RECIPE – BBQ Beer Butt Chicken (BBQBB Chicken?)

Yes, there is a beer up its butt

All vegetarians/vegans, avert thine eyes…now? Err… probably better to avert before coming to this page if possible. 🙂

If you’re looking for a laugh while cooking, this is the recipe to make. I couldn’t stop cracking up through the whole prep time.

This really is a very simple recipe – it just takes a while as you have to slow cook your chicken to keep it succulent & moist.


  • Whole raw chicken (innards removed) – choose a chicken which has a cavity that will fit a beer can!!
  • Marinade (whatever tickles your fancy – if you want to be really, really lazy like me, buy marinade in a jar; if you want to be fancy, make a marinade/spice rub)
  • Tallboy beer
  • Beer to put in tallboy beer

First things first, when working with raw chicken – be very careful of contamination/food poisoning/etc

Make sure you wash hands & any surfaces that touch the raw chicken with hot soapy water. Never reuse utensils that have had raw chicken on them unless you have washed it thoroughly (e.g. do not cut raw/semi-cooked chicken on a chopping board & then reuse chopping board to cut other ingredients)

The Chicken:

Now that that’s out of the way, first things first, wash your chicken, inside & out and make sure there are no giblets inside.

Pluck any remaining feathers if you see any, they should come out easily by hand.

The Marinade:

I just used a store-bought marinade. My thought was, the chicken cooks for >2 hours so why spend more time making a marinade from scratch?

You’re welcome to do whatever you want, stick a few sliced lemons under the skin with some rosemary or make a dry spice rub, whatever tickles your fancy.

With the marinade, I just had to make sure to get the marinade under the skin as well so that the chicken underneath could get some flavoursome goodness. There should be a few gaps between the flesh & skin (e.g. near neck area) where you can pour down some marinade & stick your fingers in to massage the marinade to get it all around under the skin.

The skin acts as a barrier so that if you only marinade the skin, it doesn’t penetrate through to the other chicken meat.

After marinating, sit it in the fridge for about an hour to soak up the flavour – you can even let it marinade overnight if you want. After that, it’s beer time!

The Beer:

The best beers to use would be something with a strong flavour, you want to be able to taste the malt, the hops, etc in your meat, otherwise what’s the point of cooking it with beer? I like Redback Wheat Beer by Matilda Bay Brewing, but it’s really up to you. My friend’s also done hers with Kilkenny (with smoky bbq marinade) and loved it.

However, the beers that I want to use with the chicken, normally don’t come in tallboy sizes. So, I usually buy 2 beers, first is any ol’ tallboy, the second is the beer that I actually want to use. You don’t need that much beer really, only enough to fill 1/2 – 1/3 of a tallboy.

Which means that there’s beer leftover for drinking while you’re making 😀

I once made this for a lunch time meal, which meant that, we had to drink to regulate beer levels at about 9am – I swear I’m not an alcoholic, honest!

You also want to take the top off the tall boy to make your life easier – a can opener works wonders for this.

Once you’ve got your beers sorted, it’s time to oil the outside of the can, ready for implementation into the chickens butt.

The Mounting:

This is easier if done by two people (plus you’ll have some company when you’re both giggling for ages like silly schoolgirls whilst mounting the chicken). You should also start pre-heating your BBQ at this time.

One person to steady the can of beer & hold one side of the chicken. The other to move the butt flaps out of the way & hold the chicken to ease it onto the can.

Keep in mind the chicken & greased up can are both slippery, so be careful not to drop your chicken.

Make sure your chicken is fully mounted. The ribs may get in the way, but just keep jiggling the chicken until you’ve stuffed the can as far as you can go, the chicken’s legs should be able to touch the ground at this point.


Once the chicken is successfully mounted, I usually use up any leftover marinade inside & outside of the chicken. The chicken is usually able to stand up by itself – you can also buy BBQ Beer Butt chicken stands that guarantee that the beer & chicken won’t fall over.

I also like to seal the top of the chicken by folding the skin flaps over the neck hole & securing it with toothpicks. My theory is this will prevent beer steam from escaping and the chicken will absorb more beer steam.

The Move:

One of the hardest parts of this recipe is moving the chickens, beers & tray onto the BBQ. This was harder for me as we were doing 2 chickens at the same time. Just be careful & make sure you don’t spill your beer. 🙂

The BBQ-ing:

My BBQ is a 4 burner, but you can use whatever bbq you can get, including a circular webber. The way this is cooked is using indirect heat over a long period of time. Make sure you have a bbq with a lid. I’ve even heard of people using the lowest setting on their oven with the door slightly open.

With my BBQ, we put the chicken in the centre, then I turned on the burners furthest from the chicken & put it on the lowest heat.

If you’ve got a 2 or 3 burner, you may want to put your chicken on the far left & turn on the far right burner to lowest heat. Every hour or so until it’s done, rotate your chicken to cook the other side. So long as the heat is indirect, you should be fine.

If you have a circular webber, line your hot coals in a circle around the rim & put your chicken in the middle. It should then have indirect heat from all sides.

Yes, you will get your hands dirty

If your 4 burner is too hot, just use indirect heat from 1 side and then rotate (like you would do for 2/3 burner bbq). You want your bbq to be around 150°C when cooking.

Cooking on my 4 burner took around 3 hours for 2 chickens. Just check on it every hour until it starts looking mmm…good. 🙂

There are several ways to figure out if your chicken is cooked, when juices run clear when you stab it, or using a meat thermometer – I’ll leave it up to you.

The extraction:

The beer can is sometimes difficult to remove from the chicken cavity afterwards. My tip is – get a friend and two pairs of tongs. 1 person secures the can with the tongs, the second person lifts the chicken with the tongs. Lift the chicken with the tongs from under the wings (like you would lift a child – except without using tongs).

Odds are, there will still be hot chicken juice beer in the can, so be careful of spillage.

Any there you have it, BBQ Beer Butt Chicken. Let the chook rest for about 10 mins, then carve it up & dig in. The chicken is succulent & not dry and there are definite tasts of malt & hops – It’s freakin’ awesome chicken!

Enjoy! 😀

Bon Appetit!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: