Beer Can Chicken


Well alright, since you’ve all asked so nicely here is a blog post. I’m not going to talk about how lax I’ve been on the blog because I seem to have started the last three or four posts with that. Truth is, I got married. No biggie. Oh, no, wait, it was a HUGE deal! Got married, had the big white dress, the awesome band and the most amazing honeymoon EVER!!!!! So, now as my tan fades, my neck peels and my hand cramps up from thank-you letter writing; the best form of procrastination is the blog!

That’s why I love my blog, it is the most wonderful distraction. I’ll never make any money out of it (if you are reading this and want to make a movie out of it or give me a book deal that would also great) but it’s the distraction of it I love, after all that’s why I started it in the first place.

Now I’m married and all grown up I will be attempting to get back on the blog and get back to the recipes as well as restaurant reviews. I’ve got a posh new camera as well – so the recipe shots will be dead posh! Not the restaurant ones because my life is too short and my food too important to me to lug around a big posh camera.

The BBQ made its debut of the year over the weekend. I’ve always wanted to try beer-can / beer-butt / beer-bum chicken and I didn’t fancy charred sausages and burgers.

I half followed a Jamie Oliver recipe, or at least I thought I had completely followed it until this morning when I saw a whole other section I’d completely failed to read. It involved painting the chicken which I’m glad I didn’t bother with as this was lush. Turns out our BBQ isn’t as tall as I thought it was (story of my life) and so instead of doing proper beer can chicken we ended up putting it in a roasting tin swimming in beer still on the BBQ though so the flavour was fantastic and it was so flippin’ juicy!

Here is the recipe:

Serves 4

(with a couple of bits leftover for a sandwich or two)

1 x medium chicken (as good as you can afford)
1 heaped tablespoon smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 heaped tablespoon fennel seeds
1 heaped tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 heaped teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tablespoon soft dark brown sugar
1 – 2 cans of lager (I used Kronenbourg)
2 tablespoon olive oil

  • Place ALL the dry ingredients into a pestle and mortar and grind until it is a powder.


  • Place unwrap your chicken and place it in a large sandwich bag and pour the olive oil over the top of the bird – rub the oil all over the bird through the bag
  • Tip the spice mix into the bag and rub around the bird until it is covered in all over
  • Seal the bag and leave in the fridge for at least an hour
  • While the bird is chillin’ in the fridge, light your BBQ so that it is good and hot for the chicken, ours is a proper charcoal BBQ so takes around 20 minutes to get up to the right heat. Gas is obviously quicker but not as smokey.
  • Open one can of beer, drink a 1/3 of it and place on a chopping board
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge and then from its bag. Cut the elastic strings that hold the legs together and place on top of the beer can so that there is very little of the can visable.


  • Pop it on the BBQ for about an hour or until the juices run clear
  • As an alternative, or, if your BBQ is small but perfectly formed like ours, place the chicken on a roasting tin (try not to use your posh Le Cruset one – one of those aluminium ones would work well), pour the beer around the chicken and place on the grill rack on your BBQ
  • After about 30 mins all the beer had gone, so I put another whole beer into the pan
  • Once it’s done – roughly carve it up (this isn’t a posh Sunday roast) and place on a serving dish with a couple of spoonfuls of the juices poured over so it stays nice and moist for people to help themselves. Serve with liberally buttered Jersey Royals and something green; either a salad or I did a kale, asparagus and pomegranate salad.IMG_4503

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