I am a cheater. I bought the can holder to make it easier to grill the chicken, and I just use the instructions that came with it. If you don't have any beer available or don't want to use it, I've heard you can substitute a can of soda.
Me? I like it the original way. And so, here is the original beer-butt chicken recipe, thanks to This Site:
THE ORIGINAL BEER BUTT CHICKEN RecipeBeer Butt Chicken Recipe courtesy of Grilling America, by Rick Brown (2003 ReganBooks).
(Rick Browne is also host of public television’s “Barbecue America”)
DRY RUB 1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. savory or oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 TBS. sea salt –ground
1 tsp. dry yellow mustard
1 cup apple cider
2 TBS. olive oil
2 TBS. balsamic vinegar
6 oz. warm beer
To cook a large 4-5 pound chicken with indirect heat on a charcoal or gas grill.
Cooking time 1 1/4 – 2 hours.
Use a grill with lid large enough to cook a chicken standing upright.
Mix the rub in a small bowl until it’s well incorporated. Wash, dry and season the chicken generously inside and out with the rub. Work the mixture well into the skin and under the skin wherever possible. Place in medium bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
Using a 12-oz. an of your favorite beer, pour out half the contents into a spray bottle, add the cider, olive oil, vinegar and set aside. Take the beer can in one hand and insert it into the ChickCAN™
(The beverage can may be used alone, with the bird’s legs creating a pedestal)
OPTIONAL: You may add Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, minced garlic, onions, etc. to liquid. You can also use fruit juices, colas, or wine instead of beer.
Place the chicken over the ChickCANTM rack and beer can and place on the grill over indirect heat. To prevent flare ups on the grill place the rack into a disposable aluminum pie pan and add 1/4 cup of water
CAUTION: “Cook with indirect heat”! This method of cooking chicken does two things: first, it helps drain off the fat as the chicken cooks, second, the beverage steams the inside of the chicken, while the outside is cooked by the BBQ heat, making it the most moist bird you’ve ever laid yer eyes, or gums, on. Some people put a small potato or carrot in the neck opening of the chicken to keep the steam inside.
For Charcoal Grills: Place coals on one side of barbecue grill, cook chicken over the other side. Add 6-8 coals every 30 min.
For Multiple Burner Gas Grills: Turn gas to medium on one burner, place chicken over an unheated burner.
For oven use: Place in a disposable pie pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Cook at 350°.
Cook for 1 1/4- to 2 hours. During the cooking time spray the chicken all around with the basting spray several times. The chicken is done when it is dark golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 180o in the thigh. Carefully remove the bird on the ChickCAN rack, and place it on heatproof counter top to rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the beer can with tongs while holding the rack with an oven mitt.
WARNING That aluminum can, and the liquid in it, is very hot and can burn you.
Give the chicken one more spritz of the basting spray and then carve. Serve and enjoy!