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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Absolutely the Best Beer Roasted Chicken

 By Derek Otto


Vertical Roasted chicken = Beer Can Chicken.
If you read anything online about cooking chicken you have probably heard of Vertical Poultry Roasters. You may also have heard of Beer Can Chicken. What you may not know is...they are essentially the same thing!
This article and recipe will give some tips to help you cook a great chicken either way.
Step One: The Bird
First, get yourself a nice bird. I have had good luck with the higher-quality, free-range type chickens, which also tend to have a better flavor than the cheapest chickens, usually labeled "Fryers." Another tip: get a bird that has some brine added. This adds dynamite flavor and juiciness grilled chicken and saves you the trouble of brining the bird yourself. Look for something on the package that reads "10% added broth" or the like.
Step Two: Spice Rub
The next step involves tossing some spices together to rub on the chicken. There are all kinds of Rub recipes - you can find them online on BBQ sites or in any number of cookbooks. There are two, basic rub recipes below. You can also buy Rubs in the spice aisle of the supermarket. Or you can use the basic recipe below.
Good Chicken Rub: Mix ground ingredients in a resealable jar and shake or stir to blend completely.
• 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
• 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
• 1 Tsp Coleman's Dry Mustard
• 1 Tsp Paprika
• 1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt
Apply a light coating of olive oil to the chicken. Then work the rub into the chicken skin thoroughly before you refrigerate for a few hours before cooking, and any extra rub inside the chicken. If you have time, it will improve the flavor to let the chicken sit in the fridge for 1-3 hours with before you light the coals.
Step Three: Open a Beer! Cook Beer Can Chicken
When you are ready to get started, open a tall can of beer and drink roughly a third of it. (Or save it for later)Another highly recommended item is a beer can chicken holder -- If you have a Beer Can Chicken can rack slide the open beer into the holder, then mount the bird on top of the can. If you do not have a can rack, position the bird on the top of the can. You want to form a tripod, with the two legs and the can supporting the bird on the grill.
Tip: Do this close to the grill, before you put it on the grill.
You will want to cook over indirect, medium heat. The best way to do that is to divide your coals into two rows on either side of the grill, with a drip pan in between. Put a little water or beer in the drip pan - that will keep the grease from catching on fire! Put that bird right over the drip pan, in between but not directly over your coals.
Note: If you are cooking the bird in the comfort and safety of your kitchen, start the oven at 400 degrees, place the bird on a lower rack on top of a solid baking pan or sheet. Close the oven door and then reset to 350. Check temp at 45 minutes.
If you are grilling, it's a good idea to stay close, rotating the chicken every ten minutes at first. You are looking for a good sear to start out, then you can carefully turn chicken every 20 minutes or so for a total cooking time of about an hour and ½. Make sure you rotate it at least enough to get even cooking all the way round.
Watch the clock because you probably will need to add 10 coals to each side of the grill after the first hour. That will keep your heat nice and even for the entire cooking time.
Take your meat thermometer if you have one and measure the temperature between the thigh and the body. We are looking for an internal temp of 165 degrees in the white meat; 175 in the leg and dark meat. Don't have a thermometer? Then you are checking for an even brown color all over the chicken and clear liquid running out if you stab it.
When the bird is done, be sure to have a handy flat surface to set the bird down on to cool.
Be careful! This can and bird are going to be very hot. Using a Spatula and Tongs, lift the can and bird off the grill as one, and set it all down carefully to cool. Congratulate yourself, and consider another beer - you just cooked Beer Can Chicken.
Let the chicken sit upright on the can for a bit to cool before you remove the can. You want the chicken to rest for 15 minutes or so before carving it up. Enjoy.
Derek Otto is a freelance writer, blogger and grill freak who relies heavily on his Weber 22" grill. It has a lid, which is important when you grill in Seattle during the wintertime. One of his blogging duties includes submissions for Beer Can Chicken -- a site dedicated to promoting all things Beer Can Chicken:

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow, that looks amazing. Just printed it out, thanks for sharing!