When it comes to smokers, I am a huge fan of the simplicity and efficiency of the Weber Smokey Mountain. In fact, I currently own four of them. So when my BBQ buddy Bill Gillespie unveiled his cookbook Secrets to Smoking on the Weber Smokey Mountain and Other Smokers (Page Street Publishing Co.), I knew it was for me!
In the book, Bill's got some wildly creative recipes such as buttery smoked cabbage, grown up style pigs in a blanket, and mozzarella stuffed meatballs. But today we're going ol' school with Bill's recipe for beer can smoked chicken.
BEER CAN CHICKEN
1 whole chicken (5–6 pounds)
1 can (12 ounces) of your favorite beer
3 cloves garlic, minced
Smokin’ Hoggz All-Purpose Rub (recipe follows)
2-3 chunks apple wood
Heat your WSM for low and slow cooking (approximately 275°F [135°C]). Fill the water pan about three-quarters full with hot water, and add the smoke wood about 5 minutes before putting the chicken on the WSM.
Clean chicken thoroughly, inside and out. Remove any unwanted parts.
Open the beer can and consume half of the beer (you don’t want to waste it), and add garlic to the remaining beer.
Slide the chicken onto the can of beer, legs pointing down, so that the can supports the chicken upright (like a tripod). Generously apply the rub. Place the can with the chicken on the bottom cooking grate (the chicken may be too tall for the top grate).
Smoke chicken until cooked through. I recommend using an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. When it registers 175°F (80°C) or 165°F (74°C) in the breast (roughly 2–3 hours), your chicken is done. You can tell it’s done when you see clear liquid coming out of where you probed it.
Let chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.
Smokin’ Hoggz All-Purpose Rub
¼ cup (30 g) ground chipotle powder
¼ cup (50 g) Turbinado sugar
¼ cup (30 g) ground ancho chili powder
¼ cup (30 g) paprika
¼ cup (60 g) kosher salt
1 tbsp (5 g) ground cumin
1 tbsp (10 g) onion powder
1 tbsp (5 g) dried thyme
1 tsp (1 g) dried marjoram
1 tsp (2 g) cayenne
2 tbsp (15 g) green peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp (10 g) ground white pepper
1 tsp (2 g) celery seed (or ½ tsp celery seed powder)
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
Mix all of the ingredients and store them in an airtight container.
You can apply rubs anywhere from an hour before cooking the meat to mere moments before the meat hits the grill. As a general rule, you should try to apply a rub one hour before you cook.
Recipe courtesy of Secrets to Smoking by Bill Gillespie, Page Street Publishing