Beer Can Chicken on a Big Green Egg

Beer can chicken on a smoker on a Big Green Egg is one of favorite Sunday meals!  Rotisserie chicken picked up on the way home is sure an easy substitute, but smoking beer can chicken on the weekend is a great way to have flavorful chicken all week for dinner prep. The skin is super crispy, and the meat is imparted with a smoky flavor. Both the white and dark meat fall off the bone as it is so tender.

You can just smoke one beer can chicken, but as Bruce always says, if you are gonna smoke one beer can chicken, you might as well smoke 3! If you make 3 you will have enough smoked chicken to make a few other easy weeknight meals. A few of our favorite are smoked chicken soup, chicken bacon ranch pizza, and king ranch chicken casserole!

How long does it take to smoke a whole chicken on a Big Green Egg

Depending on the size of your chicken, it can take 2 1/2 -4 hours smoking at a temperature of 275°-300° F. You will want to smoke to an internal temperature of 165°F.

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Side dishes to serve with Beer Can Chicken


Now check out just a few of the meals you can make with the leftover smoked beer can chicken!


3 beer can smoked chickens on a grill.

Beer Can Chicken on the Big Green Egg

Smoke 3 whole chickens on a Big Green Egg on Sunday, and have meals all week!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ, big green egg, chicken, chicken, smoked meat, bbq
Servings: 18 pieces of chicken
Calories: 306kcal
Author: Bruce and Dina Miller



  • 3 whole chickens
  • 3 sticks butter
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder not garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • 3 16 ounce cans of beer
  • 6 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • 2 pieces of fruit quartered, can use apples, or limes, or oranges
  • 12 ounce apple juice


  • Sit butter out to soften. You want butter just soft enough to mix, but not too soft. Place softened butter into a bowl, and add seasoning. Mix together to form a seasoned butter.
  • Using 3 white kitchen towels, lay them on counter. This will help keep chickens from slipping, and you can throw them in the wash afterward.  Remove gizzards, liver, and anything else inside chickens, and reserve for chicken stock, or toss. Rinse each chicken out with cold water until water runs clear.
  • Place chickens breast side down on the towels. Pat dry. Work your hands up under the skin, being careful not to tear. You are making room for the butter and lemons. Turn chickens over and do the same on the other side.
  • Divide the slices of lemons and the butter into 3 sections. Take some of the herbed butter and lemon and work it under the skin, using the chicken skin to push it back further to the back. Repeat this process on all chickens, and then turn over and do the same on other side of chicken. Rub remaining herbed butter over skin on the breast side of the chickens. Be sure to wash your hands using soap between each step.
  • Place chickens in glass pans. We use one large pan for 2 of the chickens and one smaller pan. Generously crack fresh pepper over tops of chickens. Cover to seal with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 3 hours, and can be done overnight.

Instructions for preparing beer cans:

  • Prepare your charcoal in your smoker. We use Jealous Devil Charcoal.  While the coals are getting to the right temp, get your beer cans ready.
  • Place a rimmed sheet pan on the counter. Place 3
    beer can chicken holders on the sheet pan.
  • Open the beer and pour it into a large pyrex handled bowl. Add apple juice. Cut off the tops of the beer cans using kitchen sheers. Rinse out the beer cans to make sure there are no metal shards inside or out. Place the cans inside beer can chicken holders.
  • Add 2 of the smashed garlic cloves to each of the beer cans. Cut any old fruit you have, like apples, limes, lemons, or oranges into quarters and place inside the beer cans. Pour some of the beer apple juice mixture into each can.  Fill to the top. This may take a few times as you wait for foam to settle.
  • Bring chickens out of the fridge. Unwrap chickens and place them over each beer can, so they are standing up.
  • Put your wood over the hot coals. Put your plate setter over the coals, and put the foil pan on the plate setter. Fill it with the rest of the beer, apple juice mixture. Put grill grate over that. Place chickens on the grill and close grill. You want to keep the temperature at 325 F. At the 45-50 minute mark, skin will be brown. At this point cover each chicken with foil, and rotate chickens. Rotate chickens 1 more time at 45-50 minute mark. After rotating 2 times, and smoking chickens for a total of 2 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes check for an internal temperature on the thighs of 170. Once this is reached, remove chickens from grill onto a rimmed sheet pan and bring into house and set on stove. Cover all 3 chickens with large piece of foil. Chickens will continue to finish cooking. Allow chickens to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
  • We break down all the chickens for serving that night, and to store in fridge for the rest of the week. We remove the skin and the bones and keep the breasts and tenders intact. The smoked chicken can be kept for a week in the refrigerator. If not using the meat that week, place in freezer bags and seal. Will keep in freezer for 3 months.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1463IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.


  1. B Reply

    If you do a quick google search, you’ll see that beer can chicken is the worst way to smoke a chicken. It’s not been a thing you should make for at least a decade.

    Due to physics, it’s an inherently bad cooking method.

    Here’s one of many sources:

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      We actually remove the top of the beer can and use it to hold herbs and citrus. We also pour the beer into the pan below, and it helps steam the chicken. We appreciate you sharing this information!

      Thanks, and have a great week!

      Dina and Bruce

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  4. Kim Reply

    5 stars
    Wow, this beer can chicken looks absolutely amazing! The crispy skin and juicy meat are making my mouth water. This recipe is definitely going on my grilling bucket list.

  5. Casey Reply

    5 stars
    I’ve always been a fan of beer can chicken, this version takes it to a whole new level! The smoky flavor and moist texture make it a showstopper.

  6. Chenee Reply

    5 stars
    The combination of the grill’s smoky goodness and the flavors from the beer and seasonings create such a delicious dish. Thank you for the inspiration and the delicious recipe!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      Thank you for all your inspo! Love your food! And your positive vibes!!

      Dina and Bruce

  7. Carrie Robinson Reply

    5 stars
    Beer can chicken is SO good! It is one of my favorite things to throw on the grill each summer. 🙂

  8. Elizabeth Reply

    5 stars
    Wow, this is such a unique way to prepare a chicken! This would be a fun recipe to try this summer the next time we pull out the grill. Thanks for sharing!

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