It’s probably not the oddest-looking bird you’ve ever seen on the grill, but this beer-can chicken is definitely not your average chicken, either.
The general instruction is straightforward: gulp down half a can of beer, set the bird on the half-remaining beer can, and then grill the thing. With that, you’ll get something that looks pretty much like what’s shown on the picture. The secret, however, to pulling off that great taste is in the preparation of the chicken. There’s a whole array of things to do: prepare the wash and the marinade, prime the bird, set up the grill, grill with even and indirect heat.
Chris Malloy of Men’s Health writes about Steven Raichlen’s “Beer-Can Chicken,” and why you shouldn’t miss it for the world.
Prepare the wash by combining lemon juice and salt. Immerse the chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand inside the fridge for 15 minutes.
Mash peeled ginger and garlic with salt in a large bowl using the back of a spoon until mushy. Add the rest of the ingredients: minced garlic, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, cayenne powder, black pepper, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Spoon the concoction over the chicken, ensuring that all sides are covered. Wrap the bowl and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours, turning it over every 3 hours.
You’re now ready to set up the chicken. With the beer in half, take off the tab and punch two evenly-spaced holes through the can’s top. Carefully lower the chicken onto the can until it snugly fits the chicken’s cavity. Extend the chicken legs forward to form a tripod with the can.
The Indirect Grill
To achieve fullness of taste, Raichlen highly recommends indirect grilling. If you’re grilling with charcoal, collect the glowing coals to the sides and position the beer-can chicken in the middle of the grill. If you’re cooking on a gas grill, you can set up the beer-can chicken on the turned-off middle burner and turn the burners on each side. Start indirect grilling and maintain a heat of 275 to 350 degrees fahrenheit. At this temperature, the bird’s skin won’t rupture, the oil drippings will less likely cause sudden flame-ups, and most importantly, the chicken will cook evenly. Cook for about 75 minutes or until fully golden brown, with inside temperature of 165 degrees at the thickest portion of the thigh. Use kitchen gloves or pot holders to remove the bird from the grill, taking extra care not to spill the boiling beer. Let your masterpiece stand for around 5 minutes to allow the juices to absorb. Present on a platter with cilantro, red onion, and lemon slices, or carve and apportion onto plates with the garnishing. Vikings dig in with their hands! Enjoy the meal!