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Beer can chicken

James Hocking

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So I’m going to try a beer can chicken today, it’s pretty cold out today so would it be best to avoid putting water in the smoker today? 

Ive got the smoker in an alcove so hopefully it will keep the heat protected


Or or do I try get up to temp with water and if no luck remove the water? 

Im going to use a variation of one of @Smokin Monkey‘s recipes with some natural yoghurt and tandoori rub we picked up from Aldi a while ago! 


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Pre-cook, do you need to score the meat when using this sort of rub/marinade? The tandoori flavour is fairly non existent! But the beer and hickory smoke may just be over powering! 1D7604C7-BEEA-4180-B294-1E0B23E33817.thumb.jpeg.59158b66967a36963749ea4324711950.jpeg


All done and tasting great! 

I’ll need to invest in a dual probe thermometer though, I had to use my singular probe for ambient and meat. That’ll teach me for not researching things before hand! 

I think the inkbird 30% deal will

be a winner! 

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8 hours ago, Smokin Monkey said:

If you are happy with your temperature control leave the water pan out.

The beer will add moisture.

Please forgive me for being a little picky... 😁

Leave the water pan in but just don't fill it with water. The pan acts as a heat deflector above the burning coals and helps smooth the temperature within the cooking chamber. To prevent it from getting "gungy" (a technical Grande Master's BBQ term), line it with a sheet of kitchen foil. 

Technically the beer will add A LITTLE moisture but not enough to make much difference to the cook. The beer is inside the can which is inside the chicken. The inside of the chicken will only be getting up to say 75-85 C and so the beer in the can will only reach a temperature that is approaching this. You will get some water vapour coming off at 70 C but this will be contained within the can and only released at the top into the neck of the bird - where it will then rapidly pass out of the cooking chamber at the top of the smoker. The reason that Beer Can chicken remains nice and moist is that, when cooking by temperature, it does not get over cooked.


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17 hours ago, James Hocking said:

I ended up using water and I’m glad I did, because the chicken is super moist! Even with the water I struggled keeping temperatures down, most of the cook was at around 130C and that was with all bottom vents clothes and top vents part closed! 

We need to work on the temperature control with you as you should be able to stabilise it lower than that. Next time can you take some photos of the coals as you are getting it ready to cook.

The 130 C for the beer can chicken would be fine though as chicken is often better hot roasted. I usually cook mine at ~150 C using an upright chicken roaster instead of a beer can.


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In a WSM Always leave top vent fully open. Set the bottom vents at the start with a pencil in a bottom vent the repeat with each bottom vent and see what temp that is. That way vents are consistent base every time and adjust relects local conditions on the day ie wind Sun etc.

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