Smokin’ Recipe: Hot Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Who doesn’t love a juicy and flavorful chicken straight from the smoker or grill? The presentation and taste of smoked beer can chicken are guaranteed to impress your guests. While the science may suggest that the liquid inside the can isn’t crucial, it adds an element of coolness and aesthetics to the meal. At Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, we’ve been perfecting this recipe for years, and it’s always a hit with our family and friends.

Preparation and Cooking Details

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2-3 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225-275°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan and/or cherry


  • 2 whole chickens
  • Mayonnaise
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe
  • 2 cans of beer or a soft drink (we prefer root beer)

The Secret: Brining Poultry

We’re big fans of brining poultry to enhance its flavor and juiciness. The process involves soaking the meat in a salty water solution, allowing the salt and water to penetrate the meat fibers. This results in a more tender and flavorful chicken.

To make the brine, combine:

  • 1 gallon of cold water
  • 1 cup of coarse kosher salt (Morton’s is recommended)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar

Cover the chicken(s) with the brine mixture in a plastic, glass, or stainless steel container, and refrigerate for about 4 hours (1 hour per pound). Rinse the chickens afterward to remove any excess salt from the outside.

Seasoning the Chickens

For ultimate flavor, we recommend using Jeff’s original rub. While you can apply the rub directly to the skin of the chicken, we suggest mixing it with mayonnaise for a moist and savory coating. Combine 1 cup of mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons of the rub, and generously apply the mixture to the legs, wings, breast, back, and sides of the chicken.

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Setting up the Smoker

When it comes to cooking beer can chicken, a pellet grill offers versatility and excellent results. Preheat your smoker or grill to a temperature between 225 and 275°F. If your pellet grill has a smoke setting, choose that option. On other smokers, maintain a steady temperature of 275°F throughout the cook.

Place the chickens on the grate, ensuring they won’t tip over. You can use a foil pan to catch the drippings and keep the smoker clean. Allow the chickens to smoke for about an hour before increasing the temperature to 275°F.

The Smoking Process

Monitor the internal temperature of the meat using a reliable thermometer. Continue smoking until the thickest part of the breast reaches 165°F. This generally takes around 2 hours at 275°F. Remember to apply smoke throughout the cook for maximum flavor.

Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor

Once the chickens reach the desired temperature, remove them from the smoker and let them rest for 10 minutes under a foil tent. This allows the juices to distribute evenly, resulting in tender and succulent meat. Now it’s time to slice, serve, and savor the incredible flavors of your hot smoked beer can chicken.

For more mouthwatering recipes and BBQ tips, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. Get ready to elevate your grilling game to legendary status!