How to make a Sam Adams Beer Can Chicken

Colin Joliat


Beer Can Chicken is the most common booze-based dish in America, but my informal survey shows no one really knows how to make it. I rammed a can of Sam Adams Boston Lager up a chicken’s ass to teach you how it’s done.

They say the ability to roast a chicken is a benchmark for any decent chef. I’m sure this isn’t the method by which they judge, but I also don’t consider myself a chef. I’m barely a kitchen gnome. The ability to make Beer Can Chicken is a must though because there’s never a bad time to eat an entire chicken.

There aren’t many ingredients here because Sam Adams lets their beer do most of the flavoring. Ketchup is missing from the picture because all I had was packets, and I’m way too classy to arrange those on the table. What do you take me for, the kind of guy who would deep fry Oreos?

Colin Joliat


The chicken takes a marinade bath for about two hours before getting sodomized. I learned the hard way that you have to gently slide the beer in its can. I tried to force it the first time and bent the beer can. It can’t stand on its own with a big dent in it, but luckily I had another beer on standby. Sadly that meant I had just wasted 11.5 ounces of beer.

Colin Joliat


No, my bird is not an alien conspiracy theorist. The foil hat you see it wearing is a homemade version of a stainless steel funnel they suggested I put over it to trap and circulate steam.

My initial plan was to grill this sodomite, but it was too big of a chickenhead to fit on my grill. Instead it went in the oven. You should really use a roasting pan as to avoid a delicate balancing act likely ending in beer all over the bottom of your oven, but I got cocky for the picture.

Colin Joliat


80 minutes later my chicken was done. I let it sit for about 10 minutes because that’s what you’re supposed to do with turkey and I assumed this was the same. Don’t worry, it stayed plenty hot while the juices reincorporated.

Unlike the leftover booze from my Fireball Whisky Applesauce, I was unwilling to try drinking the leftover beer. Plenty of it evaporated into the chicken already so I don’t feel bad about abandoning the fallen soldier.

Colin Joliat


All that’s left to do is grab a giant cleaver and chop it in two. It’s not surgery; it’s deconstruction. As you know from all of my other meals fit for one, I wasn’t sharing this with anybody. I just felt more civilized eating it in halves. The best part was that I still had eight more Sam Adams Boston Lagers to drink. That chicken wasn’t the only one drunk last night.

Colin Joliat


The recipe was created by Chef David Burke for Sam Adams, so I’m sure it’s specifically designed to match the flavors in the marinade to those in the beer. Chef Michael Symon once told me though that a recipe is just a guide, do whatever the hell you want. Given that most of the recipes in the Guyism Grill are either made up or brutally bastardized, you can tell I took that advice to heart.


  • 1 whole fryer chicken (approximately 3 to 5 pounds) with giblets removed
  • One 12-ounce can of Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon for fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 stainless steel cooking funnel (will need for cooking)


  1. Create the chicken marinade by mixing all the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the chicken to marinade and marinate for 2 hours.
  3. Drink beer.
  4. Heat the grill (on high, or until coals are ready for cooking).
  5. Open the can of Sam Adams Boston Lager®. Drink .5 oz of beer from the can. Punch a few holes in the top of the can with knife.
  6. Stick the can as far up the chicken’s ass as possible.
  7. Cut a small hole at the top of the chicken to allow steam to go in and out. Then, place a stainless steel funnel over the top of the chicken and cover the funnel hole with foil.
  8. Place the beer can chicken in the middle of the grill and close the grill. (or 375 degrees on bottom rack of oven)
  9. Drink beer.
  10. Let the chicken cook for about 1 hour or until the meat reaches the temperature of 165 degrees.  (1 hour 20 minutes for oven)
  11. Allow to rest 10 minutes then smash spine with cleaver and eat.
  12. Drink 9 remaining beers (responsibly).

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