Grilled Beer Can Roasted Whole Chicken

Grilled Beer Can Roasted Whole Chicken

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Summer is here…almost…if Mother Nature could just stop being so fickle! LOL

I pulled out an old family favorite for my meal prep this week. I need something to pull out for dinner one night this week that can just be reheated and paired with some simple sides! Hmmm…grilled beer can roasted whole chicken would fit that bill perfectly!

On to the chicken…although this recipe has been around for a while it’s nice to have as part of your standard recipes. You know the ones that look great dressed up for Sunday dinner, or have a starring role as part of your meal prep for the week. The best part is, it’s out of my kitchen and on the grill.

I have a family of big eaters so I started off by getting a 3 1/2 – 4 pound chicken from the grocery, or usually the biggest whole chicken the butcher has that day. Who’s kidding though, the leftovers can easily be translated into lunches or weeknight dinners. I cleaned out the guts (your choice if you want to cook these up or toss), and threw away the neck but cooked the other parts to chop up into my German Shepard’s evening meal. She loves this! You will need a beer can chicken rack to cook this.


You will need one 12-ounce can of the beer of your choice, poultry seasoning, some sliced red onion, half a carrot, and a stalk of celery cut in half.

Insert the beer can into the rack then carefully position your bird on top. Then cover the bird in poultry seasoning. I find it way easier to do this after the bird is positioned, because when done beforehand it just seems like a lot of it comes off on my hands. This causes me to have to do it a second time. Stick the veggies through the neck cavity. It’s okay if they poke out! 😉


I cook this outside on my grill for more flavor, with a little smoke added. Preheat your grill to 350-degrees or so. We’re going to cook this over indirect heat on the grill, so set your chicken to one side and leave one burner on high for a three-burner grill. If you have a four-burner then one farthest away needs to be on high and the next one on low, otherwise, you won’t have enough heat to cook it properly.  I added a smoker box over the direct heat with your favorite flavor of wood chips. This is convenient because I can add the smoke without firing up the big smoker if I want the added layer of flavor.

The cook time on this is about three hours. It’s a fix and forget, as long as your home kind of thing. Mostly, I cook these on a Sunday afternoon but if you get home early on a Friday you would still have plenty of time to fix this.

This is one of the easiest things to do on the grill for a beginner, as long as, your mindful of the heat. One Sunday afternoon, Mr. MondayIsMeatloaf wanted to get a nap in. No problem, I said. I can cook the chicken on the grill. Well….I misheard the directions or didn’t pay close attention to them. I turned all the burners on high, and promptly set the grill on fire. Yep, you guessed it we ate out that night because the chicken had turned to charcoal!


About one and half hours later you’ll want to turn the chicken 180-degrees then let it cook another one and half hours….


Doesn’t she look lovely? Cook for another 1 1/2-hours and check to see if the internal temperature is 165-degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, then you will see if the legs and wings are wiggling nicely. If they are still firm then it’s probably to soon to take her off the grill. Prior to investing in a meat thermometer we had a lot of disappointing meals where the food was under or overcooked. The best thing I ever did was to get one and start using it. Once the bird is done then you can take it off the grill, and let it rest for ten minutes then serve.


Beer Can Roasted Whole Chicken on the Grill

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds

1 beer in a can, 12 ounces

Poultry Seasoning

Red onion, sliced

Carrot, halved

Celery, halved



  1. Preheat grill, one burner on high (3-burner) or one burner on high plus one on low (4-burner). Clean chicken and remove bagged chicken parts from inside.
  2. Insert beer can into beer can rack, and position chicken on top. Rub poultry seasoning generously over the entire chicken.
  3. Cook for 1-1/2 hours then turn the chicken 180-degrees. Continue to cook for 1-1/2 hours more. Check to see if chicken is done, and if so remove from grill. Rest for 10 minutes prior to serving.

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