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Beer Can Chicken
Photo: Mitch Mandel
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In the past decade, whole chickens mounted on beer cans have become a familiar sight at backyard barbecues the country over. And for good reason: The liquid creates steam that helps cook the chicken from the inside and keep it moist. Also, standing the chicken up vertically means the legs (which take the most time to cook) are exposed to the most intense heat, meaning the bird will cook evenly without drying out the breast. The result: one of the tastiest chickens imaginable with no heavy sauces or sides.
|Cook: 1hr 0min
|Total: 3hr 27min
NOTE: Ingredients for a changed serving size are based on a calculation and are not reviewed by the author or tested. Please also consider scaling up or down cooking containers as needed.
Combine the chicken and the Coke and soak overnight in the fridge (or for at least 2 hours).
Heat a grill. If using charcoal, bank the hot coals to one side to create a cooler section for indirect cooking. If using a gas grill, leave one section of burners off and the others set on medium. Remove the chicken from the soda and dry all over. Rub with salt and pepper.
Open up the beer can; drink half of it. Mount the chicken on top of the beer can, running the can through the chicken's cavity until it's firmly lodged and can stand up on its own. Place on the cooler side of the grill, cover, and cook until the a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 160°F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You can baste the chicken with your favorite barbecue sauce in the last 20 minutes or so, but it's so moist, you don't really need it.
Remove the chicken and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Serve with baked beans and cole slaw.
Don't worry: You won't really be absorbing the calories from the Coke, since most of it is left behind in the brine. Don't have time to brine? Skip it. The chicken will still be obscenely good.
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