Smoked Beer Can Chicken: Three Recipes You Definitely Should Try

We picked three recipes broken down to easy steps that even a newbie can follow.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 24, 2023
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Are you sick of the same old way of smoking and grilling your chicken? If you are a cooking enthusiast looking to experiment, then you need to try smoked beer can chicken! A well-prepared smoked beer can chicken is packed with flavors and a treat your tastebuds will never forget. There are many smoked beer can chicken recipes available with different variations, but we have narrowed down three of the best ones available.

What really makes or breaks your chicken is the smoked beer can chicken rub. It is essential to get the rub right as it determines the flavor of your chicken. You should also make sure you have a functioning electric smoker for the actual smoking process. Another must-have is of course a can of your favorite beer!

While smoked beer can chicken may sound odd, it is a foolproof recipe that you will definitely enjoy as it produces a flavorful and delicious chicken. It will also surely impress your guests at the next dinner party for being a novelty.

Smoked Beer Can Chicken Recipe 1

Believe it or not, but smoking meat is an ancient technique. This first recipe involves using an electric smoker. There are some pros and cons to using an electric smoker. The first advantage is that electric smokers don’t involve the use of direct heat, which makes them a safer option. They also have built-in thermometers inside the smokers to keep a check on the temperature.Smoked Beer Can Chicken: Three Recipes You Definitely Should Try


  • Chicken: It’s best to get a whole chicken with the bone-in and skin-on. This will ensure a flavorful final product.
  • Beer: You will be needing half a can. Getting a lager is a good idea!
  • Chicken rub: There are many different methods to prepare the rub. You can go for something subtle or add more spices, so it packs a punch. There are some delicious chicken rub recipes you can read about. However, some of the spices you will need for a basic rub are paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
  • Beer Barbecue Sauce: For this, you will need 1 cup ketchup, ¾ cup beer, ½ brown sugar, ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup molasses, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoon onion powder, and salt and pepper according to your taste.


  • The first step is to set your smoker to preheat at 325°F.
  • While your oven is preheating, prepare your smoked beer can chicken rub. When you have prepared the rub, apply it generously all over the chicken. Make sure you get every side.
  • Now take a can of your favorite beer and empty half of it. Insert this can into the cavity of the chicken and make the whole chicken stand breast side up.
  • Put the chicken into your smoker and 3–4 wood chunks or coals for smoking. There are some great types of wood you can use for smoking. Cook your chicken for an hour.
  • Prepare the barbeque sauce by combining all of the ingredients listed above and bringing them to a boil in a saucepan. After boiling for 10 minutes, the sauce should be ready.
  • Brush this sauce all over the chicken and cook for an additional 30 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken is at 165°F.
  • Once the chicken has reached the ideal temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it cool down for 10 minutes before you serve it.

Smoked Beer Can Chicken Recipe 2

This second recipe involves using a pellet smoker. Pellet smokers tend to have a longer smoking time, but they are worth it as they will tenderize your meat to perfection. You can also use a mix of different wood chip flavors in a pellet smoker. Smoked Beer Can Chicken: Three Recipes You Definitely Should Try


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 can of your favorite beer
  • A chicken rub


  • Wash and clean your chicken.
  • Then apply the chicken rub generously.
  • Sit your chicken on a half-full can of your favorite beer.
  • Set the temperature of your pellet smoker at 300-350 degrees and make sure it has enough wood pellets in the grill.
  • Put your chicken on top of the beer can and keep it in the pellet smoker for 2-3 hours.
  • The chicken should be ready when it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • You can use a thermometer to measure this.
  • Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes and then serve!

Smoked Beer Can Chicken Video Recipe

The video below shows how to smoke a beer can chicken on the Traeger Grill.


We will now address some questions that frequently arise when it comes to smoked beer can chicken!

Where Does the Recipe Come From?

Since beer and chicken is not something that goes together generally, you may be wondering how this recipe came into being. This recipe probably comes from Louisiana and it has now become a popular dish at barbeque competitions and is also available at restaurants.

What Type of Smoker Should I Use?

There is a lot of variety when it comes to smokers. You can opt for an electric smoker, pellet smoker, or even a charcoal grill. While each type of smoker has its advantages and disadvantages, according to our assessment a pellet smoker is the best and most convenient option!

The smoker has a mechanism that automatically feeds the heater with pellets and heats the chamber. This makes things easy for you and you only have to check the meat from time to time.

Charcoal grills are a good low-cost option, but they expose your meat to heat directly which can burn your chicken. Eclectic smokers are also a good pick, but they tend to consume a lot of electricity and often do not give the authentic smoke taste that you would get from authentic woodchip.

Can I Cook It in the Oven?

You will be pleased to learn that yes you can cook smoked beer can chicken in the oven! You will have to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). After following the usual process (applying the rub etc.), bake the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes after which pour some more beer on the pan under the chicken.

Smoked Beer Can Chicken: Three Recipes You Definitely Should TryBake it for another 30 minutes until the juices run clear and it is no longer pink at the bone. You can check the internal temperature and the chicken should be ready when it hits 180 degrees. Once it is done, let the chicken rest for 10 minutes after which you can serve and enjoy!

While the taste won’t be exactly the same as you would get from smoking it, it’s still tasty and flavorful!

Can I Cook It Without Beer?

Yes! In case you do not drink or enjoy beer, you can easily substitute it with a soda. Some options you can use are coke, ginger-ale, sprite, and root beer. However, do not use diet sodas as the diet version contains artificial sweeteners and they’re not safe for cooking.

While this will obviously give your chicken a different taste, it will still be deliciously smoked!Smoked Beer Can Chicken: Three Recipes You Definitely Should Try

What to Do with Leftovers?

It’s important to handle leftovers carefully so you can get the most out of your chicken and nothing is wasted! One great idea is to make chicken salad sandwiches. Sandwiches are always easy to make, and you can customize them and add whatever you like.

Another option is to make enchiladas, these are also easy to make and are always delicious. In case you have the time for a more complex dish, you can even use your smoked beer can chicken leftovers to make a chicken pot pie! Another option is to slice up the chicken and add it to a stir-fry!

As you can see, there are many options and endless possibilities when it comes to using the leftover chicken! We encourage you to experiment and figure out how you best enjoy your leftovers!

Some Tips and Tricks

Here are some important tips and tricks that can be a lifesaver:

  • Prepare your rub beforehand. You can use this recipe as well!
  • Place the chicken on something! Either use a pan or a tray. In case the chicken falls inside the smoker, the pan will catch it and ensure it keeps cooking safely.
  • Season generously! Make sure you get the rub everywhere and every inch of the chicken is covered. You should also season the inside of the chicken. Seasoning thoroughly will ensure each bite of your chicken is flavorful and tasty.
  • Get a beer can chicken rack! This will hold your beer can and chicken in place, ensuring there are no accidents inside the smoker. According to reviewers, the RUFSOL chicken rack is a great option!

Final Thoughts

Now you know all there is to know about smoked beer can chicken!

You can easily make an informed choice when it comes to picking the right smoker and type of chicken rub. While it’s most convenient to use the smoker you have available at home, pellet smokers tend to produce some of the most flavorful chicken.

However, in case you do not have a smoker and are not big on smoking, you can even prepare smoked beer can chicken in your oven! Smoked beer can chicken can also be made without beer as you can easily use any soda as a substitute.

Good luck while preparing your very first smoked beer can chicken, and remember: don’t waste any leftovers!

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