For the beer, any cheap beer is fine but as most chefs will tell you, if you wouldn't drink it then don't cook with it. So it's really just a matter of preference. That being said, many microbreweries in Michigan and beyond are pivoting from bottles to cans (clap your hands) both to lessen their environmental impact and, let's be honest with ourselves, to save on production and distribution costs. Ideally, a crisp pilsner would be perfect for this but it seems like there are more great beers available in cans each day, so just go with what you like.
Another thing you'll want to do is use a nice dry rub, both inside and outside the skin, on your bird. Dry rubs are fantastic because they add a ton of flavor without burning like barbecue sauces and oils. Fear not though, you can still baste the bird in sauce at the end of the grilling process and it will come out perfect and crispy. For our chickens, we used a basic but delicious spicy barbecue rub and sauced (the birds) ten minutes before pulling them off the grill.
Here is what you'll need to make delicious and tender Beer Can Chicken this summer for you and the rest of your hungry Rohirrim.
- 1/3 chili powder
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 1/4 salt
- 2 tbs black pepper
- 2 tbs cayenne pepper
- 2 tbs paprika
- 3 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 sweet onion (placed in neck of chicken to keep steam in during grilling)
- 1 whole chicken (Mert's Speciality Meats are my favorite.)
Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Massage the chicken inside and out with the rub. Let it stand for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
Drink a third of a beer and place red pepper flakes and smashed garlic cloves in the can. Place the chicken over the can and balance the bird on the beer can and the two legs of the chicken. Cover the neck using the piece of onion to keep in the steam.
Grill on Indirect heat at 400 degrees for 65-75 minutes depending on size of bird. Brush bird with Open Pit sauce during the last 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 and then carve the chicken and serve with plenty of cold beer.