I love beer can chicken… It’s unorthodox grilling technique results in some of the most moist meat I’ve ever had. Also, I love that we get to combine steaming with grilling… two cooking methods that are almost contradictory by nature.
Here’s a simple recipe that will make you the star of any summer cookout.
1 whole chicken, trimmed of excess fat.
61g Kosher Salt.
27g Light Soy Sauce.
5g Yellow Mustard Seed.
5g Brown Mustard Seed.
1300g Hot water.
Dissolve salt and honey completely in hot water
add 453g Ice.
Stir until the brine is room temperature or lower.
Bag the chicken and brine in a ziplock, let the brine do it’s magic for about 24 hours. This brine can be used for any white meat, I brine almost every piece of chicken or pork I put on the grill… the brine seasons the meat from the inside out and locks moisture inside of the cell walls.
About 6-12 hours before cooking, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Return the chicken to a bowl in your fridge, we’re looking to dry out the skin of the chicken, this will make it crispier when cooked.
Just before lighting your coals, remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. This will reduce the thermal gap between the chicken and the grill and prevent the meat fibers from tensing up from the thermal shock.
Position the chicken over an open beer can. Actually, open the beer, take a few sips, then place the chicken over the beer can. Cook the chicken over direct coals about an hour or until the skin is crispy and the meat is cooked through.
Because of the brining and beer steaming the meat is incredibly moist, while the extra time taken to dry the skin and the dry heat from the coals produce a crisp skin almost like peking duck. Is it ridiculous to start prep for a simple grilled chicken two days ahead of time? Maybe, but the prep time for brining and drying are minimal and these extra steps transform a mediocre product to one that is simply stunning… That’s what good cooking is all about, right? Taking as much care as needed to produce the best possible results. Plan, take the time, you won’t be sorry!
You can also modify the seasonings and spice of the brine to your taste or add a dry rub to the outside of the chicken before cooking. In this case, I wanted to keep the flavors simple so that the chicken and beer were highlighted… Now go grill some chicken!