Beer can chicken is the best, easiest way to cook a whole chicken on the grill without any special equipment. The beer from the can steams the chicken, resulting in a perfectly-cooked and moist whole chicken. The chicken literally sits on the can and as the beer heats up, it streams and flavours the inside of the chicken.
I start with marinating the chicken with Sazon seasoning, vinegar, and stuffing lemon, lime and orange wedges inside the chicken overnight.
Sazon is like the magic spice blend in many Latin dishes. It’s commonly found in the supermarket in small envelopes that you add to stews, beans, rice, etc. It gives yellow rice that yellow color and basically makes anything taste good! Goya is the most popular brand. If you can not find Sazon you can make your own, the recipe is at the bottom of this blog page.
Next comes choosing the beer!
Beer can chicken requires beer in a can. However, that doesn’t mean you have to buy canned beer. All you need is a can. I personally prefer to use an old soup can that I have cleaned and saved. Which opens up your beer possibilities immensely because many of the best beers are only sold in bottles. So it comes down to what type of flavor you want to add to your chicken. Does a sweeter bird sound good? How about something a little spicy, wheaty, or fruity?
The most popular choice is lager, but I also like to use sour beer. I love citrus flavors, and the sour citrus seems to make the flavors come alive. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Get creative!
Once you have marinated your chicken and chose the beer, you’re get the bird on the can and to get grilling!
- 1 (12-ounce) can lager beer, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoon Sazon Seasoning
- 1 cup White distilled vinegar
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 1 orange, cut into wedges
- 1 (4 to 4 1/2) pound whole chicken
- 1/4 cup beer, reserved from above
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Juice of ½ a Lemon
- 2 tablespoons Sazon seasoning
- 1 Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
Place lemon, lime and orange wedges into the center of the chicken.
Stir the Sazon seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl.
Pour the seasoning mixture into a large Ziploc bag, slowly pour vinegar, and EVOO into the same bag. Combine.
Drop the chicken into the bag, zip the bag and shake until the chicken is well coated.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Heat grill by heating 2 out of 3 (or 3 out of 4) of the burners to high heat. Keep the remaining burners off.
Pour out or drink about half of the beer, reserving 1/4 cup for the basting sauce.
Place the beer can inside a metal 9×13-inch aluminum pan. Lower the chicken leg-side down onto the beer until it is securely propped upright. Be careful when picking the pan up, have a firm grip on the chicken with one hand while holding the foil pan with the other. Trust me, I’ve totally lost my chicken by not doing that.
Place the pan over indirect heat (over the turned-off burners) and grill for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with the basting sauce. At this point, it will start to brown and look almost cooked through, even though it is not.
Baste the chicken with the sauce and continue to cook, covered, basting every 10 minutes, until the skin is deeply colored, crisp, and a probe thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh registers 165°F, about 25 to 35 minutes more depending the size of the chicken.
Rotate the pan as needed so that the chicken browns evenly.
Remove the chicken and the pan with its drippings from the grill. (If you use a foil pan, slide the pan onto a baking sheet before moving it around)
Discard the beer can. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.
Sazon Substitute Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
Combine all ingredients and mix well