Big Show’s Big Eats: Beer can chicken

Editor’s Note: Elite Series pro Terry Scroggins has long been known as a great cook. In this column, he shares instructions on how to cook some of his favorite foods. See his other recipes for Pork tenderloinTequila chickenVenison kabobs, Mustard fried venisonPeanut butter cup pieSmoked ribs with red pepper jellyShrimp-stuffed jalapeñosCrab-topped grouperGrilled spaghetti.

This recipe is one of my favorites! It is so easy and so delicious. Beer can chicken is a great summertime meal and is way too easy to not work into your menu rotation. Cooking with the beer will keep the chicken moist and tender, and when you add some McCormick Chicken Rub on the outside it completes the meal.

You’ll see that I had some difficulty with this one and had to improvise. That’s just a part of being on the road and making due with what you have. I think you’ll like this recipe and want to cook it again and again.


Ingredients: Whole chicken, McCormick Chicken Rub

Tools needed: Beer cans (one for each chicken), beer can stands (one for each chicken), oven mitt, tongs, pan

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 to 75 minutes depending on your heat and the size of the chicken

Ideally you want to evenly distribute your charcoal, for an even heat.

Light your charcoal, and let it burn for around 15-20 minutes.

While your charcoal is heating up, take your whole chickens and remove the neck and giblets from the chicken. Next rinse the chicken inside and out, and then pat dry with paper towels. I use McCormick Chicken Rub to season the chickens next.

You want to fully cover the chickens with the Chicken Rub, but be careful not to put too much on. Over seasoning is the fastest way to ruin a meal!

I use my hands to apply the rub, after shaking it on to the kitchen.

Now the fun part. Grab two cans of the beer of your choice, pop the tops and either pour out half or drink (only if you are 21 or up) half of each beer.

Make sure your stands are on a flat surface and set the cans inside the racks.

Set the chickens on your beer can/beer can stands, and then ideally you will close the top on your grill. Let the chickens cook for around 45 to 75 minutes, until the chicken starts to recede up off on the bone.


Sometimes you have to improvise. Our chickens were too tall and our grill too short. I had to remove our flat surface and remove some of the charcoal in the middle so I could place the chickens on the bottom surface of the grill.

Sometimes your buddy has to coach you up when you’re improvising.

Sometimes the coaching doesn’t always help.

We were finally able to get the chickens on the beer cans/beer can stands and close the grill. Like I said above, you want to close the grill and let the chickens cook for around 45 to 75 minutes or until you see the chicken start to recede on the bone.

Make sure you have an oven mitt, or something to keep from burning your hands when removing the chickens from the grill.

The same goes for the beer cans as they will be very hot coming off the grill.

Once you get the beer cans removed from the chickens, carve them to your liking.

We served ours with macaroni and cheese, salad, and a special desert. Gerald Swindle made us a desert of pineapple, mayonnaise, and cheese. That was his desert of choice growing up.

Swindle, Britt Myers, Darien and I had a good meal that night. Nights like that make being away from home just a little more bearable.

Terry Scroggins’ column, Big Show’s Big Eats, appears monthly on You can also find him on Twitter or Facebook.