Pellet Smoker Beer Can Chicken | Mouthwatering Recipe + How-To

by Josh | Last Updated: October 2, 2020
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If you are looking for new ways to enjoy chicken, pellet smoker beer can chicken may be the way to go.

It’s a popular food for sports enthusiasts and it is often eaten while watching football games, baseball games and other types of sporting activities.

If you are a sports enthusiast, or if you are just interested in trying new recipes, read on to find out more about pellet smoker beer can chicken and what gives it its unique taste.

Pellet smoker beer can chicken recipe

What is Pellet Smoker Beer Can Chicken?

Admittedly, pellet smoker beer can chicken stands out for its unusual name alone.

But what exactly is this strange not so delicate delicacy?

Beer can chicken involves cooking chicken over indirect heat.

A dry rub is used to flavor the outer skin. A half beer can is put inside the chicken to keep it propped up and maintain its moistness while it cooks.

The result is a moist bird with a rich, smokey flavor and a thick dark skin. Most think it is absolutely mouth-watering.

What are the Best Pellets to Use for Smoker Beer Can Chicken?

A good beer can chicken starts with finding the right pellets. There are several pellets you can use for smoking chicken, but here are some that are recommended.

What is the Best Beer for Smoking Chicken?

Although opinions vary when it comes to which beer makes the best smoked chicken, lager is a recommended pick.

It is not too bitter or too hoppy and its fruit forward acidity makes it the perfect complement for the meaty, smokey taste.

What is the Best Dry Rub for Pellet Smoker Beer Can Chicken?

The dry rub you use on your chicken is a matter of taste. Some like to use lemon pepper, while others use a Cajun rub.

We will give you a great recipe to start off with.

How to make Pellet smoker beer can chicken

Pellet Smoker Beer Can Chicken

Here is a recipe for a pellet smoker Beer Can Chicken dry rub that is to die for.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Refrigerate 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


Dry rub

  • ¼ cup steak seasoning
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper


  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ can of your choice of beer
  • Tequila optional


Dry rub

  • Mix ingredients and store in an airtight container.
  • Use ¼ tsp. per side of chicken to flavor.

Smoking chicken

  • Put kosher salt into a gallon of water. Stir until dissolved.
  • Wash and rise whole chicken removing giblets.
  • Immerse chicken in water making sure chicken is completely covered. Refrigerate for three hours.
  • Melt butter and mix in vegetable oil. Rub entire chicken with liquid, inside and out.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of garlic salt and black pepper on the outside of the chicken and in the cavity.
  • Empty one half can of beer. Warm beer works best. Add one shot of tequila to can (optional).
  • Place chicken on beer can so that beer can is propping it up.
  • Preheat grill to 325 degrees. Once the temperature stabilizes, put the chicken on the grill.
  • Cook for 2 hours and 15 minutes or until done. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees and the chicken leg will move freely in the socket.
Keyword BBQ, Chicken, Smoking

Is Cooking Beer Can Chicken Dangerous?

In the past, it has been said that beer can chicken can be dangerous.

One reason people say this is because the chicken can fall over while cooking.

However, if this occurs, you can simply use gloves to put the chicken back in its upright position.

Some people are also concerned that the ink from the beer can will get on the chicken and contaminate it while it’s cooking.

However, tests have been conducted, and, time and time again, it has been found that none of the ink from the can got on the meat of the chicken.

Pellet smoker beer can chicken is a great way to cook up a nice, juicy bird.

What’s your favorite way to make this delicious recipe?