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Fall recipes: Beer can (or beer butt) chicken

London in the fall (or Autumn, as they say here) is a dreary, busy, cold, busy, wet, busy place.  Oh, and busy. Did I mention the busyness?

Life here is a constant rush to multi-task, and the main objective is to get as much done as possible in order to take an hour or so and enjoy a deliciously comforting meal and pint.  Hence: Beer Can Chicken (also known in the states as Beer Butt Chicken, but the English would never!).

English food is known for being comforting, heavy, and just-pop-it-in-the-oven easy.  Shepherd's Pie, Fish Pie, Steak and Kidney Pie... well, you get the idea.  Beer Can Chicken follows this pattern, with a modern twist.

None of that fancy cutting up of veggies stuff, we're a mea one-two-three-eat generation!  So, without further ado, I give you one of my favorite recipes for lazy people: 

Beer Can Chicken


  • Chicken (size depends on how many people you're feeding or how hungry you are)
  • Herbs/spices of your choice
  • Your favorite beer in a can (I like Newcastle for this purpose because it's rich and nutty and SO English)


Step 1: Rub the herbs and spices all up in that chicken.  Inside, outside... on its side... everywhere, basically.  

Step 2: Drink half the can of beer (yes, seriously).  This will not only make you a better cook and chill you out, it's also important in aiding the evaporation of the beer into the flesh of the chicken.  I think.  Whatever, just drink it.  Then punch two more holes (equal size to the mouth) in the top of the can.  

Step 3: Shove that beer can so far up that chicken's... Ahem.  I mean, insert the beer can gently into the cavity of the bird, keeping the can upright so that the bird is standing up, its legs and the can forming a sort of tripod. Make sure it's stable.  Now, stand 'er up on a roasting pan and pop 'er in a 350 degree (that's about 175 for you Brits) oven.  A 5-6 pound chicken should take about 2 hours to cook through.

 Okay, so maybe I squeezed 4 steps into three, but the point is this: Beer Can Chicken is delicious, moist, and, most importantly, easy.  Plus, you have to drink beer as part of the recipe!  How British is that?