On the coast of Central and Northern California autumn is a great time of year. The heavy fog the hugs the coastline in the summer is finally gone, and the days are clear and warm. Beer can chicken is a fun way to make the most of those $0.99 per pound (or less) sales on whole chickens.
You will need:
A whole roasting chicken, cleaned and seasoned
A can of beer (a soda can work too, 7-Up is a good choice)
A wire rack to hold it. (Optional, but a good idea)
Clean your chicken by removing any “treasures” left inside (kidneys, heart etc.) Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub with oil and season inside and out with your favorite rub for chicken. I used a Weber Beer Can Chicken Seasoning which my mom gave to me. If you don’t have one, a mix of salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary is nice.
Place the chicken “sitting up” over the beer can and use the legs to balance it. Or, a much easier method is to use a wire rack specifically made to hold beer can chickens. I purchased mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $6 at the start of summer. It works well, but I wish I had found one like my mom has with handles–it makes it easier to remove the finished bird from the grill. They even make a double holder with handles so you can cook two chickens at once. Great for a BBQ party – if you’re cooking one, you might as well do two.
Grill over medium heat (350° to 450°) for 1½ to 2 hours. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. The thickest part of the thigh should reach 180 when done. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
For more complete details check out the Weber website’s Beer Can Chicken Recipe. Serve with a salad and corn on the cob for a terrific meal.