Spicy and Succulent Beer Can Chicken

This dish looks a bit weird, but trust me it’s amazing. The chicken is steamed from the inside from the beer and ends up really succulent and juicy, while the skin is crisp and spicy. It is gorgeous!

This is not my own recipe – it is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s version: https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/sweet-spicy-beer-can-chicken/

Ingredients: For 4 people

  • 1 chicken (no larger than 2 kg or you might struggle to fit it in the oven upright)
  • 1 x 330 ml small can of beer (you only need about a third of it)
  • 3 tablespoons of Jerk style spicy barbecue sauce, and extra to serve with.
  • Oil

For the rub:

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soft dark brown sugar


1. An hour before you are ready to start cooking, get the chicken out of the fridge and unwrap it so it gets to room temperature. Cut off any string binding the legs.

2. To make the rub put the rub ingredients in a pestle and mortar and bash to a fine powder. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar you can also do this in a plastic or solid bowl or jug with the end of a rolling pin.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 190 C. Very lightly oil the chicken (just enough oil so the rub will stick to it) and sprinkle the rub all over the chicken.

4. Open the can of beer and pour (or drink!) two thirds of it. Place it in the middle of an old roasting tin and lower the chicken right down onto it so it is upright.

5. Place the tin in the bottom of the oven and roast the chicken for 1 hour. After 1 hour, brush on 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear when pricked in the thickest part of the thigh. Take it out of the oven and let it rest on the can for 5 minutes or so. Carefully remove the beer can and cut the chicken up.

6. I like serving this with extra barbecue sauce on the side, potato wedges and sweetcorn. Fresh corn on the cob is delicious but I always have in tinned sweetcorn and it does the job – the sweetness of it really complements the spicy chicken well.

Potato wedges recipe available here: https://lauralusciousfood.com/2020/05/17/very-easy-potato-wedges/

Hope you enjoy making this! Leave me a comment if you give it a try. Thank you for reading 🙂

Published by Laura

Born in France to English parents, but living in Scotland for the past 20 years now. Passionate about cooking and tasty simple food.

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