Cherry Beer Can Chicken with a Cherry BBQ Sauce

If you are a looking for a new recipe to up your grilling game this summer, then this recipe is for you. This chicken recipe is great to throw on the grill instead of the same old hot dogs and hamburgers that are at every barbecue.

If there are any leftovers after serving this dish, it makes for a great meal the next day. Use the chicken in a sandwich, salad, or over rice for a healthy lunch.

Looking for more unique recipes that are great for a summer night? Check these out:

Photo Credit: Benson Kua

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chicken on grill


Beer Can Chicken

  • Whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 (12 oz) can of your favorite cherry beer – I recommend Bell’s Pooltime Ale or Perrin’s Michigan Cherry IPA, but other options could include Short’s Soft Parade, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or any beer of your choice
  • 2-4 Tbsp. canola oil or favorite heart healthy oil
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite rub or other spices

Cherry Barbeque Sauce

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. liquid Smoke, optional

Cherry Beer Can Chicken with a Cherry BBQ Sauce

Beer Can Chicken
1. Remove neck and giblets. Rinse the chicken and dry with paper towels.
2. Rub chicken with favorite spices.
3. Lightly brush on oil over spices on skin of chicken.
4. Take a gulp of beer or pour out ¼ of the can. Make sure the beer is room temperature. Place the chicken (legs down, breast up) with cavity over beer can.
5. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its 2 legs and the can like a tripod.
6. Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners on directly under the bird), with the grill cover on, for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. Think cook time should be 10-15 minutes for every pound of chicken.
7. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Cherry Barbeque Sauce
1. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add garlic; cook one minute longer.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook, uncovered, over medium - low heat for 20 minutes or until cherries are tender and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve with Beer Chicken.

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