I think I buy the beer-can-flavor thing. It's not just the water that boils off of the beer during cooking. It's anything with a boiling point below that of water. That includes the alcohol, and many of the flavor components of the beer. After all, you probably wouldn't taste much of the beer if it didn't contain numerous volatiles.
Plus, there are various chemical reactions that happen when you boil beer. I think of the beer can cooking method as a sort of cheap whiskey auto-basting.
A suggestion for the brining step in this process. We have brined our turkey the last few years and we don't have a container large enough for a turkey. Instead, we use the large plastic cooking bags by Reynolds. We have had to use both of them, just in case one leaks. We stick the bags and the turkey in a cooler. This might help out any of you that have limited space in your refrigerator.
Turducken is a deboned chicken inside a deboned duck inside a deboned Turkey. Three dressings are interlaced between the birds: cornbread, oyster and sausage. I hope Katrina didn't hurt the oyster beds too badly.
I learned how to make this when I attended a Paul Prudhomme radio show back in the eighties. He has the receipe in one of his cookbooks.
The first time I cooked it, it took me three days and two bottles of bourbon. The bourbon is not part of the recipe. Now I buy deboned birds and it takes about a day.
Do you remember how much liquid was left in the can after the turkey had done it's smoking? Just curious because when I cook indirectly with a beer chicken, most if not nearly all of the liquid is left. When I do it pretty direct, a little is gone. Personally I think it's a nice way of holding the chicken upright.
My smoker ranges from 225F to maybe 250F, this is at grill level.
So did the beer flavor go into the turkey or was it more the seasoning. I have seen the can holders sold at stores and they say to use beer or any soda, coke flavored chicken does not really appeal to me!
re: amount of beer remaining
It looked as if the beer level had not changed after cooking. Of course, there was a decent amount of fat and presumably juice from the turkey in the can as well - so it's hard to tell how much of the beer actually steamed.
I felt it was mostly the seasoning (herbs) and couldn't tell if any beer flavor actually was trasmitted to the turkey. For a real test, I'd have to prepare two turkeys (or more likely two small chickens with beer cans) - one with beer and one with water to see if there's a difference. Right now, I'm a little tired of eating poultry, so I need a bit of a break.
re: coke chicken
After I finished the turkey, Tina suggested that I try cooking a chicken with a glaze made of Coca-Cola. I know there's a Coca-Cola recipe book out there, but I don't have a copy. It sounds intriguing to me...
First off, welcome to the wonderful world of beercan cooking.
Now, does beer steam impart flavor aromatically? I say yes. Here's a simple experiment that will disprove your theory: Pour a can of beer into a saucepan and put heat to it. As it comes up to a boil you'll notice the smell immediately. Within minutes your whole house will smell like a brewery.
Poultry is a more difficult meat to infuse, however, so there are a few things you can do to stack the can in your favor. My technique is based on Steve Raichlen's book Beer-Can Chicken: And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill
First of all, you must use a dark beer. The darker the beer, the richer the flavor. I like to cook with Yuengling Black And Tan. It is full flavored without costing as much as a boutique beer.
Secondly, substitute the brine water with more beer. With a turkey this is gonna take a lot of beer, but with an average sized chicken, I never wind up using more than three cans or so.
Lastly, it helps to plug the neck hole to trap, thus recirculating the steam. Obviously you don't want it airtight but I like to shove an onion wedge in there.
I have also tried cooking a chicken over Coke as well as ginger-ale. I preferred the ginger-ale (the book has a great recipe that involves fresh ginger with the ginger-ale). I always come back to beer, though. Nothing seems to compliment the flavor of chicken more.
So I have also done a beer turkey, but for larger birds, a small can doesn't cut it. Therefor I got the help of a small pony keg. Also, a dark winter beer like Pyramid's Snow Cap brings a more rich flavor to the gamey meat. Afterwards, the leftover beer can be used to make a gravy sauce. Any leftovers go well on sandwiches.
B) That sounds great. We like anything cooked in beer. The fact is that we are hooked on deep fried turkey. We like Rice Oil because the smoke point is higher than peanut oil. We inject with a cajun sauce and 45 minutes later the turkey is perfect.
Hey. Nice how-to. I've made beer-can turkeys several times in the past, and discovered yours while looking for a refresher. It featured a lot of minutiae I intend to work into my process.
However, I would like to take you to task for the "new batch of charcoal" thing. Allowing a batch of charcoal to ash out, then starting with a whole new batch of hot coals, is almost like cooking the bird twice. You get your initial flash of heat twice, and thus have to watch for over-done skin twice. Pain in the ass!
The real way to do it is to replenish 5-10% of the coal pile with fresh coals every 30 minutes. These cold coals will slowly turn into fuel just as the old ones are ashing out, giving us the closest thing to even heat a charcoaler can get.
Incidentally, I'm trying my largest bird ever -- 26 lbs -- and I have had to raise the roof of my 22" Weber to accomodate the monster. I did so with 10 feet of 14" high aluminum flashing, fashioned into a ring that fits just inside the grill. Hopefully this should prevent heat loss while keeping the turkey sufficiently far from the fire to prevent the drumsticks from getting overdone.
you need to let the turkey rerst longer than 5 minutes. That amount of time would be alright for a cut of meat, about 10-15 mins for a typical roast, but definitely upwards of 20 minutes for a turkey, if not a half-hour.
This may be why your thigh meat tested a bit dry. It should be the part of the turkey with the most moisture.
Sorry Gents - if I didn't know better I would have thought this was a forum for 'Cooking foir Liberal Arts Majors"....Any Engineer knows you have to use the right tool for the job! I cringed reading the part about having to patch the open part of the grill with aluminum foil because the bird was too big..Pleeze CAN YOU SPELL 'KLUDGE'?
GET A BIG GREEN EGG OR A REASONABLE FACILSIMILE. THROW AWAY THE GRILL - YOU WILL NEVER USE IT AGAIN.
Beercan Turkey is super easy and super tasty! A really EASY way to cook your turkey is to buy a Bayou Classic Turkcan Rack. The rack is made larger to hold a turkey and the beer. You should get one or two before the holidays! :)
I've been a camper for over 30 years and I like to cook over the open fire. I have a fire pit in my backyard. I made a type of grill out of an open top 55 gln. steel drum. I start a fire using a good amount of wood (Oak). When the wood burns down I put a large stainless steel bowl at the bottom of the drum but above the fire and add water untill about 1/2 full. Then I put the grate above that (use the same grate as a round Webber grill uses, it fits inside the drum). Then put your turkey on the grate and cover with the lid that comes with the drum. I cut an opening in the drum just below the area where the bowl of water is, and made a hinged cover to fit over the opening so I can add more wood as needed to keep the fire going. At this point I use Apple wood. Apple wood works best because it doesn't over power the meat and adds a somewhat sweet smoke flavor to the meat. I use a vegetable can instead of a beer can, it fits perfectly inside the Turkey.
There's lot's of good info here! I've been smoking turkeys for some years and learned a good tip from my CPAP humidifier: Heat the liquid (beer or other beverage) prior to placing on the grill. Sure, you have to be as careful placing the bird as removing it, but pre-heated liquid will create steam much more rapidly, and that's the moisturizing ingredient that makes the difference!
The beer can turkey is a good idea but your missing something. While living in south Mississippi a cajun cook tought me the ark of drunken chicken. Now as it is first thing in tha am for me pardon the spelling BUT he added a half a package of CRAB BOIL to the beer and rubbed the rest on the bird. This offset the bland taste of the bird as well as giving it some spice to the finnished dish. As I am not a crab eating kinda guy Ive tried several types of seasoning but allways came back to the crab boil. If anybody is interested email and Ill share the brand name of the boil for all of ya as well as the Cajun method that makes for some amusing reading.
OK we are suppose to be engineers right? Build your own smoker from a section of 21 inch casing and a man hole cover, works wonderful and unlike the Binks type smokers it will never burn our. If you would like to know how, send me an e-mail at Jessem@wp.state.ks.us, This smoker is large enough to smoke a turkey and also turns out great steaks etc.
I tried your recipe with a 3 burner gas grill (one burner on, set LOW): taste was good, meat was moist and done. Second time around to smoke, I used a combination of applewood sawdust, mesquite chips, and hickory chunks, 1/4, 1/4, 2/4 by weight. Mixed the spices of your rub into 2 sticks of room-temp butter, lifted the skin of the breast and other accessible places, and stuffed the spiced butter mix next to the meat. The little I had left over went inside the bird. Your recipe is good --- but try this change for yourself. The bird is self-basting, so the result is indescribably great!
And YES, I am an engineer, a chemist, and a member of Les Marmitons.
I am working on a cookbook about grilling with beer, and if you are interested in testing recipes, please let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org - site is www.grillingwithbeer.com
Try the turkey on a large can of cream ale for a treat...
Using CocaCola as a ham glaze is something I've come across as a Mexican/Cuban/Latin trick that goes back a ways...
In college, my bro's roommate turned me on to this emergency BBQ sauce for when the bottle runs dry:
Equal parts Coca Cola and Ketchup.
It's no substitute for homemade or KC Masterpiece, but it tastes pretty good.
I RECIEVED A KEG ROASTER FOR CHRISTMAS. JUST PUT IT TOGETHER. USES A 30,000 BTU BURNER A DRIP PAN AND A HEAT DIFFUSER. WITH AN ALUMINUM DOOM TO COVER 3 CHICKENS, OR UP TO A 20LB TURKEY. LOOKS REALLY COOL, DONT KNOW YET HOW IT COOKS. BUT I WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE HAS HAD SUCESS WITH CAN RECIPES FOR BEEF, PORKRIBS OR WHATEVER?
SORRY ABOUT THE DOOM DOME. I R A ENJUNEAR AND I CAINT EVEN SPELL IT. THE BRINE PROCESS. IS IT NECESSARY. WHAT DOES IT DO FOR THE BIRD.
That sounds great. We like anything cooked in beer. The fact is that we are hooked on deep fried turkey. We like Rice Oil because the smoke point is higher than peanut oil. We inject with a cajun sauce and 45 minutes later the turkey is perfect. :lol: posted by http://softmarketindia.blogspot.com/
Czech beer information, history, ow to make beer at home etc. and another information about Czech, Prague, travel, real estate, prices, foto galery, Prague pubs, tips
I agree with Mithrandir, there has to be something coming off the beer besides water vapor, otherwise you would not smell the cooking beer, and I can vouch for the fact that boiling beer has a smell from the times that I have boiled bratwurst in beer.
As A Quality Control Inspector lets understand the rules.
You should never consume a turkey which has not achieved a smoked tempureture of 165...If said turkey is cooked to the required temp it will have a destinctive smoke ring and rather pink hue to the meat.
The beer will have a minuet flavor enhancement at best. perhaps engineering can find a more effective way to use beer,ingestion works well for Q.C.
It has been determined however that the BRINE is the decideding factor in flavor and should not be ignored.
There are many recipies and perhaps engineering can determine which offers one that can please the palate of the masses on a consistant basis.
Thanks for the debate,
I've been reading and enjoying the recipes on this site for a while now, and when I decided to try "beer butt chicken", I checked to see if you guys had a better way of doing it. Sure enough, I learned to take the whole top off the can. My husband was surprised that I didn't just open it and pour out half. I told him, "No, I have to take the whole top off, pour it into a container while I mix herbs in the empty can, then fill it halfway with the beer." We are doing it right now with a chicken, will be excited to see how dinner turns out. Thanks for your always illuminating twists to cooking. I love engineers!
Try adding a little Jack Daniels and Tabasco to the beer. Adds a nice flavor.
My Weber is too small to accommodate a turkey sitting on the can like a chicken. Haven't tried this yet, but will before too long. How about laying the bird on it's back, like in the oven, and slide the can in horizontally AFTER making a slit in one side of sufficient width to allow adding whatever is wanted, and provide sufficient surface for pleanty of steaming?
After cutting off your lid to the beer can punch two holes on each side of the can, take a wire coat hanger cut the hook off ,streighten the rest of the hanger out and then bend the hanger in half.Take your beer can size it up to the bottom of the bird just to get an idea where the top of the can would be inside the cavitiy. Take your wire coat hanger thats bent in half and size it up from the neck to the holes in the can leave about a half an inch of coat hanger sticking out of the bird where the hanger is bent. The two ends of hanger will need to go into the holes in the can I cut each end about a half an inch longer to where the ends need to go into the can and bend them. I find it so much easier to move the bird around this way and you wont have to worry about the can falling out of your bird it works for me hope it works for you.
I have been making beer-butt chicken for 14 years now. I use charcoal and direct heat because I usually have to do 4 to 5 at a time, that is how much everyone loves them. The meat literally falls off the bone. I stick a two or three inch piece of sausage in the neck so the steam doesn't escape. I like the beer because it seems to tenderize the chicken, but it's the herbs and spices I put in the beer that really does the flavoring. Just recently I used an orange soda that was out of this world. Sorry, but my spices and glaze is a secret.
It seems most all receipes call for internal temp. of thigh to reach 180 degrees - 170 degrees for the breast. What say you about this? Thanks....... evinrude
Instead of drinking the rest of your 24 oz heiniken pour it int the drip pan thus you steam the outside of the turkey also
I work in a Beer club
and recently we have learned to make a turkey exactly like this one but when I first cooked it I think I have skipped a few steps and I want to try again tomorrow following your recipe. Thanks a lot for posting this awesome thread.
I have tried the beer can turkey and I have to say it is the juciest turkey you will ever eat if its cooked correctly. I started cooking my turkeys in a beer can about 5 years ago.
I never brined my turkeys and they came out perfect. I used a 24 ounce beer can and added my ingrdients in the beer after I took a drink or two. I use a light beer.
I use my trailer pit for these big birds and usually let them smoke for about 5-6 hours at about 200-250 degrees. I smoke them using mesquite. I [u:2b47ff440c]NEVER[/u:2b47ff440c] use lighter fluid or charcoal.
Not only do you get the flavor of the beer and the ingredients, but you also get the flavor of the mesquite. You can kill 3 birds with one stone.
When I do the beer can method, I rotate my bird every hour, I also check the beer levels. When I cook my bird I notice that the beer does evaporate and I have to fill the can back to the original level.
One thing that I do before I put my dry rub on the bird is rub a generous amount of vegetable oil or olive oil all over the turkey. This makes the skin come out nice and crisp with that golden color. Then add your rub.
The leftover beer and ingredients make a great sauce. I add the beer to a sauce pan and heat. I then add water to cornstarch and form a paste and add it to the sauce pan. Stir well and let sit to thicken. If to thick add water or more beer. If you have last minute questions you can reach me at the following site.
Keep up the great work!
Tomorrow will be my first go at beer can bird. After reading this string, I thought I might add a flavor combo to your mix. I have used it with indirect heat and a steam pan on chicken before, and think I may try this with a can. Bird: chicken. Stuff under the skin: Paste of fresh basil, fresh (spicy greek) oregano, fresh garlic, salt and pepper (well, and a binder of some sort like unsalted butter). Then over that but still under the skin, paper thin slices of proscuitto or if you can get it capicola. If you have to cut the skin in a couple places to do this, just toothpick it back in place. Olive oil the outside of the skin. In the can a mixture of beer and sweet vermouth. Not sure of purportions because I have always just had a steam pan under chicken pieces before. The vermouth can be quite strong. I suppose at first I would try 1/3 vermouth 2/3 beer. Then I also use hickory smoke. Chips that have been soaked not chunks. Good luck, and if you try this please report back.
Well it's 11 at night Christmas day in New Zealand, our guests have left, and the the resounding vote was a yes for the beer can turkey. Frankly it rocked. The rub made a huge difference but all the meat remained tender and juicy.
ok ... last years experiment went well. I have a really good brine and a really good prep. This beer can turkey thing is awesome. Brine for 12 hrs or so. (ask for recipe) Cook on weber gas grill with smoker at 350 deg or so for about 3 hours or so. A loaded smoker box gives about an hour of hard smoke. there is also a sub cu rub of flavoured butter pre cook. I use half of a 24 oz can of beer with some lemon juice some worstershire, some garlic, some sage and some thyme. perhaps also a few allspice balls and a few peppercorns. In the beer that is. I just use a common american light lager. Just enough etoh to disolve soluable flavors and fume the boid with them. lips already smackin.
there was mention also in the news of bisphenol-A in the coating used inside soda cans, a while back.
Aluminium cans often contain an internal coating to protect the aluminium from beverage corrosion. Despite this coating, trace amounts of aluminium can be degraded into the liquid, the amount depending on factors such as storage temperature and liquid composition. Chemical compounds used in the internal coating of the can include types of epoxy resin.
Hi there. I am a noobie to this beer can turkey technique and was wondering if there is an approximate cooking time per pound. I realize bbqs all cook at different temperatures, but I'd like appreciate an approximate time.
The article shows a turkey, and a time of 4-4.5 hours, but doesn't say how large the bird was.
Thanks in advance.
The first time I ever heard of Beer can chicken was by accident. It was a flash cartoon from the late 90's.
Well worth watching and good advice.
FYI I am cooking a chicken on my grill with a can of Pabst. I am drinking a Franziskaner....
getting ready to cook one tomorrow. i have a pan and i may use one of hte foster's beer cans because of its width. i also have quite a few whisky chips that have been soaking in whiskey. i'm going to put a bit of whiskey in the bottom pan as well although that may boil out pretty fast. i'm going to have a can in the turkey and .5-1" in the bottom of the pan of a beer/whiskey mix with a few spices. Is this overkill or will I be able to get sort of a self basting effect. what do you think? i have a real make-shift rig but cooked a bcc last night and worked very well and much faster. i'm letting the thermo sit inside of the roaster (a fire pit and a screened lid covered in tin foil) near the top to measure temperature in the pit. should i put the thermo at top or bottom of the lid? I'm shooting for about 300 deg. +/- 25 deg. for overall temp and the nine pounds for about 3.5 hours. does this sound feasible?
Beer can chicken experiment:
Tried the recipe yesterday for our Christmas party.
I used a 1 litre can of Asahi Super Dry as I am living in Japan.
I followed the rub recipe and placed a 12lb. bird over the opened can, inside a Reynolds Oven Bag, and rested it all in a roasting pan.
This went into a smoking grill and remained over the coals for about 3 hours.
Smoke was added and could be tasted in the meat, but not overpowering due to the bag.
However, the bag did help infuse the flavour of the beer and keep the whole bird moist from wing to tail.
I will definately use the same technique next time as the results were outstanding and received nothing but compliments.
Thanks for the posts.
Here is a great twist on beer butt chicken or turkey. Use coke, cherry coke, or dr pepper instead of beer. Dr. Pepper is awesome! :D
I found this recipe 4 years ago, and have used it religiously since no matter the time of year . I have had rave reviews on it from every one who has ever tried it. I don't have a grill so I do the actual cooking a little different. I place the turkey in a large caserol (sp) pan about two feet long and about a foot and a half wide...they sell disposalable ones at most grocery stores. I coat the bird in unmelted butter before I put the spice rub on to help it stick better. I also put about 6 mounded tablespoons of butter in the pan around the turkey for drippings( which is absolutely amazing for dipping the meat into when cooked). Place the beer can about half way back inside the bird, may want to use a smaller beer can as the can will be standing up inside the bird instead of the bird standing on the can. I then wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil and cook the turkey per the package the turkey came in pertaining to time and temp. Do the basting about every 30 mins as well as getting some of the butter dripping juice to baste as well. Rewrap turkey after every basting until the last half hour to hour to brown the bird. This recipe makes a very juicy, slightly spicy bird that even people who don't like spicy things love. I NEVER have left overs on Thanksgiving and usually have to make two to three turkeys for the rest of my extended family. Highly recommend atleast trying this recipe, you wont regret it.
Question regarding the Smoker ; is it acceptable to us a Bradley Electric Smoker ? How many Hours / Lb . @ 200-225 Degrees . The resipe sounds great .
I cooked yesterdays Turkey as per recipe on here and it was absolutely stunning….. 100% perfect result… I used Guiness rather than beer and what this did for the gravy just is not possible to describe how amazing it tasted…. Thank you very much for this webpage… It made a Scottish Hebridean Island Xmas dinner one never to forget…. can't imagine not cooking Turkey like this ever again! Slainte