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Monday, July 03, 2006 

Beer Can Chicken - On The Grill

I've tried beer-can chicken in the oven before, and it came out pretty good. The Houston Chronicle this week has an article on using the technique with your grill.

If you're unfamiliar with the basics of beer can chicken, here's the primer they offer you:
Beer-can chicken works on a simple principle: The can holds the bird upright so the heat roasts it evenly on all sides, and the beer (or other liquid) produces steam that keeps the meat moist. Indirect, medium heat from the grill produces a crisp, golden skin. A few crumbled bay leaves added to the beer will infuse the bird with a potent herbal flavor. Cooking a chicken this way also allows the fat to baste the meat as it drips away.

They also have a few tips for using your grill for the beer can chicken.

• A can of soda or juice can be substituted for the beer.

• Open the can with an old-fashioned church-key opener, puncturing it several times, rather than using the pull tab, to allow the maximum amount of steam to escape.

• Blot the chicken dry inside and out with a paper towel.

• Loosen the skin on the breasts and thighs of the chicken by sticking your fingers between the skin and the meat. Then massage a spice mixture on the skin, under the skin and inside the cavity.

• Use a skewer to poke the skin all over to render as much fat as possible.

· If you're using a gas grill, be sure to remove the warming rack. Otherwise it's bound to knock over the chicken when you open and close the lid.

• Keep an eye on the chicken, but don't open and close the lid too often. Every 25 to 30 minutes is sufficient.

A full recipe is also included.