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ricksegers
11-18-2009, 07:21 PM
It appears to be one of the great controversies in BBQ. Does stuffing a half full beer can or other liquid in a chicken's behind really impact the chicken. I came upon some interesting research over on the Naked Whiz.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/beercanchicken.htm

I apologize if this is a repeat but I couldn't find anything in a search.

Psyco Realm
11-18-2009, 09:20 PM
my experience with beer can chicken is simple. it just dont work.
if i want beer tasting chicken i get 2 bottles of heineken coat the chicken with yard birds and let it marinade in fridge for 24 hrs. this is beer chicken friends.

Arlin_MacRae
11-18-2009, 09:22 PM
It makes a great throne, though!

KC_Bobby
11-18-2009, 09:45 PM
I think beer can chickens are awesome. Does the beer matter? Probably not, but I think the fact that you have moisture steaming in there helps.

Drifter
11-18-2009, 09:54 PM
Hmmm... I guess I never really put that much thought into it. But I have been known to drink the beer and put water back in the can, and have also used various soda's , and none of them really tasted much different unless I used different rubs. Very interesting read though!! They really did their homework to prove this wrong. But I'll probably keep making them anyway.

Meat Burner
11-18-2009, 10:08 PM
Rick, not sure if the spices or flavors make much difference in the taste, but some may think it does. The moisture added is the big thing. OBTW, it does work.

Moose
11-18-2009, 10:11 PM
You mean I can throw away my steel beer can chicken holders? :mad:

Interesting article. The conclusion is probably true, but the whole concept is a great novelty that really caught fire, so to speak. In a nutshell, it's a cool way to cook chickens vertically and impress your friends and neighbors all at the same time. It also probably got a number of folks into grilling and BBQ that might not otherwise have...so keep the beer can chickens coming I say!

jack040806
11-18-2009, 10:22 PM
I've only had beer can chicken once and while I don't know what made it taste like it did and I suspect that the rub had a lot to do with it, it was pretty farking good and I will be cooking them in my future. I also plan on trying some beer can turkey this year.

n2dabluebbq
11-18-2009, 10:43 PM
what i say is that the test is WRONG!!!!!
everyone knows that a red thermopen is the only accurate one!
and they were using a yellow one! hahahaha:lol:

NewEnglandQ
11-18-2009, 11:28 PM
They said the beer did not get hot enough to boil and therefore steam the inside of the chicken. I guess it probably depends on what temp the beer is when you start. What if you heat the beer up to a boil and then put back in can? I bet it boils and steams then.

Abelman
11-19-2009, 12:03 AM
Its been my expereince that the liquid in the can doesn't matter. Use water, beer, wine, apple juice, etc. and it's pretty much all the same when it comes to the taste of the bird. Brine, wood flavor, and rubs is where you impart the real flavor. It's just a way to create more moisture into the cavity as well as heat and smoke to heat the bird. I really like beer can birds but I don't use a can. I've tried two other systems and really like them as I like to reserve the juices.

Here I just use stands as the key is the pan and the juice I start with and end with:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/abelman/Bathing.jpg

Here's a bird bath setup but there is a built in holder in the pot:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/abelman/BirdBath.jpg

I really like "beer" can smoked birds. They have a great taste and come out very moist and tender. Not to say you can't do them other ways but I enjoy them. Noting wrong with doing a spatchcock bird either.

P.S. this is one reason I love beer can birds, when you grab the thigh bones, they come right out:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/abelman/BoneFallOut.jpg

Stef
11-19-2009, 12:37 AM
They said the beer did not get hot enough to boil and therefore steam the inside of the chicken. I guess it probably depends on what temp the beer is when you start. What if you heat the beer up to a boil and then put back in can? I bet it boils and steams then.
I'm guessing you would lose that bet.

NorthwestBBQ
11-19-2009, 02:57 AM
I believe the article. The Emperor wears no clothes...

Phubar
11-19-2009, 03:54 AM
Done it once,next time I'll drink the beer and use a cheap soda to put in the chicken.
Or I'll use Psyco Realms idea.

Rick's Tropical Delight
11-19-2009, 05:59 AM
try the "sit & spin" method!

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r151/RicksTropicalDelight/biggreenegg/chicken/chickenstand-008.gif

cmcadams
11-19-2009, 05:59 AM
I've said for some time that the liquid doesn't really flavor the bird, and I've used hot water for quite a while for mine.

Experiments run by 2 guys in a weekend don't necessarily bust the myth. I've done similar and found that the vertical positioning does make a difference, compared to a bird laying on the grate/in a pan. I've also found that loading the can with aromatics helps a bit, but just about only the interior meat of the breast, as that's the only part that's in contact with the steam from the can.

I don't, however, use anything but water in the cans, which is boiling already and contains onions/carrots/apples, etc.

tjus77
11-19-2009, 05:59 AM
yeah, I believe the type of liquid doesn't make a difference, but the moisture sure helps keep the chicken juicy. And it sure beats flipping them over and over.

Poker Smoker
11-19-2009, 07:01 AM
They said the beer did not get hot enough to boil and therefore steam the inside of the chicken. I guess it probably depends on what temp the beer is when you start. What if you heat the beer up to a boil and then put back in can? I bet it boils and steams then.

bingo

Deathtosnails
11-19-2009, 07:09 AM
Slightly off topic, but what I want to know is who was the first person to stand (probably just barely) there looking at a chicken with a beer in one hand and think "Fark it! I'm gonna shove this up its clacker and cook it":shock:

ricksegers
11-19-2009, 07:17 AM
I will continue to cook chickens vertically on my can roasters sans the roasters. I saw a similar exercise on some cooking show and the showed the weight of the can and liquid after cooking was the same after cooking as before. My opinion is do what you like and enjoy but this does make for interesting conversation.

cmcadams
11-19-2009, 07:35 AM
bingo

It's been so long ago that I no longer remember who first told me on here to heat the liquid first... that's a must... It also ensures you're not keeping the inside cooler, in case you're worried about killing everyone with undercooked chicken. :)

TN_BBQ
11-19-2009, 07:49 AM
Slightly off topic, but what I want to know is who was the first person to stand (probably just barely) there looking at a chicken with a beer in one hand and think "Fark it! I'm gonna shove this up its clacker and cook it":shock:

I commonly refer to the whole "beer can chicken" as "San Franciscan Chicken" (I'll let your mind wonder about the origins of this nickname :-D).

It's neat way to cook chicken, but I don't waste beer and 99% of the time simply go dry or with a little water.

Smokey Al Gold
11-19-2009, 07:51 AM
To each his own. I like chicken and I shall continue making beercan chicken.

countyliner
11-19-2009, 08:27 AM
I dont much care what they say. I also dont think the type of liquid matters either. I add onions, garlic, celery, rosemary, lemon, or whatever I'm in the mood to throw in the can and there is no doubt that it adds flavor and keeps the meat moist.

And while it may be a novelty, I dont think anyone can argue that its just about the easiest, most fool-proof way to cook a chicken. Prep time is less than it takes for a chimney of charcoal to heat up, no flipping, no turning, just put it on and let it cook. And....it tastes good!

NorthwestBBQ
11-19-2009, 08:32 AM
It's a myth...get over it. Cooking them vertically drys the breast meat...think about it. Upside down makes more sense.

KC_Bobby
11-19-2009, 09:10 AM
Well, whatever. It's been well over a year since I've cooked a beer can chicken (cause of practicing damn thighs). I think I'll cook one this weekend just because this thread has inspired me to do so.

Now, what to put in the can ... :rolleyes:
And what smoker to cook it on?

Diver
11-19-2009, 10:12 AM
to each his own. I like chicken and i shall continue making beercan chicken.

+++1

countyliner
11-19-2009, 10:26 AM
It's a myth...get over it.

umm....whatever

Paul B
11-19-2009, 11:38 AM
I think we ought to ask Cowgirl what she thinks, with the grub she makes if she doesn't know who would???? :biggrin::biggrin:

Paul B

Paulmark
11-19-2009, 12:14 PM
To each their own I guess, cavity contained water pan.

jerrykr
11-19-2009, 04:18 PM
In the UDS last Sat.

http://www.pbase.com/jerrykneupper/image/119490802.jpg

I've used most everything in the cans, water and spices this time.
.

TrustTheDust
11-19-2009, 04:21 PM
In the UDS last Sat.

http://www.pbase.com/jerrykneupper/image/119490802.jpg

I've used most everything in the cans, water and spices this time.
.

looks like they are planning something... up to no good.

landarc
11-19-2009, 04:26 PM
Good thing Jerry stopped em in their meeting.

BTW, those are some delicious looking chickens

fat_bastard
11-19-2009, 04:37 PM
They said the beer did not get hot enough to boil and therefore steam the inside of the chicken. I guess it probably depends on what temp the beer is when you start. What if you heat the beer up to a boil and then put back in can? I bet it boils and steams then.
I didn't watch the video and I don't make beercan chicken (my beer comes in bottles or from a tap) but I am a stickler for proper testing and science. If they are really saying that then this is total bupkis, boiling liquid has nothing to do with it. By sticking a beercan up the chicken's butt you are trying to let the beer evaporate into the meat. Evaporation does not cause bubbling. This is why if you leave your UDS out in the rain it will dry out in the sun even though it doesn't "boil." The beer, soda, water, whatever doesn't need to boil to impart its flavor into the anal cavity of the chicken.

Rick's Tropical Delight
11-19-2009, 04:45 PM
consider this...
when you ram that can into the chicken, where is the hole in the can? near the top at the neck? how does the moisture/steam/vapor/evaporate get out of the can? thru the hole at the top? where does the moisture/steam/vapor/evaporate go then?

i'll continue to cook my chickens in the missionary position with no can. :biggrin:

smokehunter
11-19-2009, 04:51 PM
I didn't read the article, but my buddies and i have decided that you smoke your chicken and drink your beer. stuffed with onion, lemon, herbs, and celery, i just don't see how they can be more juicy than they already are cooked low and slow then ramped up at the end. just out thought.

UNTSIG
11-19-2009, 05:57 PM
looks like they are planning something... up to no good.

They're trying to figure out how to get the fark out of there!:biggrin:

Abelman
11-19-2009, 06:03 PM
Here's perhaps another way of looking at it. I'm not a fan of the "can" thing per say. I use this setup:

http://www.4thegrill.com/cog3005.html

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/abelman/Setup.jpg

I also put apple juice or whatever your preference is in the pan below. I do my birds at 325, indirect. So, since I'm at altitude and liquids boil at 199 for me (5,300 ft), I figure I'm getting some good stuff. The liquid doesn't boil but I get enough moisture up into and around the bird, I've never had to brine and get a very moist bird. I also tent them in foil for 20 minutes after I am done before I slice or pull the meat.

However, I'm also catching anything that comes out of the bird or off the bird (rub) as it sweats. After I'm done, I pour it into a container, into the fridge until I get a hocky puck, take that out, and there is some Very good broth underneath.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/abelman/broth.jpg

Grinder10
11-19-2009, 06:22 PM
I'll still cook 'em on the can, but the beer will be in my belly.

Abelman
11-19-2009, 06:49 PM
In the UDS last Sat.

http://www.pbase.com/jerrykneupper/image/119490802.jpg

I've used most everything in the cans, water and spices this time.
.

BTW, nice smoke :wink:, very nice!

NorthwestBBQ
11-19-2009, 06:54 PM
where does the moisture/steam/vapor/evaporate go then?

Right out the neck hole...

NewEnglandQ
11-19-2009, 06:58 PM
Right out the neck hole...

I think that's why they say to shove an onion or potato or something in the neck to stop the moisture from going out the top

Abelman
11-19-2009, 07:21 PM
I think that's why they say to shove an onion or potato or something in the neck to stop the moisture from going out the top

You got it. I use apple, a big jalapeno, whatever makes you happy. :-D

redbandit98
11-19-2009, 07:33 PM
In the UDS last Sat.

http://www.pbase.com/jerrykneupper/image/119490802.jpg

I've used most everything in the cans, water and spices this time.
.


poor guys got cold, they're all huddled over the fire tryin to get warm. :lol:

landarc
11-19-2009, 07:48 PM
I got one of those chicken rack sex toys and my dad used to make a lot of chicken with it. He got to where he made one heckuva good chicken with it. Claimed he was using my bourbon under the chicken, I have my doubts about that. But, the chicken was good.

jerrykr
11-20-2009, 08:06 AM
The best way to get the chicken moist IMHO is to brine them overnight. The 5 chicken "meeting" on the UDS were all brined. I also use a old fashioned "church key" can opener to punch 4 holes in the side around the top of the beer cans.

My personal opinion is that the beer can method does some good, I wouldn't rely on it as the only way to get the chicken moist, or to impart spice, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything.

My customer wanted them "beer butted", so that's how I did them, and it made it easier to get all 5 arranged on the UDS rack.

Thanks for the nice comments about my picture.

Jerry
.

TN_BBQ
11-20-2009, 09:17 AM
The best way to get the chicken moist IMHO is to brine them overnight.

It certainly doesn't hurt anything.

It made it easier to get all 5 arranged on the UDS rack.


Jerry
.

I agree
I agree
I agree

Nothing wrong with the method, but the beer doesn't boil and doesn't seem to impart much flavoring. I still use it on occasion, but have found myself using the spatchcock method lately. I just love the flavor you get when you grill those chicken bones over high heat.

KnucklHed BBQ
11-20-2009, 10:18 AM
Hmm, everyone keeps talking about the beer or liquid "flavoring the chicken... I'm pretty sure I totally dismissed that notion as soon as I tasted my first beer can chicken - there is no way there is any flavor from the can's ingredients.

However, when we think about thermal dynamics, beer can chicken makes sense... The can and liquid act as a heat sink (just like that water pan in your smoker) and conducts moist heat to the internal cavity of the bird.

You could probably compare this to the difference between a heating pad (dry heat) and a water bottle (moist heat).

I start mine with the beer warm and leave them nearly full. As the beer heats up (the aluminum can conducts heat well too) then the internal temp of the bird slowly rises to meet the beer.

Also, I pull the extra breast skin up and over the neck hole and pin it to the back to create a seal.

Something else that might contribute to the moistness is that the butt of the chicken seals up around the bottom of the can and holds all the juices inside.

In all, I don't think that BC is the only way to do it, I usually spatch my chix and brine them, but BC chicken does turn out well!

LoveMeSomeQ
12-21-2009, 04:30 PM
I do make beer can chicken all the time. Never thought of trying to a bird without the can. One thing I did notice is I always stuff a potato in my necks and do indirect grilling at around 375 degrees and they did not in the testing. I wonder if the potato keeping steam in has any effect because the beer can is EXTREMELY hot when I use this method. I also use a cast iron pan as a base and that seems to help crisp up the leg quarters.

Cast Iron Chef
12-21-2009, 04:38 PM
I made beer can chicken for the first time last night (if it really happened no pron) but I used a tin pan and filled it with chicken broth, onions, garlic and rosemary. Stood them in the pan and put on the dome. Stuffed the necks with onion. I think one was completely closed cause the chicken really puffed up. Came out moist and great taste. My wife really raved about it.

Bogus Chezz Hawg
12-21-2009, 04:48 PM
Interesting results. I always brine my poultry products. IMO the steam rising from the can will just escape through the neck cavity before it has a chance to absorb into the less than half the chicken which is above the top level of the can. I find drinking a lot of beer will make anything taste better however! LOL :lol:

LoveMeSomeQ
12-22-2009, 03:39 PM
Interesting results. I always brine my poultry products. IMO the steam rising from the can will just escape through the neck cavity before it has a chance to absorb into the less than half the chicken which is above the top level of the can. I find drinking a lot of beer will make anything taste better however! LOL :lol:


That's why i wish they would have stuffed a potato in the neck to see if results changed any. That's what I do.