Kev’s Beer Butt Chicken

This recipe came to us from reader Kevin Seiler, who just happens to be Nikol’s old roommie from Sandy Eggo. Kevin’s a former butcher and king of the grill and an all-around standup guy. So we weren’t at all surprised to learn he grills a standup chicken! This chicken is the juiciest, most mouthwatering bird you’ll ever try. The beer inside the cavity steams the chicken from the inside, keeping it moist and juicy, while the dry heat of the grill forms a nice crisp skin. I also like the aspect of theater when you cook it, because it looks so damned weird on the grill, people will wonder what brand of crack you switched to. Out of the Frying Pan Approved!

We used lemon, garlic, rosemary, and plenty of black pepper under the skin to season our chicken, then rubbed it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then secured the loose flaps at the bottom of the breast with a few toothpicks. Pair with our garlic and potatoes or roasted corn.

1 whole chicken
1 tall can o’ beer (16 ounce tallboy)
olive oil
4 cloves garlic crushed
salt and black pepper

seasoning for chicken (or use a seasoning blend or your own favorites):

4 cloves garlic, crushed
fresh basil
a pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper

your favorite beer (for marinating the chef!)

Start with a hot grill (coals all white and ready to cook). Drink about 1/4 of that can of beer. Set it aside 3/4 full and have a couple of full ones, real beer this time no sissy canned stuff.

Get the chicken ready for cookin’. Trim some of the fat, get rid of the giblets (here kitty kitty!). Rub liberally with your favorite meat rub. I prefer olive oil, basil, lots of fresh pressed garlic, salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Some folks like Zartarain’s or some such store bought concoction, but whatever.

Get a can opener or some such tool and open up the top of the can and drop in the crushed garlic.

Oil up the can and lower that chicken over top of it. The beer can goes into the chicken’s body cavity and allows the bird to stand upright.

Cover your grill and cook the chicken until its wings are loose and the skin turns clear. If your grill doesn’t have a cover, use a large stock pot to cover the bird.

Grilling times vary pretty dramatically from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of your bird and the heat of your coals. Use a meat thermometer to check for a breast (not touching the bone) temperature of 160 degrees. Waiting for the skin on the wings to turn clear is a good guideline if you don’t have a thermometer. (Not to nag, but why don’t you get one? Most grocery stores sell them for under $5.) Another test you can try is piercing the meat of the breast and thigh: the juices should be clear.

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