The outdoor grilling season is here again so get the grill cleaned up and ready for some backyard entertaining. One of the simplest and tastiest grill recipes is the biker’s classic beer butt chicken.
All you need for this campground classic is a whole fryer chicken, a 12-ounce beer and seasoning. Season the bird inside and out with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I have grown quite fond of granulated garlic powder.
After seasoning, insert the half full beer can in the fryer’s butt or cavity if you prefer. Beer cans don’t come half full, so you may need a volunteer to drink half the beer, while your friends sip on the cool sangria.
Heat your grill to around 350 degrees. On a propane grill this is easy just adjust the flame. On a charcoal grill you can use the indirect coal method. Just rake the coals to one side of the grill and cook the chicken on the opposite side of the grill.
This method helps reduce flare-ups on either the propane or charcoal grill. While the grill is heating, practice setting the chicken on its beer can pedestal. If you think you may have trouble posing the bird, beer butt chicken stands are available at any store with grilling supplies.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, the skin on the chicken’s legs will shrink away from the lower knuckle and the skin will be a perfect golden brown when done.
Any grill master should have a meat thermometer for grilling poultry or pork. After the bird is cooked, let it rest five to ten minutes before serving so the juices can do their thing.
A great side for the beer butt chicken is grilled corn on the cob. If corn in the husk is available, grilled corn in the husk is fantastic. Peal back the husk on each ear and remove the corn silk. Fold the husk back over the ear and soak in water a few minutes and the throw them on the grill.
A great tip is to use metal twist ties or string to hold the husk tightly closed so the ears steam perfectly. Grill the first side five minutes and turn the ears over. The second side takes three to five minutes depending on the grill temperature. Steam coming out of the husk is the indication that the corn is getting right.
To serve the corn, peal back the husk and wrap with paper towels. This makes a great handle for holding the corn. Use grilling mitts when husking the hot ears and the mitts are also the ticket for removing the roasted chicken from the grill.
To avoid spending time in the kitchen, other sides are normally potato salad or other cold salads. If you have some help or don’t mind a little extra clean up, try some dirty rice using the chicken giblets and a little spicy sausage. See this article for a recipe.
Beer butt chicken is about the most moist and juicy chicken you will ever taste. It is a perfect recipe for camping, tailgating, backyard grilling or in the oven. For you non-drinkers, half of a can of ginger ale may be substituted for the beer. Or you can pour out half of the beer (gasp). Plan on having a beer butt cookout or two this grilling season.