Beer butt chicken is a fun way to make a moist and tender chicken. Oven baked and roasted it is one of the best ways to get a perfectly cooked bird every time.
Beer but chicken
Beer butt chicken, beer stuffed chicken, beer bottom chicken or even beer up the bum chicken- they all mean exactly the same thing. It means you gotta get a little friendly with your bird before baking. But, in return, you get a juicy and flavorful chicken that is super tender too.
We have been eating baked beer butt chicken for as long as I can possibly remember. 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.
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.
Ingredients for beer butt chicken in the oven
- Whole chicken
- Ground pepper
- Thyme leaves
- Cayenne powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion Powder
What you’ll need to make this recipe
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Tips for making beer can in chicken
This chicken when baked ends up creating a lot of juices 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. It does result in a juicier chicken but 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).
FAQ's about Beer Can Chicken
Absolutely! After we discovered my sister was a celiac we began experimenting with different options to make one 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. All followed this same baking process.
We aren't technically using the beer, just the steam from it. When baked alcohol lowers its content the lower it's cooking. Because this isn't a marinade the actual content in the chicken itself is so minimal studies show it's safe for consumption while pregnant.
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 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.
How to make beer butt chicken
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. Remove any internal organs if your bird came with them. Trim up the skin around the opening on the bottom if needed.
Pour out ½ of the can of beer (drink it or pour into the baking dish) and then place the beer in the center of a 9x13 baking dish.
Place the chicken on the can, and press down to securely tuck it up in there and make it sturdy.
In a small bowl mix together the seasonings and then 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. Until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
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 help.
Slice up your chicken and serve as desired. Enjoy.
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Oven Baked Beer Butt Chicken
- 1 can beer, filled halfway
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 whole chicken
- 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 160 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.