Beer Can Chicken Flavor

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by timrenner, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Hello all,

    I'm going to be entering a beer can chicken cook-off against my father this coming labor day and am looking for a few tips. I've done a few beer can chickens before and they turned out pretty well, but I can honestly say I haven't quite reached the taste of my dad's yet. Here's what I've got a few questions about:

    -cooking time: I'm using a green Brinkmann bullet smoker, running it at 260-275 degrees. I did one cook with the chickens (two) for five hours on the bottom rack and it seemed a little on the dry side (nobody complained, but I noticed). I'm definitely going to use the top rack next time, but I've still got one question regarding the cook time. What's the ideal time I should crack the smoker open and start checking for doneness?

    -seasoning: I've always been a little leery of adding too much seasoning, and as a result my birds are all smoke flavor and not much seasoned flavor. Is there a practical limit to the amount of seasoning added? What's the best amount to add?

    -x factor: Any other little "extra" tricks to use? I've just been slapping the chicken on and underneath the skin with dry rub, then putting it on the beer can and right onto the smoker. Is there a better way to maximize flavor that I'm missing? 

    Thanks everybody for your help! 
  2. I use a brine first 1 qt of water, 1/2 cp honey, 3/4 cp kosher salt put it all into a gallon zip lock back refrigerate for 1.5 hours to overnight

    The inject the bird with mixture of 1/4 cp melted butter, 1/8 cp of hot sauce, 1 tbsp of lime juice and for fun a shot of tequila

    for a rub I like Ted Reader's Bone Dust Rub on just about everything. 
  3. smokey paul

    smokey paul Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I would do some what the same as above,SmokeMN, but dont forget to add some of the rub to the 1/2 emty can of beer or soda pop, cut open the top of the can to let out the beer/soda to keep the inside most and spiced up. Also put a onion or garlic or something in the neck to hold back the moisture from the can. Use a GOOOOOD beer something you would drink... Could rub the outside with EEVO to keep the skin moist..  Good luck and Qviews of both would be good...

    Good smoking...
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  4. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As for time, dunno, you should be cooking by temp, not time. Do you have a digi thermo? Breast meat should be 167* when done, make sure you rest your bird after you pull it off the smoker, about 15-20 minutes should do, not too long or it will dry out.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm with the Junkie dude with this one to. Do you have a thermo-meter thingy. That could be the edge you have over your father. You should only take the chicken to maybe 165° in the breast. Then I would put spices and maybe some aromatics in the beer can for more flavor. So good luck and don't forget the Qview. But first can you stop into Roll Call and introduce yourself  and we can give you the big welcome we like to give to new members.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  6. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Allways brine my birds ,

     and here are two tips that i use.

     I don't use beer in the can all the time (sometimes i use seasoned apple juice)

    but when i do use beer it guiness stout.

     Also i add a table spoon of liquid crab boil to my brine and a tsp crab boil to the can no matter beer or juice.

     sounds like it's time to kick some dad butt.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  7. Smash some fresh garlic cloves and throw 2-3 in each beer.  Don't tell's the secret weapon.
  8. how did the contest turn out? 
  9. We'll be squaring off this labor day. There will be pictures.
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Run an experiment first.  In uprights, the top is often hotter than the bottom shelf, but that depends on the design, vents, etc.  Get some therms in there so you know how each shelf cooks.  Cooking whole yardbirds at a higher temp is normal if you want to use the skin. Some folks finish at higher temps to finish up the skin.  Other folks do beer can chicken on the grill rather than the smoker.

    As said before, cook to internal temp rather than time. 

    Again more experiments and experience.  Vary the flavors.  Brine and don't brine.  Figure what works for you, your family, and your guests.  Good luck and enjoy!
  11. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do my Beer Can Chicken at 300˚ and cook to temp
  12. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brian is right, no need for low & slow on poultry. And, you don't have to use a beer can. I've found chicken to stay more moist by placing the chicken in a casserole or ramiken like dish with beer in it. The beer flavor will be distributed more evenly than by just a can in the cavity. Just my experience and observation. Lastly, do use a meat probe to know when the bird has reached the cooked temp you are striving for. It's all good my friend.

Share This Page