’Tis the season for gathering around the TV and watching the big game. At our house, of course, we’re cheering on the Royals to win the World Series, but there are all kinds of sports to be watched this time of year.
If you’re planning to host a crowd, and want and to keep things easy, throw a few beer-can chickens on the Big Green Egg. Because you can so easily control and regulate the temperature in a ceramic smoker, it basically works like an outdoor oven. But if you don’t have a Big Green Egg, an indoor oven will do the trick — and your house will smell amazing for game day.
When securing the chickens on the beer cans, think about what you want the final product to look like when it comes off the smoker or out of the oven. The raw chicken is flexible, so make sure you set the legs far in front to provide a balanced tripod base (it turns out legs help chickens stand on the farm and on the smoker!). When it’s done, the legs will be firmly in place where you set them at the beginning — which makes for a sturdy beer-can chicken and a pretty cool presentation. For the beer, we used one of the finest beers available in a can, Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues. They’ve been putting their beer in cans since 2002, and they’ve been in our tailgate coolers ever since. You might as well pick up a few six packs, fill the fridge and drink them with your beer-can chicken.
Game Day Beer-Can Chicken
3 whole chickens
3 cans of beer
9 cloves garlic
½ cup mustard
¼ cup barbecue rub (plus more for the cans)
Freshly ground pepper
Prepare your Big Green Egg for indirect 350ºF cooking (or preheat your oven to 350ºF).
Using a churchkey, poke holes in the tops of the beers. Empty them halfway and then place a pinch of salt in each. Let the beer fizz up and then go back down. Then add 3 garlic cloves and a tablespoon of barbecue rub to each can. Set aside.
Add the mustard to the chickens and rub them all over and inside the cavities. Add the barbecue rub and distribute it evenly. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper. Tuck the wings so they won’t burn and place the chicken on the can.
Cook the chickens upright on the cans for two hours. Remove from the smoker or oven and allow to cool on the can for about 10 minutes. Remove from the can and allow to cool 10 more minutes. Cut, serve and enjoy with some cold beer.