Smoked Beer Can Chicken
The Best Ever Chicken Recipe?

Smoked beer can chicken is one of the two basic methods for cooking beer can chicken; smoked in a barbecue smoker and grilled using indirect grilling in a covered barbecue grill.

The recipe below is for smoked beer can chicken; specifically in a water smoker such as the Weber Smokey Mountain.

If you've a hooded barbeque, here's a version for grilled beer can chicken.

Serves 6


  • 12 ounce can of beer
  • 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of barbecue rub


  • Set-up your barbecue smoker.
  • Remove the giblets from chicken and trim off any excess skin and fat.
  • Rinse the chicken well under cold water, inside and out. Then pat dry.
  • Brush the oil all over the outside of the chicken. Then sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the rub.
  • Punch another three of four holes in the top of the can and pour the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of rub into the beer.
  • Hold the chicken upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can. Effectively stuffing the chicken with the beer can.
  • Pull the chicken legs forward so it stands upright. Using the chickens legs and the beer can to form a stable tripod.

Cooking Method Using A Water Smoker

The instructions below assume that you’re using a charcoal water smoker. I’ve assumed that you have the charcoal at the correct temperature, you have your wood chips or chunks on the charcoal and the water pan is in place, with water and some of the beer in it.

If you’re using an electric water smoker, follow the user instruction that came with the smoker to get it prepared for smoking.

  1. Carefully stand the chicken on a cooking grid in the smoker. Use the legs and the beer can to act as a tripod.
  2. Put on the smoker lid and let the beer can chicken smoke for about 2 hours. Don’t worry if you let it go a bit longer. So long as there’s water in the water pan it’s going to be OK. When I make beer can chicken I often leave them in my water smoker for up to 5 hours. The result is succulent, fall apart chicken.
  3. When cooked and ready to eat, carefully take your smoked beer can chicken out of the smoker. I find the best way is to use a large, clean cloth or oven gloves. Take care as the beer can will still have about half the beer and drippings from the chicken in it, and it will be very hot.
  4. Put the chicken on a board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the beer can from the chicken. Discard the can and carve the chicken
Recommended Reading

Recommended Accessory.

Balancing the chicken can be a bit tricky in that you use the legs of the chicken and the beer can itself to act as a sort of tripod.

Sometimes the chicken can tip over. For that reason I would recommend that you use a beer can chicken roaster.

Smoked Beer Can Chicken related Pages:

Grilled Beer Can Chicken
Beer Can Chicken
Beer Can Chicken Roaster

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