Steven Raichlen's Beer-Can Chicken
Credit: Magalie L'Abbe / Getty Images

Steven Raichlen's Beer-Can Chicken

In the world of barbecue know-how, Steven Raichlen's Beer-Can Chicken has become something of a phenomenon. Part homemade rotisserie and part art installation, this recipe offers a satiating experiment for beachside cookouts. Get creative. Raichlen claims, "Once you've mastered the basic procedure, there are no limits to its variations."

• 1 bottle dark beer (poured into a can)
• 2 tbsp bourbon
• 1 3.5 or 4 lb whole chicken
• 2 tbsp barbecue rub
• 2 tsp vegetable oil

• 1/4 cup coarse salt
• 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 1/4 cup sweet paprika
• 2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
• Mix with fingers in small bowl

Rake burning coals into two piles on sides of grill and place an aluminum foil drip pan between embers. Drink half the beer, make two additional holes in top with a church key–style opener, then add bourbon. Remove giblets and excess fat from chicken body cavities and rinse under cold water. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of rub inside body and 1/2 teaspoon inside neck. Rub oil over chicken skin and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of rub. Spoon remaining rub into beer (don't worry if it foams). Now comes the fun part: Hold bird upright and lower body cavity onto can, twisting if necessary. Pull legs forward to form a tripod. Tuck wing tips behind back. Stand chicken on grate over drip pan. Cover grill and cook 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until skin is golden brown and crisp. (Feeds two hungry people or four nibblers.)