The good part about this recipe is that you can drink some of the beer first. You are just using the beer can to prop up the chook while it is cooking, (plus a bit of moisture from the beer itself). You will need a pretty big BBQ for this as you need about 250mm between the grate of your BBQ and its lid, otherwise the chicken will burn from the hot gases just under the lid.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Depends on size of chicken (at least 1 to 1-1/2 hours)


  • 1 whole fresh chicken or thawed frozen chook
  • 2 tablespoons of either olive oil, canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of dry spice rub (available from supermarkets), or mix up from chilli powder, pepper, brown sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, etc
  • 1 can of beer, 2/3 full


Prep the bird by washing it inside and out thoroughly. Remove giblets if necessary. Wipe dry and rub the chicken inside and out with oil. (Only use food grade oil – not engine lubricants.)

Rub the bird down with the mixture of salt, ground pepper and dry rub – inside and out. Set aside on a piece of alfoil or something similar.

Give the outside of the beer can a bit of a wipe and consume 1/3 of the can – no more!

Put the can on a solid surface and pull the chicken over the can – ring – pull up. Splay the legs each side of the chicken to assist in this. You can use the neck opening if you like. Once you have the bird sitting on the can base, give it another rub with the dry spice mix. The bird can be propped by its legs or thighs as well as the can.

Turn on the grill/BBQ to low – 130°C. Put the bird in the oven with NO burners directly below it. You can even use an aluminium pie plate or alfoil shield under the bird to prevent direct heat directly below.

It will take at least one hour to cook even a small chook but don’t keep lifting the lid all the time – it will never cook! First look – 1 hour. It is done when clear juice runs from the thighs with a prod from a sharp knife.

Remove the lot and let cool. The beer contents should be gone as they are used to moisturise the chook while cooking. Consume with a cheeky and Victorian cold climate Semillon Lager.