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Beer Butt Chicken Recipe

Beer Butt Chicken (sometimes called drunken chicken) is a classic all American BBQ recipe. The beer effectively steams the meat from the inside and makes the most beautiful, tender moist chicken you have ever tried!

As a BBQ chicken recipe it requires cooking in a lidded BBQ – Weber and other kettle BBQs are especially good at cooking whole chickens, due to the spherical shape. No matter if you have some other type of BBQ, the end product comes out the same.

The cooking method is indirect as the heat radiates round the outside of the chicken similar to roasting it an oven; rater than directly, upwards at it, as in grilling. In fact you could just roast it in the oven.

Also the boiling beer from the can steams on the inside – a very efficient and safe way to cook chicken.

If you want to know how to barbecue a whole chicken safely, this is a good recipe to try. A 3-4lb chicken will serve 4 people.

Ingredients for Beer Butt Chicken

  • A 4lb chicken, free range or organic if you want
  • A can of Bud, or some other lite beer or lager – if you love beer, experiment a bit here.
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Either fresh ground salt and pepper
  • Or, better still a BBQ rub.


  1. Light up your BBQ and prepare to cook the BBQ chicken using the indirect BBQ method.
  2. Next make the rub, unless you’re just going for salt and pepper. Mix the olive oil with the rub.
  3. Grab your chicken and completely coat it in the rub. Or Coat it with the olive oil and cover it in fresh ground salt and pepper.
  4. Open the can of beer and drink half of it. Stand the can inside the BBQ and gently place the chicken over it, so that it goes inside the cavity.The chicken will look somewhat forlorn at this point, but it’s for a good cause. Close the lid.
  5. The chicken needs to BBQ at 400F for at least an hour, possibly 90 minutes, depending on how big it is.

The chicken will be cooked when the internal temperature is 180F, so grab your meat thermometer.

The old fashioned ways of experience work too. Try to break one of the legs off. If the joint pops out easily, it’s done.

Also if the meat is easy to pull off the bone and the juices run clear it’s a sign that it’s cooked.

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