Oven Roasted Beer Can Chicken

A self-proclaimed domestically challenged friend emailed me today asking if I could share an easy, man-friendly recipe with her. The first thing that came to mind was beer can chicken. What is more manly than cooking with beer? Traditionally, beer can chicken is cooked on the grill, making it even more man-friendly. But, during the blizzard we had last winter, I discovered that you can make a pretty awesome beer can chicken in the oven!

Prior to moving to Chicago, I lived in California for 25 years. My family and I grilled dinner almost nightly. I went into serious grilling withdraw when I moved into my first apartment and discovered that grilling was prohibited on the roof! Luckily, we have a house now and can grill anytime we want. Unluckily, it is too cold to grill 5 months out of the year. Grilling has become a treat for me and a method of cooking that I look forward to every year. Obviously, roasting a chicken in the oven does not yield the same flavor that you get from grilling, but it is a good alternative for those long winter months.

Oven Roasted (aka Winter-friendly) Beer Can Chicken

Save the pan drippings for gravy!


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 can of your favorite beer (I used Modelo)
  • Olive Oil or Butter for rubbing on the chicken
  • Spice blend of your choice – I used a mixture of Adobo and Back of the Yards from my favorite spice shop in Chicago. Don’t buy anything special for this step, just use whatever you have on hand. If you do not have a spice blend on hand, use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Beer can chicken rack – These run for $6 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (don’t forget to use a 20% off coupon!) and make this recipe infinitely easier.


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Don’t skip this step. You want to put the chicken into a hot oven so the skin browns nicely as it cooks.
  2. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the chicken with olive oil or butter and coat with spice mix. Don’t forget to season under the wings!
  3. Pour out Drink 1/3 of the beer, you do not want the can to be completely full. Set the beer can in the beer can chicken rack and place the chicken on top of the beer can. Place the rack in a baking dish. Did you hear me? Place the rack in a baking dish. You need to put the beer can chicken rack in something while it bakes because the beer can will fill up with chicken juices and overflow making a total mess on the bottom of your oven. If the beer and juices hit the bottom of your oven, they are also going to start to smoke and it is going to be a big disaster.
  4. Roast the chicken at 450° for 15 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to 350° and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes. The chicken is done when the juices run clear or the inner temperature reaches 165°.

Note: The chicken will be very hot when it comes out of the oven so let it stand for about 10 minutes before removing from the beer can chicken rack, this is typically a two man job.

6 Comments on Oven Roasted Beer Can Chicken

  1. Anonymous
    May 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm (3 years ago)

    I have made this twice now and both times were a huge success! It was so easy and delicious and has become one of my go-to dinners. Thanks!!

    • cucina_kristina
      May 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm (3 years ago)

      I am so glad you like it! It is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken.

  2. Nickolas Tournis
    February 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Great recipe! For an extra kick, I (carefully) use a pair of pliers and make the hole in the beer can bigger and drop in a couple cloves of garlic, some chopped jalepeno and onion, then stuff about a half a bunch of cilantro sticking out of the top of the can. This infuses the beer with all those flavors as it heats up and adds a bit extra to the bird.

    • cucina_kristina
      February 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm (4 years ago)

      That sounds absolutely wonderful! I will have to try that next time.


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