Dinner ideas

Beer can chicken

Why beer can chicken? Well, the steam from the beer creates a moist and juicy chicken. Don't like beer? Try cider or a cola.
Baking tray with beer can chicken, potatoes and tomatoesCon Poulos
Serves 4 - 6
1H 15M
1H 40M

Here’s a little secret, one way to a super-moist and juicy roast chicken is with a beer can – who would have guessed it?!

The steam from the beer creates a moist and juicy chicken. If you don’t like beer, you can use any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage such as cider or cola.

If you’re a lover of roast chickens, try our classic roast chicken with gravy, or give our French-style roast chicken a try this weekend. Or if you have an air fryer, here’s our best-ever air fryer roast chicken recipe.

Beer can chicken: the end result (left) and as it goes into the oven (right). Use a disposable foil roasting pan if cooking on the barbecue.

(Credit: Photographer: Con Poulos Styling: Amber De Florio)


Preheat a covered barbecue with all burners on low and hood closed until the temperature reaches 240°C (or follow the manufacturer’s instructions). Place beer can in centre of a medium disposable foil roasting pan lined with crumpled foil. Use crumpled foil to hold can upright. Place chicken upright on can, pushing can into chicken cavity. Place pan in centre of barbecue; turn burners off underneath chicken, leaving other burners on low. Cook with hood closed for 1 hour 10 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until golden all over and juices run clear.

Click here to find out how to test if a whole chicken is cooked.




Remove all the oven racks except the one closest to the bottom of the oven to allow chicken to fit when upright. Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan-forced). Pat chicken dry inside and out with paper towel.


Crush the fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle (or place seeds in a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin). Combine the crushed seeds with spices, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl; stir in half the oil, rind and juice. Rub spice mixture over the chicken and inside cavity


Pour ½ cup (125ml) of beer out of the can; reserve for another use. Place can in centre of a large roasting pan. Use crumpled foil to hold beer can upright. Place chicken upright on beer can, pushing can into chicken cavity. Arrange potatoes around chicken, drizzle remaining oil over potatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, basting twice during cooking time. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, remove can from chicken and cover loosely with foil; rest for 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, increase the oven to 220C (200C fan-forced). Add tomatoes to the roasting dish with the potatoes. Roast for a further 15 minutes or until tomatoes and blistered and wilted.


Serve chicken with potatoes, tomatoes, parsley leaves and salad, if desired.

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