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by rick broWne

rick broWne’s beer-buTT chicken

This recipe uses a chef locke beer-butt chicken plank to hold the beer can and flavor the chicken. This vertical cooking method helps drain off the fat as the chicken cooks vertically, and the beer steams the inside of the chicken while the outside is cooked by the barbecue heat and steam from the cedar plank, producing a very moist bird. Planks are available at your favorite barbecue or grocery store or by going online to www.tailgatingplanks.com/chef.

INGrEDIENtS Serves 8 - 10 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon dried summer savory 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon dry yellow mustard 1 tablespoon hickory sea salt 1 large chicken (4-5 pounds) 1 (12-ounce can of your favorite beer 1 cup) apple cider 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  • 1.

    Place an unopened can of beer in the hole of a chef locke beer-butt chicken Plank and soak in water for 4–6 hours; weigh it down with other cans if necessary so that it is under water the entire time.

  • 2.

    Preheat the barbecue to medium high (325 to 375 degrees) for direct and indirect heating, putting a water pan under the unheated part of the grill.

  • 3.

    in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, savory, cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard, and sea salt until well incorporated. Wash and dry the chicken and season it generously inside and out with the rub. Work the mixture well into the skin and under the skin wherever possible. Place the chicken on a plate, cover, and set aside to dry marinate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • 4.

    remove the plank and can from the water and, leaving the can in the plank, open it and pour half the beer into a spray bottle. Add the cider, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to the spray bottle and set aside.

  • 5.

    sit the chicken on top of the beer can and place the plank directly over the flames or hot coals. cook the chicken for 10 minutes, then move the plank to the unheated side of the grill and cook for 80 to 90 minutes over indirect heat, spraying the chicken all around with the basting spray several times. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. remove the chicken and plank from the grill and place it on a heatproof countertop.

  • 6.

    After your guests have reacted appropriately, remove the chicken from the beer can with tongs while holding the hot plank with an oven mitt. (careful! The can will be very hot.)

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