This is a really fun and effective way to cook a Chook. Make sure your bbq lid is high to hold the upright chicken. The steam from the beer cooks the inside of the bird, so the meat ends up lovely and juicy.
The beer used should be a good larger. Excuse me to all Heineken drinkers whom I am about to offend but apparently heineken is not a good larger (have never tried it as a drink myself and not quite sure how we had 3 cans of the stuff in our fridge) but my Dad would think me shoving a Heineken up the Chook’s cavity was not fare game. A good bird deserves a good brew. Budweiser, Sapporo or whatever you like to swig (oh and that’s the other brilliant thing about this recipe. You have to have a few good gulps of the beer before you give the rest to the Chook so it may as well be one you love).
We had a fantastic barbecue cooking class at Relish Mama yesterday and this was one of the many recipes the guests cooked and enjoyed what was one very hot Saturday.
Beer butt chicken
This is a really fun and effective way to cook chicken. I’m giving you two methods, one in the barbecue and one in the oven – both will give you tasty moist chicken. Make sure your bbq lid is high to hold the upright chicken. The steam from the beer cooks the inside of the bird, so the meat ends up lovely and juicy.
1 large whole chicken (approx. 1.5kg), preferably free-range or organic
1 x can of beer
2 garlic cloves, bruised and flattened
For the rub:
1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
1 level teaspoon cumin seeds
1 level teaspoon smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoon brown sugar
1 level teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon allspice
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your barbecue or oven to 200°C. Take your chicken out of the fridge while you make your rub.
In a pestle and mortar, bash up your fennel and cumin seeds and mix with the paprika, brown sugar, chilli powder, garlic, allspice, salt and pepper. Stir in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil until you get a nice paste. Drizzle this rub all over the chicken, inside and out, using your hands to make sure you cover the whole bird.
Open the beer, have a couple of good swigs so your can is just about half full. Place the garlic cloves into the beer can, then lower your chicken’s cavity on to the top of the can. A bit undignified, but trust me – it’s going to be delicious. If you’re using a charcoal barbecue, try to strategically move a small amount of coals to the sides rather than directly underneath the chicken, so the heat radiates around it and cooks it from all angles rather than grills it. Add some wet wood chips to the charcoal (not too much). Hickory and apple are fabulous with chicken. If using a gas barbecue, use the indirect cooking method (inside burners off & just using the outer burners).
Cook for around 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until it’s golden and delicious and the meat pulls away from the bone and the juices run clear.
Once done, remove the can and loosely cover your chicken and rest it for 10-20 minutes. This tastes so good, you wont need much else than a simple green salad to serve alongside it.
The internal temp of poultry should be 70-80oC when cooked. Push the probe into a thick part of the chook. If you would prefer not to cook on a beer can, place the chicken onto an oiled barbecue trivet and cook for no more than 75 minutes. No need to turn the chicken through the cooking process.
Bottoms up everybody!