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Tangy Beer-Can Chicken

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 1 hr
Total time 2 hrs, 45 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: about 4 oz.chicken and 1 tbsp. sauce)

The can method keeps the bird moist while it grills because liquid in the can forms steam inside the cavity. Any canned beverage will work, and won’t really impart any noticeable flavor to the chicken. We like good old-fashioned yellow mustard here: Its bright, tangy flavor is a backyard-barbecue classic.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (5-lb.) whole chicken
  • 1 (12-oz.) can beer or soft drink
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Nutrition Information

  • calories 248
  • fat 9.5 g
  • satfat 1.8 g
  • monofat 4.9 g
  • polyfat 1.4 g
  • protein 32 g
  • carbohydrate 7 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 119 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 519 mg
  • calcium 20 mg
  • sugars 6 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 5 g

How to Make It

  1. Preheat a gas grill to medium (about 400°F) on one side, or push hot coals to one side of a charcoal grill.

  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Starting at the neck cavity, loosen and lift chicken skin from breasts and legs with fingers. Rub oil mixture under loosened skin. Open beer can; pour out 3/4 cup beer, reserving for another use. Place chicken upright onto can, fitting can into cavity. Pull legs forward to form a tripod, so chicken stands upright. Place chicken upright on grill grate over unheated side. Cover and grill 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thigh registers 165°F, rotating chicken once.

  3. Combine mustard, honey, vinegar, and tomato paste in a small bowl.

  4. Place chicken and can on a cutting board; let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard skin and can. Cut chicken into pieces; place on a platter. Drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with parsley.