From America's Test Kitchen
We wanted to know if the curious cooking method of grill-roasting chicken over a can of beer really worked. To earn our approval, this technique would have to produce a tender, juicy, and deeply seasoned bird.
We found that beer can chicken is the real deal—why? The beer in the open can simmers and turns to steam as the chicken roasts, which makes the meat remarkably juicy and rich-textured, similar to braised chicken. As an added bonus, the dry heat of the grill crisps the skin and renders the fat away. To perfect the technique, we added a few hardwood chunks to the fire for smoky flavor. We also found we didn’t have to spend money on an expensive beer—the beer flavor wasn’t really detectable in the chicken, so a cheap brew worked just fine (so does lemonade, which proved an acceptable substitute for the beer).
Does this curious cooking method for grill-roasted chicken really work?Watch the Video
Be sure not to open the lid of the gas grill too often during cooking; the temperature of the grill will drop significantly each time you open it. If you prefer, use lemonade instead of beer; fill an empty 12-ounce soda or beer can with 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) of lemonade and proceed as directed.