Beer butt chicken is a fun way to make a moist and tender chicken. Oven Baked Beer Butt Chicken is one of the best ways to get a perfectly cooked bird every time.
Oven-baked beer butt chicken (also known as beer stuffed chicken, beer bottom chicken, or even beer up the bum chicken) is a delightful twist on the classic roasted chicken recipe. It's a fantastic way to infuse your chicken with incredible flavor and ensure it turns out tender and juicy.
This cooking method involves placing an open beer can into the chicken's cavity, allowing the beer's steam to keep the chicken moist while it cooks. The result is a succulent, flavorful chicken with crispy skin.
We have been eating beer butt chicken for as long as I can possibly remember. It's always been one of our family's go-to chicken recipes. It's perfect for serving at gatherings or as a comforting family meal. Check out the variations section for more flavorful options.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's hard to mess up. It's always a huge hit and there are so many different ways to do it but very few ways to ever actually mess up, making it pretty foolproof.
- Ovens are convenient. A lot of people enjoy cooking their beer in the butt chicken on the grill, but I find that the oven works best. You still get a great golden color and crispy skin and the bird never feels dried out or overcooked, just a perfect beer but chicken every time. Simple enough, right?
- It goes great with any side dish. Serve your chicken with anything from Dill Pickle Potato Salad to Creamy Orange Fluff Salad, or Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad.
Beer- Use a standard sized can of your favorite beer. You only need half a can's worth, so enjoy a drink while you wait. For non-alcohol versions, see our Variations below.
Whole chicken- You will need a whole chicken. I recommend one that has been fully thawed.
Seasonings- To keep our seasonings simple, use a combination of Salt, Ground pepper, Thyme leaves, Paprika, Cayenne powder, Garlic powder, and Onion Powder.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Beer Free Options- After we discovered my sister was allergic to gluten and had to remove oats, barley, malt, and wheat from her diet, we began experimenting with different options to make beer can chicken safe for her to consume.
Canned lemonade, root beer, Dr. Pepper, and Cola have all been some of our favorites. I think the lemonade one tastes best with a little fresh herbs tossed in the can. Try any of these options and you're sure to love it. Note: They all followed this same baking process.
🔪 Instructions for Oven Baked Beer Butt Chicken
Step 1: Lower your oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Pat your whole chicken dry with a paper towel so that the seasonings stick better. Remove any internal organs if your bird came with them. Trim up the skin around the opening on the bottom if needed.
Step 3: Pour out ½ of the can of beer (drink it or pour it into the baking dish) and then place the beer in the center of a 9x13 baking dish.
Step 4: Place the chicken on the can, and press down to securely tuck it up in there and make it sturdy.
Step 5: In a small bowl mix together the seasonings and then rub them all over the chicken, getting under the wings and making it as coated as you can.
Step 6: Using a sharp knife, puncture a hole in the skin between the thigh and breast and then tuck the tip of the wing into the hole. This keeps them from burning.
Step 7: Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes per pound. Until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
Step 8: Let rest a good 10 minutes in the pan before trying to remove the beer can. It will be VERY hot. I recommend using tongs to pull the can out while holding the chicken with a towel or clean pot holders.
Try and remove it in the upright position so that the can doesn't spill. You may need assistance with this part.
Slice up your chicken and serve as desired. Enjoy.
🍴 Recipe Tips
This beer can in the chicken recipe, once baked, ends up creating a lot of juice in the baking dish, so I always recommend using a 9x13 baking dish instead of a sheet pan. A sheet pan can easily overflow.
If you want a stronger beer flavor, you can choose to pour ½ of the can of beer into the baking dish where the chicken is resting. This is totally optional and I normally choose not to do this as I am not a fan of alcohol and hate the way it tastes. While it does result in a juicier chicken, the beer flavor is much more pronounced.
Do not use a strong hoppy beer. We have a rule of thumb to choose the cheapest beer as it turns out great, it's not overpowering, and it gets the job done while not costing too much, which keeps this dish frugal.
Lowering your oven rack before trying to stick the bird in, is a great way to avoid hitting shoulders against the top of your oven. I recommend doing this before preheating the oven just so you don't forget (as I often do).
💭 Recipe FAQs
While preparing beer can chicken, the beer is not actually consumed, but rather, its steam is utilized for cooking. As the chicken bakes, the alcohol in the beer evaporates, and the longer it cooks, the lower the alcohol content becomes.
Since this isn't a marinade and the actual beer content absorbed by the chicken is minimal, research indicates that it's generally safe to enjoy beer can chicken during pregnancy.
During the cooking process, the beer can inside of the chicken releases steam to help cook it from the inside, adding in a little moisture. The beer can also help to keep the chicken upright so that the fat drains away from the bird and gives it a nice crispy skin.
You want to avoid anything too hoppy or bitter. Choosing a middle road beer is a great choice because it gets the job done without overpowering the chicken.
❤️ More Delicious Dinner Recipes
If you tried this Oven Baked Beer Butt Chicken, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Oven Baked Beer Butt Chicken
- 1 can Beer, filled halfway ($0.97)
- ½ teaspoon Salt ($0.01)
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper ($0.02)
- ½ teaspoon Dried thyme leaves ($0.04)
- ½ teaspoon Paprika ($0.04)
- ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne pepper ($0.01)
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder ($0.04)
- ½ teaspoon Onion powder ($0.04)
- 1 whole (5lb) Chicken ($7.30)
- Lower your oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pat your whole chicken dry with a paper towel so that the seasonings stick better. Trim up the skin around the bottom opening and remove any organs inside if the chicken came with them.
- Pour out ½ of the can of beer and then place the beer in the center of a 9x13 baking dish
- Place the chicken on the beer can, and press down to securely tuck it up in there and make it sturdy. Adjust legs as needed.
- In a small bowl mix together the seasonings. Rub them all of the chicken, getting under the wings and making it as coated as you can.
- Using a sharp knife, puncture a hole in the skin between the thigh and breast and then tuck the tip of the wing into the hole. This keeps them from burning.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. A 5lb chicken would be about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let rest a good 10 minutes in the pan before trying to remove the beer can. It will be VERY hot.
- Slice up your chicken and serve as desired. Enjoy.
- Carefully remove the beer can from the chicken using tongs, while someone holds the chicken with a towel or pot holders to avoid spills.
- Use a 9x13 baking dish to catch cooking juices, which is more effective than a sheet pan to prevent overflow.
- To enhance the beer flavor, consider pouring half of the beer from the can into the baking dish with the chicken. This step is optional and can result in juicier chicken with a stronger beer taste.
- Opt for a milder, less hoppy beer. Inexpensive beer generally works well, providing excellent results without overwhelming the dish, and it's cost-effective.
- Lower the oven rack before inserting the chicken to prevent it from hitting the top of the oven. Do this before preheating the oven to ensure safety.
- For a non-alcoholic alternative, you can use canned lemonade, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or cola. The baking process remains the same, and lemonade pairs well with fresh herbs inside the can.