beer can bbq chicken
Back to cupcakes tomorrow, but my husband Mark is so proud of his barbequed beer butt *chook I thought I should share it with you.
I must admit I was dubious the first time Mark wanted to barbeque a beer can chicken, I thought it was just a "gimmick". I was wrong and it actually makes perfect sense; the chicken is being steamed from the inside resulting in moist chicken meat and the exterior heat gives you a crisp skin finish. With the combined heat cutting down the cooking time, bbq beer butt chicken becomes week night doable... plus no kitchen clean up!
It doesn't have to be beer... though Mark would disagree. It could be coca cola, rum & coke, lemonade etc... it just has to be a half full can.
Or you can skip the can altogether and buy a non-stick beer can chicken roaster like this one from Hark.
Hark non-stick beer can chicken roaster
Lets cook a chook...
Pour out half the contents of your can, you can use the beer to soak wood chips (chips need to be soaked overnight), save it to make sauce or just drink it. Now you're going to add flavour by adding straight to the can, it can be any combo you like; lemon or orange zest, squashed garlic cloves, fresh ginger, lemon grass, fresh or dried herbs, chilli and don't forget to add a bit of your chicken rub mix too. Punch a few extra holes in the top of your can using an old fashioned triangle bottle opener... or Marks method of stabbing a screwdriver or nail to form the holes.
If you are using a beer can roaster, add the flavouring combinations to water, wine or juice.
Rub the skin of your room temperature raw chicken (Mark used a free range 1.8 kilo/4 pound chicken) with your favourite BBQ rub. This chicken used a basic mix of equal parts smoked paprika, brown sugar and coarse sea salt... rubbed into the cavity of the chicken first then rubbed into the skin of a lightly oiled chicken. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Other flavour profiles include, Chinese five spice, cumin, italian seasoning mix, coriander powder, chilli, mustard powder, pre mix rubs, garlic salt, onion powder, etc.
add flavour to your can
The half full can is inserted into the chicken creating a tripod, resulting in this rather undignified position!
The chicken is cooked by the indirect heat method so in our case we have a hooded 4 burner gas BBQ (sorry BBQ purists); add wood chips to your smoking box or use foil sachets then the BBQ is preheated on high with all burners turned on. Once preheated turn 2 of the burners off, lets say the right hand side. Turn the other two burners on the left hand side down to medium. You should have a temperature of 180 cel or 360 F.
Position your chicken (drip tray in place) on the right hand side where the burners are turned off. Close the hood. For this sized chicken it took one hour and 20 minutes, this is included turning the chicken once as our heat is a little uneven. Use a meat thermometer if you are unsure about doneness.
That's it all done. You can go with the drama of serving it on the can, I prefer to remove the can (be careful it's hot, use tongs or heat proof gloves) then rest the chicken before carving.
Resulting chicken is super succulent
It's summer here at the moment so we served the chicken with simple salads.
* 'Chook' colloquial term used in Australia and New Zealand for chickens.
Happy BBQing :)
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