Wine Infused "Beer Can" Chicken

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Plopping a whole chicken on top of an open can of beer and then roasting it on a grill might sound odd but once you try it you’ll be hooked!

Beer can chicken is something I’ve been making for years, and with very little effort it always seems to come out perfect. Usually I’ll make a dry rub of several different spices like cumin, paprika, garlic, cayenne, dry mustard and brown sugar and rub that all over my bird.

But this time I wanted to try something different and use wine instead of beer, and replace the dry spice rub I with a fresh herb mixture consisting of lemon peel, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and a drizzling of olive oil which made a nice thick paste. I rubbed the paste all over my rinsed and patted dry chicken, making sure to get it underneath the skin as much as possible, then I let it sit for a good 30 minutes.
In the meantime I opened up a bottle of wine that was room temperature, rinsed out some empty tin cans and then proceeded to pour the wine into the cans, making sure to leave a little room at the top. I used an inexpensive chardonnay which had some citrus notes, a good choice for the chicken.
You can find beer can chicken holders in many different stores and on line. There’s double and single holders, some are very fancy and some very basic, they all work well. You really don’t even need to use a holder because the chicken usually balances perfectly just right on the can, but a holder makes it easier for you to pick up and move the chicken.

Lower your chicken over the can until the can is inside the body cavity, this will insure that all the wine will infuse throughout the bird, then to make sure that the steam doesn’t escape just place a sliced onion wedge on top where the neck cavity hole is.

Having a gas grill makes it easy to regulate the heat, make sure your cooking temperature stays between 350 and 375 degrees. Depending on the size of your chicken times may vary, mine took 1 1/2 hours to reach the internal temperature of 180.
Never place the chicken on direct heat, I have 3 burners I shut the middle one off and that is where I place my chicken, the other 2 burners are on.
For charcoal grills read manufacturers suggestions for indirect heating.

Make sure you let your chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into it.
The result from using wine instead of beer was fantastic, the herbs infused the chicken with so much flavor, the wine made the meat so tender and moist and the skin was super crunchy, a win win situation!

For one of my sides I made Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes. Plum tomatoes stuffed with grated cheese and basil, it went excellent with the chicken.

I got this recipe from my friend Stacey’s blog, I’ve been making them over and over, they’re that good!

I also made some Italian Potato Salad. Green beans, tomatoes, olives, red onion and potatoes all dressed with olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
A nice alternative to a mayo based potato salad.

I have to give a shout out to my hubby who always keeps our yard looking so good with all the flowers he plants. Next week the forecast is finally looking warm, the tomatoes and other veggies are ready to go into the ground. Stay tuned for updates!

Buon Appetito!

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  1. I tried a similar salad to this one last night. You’re right — it is a nice change from mayo-based salads. I used cheese tortellini and threw in some kalamata olive chunks, capers, and tomatoes . I added fresh torn basil leaves and it was yummy. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂 Love this blog — I keep coming back.

  2. This is my go-to “beer” can chicken recipe! Thanks so much. It’s awesome! I’m not a fan of beer, so when I saw this recipe, I had to try it. It’s forever now. 🙂

  3. I made this in the oven yesterday in place of the traditional “Christmas Turkey” & it was PERFECT! I have been making beer can chicken for at least 10 yrs now & it never occurred to me until last week to try wine. Thanks to google, I found your wonderful recipe to help me along the way! The meat was even more moist & juicy than with beer! I am definitely going to do it this way from now on! My guests were equally as thrilled with the results! Thank you so much!

  4. Mmm! This looks de-lish! I really,really don’t like beer. I wondered if you could do it with wine instead. Checked out google and found you.
    I think this will be dinner tonight.

  5. I love beer can chicken and I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this. I’ve been craving beer can chicken lately and I think I’ll try this instead.

  6. Love the idea of wine beer-can chicken. You really come up with some good ones Marie!

    This whole post would make a great meal for this upcoming holiday weekend too. Just add wine AND beer for a PARTY!

  7. Marie… love the idea of substituting wine for beer. So which is better in your opinion? I’ll have to try it. I remember my first beer can chicken… delicious! PS – I love Sally’s comment!

  8. Very special thanks for this recipe. The chicken recipe and all the accompaniments are all gluten free!

    I have a very dear friend up in ALberta who lives with coeliac disease and is very sensitive to gluten. We have both loved the idea of beer can chicken recipes, and now you have made it possible for coeliacs the world over.

    As for me – I don’t have coeliac disease, instead I live with Crohn’s disease and most of my colon has ben removed. These recipes in your post are super friendly to my insides as well.

    My dear friend Aims in Alberta and myself would love to share this meal together – only I live down in New Zealand! We will just have to cook each it in our homes, savour and enjoy the results, and then swap notes.

    Very sincere thanks for such sharing such great recipes, sending care and many huggles,

    Michelle in Wellington, NZ

  9. Your flowers look beautiful, Marie! Kudos to your hubby.
    I love those ricotta-stuffed plum tomatoes and your Italian potato salad – perfect sides for summer.
    And you are so clever, substituting wine in a can for the beer. Hmm … maybe you can market that, like wine in a box!

  10. This is the best way to cook a chicken on the barbie!! Yours looks so delicious~and, I am going to give those tomatoes a try,also!

  11. hola:
    Es 1° vez que llego a tu blog y me ha gustado mucho.
    este pollo se ve estupendo.
    Un abrazo desde Chile
    la brujita

  12. i know i’m supposed to comment on the chicken, but to be honest those tomatoes look absolutely amazing. i would eat those for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  13. Love the chicken with wine instead, And love the idea for some Plum tomatoes I have sitting around. I want to chickens to start dancing. They look like they about to. LOL.

  14. I’ve always wanted to try this – now even more so since I prefer beer over wine!

    Also love the ricotta stuffed tomatoes. Any leftovers for me?

  15. What a brilliant idea to use wine instead of beer. I love beer can chicken, and I can only imagine how much better it is with wine. Thank you for sharing.

  16. My God! I’ve never even heard of beer can chicken before. Is this a Midwestern thing? Will it work in the oven? I must try this! I like the idea of replacing wine for beer too.

  17. I’ve made beer can chicken before and it is very good. Your idea to use wine is brilliant – the method makes the chicken so moist but the wine compliments the chicken so much better than beer! Your side dishes look so good!

  18. This looks like a wonderful meal! I agree with you – beer can chicken is addicting, I think it’s our favorite way to cook a chicken. I usually add a bunch of aromatics into the cavity (citrus wedges, onion, garlic, herbs) but I’ll have to remember this is a great use for leftover wine!

  19. Can’t wait to try this out! I only recently found your blog but am addicted already – love your photos! (and the recipes of course)…

  20. Hey, I’ve heard about this, but never have tried it. I like the wine idea even better. Hmmm will have to figure this out using a charcoal grill for inderect heat.

    Thanks for the tips!

  21. The two side dishes could be a vegetarian meal all on its own, but nevetheless you have created a spectacular meal here…….Did you see my beer can chicken….I place two lemon halves on the chicken’s breast to make a boob chicken!

  22. Gosh everything looks so delicious!

  23. I love beer can chicken! And you totally bring it to a whole new level. Love all those flavors! And those tomatoes look yummy too!

  24. Beer can chicken is one of the best ways to cook it. You done good here and yes, I will try some wine next time.

  25. I met several guys in Texas who were raving about this beer can chicken but never tried it; thanks to you I will this summer and with wine of course!

  26. We bought a larger grill the end of last summer so I may be able to try making this, Marie! It looks so delcious, and so do those fabulous sides.

  27. I still haven’t tried beer can chicken but when I do, I want to do it your way! What a fabulous sounding dish! And you are blessed with a hubby who tends to your garden! 🙂 The flowers look beautiful. What is the plant on the far right of your collage?

  28. We love beer can chicken…although we lovingly call it beer butt chicken…it is one of our summer favs!! However, using wine and fresh herbs sounds wonderful! I will definitely be trying this.

  29. Chicken infused with a citrusy white wine sounds so good! We bought a bigger grill last year so I may be able to try this.

    Italian style potato salad has always been a favorite and those stuffed tomatoes look fantastic..I have to try that recipe too!

    I haven’t planted my tomatoes as yet … I’m very late this year. Your garden already looks beautiful!

  30. ricotta stuffed tomatoes sounds awesome. I can’t wait to try that.

  31. What a fantastic idea, wish I’d come up with it myself. Yum, I will be making this next week!

    Thanks for sharing and I love your garden pictures!

  32. All right – huge smiles. Never did it with an actualy can! Beer-infused – yes. Sitting on a can – how fun! Those tomatoes are in my near future – love them stuffed with ricotta. You are helping to make spring sing! Happy gardening.

  33. I always giggle when I see a beer can stuffed up a chicken’s butt!
    Why does it taste so good?

    Those tomatoes are so addictive, and I love your potato salad…..I just made one w/out my beloved mayo (herbs and vinegar) and everyone thought someone abducted me!

  34. Oh, and Marie, your husband really has a green thumb! Beautiful flowers!!

  35. I want that chicken! – and those tomatoes (thanks Stacey and Marie). That whole meal actually looks mouth-watering good. I have a really basic gas grill that may not have a lid high enough to accommodate a chicken, but I will give this a try.

  36. Oh, Marie, that chicken looks amazing! We LOVE beer can chicken here and have experimented with different kinds of beer, but never thought to use wine. I love that idea! Your salads are beautiful too. Thanks for another great post!

  37. Good idea with the wine/beer can chicken, it was delicious. And it seems spring has finally arrived. Can’t wait to put some flowers and herbs out on my patio.

  38. Well I never! I have never heard of this before and it took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on. It sounds a brilliant idea – and certainly looks good too.

    I have an ordinary gas oven – not sure I even understand how you can turn one burner off! I’m wondering whether I could adapt this idea by covering it with foil?

    Anyway, this is totally new to me and now I’m off to google beer can chicken holders – just got to see what they look like.

  39. I’ve always wanted to try beer can chicken but haven’t yet had the chance! This looks delicious.

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