Saturday, February 14, 2009

You want me to shove that beer can where?

Dear Tricia, Why would you shove a beer can into a chicken and cook it? What does that do?

Beer can chicken: One of the best ideas ever. Why? Because the first step in the recipe is "Open beer. Drink half." I don't care if you're trying to shove that beer can up an alarm clock... its already sounds like a winner.
The whole point of cooking a chicken with a half can of beer inside of it is the beer helps tenderize and flavor the chicken. The liquid basically steams the inside and makes it more tender and juicy. And the yeast, hops, malt, and barley completely change flavors when they're cooked, adding an incredible taste to the chicken.
Here's some tips when you've decided you're ready to grill up some beer can chicken.

1. After you've gotten rid of that pesky half a beer, use a can opener to take the top off the beer can. That gives the beer more room to escape and steam up the inside of the chicken.
2. Make sure you're putting the chicken upright on the beer can and that it will stand alone, just like in the picture. You don't want it to fall over and let the beer spill everywhere inside of it. Beer+ open flame isn't always the best combination, no matter how many half beers you've had.
3. Add some extra seasoning to the beer. If you have a favorite grill rub or want it to be spicy, add those seasonings to the beer before you put it inside the bird. I promise you'll be able to taste it.

There are actually some products specially devoted to making beer can chicken. I found one at that is meant safely holding the chicken upright and it holds the beer inside of it. Go check it out! Those people are really serious about their birds.
If its your first time making beer can chicken, I'd suggest having a "shove it up your chicken" party to celebrate. You know, hang some streamers, get a cooler full of half beers, blast some Michael McDonald... and when you do, send me pictures and I'll be happy to put them on the website.

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