CNYEats A Taste of Utica Beer Can Chicken

by Joanne on November 13, 2010

This weeks Taste of Utica recipe was tough for me. I’m vegetarian so in order to “insult” the chicken, I had to recruit the meat eater of the family to prepare this weeks meal.


Page 84 of our book explains the recipe posted by Dick Laurey who offers “We barbeque beer can chicken on a horizontal, wood-fired smoker.”

Ted made this recipe on a crisp Fall day in November, after the barbeque had been put away.  The oven was the only option.

Ingredients are very simple:  1 roasting chicken, 3 – 4 lbs (we had a 5 lb chicken),  Rubbing spices of your choice (we used Old Bay Seasoning), and one can of beer.  None other than Utica Club for a Taste of Utica recipe.


Remove the neck and other parts which are found stuffed inside the chicken.  It’s up to you whether you use them or not. In this recipe we don’t so we discard them. *They are typically used to make gravy.

If you are using your oven, as we did, preheat to 325 F.

Wash the chicken in cold water.   Pat dry and rub with the spices of your choice, inside and out.  *We sprinkled the chicken all over with Old Bay – no measuring, simply shake the can until the chicken is lightly covered.

Open the can of beer and either drink or discard half of it. Leave only half the beer in the can (8 oz).  Make holes in the TOP of the can with a churchkey. 

What’s a churchkey?



Pour 1 tsp of the rub into the beer can. 

Put the beer can up the widest opening in the chicken or as the books instructs “up the chicken’s bottom”. 

Set the chicken and can on the grill. Place a whole clove of garlic in the chicken neck.

*We lined a baking pan with foil and placed the chicken, beer can side down, in the pan.  Spread the legs apart for a “tripod” effect so the chicken will remain upright.  Bake 25 minutes PER POUND.  We cooked the chicken for 2 hours.  It was a 5 lb bird with only a beer can for stuffing…OH! and a clove of garlic.


When the internal temperature is 180 F, remove and tent with foil for about 10 minutes, allowing the juices to settle. *If the chicken is becoming too brown, cover with aluminum foil to finish cooking.


To carve the chicken and remove the can:  Ted simply removed the chicken to a carving plate and placed it on its side by the sink.  He removed the VERY HOT can of beer and put it in the sink. 


He poured off the excess liquid on the plate into the sink (disinfect your sink REALLY well after poultry or its juice has been in it).    Then proceeded to carve the very tender, juicy bird.


Ted said it was very, VERY good. Moist, tender, filled with flavor and cooked to perfection.


For any chicken lover out there, this recipe is “Ted Recommended”.  Pretty easy and a great excuse to drink beer (if you need one).

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  • At 2010.11.13 19:05, Monet said:

    So I’ve heard about this…and I imagine that it would taste pretty good…but I just started eating chicken again (after years of vegetarianism) and I don’t know if I could handle a whole chicken! I need to recruit some meat lover to help me out here. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you are having a relaxing weekend!

    • At 2010.11.13 21:09, pegasuslegend said:

      Hi there trying to play catch up and of course this post was near and dear to Love Utica Club and its a no go here in Florida. Somehow as many times as I make this kind of chicken it can never be as good without my home town beer! Thanks for making me smile and miss home! 🙂

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