Setting a whole chicken over a beer can keeps the meat moist and the skin crisp.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Salt-curing time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Way to grill: Indirect medium heat (350° to 450°F)
Grilling time: 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1 whole chicken, about 5 pounds
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
For the rub:
- 2 teaspoons granulated onion
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon prepared chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 can (12 ounces) beer, at room temperature
- 4 handfuls hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
- Remove and discard the neck, giblets, and any excess fat from the chicken. Sprinkle the salt over the entire surface and inside the cavity of the chicken, covering it all like a light blanket of snow. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.
- Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water. Gently pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season it all over with the rub. Fold the wing tips behind the chicken’s back. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat.
- Open the beer can and pour out about half the beer. Using a can opener, make 2 more holes in the top of the can. Place the beer can on a solid surface. Plunk the chicken cavity over the beer can.
- Drain and add the wood chips directly onto burning coals or to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer’s instructions. When the wood chips begin to smoke, transfer the bird-on-a-can to the grill, balancing the bird on its two legs and the can, like a tripod. Grill over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the juices run clear and the internal temperature registers 170ºF in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Carefully remove the chicken and can from the grill (do not spill contents of the beer can, as it will be very hot). Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting it from the beer can and cutting into serving pieces. Serve warm.