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sliced beer butt chicken
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5 from 4 votes

Oven Baked Beer Butt Chicken

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Rest10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 468kcal
Author: NicoleDurham
Cost: Recipe $5.83 / Serving $0.97


  • 1 can beer, filled halfway ($0.88)
  • ½ teaspoon salt ($0.05)
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ($0.02)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves ($0.05)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika ($0.05)
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper ($0.01)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder ($0.02)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1 whole chicken ($4.70)


  • 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.


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 to recruit a helper to offer hands during this as it's kind of tricky with just two hands.
This beer can in chicken recipe, once 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).
For a non-alcohol option. 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. 


Serving: 6g | Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.4g | Protein: 85.2g | Fat: 9.9g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.6g | Cholesterol: 275.8mg | Sodium: 365.2mg | Potassium: 1283.5mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 39.7IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 22.4mg | Iron: 1.5mg