Smoked Beer Can Chicken Recipe

1h 30m

Place a whole chicken on top of your favourite can of beer. This will keep the bird juicy while a barbecue rub and hickory wood chunks give it a delicious and smoky flavour. With a crispy exterior and exceptionally moist meat, this smoked beer can chicken will stand up to even your toughest critics.



1 whole chicken, 1.4 to 2.2 kgs
½ can of beer, preferably a lager
handful hickory wood chunks

Barbecue Rub

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper

Beer Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup
¾ cup beer, preferably a lager
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your smoker to 160°C.
  2. Combine brown sugar, smoked paprika, chilli powder, salt, garlic powder and black pepper in a bowl and mix with your fingers to break up any lumps. Generously apply the rub on all sides on the chicken.
  3. Insert the half can of beer into the chicken’s cavity to make it stand breast side up. Place the bird in your smoker and add 3 to 4 wood chunks to hot coals for smoking. Cook for 1 hour.
  4. Combine ketchup, beer, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt and pepper in a saucepan or skillet and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Brush the chicken with the beer barbecue sauce. Cook until the internal temperature in the deepest section of the chicken reaches 75°C, about 30 minutes.
    HOT TIPUse an instant read thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the chicken.
  6. Remove the chicken from the smoker and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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