Beer in the Rear Chicken

This recipe has certainly become more popular in the last few years. While these are the suggested seasoning ingredients, I usually make up my own from several of my seasoning mixes I get at my favorite spice shops. This is one of our favorites to make on a week-end day in the summer.

1 whole chicken 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 pounds, gizzards removed, rinsed well, and patted dry

Olive oil

1 can beer


2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons paprika

3/4  tablespoon black pepper

1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt

1 teaspoon hickory-smoked salt or more coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well. 


1.) Rub or spray olive oil over chicken.

2.) Sprinkle chicken inside and out with SOME of the rub.

3.) Pop the top of the beer can and poke a few extra holes in the top, using can opener .

4.) Pour off 1/2 off the beer and sprinkle the remaining rub into the can.

5.) Holding the chicken by the neck cavity, fit the beer can into bottom cavity.

6.) Place the chicken on the grill, upright, with beer can and legs forming a "tripod". Wrap with foil.  

7.)  Cook on medium low for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, until chicken is no longer pink and flakes.  (We had a 5.7 pound chicken, cooked it for 2 hours and it fell apart when we took it off the grill so it was nicely done) Can spread with a barbecue sauce 1/2 hour before serving. 


VARIATIONS: Slit skin and put seeded quarters of jalapeno between the skin and meat, then rub with Hidden Valley Dressing. 

Experiment and use any spice mix you want.

Place slice of onion, apple and celery into cavity with beer can.  

If you can use wood chips: 2 cups wood chips or chunks, preferably apple or hickory, soak for 1 hour in the extra 1/2 can of beer and water to cover, then drain. 

Can also use cola, lemon-lime soda, or root beer.