time I make it.

    • Kerri says:

      This sounds delicious, Alfredo, thanks for sharing the recipe with our community. Dale is a diabetic, so we couldn’t make it here. I doubt a diet cola recipe would work as well.

  13. Vicki says:

    I use a half and half mix of red or wine cooking wine and a fruit juice, apple or orange juice in the can with a few rough chop onions in it. Watch your liquid levels in the can, as juice can burn.
    Sometimes after it gets nice and crispy and golden brown, I cover the chicken with aluminum foil and let her cook.
    I guess when I was growing up, you ate whatever someone placed in front of you. Couldn’t be too choosy on the menu, I get tired of poultry, but its more afordable than beef. And I get tired of pork, though I do ribs in a fruit/beer mix on the grill and they are devine.
    Happy grilling! Kerri

    • Mat says:

      I grew up that way too, Vicki, but at some point, I decided that I’m an adult and I’ll eat–or not eat–whatever I pleased. As such, I haven’t touched brussel sprouts more than once in the last 15-20 years.

      • Kerri says:

        And I grew up that way as well. We didn’t have to eat whatever was sat in front of us, but we could go hungry if we so chose. My dad, however, had the power we kids did not and we didn’t have chicken very often when he was home. Mat, I made brussel sprouts with this meal. It’s the parchment paper recipe from the cookbook. My husband used to say the same as you, now he asks for them and laments that there aren’t enough when I fix them. 🙂