« Food & Drinks

Beer-Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue Sauce

by Joe Cassady

Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell 

This recipe is awesome! I found it 10 years ago in the July 2003 edition of Cooking Light.

For this recipe you will need 1 12-ounce can of beer, 1 cup of hickory wood chips, 2 teaspoons of kosher or sea salt, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper, 1 4-pound whole chicken, and cooking spray.

For the sauce, use 1/2 cup of cola, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce,

1/2 teaspoon of instant onion flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of instant minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of steak sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.

Open the can of beer. Drink half. Carefully pierce the top of beer can with a can opener several times and set aside. To prepare chicken, soak wood chips in water 1 hour. Combine salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper, then set aside.

To prepare grill for indirect grilling, place a disposable aluminum foil pan in the center of the grill. Arrange charcoal around foil pan. Heat to medium heat.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water, then pat dry. Trim off the excess fat. Starting at the neck cavity, loosen the skin from the breast and drumsticks by inserting your fingers, gently pushing between the skin and meat.

Rub 2 teaspoons of spice mixture under the loosened skin. Rub 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture in the body cavity. Rub 2 teaspoons of spice mixture over the skin. Slowly add the remaining spice mixture to the beer can. Be careful, the salt will make the beer foam. Hold the chicken upright with the body cavity facing down, insert the beer can into the cavity.

Drain wood chips. Place half of the wood chips on hot coals. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Place chicken on the grill rack over the drip pan. Spread the legs out to form a tripod to support the chicken. Cover and grill for 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the meaty portion of the thigh registers 180°. Add the remaining wood chips after 1 hour and charcoal as needed.

Lift the chicken slightly using tongs. Place spatula under the can. Carefully lift the chicken and can. Place on a cutting board. Let stand for 5 minutes. Gently lift the chicken using tongs or insulated rubber gloves. Carefully twist the can and remove from the cavity. Discard the skin and can.

To prepare the sauce, combine the cola and the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes. Cool, then serve with chicken.



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