Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Injection Recipe!

Smoked Beer Can Chicken Recipe

You knew it had to come sooner or later.  EVERYBODY does these things, right?  The beer can chickens are pretty cool.  I’m going to do my best to put an extraordinary twist on a popular recipe.

Make no mistake, it would turn out ok if you just plopped a whole chicken on a can of beer and smoked it.  But this is Extraordinary BBQ, so I’ve got to take it up several notches.

How to Prepare a Beer Can Chicken

It starts with stuffing a couple of garlic cloves, some peppercorns, and some fresh thyme into a half full can of beer.  Yes, this recipe calls for you to drink half a can of beer.  Deal with it.

Stuff herbs into the beer can

Next you carefully pull up the skin on the breast and pour some basic chicken rub down there.  Yea, pour it down both sides.  That’s good stuff.  Then dump some inside the cavity.  Why not.

Season under the skin

Now you have to slather your bird all over with olive oil.  This gives it a gorgeous brown color.  Then go ahead and dump more rub all over it.  When you’re done, go ahead and stuff the whole chicken on that beer can.

No, I’m not done.  The next step is injecting your bird.  I used butter, apple juice, a dash of hot sauce & Worcester sauce, and some salt.

Last step:  Bacon.  Because there’s never – NEVER – anything wrong with bacon.  So take a couple of slices, stuff half of them down the top, and drape the other half down the breasts.  Extra moisture and flavor.  Mmmm.  Bacon.

Put Bacon on the Bird

This is what happens when I turn my back to clean my grill and leave the girls alone with the bird.

Smoke the Beer Can Chicken

I smoked mine with indirect heat on my Weber Performer, using only fruit wood, at about 300 degrees. You will want to use about 50 charcoal briquettes that are fully lit and banked on one side of the grill.

Smoke the chicken for an hour and 45 minutes – until internal temperature of the breast was 165F.  Depending on the size of your chicken and heat of your grill this may vary.

If you are using a Weber kettle like I was then you may need to rotate the bird so the breast is away from the heat.  Just keep an eye on things and checking the internal temperature.

Serving the Chicken

Okay guys, this part is IMPORTANT so pay attention.

When the chicken is finished smoking you have to remember that it is sitting on a can of scalding hot liquid.  Be extremely careful when removing the bird from the grill and taking it off of the beer can.  You do NOT want to burn yourself by spilling hot beer on your hand.

Once the bird is off of the beer can go ahead and carve it up and dig in!

Fully Cooked Chicken

Very juicy, tasty, and fun. This was a nice change of pace from our standard Whole Smoked Chicken that we usually cook!

I hope you enjoy cooking your beer can chicken as much as we did.

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Smoked Beer Can Chicken {Injected with Flavor}

A great recipe to have some fun on your grill!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 333 kcal


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 can of beer with half...removed.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 2-3 slices of bacon
  • 1 tbs peppercorns
  • Basic Chicken Rub

For injection

  • 1/2 c apple juice
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs hot sauce
  • 1 tbs worcestire


  • First, for injection, combine all ingredients in small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • For beer can, remove/drink half of beer, then stuff garlic, peppercorns and thyme inside.
  • Gently pull skin away from meat with finger, and dump chicken rub underneat skin.
  • Dump more rub inside the cavity.
  • Place chicken on can of beer so it's standing up.
  • Inject both breasts and legs.
  • Rub olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle rub everywhere.
  • Stuff half of each bacon slice into the neck, laying the other half down the breasts.
  • Smoke using indirect heating at 300 degrees for 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on size of bird.
Keyword Smoked Beer Can Chicken

9 thoughts on “Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Injection Recipe!

  1. Just finished for the 2nd time today with the “smoker” tube of applwood pellets. My experience was, with all the heat coming from this CharBroiler smoker option (using Kingsford Briquettes) there was no air (oxygen) going into the top portion of this CharBroiler, so the tube of applewood pellets would not stay lit or smoke. I am using a pin-point BernzOmatic butane torch to light it. The flame is a needle point and I lit nearly half of the pellets through the holes in the stainless steel octagon “tube”. I had the heat at 300 degrees F from the lower smoker box, so I think there was no oxygen to keep the pellets active and smoking.

    HOWEVER, with minimal smoke and no bacon strips used (they were frozen at 3PM when I started this process), I did follow all the other directions. Same injection recipe; same “basic chicken rub” inside the chicken, under the skin and on the outside after rubbing with olive oil. I have a digital remote thermometer that measures the temp inside the cooking chamber and the internal temp of the meat in the breast away from the bone. I cooked to 160 F then let it rest and internal temp did rise to 165F. ONCE AGAIN, it was simply amazing, moist throughout the entire bird! One large roasting hen easily fed 4 adults with leftovers. We also had broccoli w/cheese and mashed potatoes (cooked with sour cream and Philly cream cheese and butter). A simply AMAZING Meal! Thank you so very much for your website and your recipes! Got me thinking about Farmer Style or Country Style pork ribs. They are a cut off a pork shoulder. What if those were injected with rendered pork fat (instead of butter) and the sweet and hot and spicy parts of BBQ sauce before cooking? Those are usually dry inside. I think the injected fat and other stuff would do the same for those ribs as your Chicken injection does to moisten the breast meat. Just an idea.

    1. I meant to say INTERNAL (meat temp) was 160F when I took it off the cooker then, after a rest the internal temp was at least 165F in the thigh, the drumstick and the breast measured away from the bones before serving. The rest time also alows the juices to be re-absorbed back into the meat. The cooker was held between 280-305 degrees F the entire time for about 2-1/2 hours (large bird).
      Again, DELICIOUS! I highly recommend!

  2. I tried the entire recipe word-for word with a good hoppy India Pale Ale. BEST BEER CAN CHICKEN I’ve ever had! The breast meat was out of this world moist and flavorful! That was the end of Autumn last year. Today is September 15th, 2018 and I am doing it again. This time, I am using kingsford briquettes in the smoker for heat and a stainless steel hexagon tube. It is sold on Amazon and is perforated all over. I filled it with applewood pellets and lit it off with a torch then placed it inside the grill section of my “CharBroiler” smoker/grill. It is giving off lots of smoke for flavor, so this method separates the task of making smoke and providing heat. I will let you know how it turns out. P.S. Here is a link for the smoking tube:

  3. I’m going to get my Meats today,Bacon & Beer and ingredients.
    I’m putting it on my Electric Smoker I guess at 275 degree. Do I need to use my Water Pan or Not??????? Little Help Please!🍻 👍 😕

    1. Your call entirely. I almost always use water, but using the beer can method, you certainly don’t need it. It will stay juicy. Have fun!

  4. Kevin, I did the Beer Can Chicken exactly like your recipe said (minus bacon, only cause I didn’t have any handy) and man oh man the family went nuts. It was melt in your mouth good. Best chicken I have ever cooked. Thanks for posting your recipes. Happy New Year. Did steaks the other night night too and seared them on a hot gas grill like you said and they were great too. I have an awesome recipe for a marinade that I used that I will share if you’re interested. Marinaded some plain ole strip steaks from wally world and they put most restaurant NY strips to shame.

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