Barbecue Beer Butt Chicken Recipe

Beer But Chicken Recipe

Like roast pork and apple sauce, chicken and beer go very well together and this excellent barbecue beer can chicken recipe not only helps to keep the meat nice and moist when cooking it on the braai, but the beer, herbs as well as the smoky flavour that you only get from a “weber roast” make for a unique and very tasty roast chicken.

Only on a Weber Barbecue?
You don’t have to use a Weber braai, any kettle type barbeque will do with lid large enough to cook a chicken standing upright and I suppose you could use a covered roasting tin on the grill of a standard braaivleis. Of course you do not even have to cook this recipe on the barbeque, as “beer can chicken in oven” works well although with most ovens you will have to lay the chicken on it’s stomach and you will miss out on the unique BBQ smoky flavour.


2 kg / 4-5 lb whole chicken
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 can of beer – brand at the discretion of the chef!

For The Rub
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried garlic, you can use crushed garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Add Flavoured Wood Chips to the barbecue for additional smoky flavours.

Prepare The Chicken

  1. Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out under water and remove and discard the neck, giblets, and any excess fat. Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel.
  3. Lightly brush or spray all over with the vegetable oil and season, inside and out, with the rub.
  4. Open the beer can and drink half of the beer then place the half-full can on a flat surface and slide the chicken over the top so the can fits inside the cavity.

Cooking the Chicken

Keeping the can upright, balance the chicken on its two legs on the grill of your barbecue. You can get special beer can chicken roaster grills (see image below) or ChickCAN Rack’s (see accessories at the bottom of the page) that help to keep the chicken steady whilst cooking, but if you are careful you can get away without using one.
Beer can chicken roaster grill

Barbecue over indirect medium heat until the juices run clear. During the cooking, try and keep the lid closed as much as possible.

Indirect Cooking Method

To cook this beer chicken recipe or most roasts in a kettle barbecue, you will use the “indirect cooking method” and to do this you pace two heaps of charcoal on opposite sides of the bottom grill, with a gap in-between. Weber bbq’s come with special grates or charcoal holders for this. In this way, the coals providing the heat are placed out to the side. When roasting or baking, the food is placed on the upper grill between the two fires, directly above a foil drip pan. This method of cooking is known as indirect cooking.

When you are almost ready to cook the meat, place a drip pan on the grate under the grill in the centre of the bbq between the two fires. This way the heat of the charcoal will not be directly under the chicken which would make it burn.
The pans will catch any fats, juices and bastes which fall from the chicken during cooking. When selecting a drip pan, it is important that the pan be large enough to catch all of the drippings from the food above.

During the cooking, try and keep the lid closed as much as possible.

Once cooked (juices run clear when you spike the chicken), carefully remove the chicken and the can from the braaivleis, being careful not to spill the beer as it will be hot. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting it from the can. Discard the beer.

Cut the chicken into serving pieces and serve warm.

Weber Barbecue’s for Beercan Chicken

Weber BBQTo cook beer butt chicken on the braai, the most important piece of equipment is the actual grill itself, I highly recommend a Weber. Amazon have a huge selection of Weber Barbecues and Accesories both in the US and the UK:

UK Shoppers UK
Weber Barbeque’s on

US Shoppers USA

Weber Bbq’s on

Beer Can Chicken Roaster - Chickcan GrillBeer Can Chicken Roaster Grills

Not essential, but a these purpose built stainless-steel racks, or ChickCAN’s let you cook a chicken via the beer can method with less worry about the hot can spilling or getting knocked over. A 12-ounce can of beer or soda fits securely in the stand’s center (which protrudes into the bird’s cavity), while the circular wire base spans a wire grill more securely than individual "feet" and supports a chicken up to four pounds in weight.

UK Shoppers UK
Beer Can Roasters on

US Shoppers USA

ChickCAN roasters on

Flavoured Woodchips for the BarbecueFlavoured Wood Chips

Alder, Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan, Oak, Tobasco and even Jack Daniel’s! Wood chips for the barbecue come in many flavours and add a fantasic and completely unique flavour to your roast chicken or any other meat.

UK Shoppers UK
Wood Chips on

US Shoppers USA

Wood Chips on