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Beer Can Chicken with Spice Rub

Have you had beer can chicken?  If not, you really need to try it.  Because of the way it’s cooked, it’s crispy on the outside but the beer keeps it moist and tender on the inside.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ, chicken, grilling, poultry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 268 kcal


  • 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 can beer can use alcohol free beer or pop

For Spice Rub:

  • 2 tbsp non-iodized salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder or use jarred or fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp onion powder or minced onion
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper  McCormick Blazin' Bourbon Pepper is a good substitution too!


  1. Simply mix the dry rub ingredients together.

  2. Remove the giblets if needed and pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

  3. Give the chicken a rubdown with some olive oil and then with the dry rub. 

  4. Make sure to rub it all over the chicken, getting into all the creases and folds (under the wings and such).  You can rub this on just before you cook the chicken but letting it sit on the chicken for a while (as you would with a liquid marinade) makes it even better. 

  5. I usually apply the rub in the morning before I’m going to cook the chicken, although you could even do it the night before. 

  6.  I like to use some of the rub on the inside of the chicken too for added flavour.

  7. Spray the beer can with some cooking spray for ease of removal.  I also spray the grill surface to prevent the rub and juices from sticking to it.  If I’m using a beer can chicken pan or using a roasting pan or something similar to make this in the oven instead of the grill, I also cover those with foil and then spray with cooking spray to make the cleanup much easier. 

  8. Place the beer can on a flat surface and shove the cavity of the chicken down over the beer can. 

  9. Cook the chicken over medium-high indirect heat, covered for about an hour and a half. If roasting in the oven, I set it at 425 degrees F.

  10. I usually check it at the one hour point and then every 15 minutes thereafter until it’s done.  You want the internal temperature reading with a meat thermometer to read 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh. 

Nutrition Facts
Beer Can Chicken with Spice Rub
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 1823mg79%
Potassium 245mg7%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 276IU6%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.