Table of Contents Forums Dictionary Recommended Reading Marketplace Giftshop What I Ate Michael's Blog
Latest Post on Michael's Blog: Fall Television Season 2018 Grid
Recipe File

Smoked Beer Can Turkey

Normal view
Next »
« Prev
Last year, I prepared a Classic Roast Turkey. This year I wanted to provide another variation on turkey and had decided on smoking the turkey. When I received my September 2005 issue of Cook's Country Magazine and found an article featuring Beer-Can Chicken, I decided to modify that recipe to work for a turkey.

The use of a beer can inserted into a chicken is an old barbeque trick to provide flavored steam to the inside of the chicken as it cooks. At the same time, the beer supposely adds flavor to the chicken. Problem is, I don't quite buy it. If the beer is giving off steam, then most of that steam is just going to be water... most of the beer flavor will just be concentrating in the can. However, it seems that it would be sacrilegeous if I used the beer can but left out the beer.

The first step is to brine the turkey. Find a non-reactive (polycarbonate plastic, glass, or stainless steel) container large enough to hold the turkey. Prepare a brining solution of 1 cup table salt to 1 gallon water and soak the turkey in the solution in the refrigerator for four to six hours. (If your turkey has been infused with a solution, then reduce the salt content in your brine or just soak it in a container filled with plain water.)

Pour out the brining solution and rinse the turkey. One convenient way to do this is to position a rack in the sink and place the turkey on the rack to rinse. After the turkey has been rinsed, let it dry by placing it on a rack on a sheet pan in the refrigerator overnight (or for eight hours). Alternatively, use a blow drier on cool setting (no heat) to blow over the skin of the turkey until dry.

In order to prepare beer can turkey, a beer can is necessary. However, a normal 12-oz. beer can, perfect for a chicken, is a bit too small for the large cavity of a turkey. At my local convenience store, I found this 24 oz. micro-keg shaped can of Heineken. It looked to be about the right size, so I bought it.

After pouring the beer into another container (a large measuring cup), remove the top of the can. I used an OXO Good Grips can opener to cleanly remove the top (it took only one pass). Removing the top provides enough surface area from which the steam can rise. The small opening made by the pop top just isn't enough of an opening to effectively provide moisture to the turkey.

Deposit six bay leaves (broken up) and two teaspoons dried thyme into the can. Unlike the beer, the herbs will provide noticeable flavor and aroma while the steam helps keep the turkey moist during it's long cooking process.

Soak a cup of hickory wood chips in some water.

Prepare a spice rub by combining two tablespoons brown sugar, two tablespoons paprika, one tablespoon kosher salt, one tablespoon black pepper, and one teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix the spice rub well.

Rub the spice rub over the entire exterior of the turkey. Loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs and rub the spices under the skin. Finally, rub the remaining spice rub inside the cavity of the turkey.

Pour half the beer back into the open beer can (reserving half for your drinking pleasure). Not pouring all the beer back reduces the risk of spilling as you transport the turkey to and from the grill. Lift the turkey up and lower it onto the beer can.

Place the turkey on the grill. If using a gas grill, position the turkey over one burner, away from the other burners. Turn the burner under the turkey off and turn the other burners on low. If using a charcoal grill, start the charcoals (you'll need a couple batches of about 100 briquettes each over the course of the smoking). When they're ready, push them to the outer edges of the grill leaving the center available for the turkey. Make a container with aluminum foil (or use a metal wood chip tray) and fill it with the wood chips that were soaking in water. Place the container over the other burner or on the hot coals. My grill was not large enough to cover the turkey without the lid touching it, so I placed a V rack in the middle to prop up the lid. I also inserted a Polder Cooking Thermometer into a thigh to track the temperature of the turkey.

Close the lid of the grill. If the turkey is too tall for your grill lid, find a way to prop open the lid just enough (so the lid is mostly closed, but not touching the bird). Then use heavy duty aluminum foil to cover the gap that's left. The aluminum foil lets out a lot of heat, but will help keep the smoke in long enough to flavor the turkey.

The actual cooking of the turkey is a bit finicky and has a lot to do with your grill and how much cooling air is getting into the grill from the slightly open lid. If you didn't need to prop open the lid of your gas grill, keep the burners on low. However, if you did need to prop open the lid, you might need to turn up the heat to compensate for the heat loss? Don't turn on the burner underneath the turkey - we want to cook it with indirect heat. If using charcoal, after the first one and a half to two hours, you'll need to start a new batch of charcoal and replace the original coals as they lose heat.

Halfway through the cooking, about two hours, rotate the turkey to allow even cooking.

When the thigh meat reaches 160°F (71°C) (about 4-1/2 hours in my example), prepare a simple glaze with two tablespoons brown sugar, two tablespoons ketchup, two tablespoons distilled white vinegar, two tablespoons beer, and two teaspoons of hot sauce (I prefer Frank's RedHot Original Hot Sauce). Brush the glaze onto the turkey and cover. After five minutes, brush on another layer of glaze and allow it to cook until the thigh meat registers 170°F (77°C). If you don't have a thermometer, at least poke the turkey with a skewer to see if the juices run clear. If the fluid that comes out contains traces of blood, continue to cook the turkey.

Remove the turkey from the grill and let sit for five minutes to let the juices redistribute (and the exterior to cool enough to touch).

Using folded paper towels or oven mitts (which you don't mind getting dirty), lift the turkey and pull out the beer can. Be careful because the beer can will still be hot and half full of hot liquid (beer and turkey drippings).

Carve (a pictorial is included in the Classic Roast Turkey article) and serve with your favorite accompaniments. The giblet pan gravy can be prepared using the beer from the can (after the oil has been removed) instead of the dry white wine from the gravy article.

This recipe tested pretty well. Parts of the drumsticks and the wings were a little dry (when compared to the oven roasted turkey) because they stick out while cooking. Even so, the turkey was complimented on its unexpected juiciness and full flavor.

Smoked Beer Can Turkey
Prepared Turkey
turkeybrinerub spice rub over skin, under skin, inside cavity
2 Tbs. (28 g) brown sugarcombine
2 Tbs. (14 g) paprika
1 Tbs. (15 g) kosher salt
1 Tbs. (6.4 g) ground black pepper
1 tsp. (1.8 g) cayenne pepper

Prepared beer can
24 oz. beer canremove toppour beer and herbs in can
6 bay leavescrumble
2 tsp. (2 g) dried thyme
12 ounces (355 mL) beer

Smoked Beer Can Turkey
Prepare grill for barbequeing with indirect heat
1 cup hickory wood chipssoak in waterplace in metal container and onto grill
Prepared turkeyinsert can into turkeysmoke until thigh meat reaches 160°F (71°C)brush on glaze twicesmoke until thigh reaches 170°F (77°C)
Prepared beer can
2 Tbs. (28 g) brown sugarcombine
2 Tbs. (30 g) ketchup
2 Tbs. (30 mL) distilled white vinegar
2 Tbs. (30 mL) beer
2 tsp. (10 mL) hot sauce

Next »
« Prev
Written by Michael Chu
Published on
52 comments on Smoked Beer Can Turkey:(Post a comment)

On October 27, 2005 at 02:42 PM, Mithrandir (guest) said...
Subject: Volatiles
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.

On October 28, 2005 at 12:44 PM, raven (guest) said...
Subject: Brining tip
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.

On October 28, 2005 at 03:46 PM, FranksPlace2 said...
Subject: I'm Making Turducken
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.


On October 28, 2005 at 05:01 PM, DrBiggles said...
Subject: Beer Turkey
Hey Michael,

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.


On October 28, 2005 at 05:02 PM, kskerr said...
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!

On October 28, 2005 at 07:41 PM, Michael Chu said...
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.

re: flavor

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...

On October 29, 2005 at 12:01 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Coke glaze
There's a Nigella Lawson recipe for ham with a Coca-Cola glaze that might be of interest to you.

-- tom

On October 30, 2005 at 01:12 PM, an anonymous reader said...

On October 31, 2005 at 09:43 AM, Beer Can Fan (guest) said...
Subject: Slight adjustments...
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.

On November 04, 2005 at 10:26 AM, pan_man (guest) said...
Subject: Beer Varieties
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.

On November 04, 2005 at 04:16 PM, weston (guest) said...
Subject: turkey
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.

On November 13, 2005 at 12:08 AM, dasmb (guest) said...
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.

On November 14, 2005 at 11:42 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Rest time
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.

On November 14, 2005 at 12:12 PM, smokin' in the South (guest) said...
Subject: culinary equipment
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'?



On November 17, 2005 at 04:29 PM, Hannah (guest) said...
Subject: Beercan Turkey
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! :)

On November 17, 2005 at 07:07 PM, Kermit (guest) said...
Subject: Beer can Turkey
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.

On November 19, 2005 at 09:26 PM, Jay (guest) said...
Subject: If You Like Beer Can Chicken
Well, if you like Beer Can Chicken, you have to check out

On November 23, 2005 at 01:29 AM, low and slow (guest) said...
Subject: Beercan 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!

On November 23, 2005 at 07:30 AM, Rann (guest) said...
Subject: drunken chicken
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.


On November 23, 2005 at 10:05 AM, Jessem (guest) said...
Subject: Build your own smoker
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, This smoker is large enough to smoke a turkey and also turns out great steaks etc.


On November 26, 2005 at 02:22 PM, ewm3736 (guest) said...
Subject: Beercan Turkey
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.

On November 29, 2005 at 05:38 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: grilling with beer
I am working on a cookbook about grilling with beer, and if you are interested in testing recipes, please let me know - - site is
Try the turkey on a large can of cream ale for a treat...

On January 16, 2006 at 01:58 AM, xfrench (guest) said...
Subject: coke glaze
Using CocaCola as a ham glaze is something I've come across as a Mexican/Cuban/Latin trick that goes back a ways...

On January 24, 2006 at 08:30 PM, Sledgehammer (guest) said...
Subject: Emergency BBQ Sauce
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.

On January 26, 2006 at 02:31 PM, rookie (guest) said...

On January 26, 2006 at 02:54 PM, ROOKIE (guest) said...

On April 22, 2006 at 01:53 PM, sandy (guest) said...
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

On May 06, 2006 at 06:47 AM, cz (guest) said...

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

On November 13, 2006 at 12:31 PM, chemist (guest) said...
Subject: Volatiles
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.

On November 20, 2007 at 06:27 AM, Bill (guest) said...
Subject: Regulations of turkey smoking
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,

On August 24, 2008 at 07:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
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!


On November 20, 2008 at 04:39 PM, The Joker (guest) said...
Subject: Beer Car additives
Try adding a little Jack Daniels and Tabasco to the beer. Adds a nice flavor.

On November 21, 2008 at 04:41 PM, SgtTrotter (guest) said...
Subject: Beer Can Turkey
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?

On November 26, 2008 at 10:52 AM, Dan Machuga (guest) said...
Subject: A better way to build your can for beer can turkey
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.

On December 13, 2008 at 05:10 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Beer-butt chicken
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.

On December 25, 2008 at 05:46 PM, evinrude (guest) said...
Subject: Smoked Turkey
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

On August 23, 2009 at 02:55 PM, IvanSX (guest) said...
Subject: beer can turkey
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

On November 09, 2009 at 12:30 PM, an anonymous reader said...
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.

On November 24, 2009 at 11:07 PM, Gabe (guest) said...
Subject: Beer Can Turkey (Pavo Borracho)
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!


On November 27, 2009 at 11:39 PM, illinifoodie (guest) said...
Subject: this string
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.

On December 25, 2009 at 05:08 AM, simon (guest) said...
Subject: Beer Can Turkey
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.

Great recipe.

On November 27, 2010 at 01:38 AM, illinifoodie (guest) said...
Subject: this thread
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.

On March 06, 2011 at 10:58 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: epoxy in your turkey
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.[6][7] Chemical compounds used in the internal coating of the can include types of epoxy resin.[8]

On April 25, 2011 at 09:24 AM, chrishohenwald (guest) said...
Subject: beer can turkey
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.
Chris Hohenwald.

On June 05, 2011 at 09:48 PM, Mike (guest) said...
Subject: Beer can Chicken
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....


On November 23, 2011 at 08:50 PM, mort (guest) said...
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?


On December 06, 2011 at 12:27 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Beer can chicken experiment:

On December 24, 2011 at 09:13 AM, Ripwoods (guest) said...
Subject: Christmas turkey
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.

On November 09, 2012 at 10:25 PM, kristylynn (guest) said...
Subject: beer butt turkey or chicken
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

On November 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM, tbeasley (guest) said...
Subject: amazing recipe
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.

On December 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM, SchuCru2 (guest) said...
Subject: Beer Can Smoked Turkey
Question regarding the Smoker ; is it acceptable to us a Bradley Electric Smoker ? How many Hours / Lb . @ 200-225 Degrees . The resipe sounds great .

On December 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM, Padre (guest) said...
Subject: Xmas Dinner
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

About CfE Contact User Agreement Privacy Policy FAQ's In the Press Write for CfE