How to roast chicken on a coke or beer can

Written by casandra maier
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to roast chicken on a coke or beer can
Roast a chicken over a can of beer or soda to add aroma and flavour to your recipe. (fatness of chicken image by Witold Krasowski from

Beer-can chicken became popular in the 1990s. A recipe that appeals to beer and meat lover's alike, beer-can chicken calls for roasting a whole chicken over a can of beer. Flavouring and providing aroma, the steam from the beer helps to cook the meat. Before this, beer lovers would pour beer over a chicken while roasting it. This technique proved ineffective, however, as the beer would roll off the chicken into the flame or dripping pan, unable to retain the flavour. Coke-can chicken applies the same concept, roasting a chicken over a can of soda, providing a non-alcoholic version of this recipe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Can of beer or Coke
  • Sharp knife
  • Whole chicken
  • Desired seasonings
  • Onion
  • Lemon
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • Roasting pan or dripping pan for grill
  • Internal meat thermometer

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Open the can of beer or Coke and drink or discard the liquid until the can is half full. Carefully cut the top off of the can and discard it, leaving the top open and exposed. Be mindful of the can's sharp edges as you cut.

    How to roast chicken on a coke or beer can
    Roasting a chicken over a beer or Coke can adds aroma and flavour to the meat. (beer can image by Catabu from
  2. 2

    Remove the insides and clean the chicken, leaving the inner cavity hollow. Season the inside of the chicken and dry rub the outside of the chicken with the seasonings of your choice.

    How to roast chicken on a coke or beer can
    Season the chicken with the herbs and spices of your choice. (various spices image by Martin Garnham from
  3. 3

    Plug the neck of the chicken with a chunk of peeled onion and half of a lemon, squeezed. This will help retain the steam and add further flavouring to the meat.

    How to roast chicken on a coke or beer can
    Plugging the neck of the chicken with onion and lemon will help to retain steam as the chicken cooks. (citrus and onion image by ana malin from
  4. 4

    Add a few slices of onion and a couple of peeled cloves of garlic to the half-can of beer or soda. Place the can into a shallow roasting pan or off to one side of a gas or charcoal grill. Move the charcoals to one side or only light one burner on a gas grill, as the bird will need to cook over indirect heat.

    How to roast chicken on a coke or beer can
    Adding two to three cloves of garlic and a few slices of onion can provide further flavour to the beer or soda during roasting. (Fresh garlic with a clove taken out. image by Brett Mulcahy from
  5. 5

    Slowly, lower the bird down over the can, inserting the can into the empty cavity. Use the beer can and the legs as a tripod to hold the bird upright and steady. Make sure the bird is secure, as it can easily topple during cooking.

  6. 6

    Insert an instant-read temperature thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken's thigh. The chicken will be done when the internal temperature reaches between 79.4 and 82.2 degrees Celsius.

    How to roast chicken on a coke or beer can
    A meat thermometer can help to determine when the chicken is fully cooked. (meat thermometer image by Kimberly Reinick from
  7. 7

    Roast the chicken upright at 177 degrees Celsius for one hour in the oven. For gas or charcoal grills, cover and roast the chicken upright over a dripping pan with ½ inch of water for approximately one hour. With either roasting method, the chicken will be done when the juices run clear.

  8. 8

    Remove the beer or soda can from the chicken. Exercise caution as the liquid in the can will be very hot. Place the chicken on a platter and cover it with aluminium foil. Set it aside for 10 minutes to cool before carving.

Tips and warnings

  • Note that only fat can help moisten the meat. Steam and water do not provide the same level of moisture. Consider injecting a butter-based rub under the skin for further flavour and moisture.
  • The chicken has the potential of toppling over while it is cooking. Avoid the chicken falling over by placing two smaller chickens back-to-back, or by purchasing racks designed to hold the can during roasting.
  • Use caution when working with knives and hot liquids.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.