Beer Can Chicken Recipe for the Barbecue

Beer and chicken…what’s not to love? Both are delicious in their own rights but put them together and you’ve got a combination made in heaven! Beer can chicken is a great way of cooking something a little bit different and it utilises not only the beer but also the can! What you get at the end of the day is far superior to your average roast chicken; it’s moist and amazingly tasty thanks in part to being infused with the beer and some other yummy ingredients! The preparation is a little fiddly but so worth it! Make sure you begin your preparations on the day before you plan to cook this chicken dish as it needs to marinate overnight.

If possible, choose a corn fed chicken as they are generally tastier and juicier but if that isn’t possible, any chicken will work well with this recipe.



  • 1 medium corn fed chicken
  • 1 can of light ale
  • 90g/3oz malt extract
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch mustard powder
  • Pinch paprika
  • Pinch chilli powder
  • Tsp muscovado sugar
  • 160g/6oz butter
  • Pinch salt



In a bowl mix together 4 tablespoons of the light ale, the chilli powder, mustard and paprika, the crushed garlic clove and the sugar to form a paste. Rub the paste over the raw chicken and then allow to marinate for around 2-3 hours. Take 500ml/18floz of ale and pour over chicken. Leave the chicken to marinade overnight. On the day of cooking, heat the barbecue (or oven to 190C/375F) and then rinse the marinade off the chicken. Using kitchen paper, pat the chicken dry and then pull away the skin from the meat gently and rub the butter underneath and over the thighs. You may need a sharp knife to lift the skin away, once you have a space be generous with the butter. Top Tip: Use a gas barbecue for impeccable results.

Season with salt and pour 300ml/10floz of ale into the ale can. Place the chicken on top of the can with the can in its cavity. Roast for 45 minutes basting occasionally and when cooked allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.


Suggested accompaniments:

This chicken is so tasty that you can get away with serving very simple side dishes; green salad and crusty bread is always popular but if you would like to make a more substantial meal, why not roast a selection of vegetables and some cauliflower cheese? This chicken is always well received and the extra work involved is worth it because the meat is so highly infused with flavour that it tastes professionally cooked every time! The marinade ensures a really moist chicken which means that many people don’t see the need for gravy when serving this dish but if you like gravy as a rule, choose a good quality chicken one or a homemade version.

Whether you are serving this chicken for lunch or supper will also influence what you serve alongside it…if you are having a barbecue, why not make some tasty vegetable kebabs? Kebabs are simple to prepare and after all that work you might want a rest from cooking to enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Beer Can Chicken Recipe