Coriander and Black Pepper Beer Can Chicken

This recipe came about because I wanted to test drive the vertical poultry roaster from Bull Outdoor Products.  Beer can chicken was a big hit in the 90’s when some genius decided to stand the chicken up over a can of beer and “roast” it on the grill over indirect heat.  The outcome speaks for itself – you get a nicely browned chicken all the way around, plus the liquid in the can begins to bubble and steam both flavoring the meat and keeping it moist.  I have made beer can chicken “the old-fashioned way” by propping the chicken up on the can and hoping that it remains upright by the time it has finished cooking.  The Bull vertical poultry roaster is essentially a grilling grid with a cup holder, so no worrying about a drunk and tumbling chicken!  

The big bonus to the vertical poultry roaster is the grill grid – it was too easy to halve and season some baby Yukon gold potatoes and toss them in the bottom of the roaster for a perfect side dish!  (Halved baby Yukon potatoes + drizzle of olive oil + big pinches of kosher salt, black pepper, ground coriander, and hot paprika).

I am not always a fan of gadgets for the sake of having gadgets, but the vertical roaster definitely assisted in making beautifully browned and well-flavored chicken.  Better yet, I want to use it because it was so easy!  Hmmm… I think I saw something about Orange Soda Duck…


Coriander and Black Pepper Beer Can Chicken

Serves four

For the rub:
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
Zest from two lemons

For the chicken:
1 whole chicken; about 4 pounds
1 to 2 tablespoons neutral oil
1 can (12 oz.) Tecate beer
Juice from two lemons

For serving:
Extra lemon wedges, for serving

Bull Vertical Poultry Roaster

Grilling method:

Set up grill for indirect cooking (no heat source directly under bird) over medium heat. Stabilize the heat around 325°F.

For the rub: Combine salt, brown sugar, coriander, pepper, and zest; set aside until ready to use.

Remove neck and giblets from chicken cavity and trim off any excess fat.  Rinse the bird inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.  Then lightly coat the chicken with the oil and rub chicken generously inside and out with spice mixture.  Let chicken sit for 30 minutes to allow the rub to cure.

Here’s the fun part… Open a beer and drink it, then open another and drink or drain half of the can.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the can and set the can in the “cup holder” of the vertical roaster.  Slide the chicken over the beer can and you’re ready to go.  (If you are not using the vertical roaster, set the chicken over the can so that the legs and can form a tripod.  Carefully place beer can and chicken on grill over drip pan.)   If you are going to cook the potatoes as well, toss them with a little oil and seasoning and scatter them around the bottom of the roaster in a single layer.

Close the grill cover and cook 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of the breast meat is 160°F and the thigh meat registers 175°F.  Carryover cooking will raise the temperature another 5°F to 10°F.

Remove from grill and let sit for 10 minutes.  Carefully slip beer can out of chicken and carve.

Serve hot with lemon wedges.



Cheers and Happy Grilling!
~ Jeff


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