Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fall-Off-The-Bone Roast Chicken - ver. 2.0 - Beer-Can-Style On The Grill!

As if we couldn't make our favorite Fall-Off-The-Bone Roast Chicken any better, today I'd like to introduce you to Version 2.0: we are doing this summer-grilling style ;)

We're in South Florida, so summer is even more unbearably hot for us. Our A/C's are barely keeping up, so the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven for four hours. Time to go outside and grill :)

Over the 4th of July weekend, we treated ourselves to a brand new Brinkmann gas grill. Man, have grills come a long way. They're full of all sorts of user-friendly features now; especially when it comes to cleaning up. The Home Depot has many grills already assembled and ready to take home! We picked the one we wanted, loaded it up in the mini van, rolled it onto the backyard patio, hooked up the propane tank, and the next thing you knew, we were grilling :)

One of my dearest university friends was a bit kitchen-challenged 'back in the day'. But that didn't stop her from wanting to learn :) She made us all proud with her very first attempt at a dish all by herself, and made a fantastic beer can chicken that got raves from her family! WOOHOO! It sounded so yummy!! Ever since then, I've wanted to attempt this myself, too :)

After researching online, I discovered a lot of "recipe disclaimers", warning people to be careful of toppling over open beer cans on an open flame. Yes, that is literally a recipe for disaster. A few other cooks mentioned potential toxins leaching out from the beer cans themselves, when heated to extreme temperatures. A little more digging revealed many contraptions readily available just for the sheer purpose of holding beer cans (and other vessels of liquid) steady, while roasting a stand-up bird. I ended up back at our local Home Depot, and picked up the Charmglow Chicken Roaster shown above. This is a great tray, specifically made for the purpose of grilling "Beer Can Chicken", with a built-in cup to hold any kind of liquid (wine, apple juice, etc etc), and also a very generous basket, that serves to stabilize the bird, and allow side dishes to grill right along with the main entree. That basket is perfect for grilling seasoned potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and any other of your favorite veggies, and to keep them from falling through the grates. The Charmglow Chicken Roaster was the smart choice for us: it is non-stick, easy to assemble (and disassemble), and washes up in a snap. It's also half the price of many other comparable products; although with those pricier models, I think you're really just paying royalties to the BBQ guru whose name is stamped on the box :P

Our Fall-Off-The-Bone Roast Chicken recipe adapted perfectly for outdoor grilling, beer-can-style. Leave the bird cavity empty (obviously), but the aromatics can be added to the cup of beer/seasoning liquid itself. After preheating the grill, I set the bird, on its stand, over on the left side of the grill. I then shut off all the other burners, save one on the right, and put it all the way on low. Don't forget the oven thermometer. One burner on low keeps our grill at a steady 250 degrees F; perfect for slow-roasting our chicken. No need to baste. The cup of beer steams the chicken from the inside, keeping the meat moist, and adding so much flavor :) However, depending on the distribution of heat and the size of your grill, your chicken might benefit from a quarter-turn intermittently during cooking, to get the skin to brown evenly. That extra effort will be well worth it :)

Bear in mind that the chicken skin is going to render off a lot of fat as it roasts. Some cooks recommend putting foil underneath to catch the drippings. My grill has a removable drip tray, and is actually very easy to clean, so I opted not to.

About three-and-a-half hours later, get ready to dig into some juicy, succulent chicken, with that special flavor that only grilling can achieve :)

Charmglow Chicken Roaster image courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled upon your blog via the SITS roll call and thought I'd stop by. I'm just getting into being more green. I actually stumbled upon some great recycled school items at target for only $1. I'll be blogging about them over the weekedn or on monday.

    Stop by and say hi!! I look forward to readin more of your posts!!