Whole Smoked “Beer Can” Chicken on the Grill

I smoked a whole chicken a while back on my gas grill and it turned out really good! So I decided to do it again, but video and write down all the steps, so I could share the recipe with anyone.

Sorry it’s a long (poorly made with my odd speech issues and Texas draw) video but I wanted to make sure I included all the steps! In the instructions below, I embedded video to start at the certain times to show those steps, so you don’t have to watch this whole thing unless you want to. 

You will need:

One whole “roasting” chicken about 4 lbs (1.8 kg?) or little bigger (mine was about 5.5 lbs and probably a little too big).

The Hardware:

  • A beer can chicken stand like this one: https://amzn.to/2PNcdKi and an empty beer can with the opening widened (be careful not to cut yourself on the can). I used this Sittin Chicken stand: https://amzn.to/2D9AR1d.
  • And injector for injector marinade. You can get a good one here-> https://amzn.to/2RIVsNK
  • A good meat thermometer.
  • Heavy duty foil.
  • A basting brush.
  • A roasting pan of some kind to put the chicken in (big iron skillet works great).
  • A bag of Mesquite/Hickory wood chips if you’re intending to smoke a chicken on the grill (I used pecan but it made the skin a little bitter tasting).

The Seasoning:

  • 3/4 of a cup of Lawry’s Herb and Garlic marinade (or house Italian dressing).
  • Weber beer can chicken seasoning.
  • One whole stick of salted or unsalted butter.
  • A quarter of a cup a white wine.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • 1 cup of water.

Grill or Oven (you can use charcoal too):

And of course a grill you can smoke on, with a lid tall enough for a standing chicken. Set up your grill for indirect cooking, with heat on one side and chicken on the other side.

Oven: Or an oven big enough to fit the whole chicken standing up. May need to adjust the racks in the oven (optionally you could just stick the chicken in a roaster pan, you don’t have to stand it up to cook it. It will probably turn out just fine.).

Time and Temp:

You’ll be cooking on the grill at around 250 to 275°F (121° – 135°C) for around two hours or longer, depending on how big your chicken is (30 to 45 minutes per lb/kg). Or you can cook it in the oven at about the same temp.

Note: For a crispier skin, you can cook at 350°F (175°C) for 25 to 30 minutes per lb (kg).


Rinse your chicken and clear out the inside of the cavity (be sure you clean your surfaces of any splatters from rinsing the chicken in the sink and on the counter, with soapy hot water and/or some kind of disinfectant or bleach cleaning spray, after working with the chicken, and not on it.). Then put back in the fridge for now.

Injector Marinade

Melt the stick of butter on medium-low heat in the small saucepan. Once melted, add your 1/4 cup of white wine and garlic powder (1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon). Mix well together, bring to a simmer, and then set aside too cool.

Wood Chip Packets for Smoking on a Gas Grill

While it’s cooling make your wood chip packets (see video below) with foil. You will need about 4 with about a cup and 1/2 of wood chips, each.

Preheat the Grill

Get it going and adjust your heat settings to hold the temp at around 250° to 275°F (121° – 135°C) for a couple hrs.

My gas grill has 4 burners. I left the two middle ones off, and the outside ones were set between the middle and lowest flame setting.

For Oven Roasting

Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C).

Seasoning the Chicken

Then place your chicken in the roasting pan or iron skillet, or whatever you are using to cook the chicken in. Fill the injector with some of the butter mixture. Do not pierce the skin! Inject through the neck area and in through the cavity, all over, the more the merrier (see video below for example).

Note: do not do the popping the thighs out of joint like I do in the video! This is why I had trouble standing the chicken up, later in the video

Then liberally brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter mixture all over. Then you will season it with the Weber beer can chicken seasoning. Then poor about 3/4 of a cup of the Lawry’s Garlic and Herb marinade (or Italian salad dressing), in your empty beer can (or poor into the Sitting Chicken stand) and set it in the stand. Then lift your chicken up and put your beer can stand in the roasting pan, and carefully place you chicken over it (not easy to balance a big roasting chicken on a beer can!) Then add about a cup of water to the bottom of the pan.

Time to Start Cooking

Start your wood chip packet on the grill if you’re smoking your chicken. As soon as it starts smoking you’re ready to cook.

Set on the side or middle of your grill with no burners on.

Carefully place your chicken on the grill (or in the oven) on the side without out the lit burners. Check the chicken every 30 to 40 minutes, and give it a 1/4 turn. Brush with left over injector marinade each time. Change out the wood chip packet if all burned.

After about 1 & 1/2 to 2 hrs (maybe sooner in the oven), check the internal temp. Normally chicken is done when the internal temp reaches 165°F (74°C). Since it’s a whole chicken I cook mine to 175 – 180° (79°C) just to be safe.

Carving it up!

Not a great carver with the gloves on, but how I usually cut it up.


All carved up and ready to eat! It was good!


About Robby 92 Articles
I am just your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Nerd ready to lend a keyboard to others who need IT help without the IT cost! I also love to cook, play golf and try to make people laugh!

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