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Beer Butt Chicken

Checking progress

Beer Butt Chicken

Mike Freise
A simple to prepare main course you can make in the oven or on the grill. Steamed inside, roasted outside. Spiced as you like it, and it involves BEER!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • Oven: A large pan, baking dish to contain the chicken, juices and any beer that may spill.
  • Beer can holder as shown below in the recipe
  • Grill: Just a beer can holder as shown. You can do without if you're careful.
  • Temperature gauge
  • Extra beer
  • Small sharp knife.
  • Small piece of aluminum foil


  • 1 5 LB Chicken Try to locate an organic, free-range, farm raised fresh if you can. Bell n Evans is a good choice.
  • 1-12 12 oz Beers.
  • 1 TBSP Smoked paprika
  • 1 TSP Garlic powder
  • 1 TSP Rosemary-crushed
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves-smashed
  • 1/2 TSP Coarse black pepper
  • 1 TBSP Vegetable oil. NOT OLIVE OIL, as it will burn in the high heat and smoke up your kitchen.
  • 1 TBSP Coarse salt for the outside of the chicken
  • 1 TSP Coarse black pepper for the chicken


  • I have shown each step in photos below in the comment section.
  • Lower the rack into your oven to the lowest level. Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Dry off chicken and score fat regions along the legs, thighs, back. This will crisp up the skin at the high oven heat. Rub chicken with vegetable oil and salt and pepper.
    scored fat region
  • Open and remove 3 ounces of the beer, Widen the can opening and add in the garlic cloves, garlic powder, pepper, smoked paprika and rosemary. Place can into holder and put into your pan.
    Beer removal.
  • Place chicken onto the beer can and carefully place into your oven.
    Beer in holder
  • Beer in chicken butt on the can.
  • Set timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off turn oven down to 350F.  If the chicken starts to get too dark before it reaches the proper internal temperature, you can tent a piece of foil over the top to protect the skin from burning.
  • Depending on the chicken size and your oven, start checking after 75 minutes or so.
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  • Roast until you temp in the thigh region of 165.
  • FYI: The FDA Food Code recommends cooking chicken to 165°F (74°C). But the pasteurization of chicken is actually a function of both temperature and time. If you can hold your chicken at 145°F (63°C) for 8.5 minutes, you can achieve the same bacterial reduction as at 165°F (74°C).
    Temp higher than desired.
  • When the chicken reaches the desired temp, remove from oven and allow to sit in the pan for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to relax. You can carve the chicken as it is in the pan.


The spices I selected are what I used when I made this. You can substitute other spices if you want. For example, you can use a mix of Spanish or Mexican spices to make a more spicy flavor. Or, use Italian herbs, or Indian spices. The beer steams the inside of the chicken and the spices in the beer gently adds a mild flavor. So if you use hot spices it won’t make the chicken extremely spicy. Be adventuresome and try something new.  
scored fat regionBeer in chicken butt on the can.Checking progressTemp higher than desired.
Keyword BEER
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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