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Old 06-28-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
Enkidu
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Default Meathead "debunks" beer-can chicken

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...n_chicken.html

Thoughts?

I have to admit I used to do a lot of beer-can chicken but have found that I like spatchcocked chicken better... plus it cooks faster.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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i don't do them often, but when i do, i use a ceramic "chicken sitter" and i have noticed a difference.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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I agree that it is unnecessary.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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I bought a couple beercan chicken stands a couple years ago. I keep MEANING to use them but...they still have the cardboard attached and remain untouched.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
I bought a couple beercan chicken stands a couple years ago. I keep MEANING to use them but...they still have the cardboard attached and remain untouched.

i have one of those, unused, as well.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
I bought a couple beercan chicken stands a couple years ago. I keep MEANING to use them but...they still have the cardboard attached and remain untouched.
Me three...
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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Yeah I used to do it beer can style but then I tried a spatchcocked bird and haven't looked back. So much easier.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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I'm a spatchcock fan here as well. I've had fantastic results many many times. I hav ea buddy that insists on wasting beer by adding a bunch of jalapenos and onions to it and shoving it inside the bird.

Fun fact, we roasted two birds one with beer and veggies inside and one without. Identical prep in every other way and cooked on the same grill. Blindfolded he couldn't identify which was which but still he swears by it. Strangely, the guy is super-scientific so a double blind test should have convinced him to stop wasting his beer, but "it's the way my mom does it and I don't want to mess with the recipe".
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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I can say that Beer-can chicken was really the 'door-way' for me getting into Q'n. And so it has a real, near and dear place in my heart as far as a way of cooking chicken. And when I saw the headline to this thread, and when I read the headline of the article - I was slightly hurt and offended. But that's ok, because I really don't know everything, and you know what? - some times I'm WRONG! Everything he talked about, science and all, makes a ton of sense and seems logical. I love it, I've got a lot to learn - that's a great article to share - thank you very much. And I love the quote from Big Poppa - I respect him a ton!

I do have one of those vertical "beer can holders", and I may still use it, just minus the can. I like vertical roasting the chicken, I think it has a lot of advantages. I can't wait until I try it, sans beer can. But i agree with cheeaa, since starting to spatchcock chicken and turkey, I rarely do it any other way. It's a great way to smoke.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeaa View Post
Yeah I used to do it beer can style but then I tried a spatchcocked bird and haven't looked back. So much easier.
Same.

I am pretty new to Qing. I got a 4-burner gas grill as a gift last Summer along with Steve Raichlen's book on beer can chicken. I did a heck of a lot of beer can chickens from the recipes in his book.

In March, when I got my 22.5 OTG for my B-day, I have been trying to branch out a lot with different techniques. I decided to give spatchcocking a go (also because I saw it in one of Raichlen's books). I haven't cooked a beer can chicken since. I use many of the same rubs and sauces I see in Raichlen's book, but I just apply them to the spatchcocked bird instead.

It tastes just as good to me and is about 1/2 the cooking time. I was just wondering what others' experiences have been.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #11
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The parts I disagreed with most were in reference to the can placement. I cut my can down a good bit and use only a tiny amount of beer with chicken broth added plus aromatics.

I seriously question the temperatures mentioned if cooked with a smaller amount of liquid. I'm no thermaldynamics expert, but I have to imagine that the heat conductivity of the aluminum surrounding the liquid would affect the liquid's temperature. Also, I often have more direct heat below the can.

I think lots of good points were made in that post, but I also think several variables were either misrepresented or not present. I mentioned a couple above.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #12
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I want to play around with beercan chicken for fun, but not because I believe it is significantly better; I just want to see if I can figure a way to get the beer bubbling. Failing that, it does let me put more chickens on the Weber at one time for grilling or smoking.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #13
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A drastically reduced amount of liquid may well get hotter than a full or mostly full can, but I suspect at that point the aromatic/flavonoid content of the beer would be so small as to be undetectable unless the beer was directly injected in to the chicken.

As for the heat conductivity of aluminum - remember the side of the can are still in contact or nearly in contact with the inside of the bird which insulates most of the aluminum from the hot air in the pit. The only heat path through the aluminum is from the bottom of the can and to bring the entirety of the liquid up to boiling temp would probably take longer than the bird would take to cook - perhaps even if the can was nearly empty. Still, it might be worth an experiment assuming you're willing to go through the complicated set up to take temperature readings from the side/bottom of the can, the interior of the liquid, the bird, and the pit.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
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I've done beer can chicken a few times, and it came out great. Whether it was due to the beer or not, I don't know.

Enkidu, that was an interesting article you put up the link to.

Bob
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #15
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i read that article earlier today and while everything he wrote makes sense, I am an avid fan of beer can chicken. I honestly don't care what the science is, I just know that when I do it, it always comes out great! I cook hot and fast on my gasser with the front and back burners on high. THe middle burner off entirely. Place the chicken in the middle and cook it at about 400 degrees on the dome. Probably closer to 450 at the grate. Cook for about 45 minutes with a 10 minute rest. Chicken ALWAYS comes out juicy in the breast AND dark meat.

I have tried spatchcock and find it to be more work and I didn't like the results.
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