Grilled Beer Can Chicken with Smoky Barbecue Rub & Bourbon Butter


The Chicken:

  • One 3 1/2- to 4-pound fryer
  • chicken, neck and giblets removed
  • 3 tablespoons Smoky Barbecue Rub, divided (see recipe)
  • One 12-ounce can light beer

The Bourbon Butter:

  • 6 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt + salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Wash and dry chicken well. Rub 2 tablespoons of the dry rub all over the chicken and inside the cavity.

With a can opener, remove the top of the beer can. Pour out (or drink) 1/4 of the liquid, and stir in remaining tablespoon of the dry rub. Insert beer can deep into the cavity of the chicken, so that the chicken is standing up on top of the beer can.

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat.

While the grill is heating, make the bourbon butter glaze by melting butter with the other ingredients in a small saucepan and boiling over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

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