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Dry-Brined Beer-Can Chicken

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck
Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 2 hrs
Brine time 24 hrs
Yield Makes 8 servings
Grilling is a delicious way to "roast" a whole bird, especially when beer is involved. Use a milder brew if you wish, but skip hoppy IPAs.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pimentón (sweet smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 bay leaves, finely crumbled
  • 2 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) whole chickens
  • 1 large oven bag
  • 2 (12-oz.) cans brown ale

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 7 ingredients. Sprinkle skin and cavities of chickens with salt mixture. Place chickens in oven bag; twist end of bag, and close with tie. Chill 24 hours.

  2. Light 1 side of grill, heating to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat; leave other side unlit. Reserve 1/2 cup beer from each can for another use. Place each chicken upright onto a beer can, fitting into cavity. Pull legs forward to form a tripod, allowing chickens to stand upright.

  3. Place chickens upright on unlit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes or until golden and a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 170°. Let stand 10 minutes. Carefully remove chickens from cans; cut into quarters.

Cook's Notes

Feast with a pale ale or IPA. The robust flavor will hold its own with the smoky chicken and bold side dishes.

Try 60 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Deleware) or IPA, Good People Brewing Company (Alabama)