Cookin' with coals baby!

(or in the oven if you wish)

Beer Butt Chicken

Beer Butt Chicken

It’s amazing the moisture and flavour that can be added to chicken by simply sitting it on a can of beer! Whether the chicken tastes better because of the gentle steaming and aroma from the beer, or simply because it cooks better in an upright position is a matter of some conjecture. What is true, however, is that it looks awesome standing-up on the table before serving and food that looks good, tastes better…


  • Six cans (440ml) of your favourite brew (1/2 can to use and the rest to keep you busy whilst it cooks)
  • 4 cloves garlic – crushed
  • Melted butter or olive oil for brushing
  • 1 whole chicken (weighing around 2-3kg)
  • Blues Chicken Rub


The recipe is written for those lucky enough to have a smoker; offset or kettle, makes no difference. However it is also possible to cook this in a conventional oven.
We also highly recommend that you use a temperature probe before you rest the chicken to make absolutely sure you have cooked the chicken completely.

Step 1

Preheat your BBQ/smoker/oven to a nice gentle 130-150C

Step 2

Place garlic in half empty beer can, brush beer can with butter or oil and set aside.
Rub Chicken with butter or oil and sprinkle with Blue’s Chicken Rub inside and out – slide the chicken over the beer can (drumsticks pointing downwards) so that most of the can is inside the bird and the bird sits upright on the opened can.
Place the chicken with beer can upright on a flat surface (roasting tray) into your smoker.  The temperature should sit at around 130-150C.
Add some pre-soaked hickory or Jack Daniels wood chips and add to the coals to create the smoke.

Step 3

Be patient, cooking takes approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours but we suggest you use a meat probe to ensure correct temperature (over 75C), ensure juices run clear before you remove from the BBQ/oven.
Take care when removing the chicken from the can as there will still be hot liquid in the beer can.

Step 4

Carefully cover your upright chicken in foil and a cloth to retain heat whilst it rests.

Step 5

Remember smoked chicken will give a pink tint to the meat, this is known as a smoke ring and is perfectly normal.