Ken’s Beer Can Chicken

Guest blogger alert! Here’s Ken with another fun grilling post:


Greetings!  It is great to be out of sweltering New York, and more importantly, reunited with my summering wife and kids in Oregon for a week.  I am blessed to have the ability to really focus on my true passions during my vacation: cooking for my in-laws, and guest-writing for a women’s lifestyle blog.  Good times.


I have stepped in for the Josie Girl before, mostly with grilling posts on artichokes and fruit (and separately, Lemon Mint Pasta with Bacon and Tips for Expectant Fathers) The focus on fruit, vegetables and general health?  Not necessarily my first choice (play to your audience), so it’s time for more of a traditional and fun (and manly) post on…. Beer Can Chicken.


Ingredients. 4 lb chicken, can o’ beer (room temperature), olive oil, salt, pepper, and if you have it, rosemary, and thyme.

Cooking chicken without drying it out, whether via oven, grill, or New York City sidewalk, can be a challenge.  One helpful ally in keeping chicken moist is actually, beer.  The idea behind beer can chicken is pretty simple.  Bake or grill your chicken over an open can of beer, and the bubbling brew will keep the inside moist.

Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

A few hours before grilling, season the whole chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Fresh thyme. Conveniently located outside the kitchen door.

Fresh rosemary. Conveniently located outside Nana’s kitchen door.

Fresh rosemary.

Fresh thyme.

OK.  Time to get the beer and the grill ready.

Take a few chugs out of the beer can.  It should be about 2/3 full.  Then put the thyme/rosemary sprigs in them.

Turn all but one of the grill burners on medium/high heat.  Plan to put the chicken/beer over the unlit one (the chicken/beer should NOT be over direct heat).

Lonely beer can.

Lonely beer can

Now, the slightly uncomfortable part.  Slide the open cavity of the chicken onto the beer can, and balance it using the legs (this is much easier than you might expect).

Action shot.

Action shot.

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.39.03 AM

Success! I have never been accused of being a PETA member, but there is definitely something that feels wrong about this.

OK, so with the other burners on medium/high heat (except the one underneath the actual beer can/chicken), close the grill and monitor the internal temperature.  You want to keep it in the 360 to 380 range, to the degree you can.  I kept on having to turn the other burners lower.

Just chilling.

Just chilling. 1/2 hour in.  Award for the blog comment with the best suggested caption. (Example: “Can a chicken get some privacy?”)

I keep a small bowl of olive oil with salt/pepper near the grill, and baste every 20 minutes or so.

Keep the chicken on the grill for about an hour and fifteen minutes, or more importantly, until the breast temperature hits 165, and the thigh temperature hits 180.

A little bit later..

I know, I know.  It looks so wrong.





Do not drink.

Do not drink.  In case you are wondering, the can still has a good deal of beer in it afterwards.  And it smells like rosemary/thyme.




Sorry vegetarians, but this is to show you how moist and delicious it turned out


Platter o meat.

Probably won’t win a James Beard award for presentation.  But then again, I don’t think there’s a James Beard category for Beer Can Chicken.

Dinner. Bon appetit (chicken, baked eggplant, yogurt with onions, and kale salad).

Dinner. Bon appetit (chicken, baked eggplant, yogurt with onions, and kale salad).  For the record, all of the other healthy looking stuff was made by my mother-in-law. And for the other record, this is a picture of the Josie Girl’s plate.  Mine had much more food, dark meat, starch, and chicken skin on it.

This recipe is actually really simple, and is definitely a great way to make moist chicken.  Enjoy!

Ken Natori, aka, The Josie Girl’s hubby

Josie Girl


  1. That chicken looks way too human sitting down on the beer can. Too funny!

  2. Reminds me of the Friends episode with turkey on Monica’s head!! 😀

  3. Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so
    she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  4. Hey great post. So many great pictures it makes me wish it was summer time!
    I like the fresh thyme idea, and thought you’d like to know about my blog…just in case you want to make MORE beer can chicken! ; )

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