Orange Grilled Beer-Can Chickens

Hailed by aficionados as the easiest method to grill whole chickens, this up-to-date recipe adds zesty orange to the classic malty tones of beer, for meat that's incredibly juicy and flavorful.

  • Prep Time 15 min
  • Total Time 1 hr 55 min
  • Servings 4

2
whole chickens (about 4 lb each), washed, dried and giblets removed
4
teaspoons olive oil
4
to 6 tablespoons seasoned salt or dry rub of your choice
2
cans (12 oz each) beer
4
cloves garlic
2
oranges, each cut in half and 1 half cut into quarters

  • 1 Heat gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling. Rub chickens with oil. Sprinkle seasoned salt over each chicken and inside cavities.
  • 2 Discard half of beer in each can, leaving remaining half in each can. Place 2 garlic cloves in each can. Place each chicken over top of beer can by holding chicken up and pressing can into cavity. Place 1 quarter of orange in top cavity of each chicken. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer in each chicken so tip of thermometer is in thickest part of inside thigh muscle and does not touch bone.
  • 3 Balance chickens on beer cans; place on grill over indirect medium heat. Cover grill; cook about 1 hour 30 minutes or until thermometers read at least 165°F and legs move easily when lifted or twisted.
  • 4 Place orange halves and remaining quarters, flesh side down, directly on grill; cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes.
  • 5 Remove chickens and oranges from grill; let chickens rest on beer cans 10 to 15 minutes before attempting to remove cans and carve chickens. Before serving, squeeze 2 of the orange halves over tops of chickens; serve others on the side.

Expert Tips

Make sure the chickens are not placed over direct heat on the grill. If you’re using a gas grill, heat only one side of the grill. Then, place the chickens on the unheated side. If you’re using a charcoal grill, push the hot coals to one side and cook the chickens on the other. Or, push the coals to both sides and cook the chickens in the center.

Be sure to let the chickens cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before trying to remove the cans of beer. Grill tongs will make this job easier.