I know that beer can chicken is not a new idea, but it’s one that I’ve never tried.  So a couple of days ago  I decided it was time to give it a try.  To put my own spin on it, I thought it would be interesting to try lime flavored beer and then make a marinade with a bit of a Tex-Mex feel to it.  So into the marinade went lime juice, garlic, cilantro, smoked paprika and cumin along with a few other ingredients.

Getting the chicken ready for the grill was a snap.  It took almost no time to make the marinade and then the chicken went into the fridge to soak up all of that good flavor.  Once the chicken was done marinating, I put it on top of the beer can and put it on the grill to cook for about an hour over indirect heat.  My only problem with this was that it was very windy outside, so I was having trouble maintaining the grill’s temperature with indirect heat.  So I intermittently turned the burner under the chicken to low, but then I had some problems with flare-ups.  I don’t think maintaining the temperature would have been an issue if it weren’t windy.  So if you try this and you have any heat on directly under the chicken, just watch carefully for flare-ups.

The chicken turned out beautifully,  it was juicy and the skin was nice and crispy.  The flavor of the lime beer was subtly infused into the chicken and went perfectly with the flavors from the marinade.  Beer can chicken is definitely going to stay on my dinner rotation!


Beer Can Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, about 5 lbs
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 can lime flavored beer (I used Bud Light Lime)

Rinse chicken, remove anything from the cavity and pat dry, set aside.  In a large bowl (large enough to hold the chicken), combine lime juice, zest, cilantro, garlic and spices.  Whisk in olive oil in a slow stream.

Add chicken to the marinade and make sure chicken is well coated.  Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally.

To prepare chicken for the grill, open beer and pour off about half of the beer.  Insert can into the chicken’s cavity and set on a cookie sheet.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees.  Set beer can directly on the grate.  Turn the  burner directly under the chicken off and keep the other burners on high to maintain 400 degrees.  If you’re having trouble maintaining the temperature, turn the burner under the chicken to low, but watch carefully for flare-ups.  Keep lid closed.

Cook chicken for about 1 hour until the thigh meat reaches 160 degrees or the juices run clear.   With a clean kitchen towel, carefully remove chicken from the grill.  Allow to rest for about 15  minutes.  Then either cut into quarters or carve slices (I took a very sharp knife and cut it into quarters).


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