Smoked Beer Can Chicken, this delicious and easy recipe, is tender and full of flavor! All you need is some beer, your favorite dry rub, and a chicken!
This recipe is so easy and actually really fun to make. It produces a really moist chicken that is full of smoky flavor and meat that practically falls off the bone.
If you want more of my favorite smoked chicken recipes don’t miss my smoked chicken legs, quarters, and spatchcock (coming soon)! I also have this smoked turkey breast, smoked ribeye, and smoked deviled eggs recipes that I love!
What you need for beer can chicken:
Whole Chicken- 4-5lbs
12 oz can of beer- half full (so technically 6 oz of beer)
Favorite Dry Rub- I used a Mango Chipotle Rub but you can make your own too! I love using this recipe. (affiliate link)
Optional: Beer Can Rack- this just makes moving the chicken on and off the smoker sooooo much easier. (affiliate link)
How to make smoked beer can chicken?
Pat chicken dry then sprinkle with your favorite dry rub.
Take your can of beer and drink or pour out half. Carefully place your chicken over the can of beer and transport to your preheated smoker.
Smoke the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
The general consensus is a lager, but I haven’t really found I could taste a difference. Use what you have is what I recommend.
Use a can of soda (half full). It will be just as tasty!
Always smoke to an internal temperature of 165°F. That being said a 4lb chicken should take around 3-4 hrs. to smoke.
Depending on the size of the chicken, the temperature of the smoker, and the temperature of the day (ie a winter day vs summer day), can all play a role in how fast your chicken cooks.
Helpful Tip: Using a larger can of beer can help with stability if you don’t have a beer can rack. Just empty the can half way of liquid and proceed with the recipe as normal.
What to serve with beer can chicken?
- Smoker- I used my Camp Chef Pellet Smoker, but this works great in a Wood Smoker too!
- Smoker Thermometer- I love my Thermoworks Smoke thermometer.
- Instant Read Thermometer- I like to spot check the turkey once it reaches the temperature on my smoke thermometer. I use a Thermapen One.
- Pellets or Wood Chips- whichever is your favorite for poultry
How to store leftover chicken?
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze leftover chicken?
Yes. Freeze cooked chicken in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
What to do with leftover chicken?
- Cook chicken until it has an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
Watch how to make this recipe!
Smoked Beer Can Chicken
- 4-5 lb whole chicken
- 12 oz can of beer half full, at room temperature
- Dry Rub*- I used the Mango Chipotle Dry Rub from Camp Chef
- Preheat smoker to 225°-250°F.
- Coat the chicken with the dry rub.4-5 lb whole chicken, Dry Rub*- I used the Mango Chipotle Dry Rub from Camp Chef
- Open the beer, a reduce liquid amount to half a can (pour out half the beer or drink it!)12 oz can of beer
- Place the chicken on the beer can- inserting the can into the cavity. If you have a beer can baking rack, place the can in the center, then place the chicken over the center.
- Smoke chicken until a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165°F is reached. If you want crispy chicken, I recommend pulling the chicken off at 155°F and placing in an oven that has been preheated to 400°F for 5-10 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- *If you want to make your own dry rub, I recommend this one I used on my chicken leg quarters, alternatively you can use any premade dry rub that you prefer.
- * Using a larger can of beer can help with stability if you don’t have a beer can rack. Just empty the can half way of liquid and proceed with the recipe as normal.
- *You can also use a soda can if you don’t want to use beer!