Beer-Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue Sauce

I like any recipe that starts with ‘open a can of beer and drink half,’" says recipe developer and chef Steven Raichlen. American ingenuity has produced a variety of beer-can roasters that hold the can in place and stabilize the tipsy chicken. Aluminum cans bend easily under the pressure, so when piercing holes, it’s a good idea to use a can-holding gadget.

1 (12-ounce) can beer
1 cup hickory wood chips
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken
Cooking spray

1/2 cup cola
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon instant onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons steak sauce (such as A-1)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Open beer can; drink half. Carefully pierce top of beer can with
“church-key” can opener several times; set aside. To prepare chicken, soak
wood chips in water 1 hour. Combine salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper; set
aside. To prepare grill for indirect grilling, place a disposable aluminum
foil pan in center of grill. Arrange charcoal around foil pan; heat to
medium heat.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold
water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from
breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and

Rub 2 teaspoons spice mixture under loosened skin. Rub 2 teaspoons spice
mixture in body cavity. Rub 2 teaspoons spice mixture over skin. Slowly add
remaining spice mixture to beer can (salt will make beer foam). Holding
chicken upright with the body cavity facing down, insert beer can into

Drain wood chips. Place half of wood chips on hot coals. Coat grill rack
with cooking spray. Place chicken on grill rack over drip pan. Spread legs
out to form a tripod to support the chicken. Cover and grill 2 hours or
until a meat thermometer inserted into meaty portion of thigh registers
180°. Add remaining wood chips after 1 hour and charcoal as needed.

Lift chicken slightly using tongs; place spatula under can. Carefully lift
chicken and can; place on a cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently lift
chicken using tongs or insulated rubber gloves; carefully twist can and
remove from cavity. Discard skin and can.

To prepare sauce, combine cola and remaining ingredients in a saucepan;
bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes. Cool. Serve with

Yield 6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces chicken and about 2 tablespoons