Memphis Style Beer Can Chicken

Memphis Style Beer Can Chicken
Memphis Style Beer Can Chicken. Lauri Patterson/Getty Images
  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings (19)

You can never have too many beer can chicken recipes. This chicken is coated in a rich, flavorful Memphis style rub and is cooked right on your grill.  Always a fun way to cook chicken and great for entertaining.  Serve with your favorite sides and table sauce.

What You'll Need

  • 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds/1.8 kg
  • 1 12 ounce/350 mL can of beer (room temperature)
  • For Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL paprika
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL black pepper (freshly ground)

How to Make It

1. Combine brown sugar, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

2. Preheat grill for medium heat.

3. Remove giblets and the neck (if applicable), from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry, inside and out with paper towels. Make sure you've remove a lot of the moisture. Apply half of the rub mixture all over the chicken, taking great care to get it under the breast skin as well.


4. Open can of beer and discard half of it (however you choose to). Add remaining half of rub mixture to can. Gently swirl to combine. Pierce two more holes on the top of the can to help release steam during the cooking process.

5. Place chicken on top of can and then onto the grill balanced by the beer can. Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of thigh is 180 degrees F/82 degrees C. in the thigh area.

6. Once cooked, using heat resistant gloves carefully remove chicken from grill. Let rest (with beer can still intact), for 10 minutes.  Gently remove the can and discard.  Place chicken onto cutting board, carve and serve.