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Beer Can Chicken - John Kass [Pictures]

Beer Can Chicken - John Kass [Pictures]
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  • Beer Can Chicken - John Kass [Pictures]

    Post #1 - July 13th, 2009, 5:28 am
    Post #1 - July 13th, 2009, 5:28 am Post #1 - July 13th, 2009, 5:28 am
    LTH,

    As John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has kindly been following my Low & Slow: 5 Easy Lessons program, I thought it high time I made a round of Kass's signature item, Beer Can Chicken.

    - Start with quality chicken and a simple brine.

    Kosher salt, turbinado sugar, oregano.

    Image

    - I did not have the recommended Cavender's Greek on hand, so made my own simple rub.

    Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic/onion powder, paprika, oregano, fresh grated lemon peel and dash of cayenne.

    Image

    Kass recommends an inside and out lemon rub-down prior to applying the rub. Drain off 1/3 of beer, poke two small additional top holes and add a heaping teaspoon of rub to beer.

    Beer, rub, lemon

    Image

    Delicately place chicken, or at least as delicate as one can be under the circumstances, butt down on can of beer, splay legs to form a tripod.

    Rubbed and ready for grill

    Image

    Lump charcoal to either side, drip pan in middle

    Image
    Image

    Tip of the Day - If cooker is running hot mist with hose to lower temp.

    Image

    Done in approximately one hour, looking damn tasty.

    Image

    Juicy, moist, slight tang from beer

    Image

    I differed with Mr. Kass in one small regard, he feels chicken is "too delicate" a meat for wood smoke, I added a couple of small pieces of hickory which I felt enhanced overall flavor.

    Will I do it again, absolutely, fun and easy to do and makes for a Show Stopper presentation.

    Thanks John terrific recipe, as they say in Las Vegas, Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - July 13th, 2009, 5:37 am
    Post #2 - July 13th, 2009, 5:37 am Post #2 - July 13th, 2009, 5:37 am
    G Wiv wrote:Tip of the Day - If cooker is running hot mist with hose to lower temp.


    Bigger tip of the day - If cooker is running hot, use the damper control lever set to the front (half closed) position to lower temp. That avoids any potential creasote taste resulting from pouring water on the fire.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - July 13th, 2009, 5:42 am
    Post #3 - July 13th, 2009, 5:42 am Post #3 - July 13th, 2009, 5:42 am
    stevez wrote:Bigger tip of the day - If cooker is running hot, use the damper control lever set to the front (half closed) position to lower temp. That avoids any potential creasote taste resulting from pouring water on the fire.

    Steve,

    No water on the fire for me. If you notice the cooker is closed, I simply misted the outside of the cooker which serves to lower the temperature. Misting the cooker gives immediate results and can, and should, be used in conjunction with vent adjustment.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - July 13th, 2009, 6:18 am
    Post #4 - July 13th, 2009, 6:18 am Post #4 - July 13th, 2009, 6:18 am
    that chicken looks darn good. nice job.
  • Post #5 - July 13th, 2009, 7:04 am
    Post #5 - July 13th, 2009, 7:04 am Post #5 - July 13th, 2009, 7:04 am
    Gary,

    Though I have heard much about beer can chicken, I've neither prepared nor eaten it, so thank you for the tutorial. It looks delicious, but I hope you will provide clarification for what, on first glance, sounds like one of the worst culinary sins I've ever heard:

    G Wiv wrote:Drain off 1/3 of beer


    Drain off??? Certainly the recipe should indicate that your mouth, and not the kitchen sink, was the drain, correct?

    Kenny
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #6 - July 13th, 2009, 7:10 am
    Post #6 - July 13th, 2009, 7:10 am Post #6 - July 13th, 2009, 7:10 am
    Simple twist - maybe I've posted this before.
    I stuff a few keffir lime leaves or lemon balm leaves in the cavity as well. It permeates the flesh VERY nicely indeed.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #7 - July 13th, 2009, 7:47 am
    Post #7 - July 13th, 2009, 7:47 am Post #7 - July 13th, 2009, 7:47 am
    I've always called this preparation "Beer Butt Chicken." Although I'm sure taht name would offend Mr. Kass' and Mr. Wiviott's delicate sensibilities.
  • Post #8 - July 13th, 2009, 8:22 am
    Post #8 - July 13th, 2009, 8:22 am Post #8 - July 13th, 2009, 8:22 am
    G Wiv wrote:Drain off 1/3 of beer


    Drain off??? Certainly the recipe should indicate that your mouth, and not the kitchen sink, was the drain, correct?

    Kenny[/quote]

    I am a beer snob and the beer that I use for beer can chicken isn't passing my lips.
  • Post #9 - July 13th, 2009, 8:57 am
    Post #9 - July 13th, 2009, 8:57 am Post #9 - July 13th, 2009, 8:57 am
    lougord99 wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:Drain off 1/3 of beer


    Drain off??? Certainly the recipe should indicate that your mouth, and not the kitchen sink, was the drain, correct?

    Kenny


    I am a beer snob and the beer that I use for beer can chicken isn't passing my lips.

    I am a beer lover who knows that bad beers need love too. All beers, from the finest trappist ale to the lowliest mass-produced pisswater lager, have their place in the great pantheon of stuff that can get me drunk ;)

    Full disclosure: I enjoy the finest trappist ales, sipped from a snifter, just as much as I enjoy mass-produced pisswater lager, shotgunned from a can :P
  • Post #10 - July 13th, 2009, 9:44 am
    Post #10 - July 13th, 2009, 9:44 am Post #10 - July 13th, 2009, 9:44 am
    Kennyz wrote:Drain off??? Certainly the recipe should indicate that your mouth, and not the kitchen sink, was the drain, correct?

    Kenny,

    Good catch, I was, of course, unclear. I meant, I topped off a glass of Tecate, ice and fresh lime I was drinking while setting up the cooker.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - July 13th, 2009, 10:21 am
    Post #11 - July 13th, 2009, 10:21 am Post #11 - July 13th, 2009, 10:21 am
    Looks mighty fine Mr. W.

    My brother-in-law often does "can" cooking. He cooks cornish hens on those small juice cans; also very tasty.
    Ms. Ingie
    Life is too short, why skip dessert?
  • Post #12 - July 13th, 2009, 12:12 pm
    Post #12 - July 13th, 2009, 12:12 pm Post #12 - July 13th, 2009, 12:12 pm
    I've done Turkeys this way using a can of Fosters.
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #13 - July 17th, 2009, 10:14 am
    Post #13 - July 17th, 2009, 10:14 am Post #13 - July 17th, 2009, 10:14 am
    I can hardly believe that I've cooked something on a grill before Gary Wiviott has!

    Just curious as to whether anyone knows for certain who first had the idea for beer can chicken. John Kass acknowledges he did not invent it, but lays claim to the variation involving the spice rub being applied in large [some Greek word for handful]s.

    I think Steven Raichlen claims in one of his books (I'll have to check) that beer can chicken was his brainchild. I am willing to believe that, though I suppose it could just as easily have been invented by any one of countless tailgaters over the years.

    Beer can turkey, though ... wow!

    [Edited to add the word "has" to the end of the first sentence: very important clarification of meaning.]
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #14 - July 17th, 2009, 10:21 am
    Post #14 - July 17th, 2009, 10:21 am Post #14 - July 17th, 2009, 10:21 am
    Katie wrote:Just curious as to whether anyone knows for certain who first had the idea for beer can chicken. John Kass acknowledges he did not invent it, but lays claim to the variation involving the spice rub being applied in large [some Greek word for handful]s.


    It's a traditional "old boy" Southern recipe. John Kass was most definitely not the first person to add stuff to the can. That's fairly traditional, too.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #15 - July 17th, 2009, 5:19 pm
    Post #15 - July 17th, 2009, 5:19 pm Post #15 - July 17th, 2009, 5:19 pm
    I think John Kass's particular claim was to have invented slapping the rub on the chicken in large [some Greek word for handful]s.
    Last edited by Katie on July 17th, 2009, 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #16 - July 17th, 2009, 7:26 pm
    Post #16 - July 17th, 2009, 7:26 pm Post #16 - July 17th, 2009, 7:26 pm
    I have a grill accessory just for this purpose. It's similar to this. Not only does it hold two chickens at a time, it also helps avoid tipping, which I find difficult to do even when I'm not drinking the beer.
  • Post #17 - July 17th, 2009, 9:09 pm
    Post #17 - July 17th, 2009, 9:09 pm Post #17 - July 17th, 2009, 9:09 pm
    imsscott wrote:I've done Turkeys this way using a can of Fosters.


    Beer barrel Ostrich.......it's the next BIG thing !
  • Post #18 - July 17th, 2009, 9:44 pm
    Post #18 - July 17th, 2009, 9:44 pm Post #18 - July 17th, 2009, 9:44 pm
    Just curious as to whether anyone knows for certain who first had the idea for beer can chicken. John Kass acknowledges he did not invent it, but lays claim to the variation involving the spice rub being applied in large [some Greek word for handful]s.

    I think Steven Raichlen claims in one of his books (I'll have to check) that beer can chicken was his brainchild. I am willing to believe that, though I suppose it could just as easily have been invented by any one of countless tailgaters over the years.


    Yeah, Kass and Raichlen say a lot of things, don't they? :roll:

    Weber-Stephens has been distributing this recipe - and the rub recipe, too - for decades, predating the Interwebs. It's a fixture at the Weber Grill restaurant - and was at the long-gone Wheeling location, too.
  • Post #19 - July 20th, 2009, 8:07 am
    Post #19 - July 20th, 2009, 8:07 am Post #19 - July 20th, 2009, 8:07 am
    This past weekend I was going to make john's beer can chicken, but the lady I was cooking for is not a fan of beer can chicken! Can you believe that?!
    So I instead used John's method of lemon, Olive Oil and Cavenders and used the rotisserie attachment of my gas grill.
    Now I was going for a rotisserie chicken here and it turned out well. Better than rotisserie chickens we have purchased in the past, and it only took about 1 hour 15 min to cook.

    the Pic was after about 1 hour on the rotisserie.
    Image
  • Post #20 - July 20th, 2009, 9:08 am
    Post #20 - July 20th, 2009, 9:08 am Post #20 - July 20th, 2009, 9:08 am
    Hey maxpower, that's a nice looking chicken! I did the same thing yesterday, except that I cooked two chickens and, of course, I did mine over lump charcoal and applewood on my Weber Kettle. I'm really liking my rotisserie attachment these days. I'm going to do my first duck with it next weekend.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - July 21st, 2009, 10:28 pm
    Post #21 - July 21st, 2009, 10:28 pm Post #21 - July 21st, 2009, 10:28 pm
    A Beer Can Chicken recipe appears in Smoke and Spice by Cheryl and Bill Jamison (1994). The main difference is that the chicken is smoked rather than grilled. It's my all time favorite chicken recipe.
  • Post #22 - July 21st, 2009, 10:52 pm
    Post #22 - July 21st, 2009, 10:52 pm Post #22 - July 21st, 2009, 10:52 pm
    FrankP wrote:A Beer Can Chicken recipe appears in Smoke and Spice by Cheryl and Bill Jamison (1994). The main difference is that the chicken is smoked rather than grilled. It's my all time favorite chicken recipe.


    Having had Frank's bird, I'd have to agree! Wonderful chicken!
  • Post #23 - July 26th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    Post #23 - July 26th, 2009, 1:58 pm Post #23 - July 26th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    stevez wrote:I'm really liking my rotisserie attachment these days. I'm going to do my first duck with it next weekend.

    Steve,

    On the Low & Slow BBQ contest at Instructables someone just submitted rotisserie Duck. Looks pretty good and the fellow had what seems a good tip. He suggested leaving the rotisserie spit in the duck for the 10-minute resting period as removing it would lead to loss of juice. Similar to cutting a roast, chicken or duck before it has properly rested.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - July 27th, 2009, 5:36 am
    Post #24 - July 27th, 2009, 5:36 am Post #24 - July 27th, 2009, 5:36 am
    Just a quick question re: aluminum can cooking; Are there any health risks involved in heating an aluminum soda or beer can? Are there any things which may leach off into your meat during heating under high heat? I was unable to find any articles online during my own google search.

    I ask because:

    1) Tin/Steel cans used for soups or veges have a thin interior coating which will leach BPA (need to reconsider the small juice cans?)
    2) Aluminum water bottles have likewise been discussed having/possibly having BPA-containing linings (ie: possibly SIGG although their proprietary formula is unknown)
    3) I'd really like to cook some beer can poultry (cornish hens sound interesting)
    4) There are some really cool DIY alcohol stoves + pots made with soda/beer cans for ultralight backpacking.

    Of course, this only matters if you're concerned at all about ingesting BPA.
  • Post #25 - July 27th, 2009, 7:46 am
    Post #25 - July 27th, 2009, 7:46 am Post #25 - July 27th, 2009, 7:46 am
    Jay K wrote:Just a quick question re: aluminum can cooking; Are there any health risks involved in heating an aluminum soda or beer can? Are there any things which may leach off into your meat during heating under high heat? I was unable to find any articles online during my own google search.

    I ask because:

    1) Tin/Steel cans used for soups or veges have a thin interior coating which will leach BPA (need to reconsider the small juice cans?)
    2) Aluminum water bottles have likewise been discussed having/possibly having BPA-containing linings (ie: possibly SIGG although their proprietary formula is unknown)
    3) I'd really like to cook some beer can poultry (cornish hens sound interesting)
    4) There are some really cool DIY alcohol stoves + pots made with soda/beer cans for ultralight backpacking.

    Of course, this only matters if you're concerned at all about ingesting BPA.


    I was thinking the same thing. I know the organic vegetables and some organic soups use the BPA lining so that wouldn't be a good thing (look for a white or pale film on the inside of the can). Many of the aluminum cans used for beer do not have this coating (I believe). I think if I were to do a "beer can" chicken, I would just use an upright roaster, which not only holds the chicken in the proper position but also catches any juices. Good post.
    "It's not that I'm on commission, it's just I've sifted through a lot of stuff and it's not worth filling up on the bland when the extraordinary is within equidistant tasting distance." - David Lebovitz

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