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Beer Can Chicken... FAIL!

Ok, where did I go wrong? Been wanting to do a beer can chicken for quite some time so finally gave it a whirl this weekend. I got a pretty small bird but good quality.  I coated it with olive oil and a coat of Butt Rub. Egg set at 370º, indirect. Bird was sitting on a Sittin-Chicken. Since it was quite small, it only took an hour or less to hit 178º in the breast. When I pulled it off, it was still pretty pale looking with non-crusty skin and the taste was so so. Plenty juicy but I've had one's other's have done on the egg that were delicious with nice crispy, tan skin.

The only thing I can think of is since it was quite small, the meat was done but just hadn't been in the egg long enough to get the crispy skin look. I didn't baste it with anything except at prep time with the olive oil & rub.  Any ideas? I know they can be awesome but this was a disappointing first shot at it. Thanks!


  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,362
    temp seems too low. I invert mine, like Little Steven does and the dome temp is 400-450º. Skin always cooks nice and golden - touch of starch or powder on it as well. Go light on the oil, it will actually slow the crisping. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,652
    edited July 2013
    I prefer spatchcock chicken so I rarely cook beer can chicken now but when I do, I put the Sitting-Chicken direct on the grid for 20 mins to brown the skin some at about 375. Then I stick a drip pan (no platesetter or baking stone) under it for the reminder of the cook. Skin is nicely browned and crisp.

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    178 in the breast is pretty high & could be a dry breast. Some folks ice the breast before cooking to try to slow it down & allow the dark meat to get a little higher (170+) without taking the breast over 165. Or cook the bird upside down as Skiddymarker mentioned so the legs get a little higher cook temp.

    Some folks are likely to point out that the beer should go in you instead of the chicken. Here's a read for you:
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
  • flynnbobflynnbob Posts: 637

    I have cooked hundreds of BCC's on the gasser.  I go 350 until you get to 160 ish in the thigh.  You have to go direct to get it crispy and can't tell if you did that from your photo.  I use 1/2 can of beer, put in the can 1/4 stick of butter cut up into slices , 2 tbs of paprika and 2 tbs of Lawrys garlic salt and pepper blend. Season the outside and you are good to go. I do not oil it initially, but baste with the drippings occasionally.  If you hit 178 in the breast, you have over cooked it. You will need to put the chicken in a small pan to catch the juices.

    I agree with R2, I haven't cooked a Beer But since the egg as the spatchcock is easier and delicious. Keep experimenting.


    Milton, GA.
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