The best beer for beer can chicken blends perfectly with the juices of your chicken for a seamless burst of flavors. The right beer can have everyone raving about your culinary skills. However, not all types of beer will work for this delicious dish.
If you’re wondering if that can in your fridge will work, keep reading to discover the best beer for beer butt chicken.
Best Beer for Beer Can Chicken
Here are the top brews you can use to make this tasty treat.
– Spaten Premium Lager
For any recipe that requires alcohol, we recommend choosing a beverage that you enjoy drinking. A taste that you enjoy outside of your recipe will probably translate to the one you’ll like when it’s incorporated into a recipe. The most popular beers used for this recipe are lagers. Lagers sit in that comfortable spot in the middle of the road, which means it’s not too bitter and not too hoppy — just right for many people.
The Spaten Premium Lager is a friendly Dortmunder-Helles style beer by Spaten-Franziskaner Brewery. It’s an excellent choice for pairing in different cuisines and recipes, from beer can chicken to fish-based dishes, pork, and even shellfish.
The medium pale yellow color isn’t an important detail, but its slightly hoppy taste makes for a much better determining point. Like many Lagers, the Spaten Premium comes with a medium mouthfeel that will relay a much-appreciated note to your beer can chicken. If you decide to play it safe, this Lager will not let you down.
– Bud Light
Lagers are crisp and easy to cook with. They blend in seamlessly to mix with all the flavors in your dish. Bud Light stays true to that characteristic. The high carbonation in this lager will help your beer butt chicken end up tasty and with a crispy irresistible crust.
Bud Light is significantly less bitter than many other beers, making it a splendid choice for sweeter chicken. You can also expect a little extra kick thanks to the acidic factor that pairs well with the spice rub and flavors in your chicken. Bud Light is also easily accessible, and you probably have a can or two stored in your fridge or in any store near you.
Budweiser is also a great choice for chicken recipes. In fact, it’s one of the most popularly used, and our beer experts highly recommend it. This beer has an unmistakable dark and rich flavor that would be highly appreciated in your dish. The richness of this beer finely complements the juice and flavor in your meat, resulting in an incredibly savory dish.
You make beer can chicken by sitting your carved chicken on the beer can. As the Budweiser beer evaporates into the grilled chicken, you’ll find that it leaves a rich, distinct caramelized taste. What you get is an added dimension of flavor and texture, and your visitors will be clamoring to get your secret ingredient.
– Coors Light
Another beer that we highly recommend as the best beer for beer can chicken is none other than the popular Coors Light. This beer can be compared to what Budweiser offers, except with certain notes. First, Coors has a clean and crisp taste, balanced with a nice amount of citrus notes. Budweiser takes a slightly drying, darker, and fuller turn with slightly off tones of tin and sulfur with a considerable amount of yeast notes.
Our beer experts recommend lager beer like Budweiser or Coors Light as they both have the right acidity and bitterness to balance out the flavor of the meat and the fat in the skin. This balancing of the acidity in beer or most alcohols in food is actually why many recipes include lemon juice, lemon zest, and even whole lemon slices.
– Miller Lite
Miller Lite is another super cheap beer and a pretty popular one too. You likely have this one in your fridge or at a nearby store, ready for your chicken recipe. Miller Lite is a classic American beer with a fresh, crispy taste and a subtle hop finish. This pairs fabulously with chicken seasoning and the meaty flavors in your chicken.
If you’re wondering whether the price of the beer you choose matters, it usually doesn’t. At the end of the day, it’s the taste that matters and not how much it costs. You likely wouldn’t taste the beer in your cooked chicken and amidst all that piping hot deliciousness, what does matter is the flavor. As all true beer lovers know, not all expensive beer is good beer, and not all cheap beer is bad.
– Maduro Brown Ale
Maduro Brown Ale comes with a much-appreciated burst of flavors and notes that could result in a very delicious beer can chicken. This beer has mild chocolate notes with slight tones of roasted malt, coffee, caramel, and nuts.
Malty beers are also great for this dish as they typically have complex layers of notes stacked over each other for a very intriguing and full taste. We recommend these for beginners who want to play it on the safe side.
– Newcastle Brown Ale
Another great malty beer to try out is the Newcastle Brown Ale. This beer has mostly barley and wheat as the dominant arable crops, giving it its malty taste. It is mildly bitter and sour, so if you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, you might want to skip this.
Newcastle Brown Ale has a full flavor and comes with a significant mouthfeel. Still, it’s not nearly as strong as a stout, making it balanced enough to drink and to use for beer can chicken.
– Berliner Weisse
If you’re not insistent on sticking to the sweeter stuff, you’ll find that sour beers make some of the best beer can chicken. Here’s why. Sour or bitter beers are called that because they have more acidity in them. This acidity helps balance out the meaty, fatty flavors in your chicken, giving you a perfectly balanced meal.
Berliner Weisse has a distinctly sour or acidic taste and a unique tartness. It also gives that cheek-stinging feeling you get with really full sour beers and comes with an interestingly complex mix of flavors on the tongue.
– Guinness Stout
Guinness is wildly popular for a good drink at the pub. However, it also makes a fantastic cooking ingredient, especially with recipes as rich as beer can chicken. Guinness has a full-bodied taste with malty sweetness, some exciting hops to it, and hints of coffee and chocolate.
Stout is far up on the bitter beer scale, but there are so many options on the market that you might find one for a beer you love. Be careful if you decide to go with a stout like Guinness, as they can be dry. Choose sweeter stouts or oatmeal stout for a moist and flavorful beer can chicken.
Outside of your choice of beer, where you cook chicken will matter too. Whether your grill or roast chicken, your choice of beer will tie it all up nicely.
– Springdale Beer BRIG Mocha Stout
Springdale Beer BRIG Mocha Stout is another stout worth giving a shot in the quest for the perfect beer for beer can chicken. This stout presents with a heady mix of dark chocolate, muted coffee notes, a hint of vanilla, and low grassy hops. It’s surprisingly mostly sweet and has some notes of floral and roast for the characteristic stout bitterness.
– Pinthouse Pizza Bearded Seal
Our experts say that the best beer for your beer can chicken is the beer you love. Many beer can chicken lovers agree, but Pinthouse Pizza Bearded Seal is a balanced dry stout that has a strong aroma of roasted malt and coffee — notes that you may come to appreciate when your meal is done.
Combined with a whole chicken, dry chicken rub, butter, and olive oil, you’re well on your way to one of the best meals of your life. Nothing beats a moist, slipping-right-off-the-bone tender chicken with crispy skin and a delicious mix of flavors canvassed by a Pinthouse Pizza Bearded Seal.
This stout has a nice, toasty taste with stronger nutty tones in it. It is also slightly chewy with a decent amount of hops — a given with any beer from Pinthouse’s brewery. Pinthouse Pizza Bearded Seal is a very balanced and drinkable beer, and as we like to say, if you like to drink it, you’ll like to cook with it.
– Gulden Draak
This beer has a very high alcohol content, and if this doesn’t bother you, you might be delighted to find out what it does to your beer can chicken. Gulden Draak is a deliciously balanced beer with natural maltiness, a toffee-based sweetness, and a mix of hoppiness and mellow notes. The sweet aroma of this beer is often a deceptive front for the alcohol per volume for his beer — a whopping 10.5 percent.
Gulden Draak is synonymous with excellence and richness among beer lovers, and when it comes to cooking chicken, it does not disappoint. The Belgian yeast taste and beautiful balance make for a beautiful combination of meaty flavors and sweet malty tones. Just make sure to check the nutrition info on this one.
Is IPA good for beer can chicken?
Yes, IPA can be a good choice for beer can chicken as its hoppy and citrusy flavors complement the chicken’s taste.
Why is beer used for beer can chicken?
Beer is used for beer can chicken to add moisture and flavor to the chicken while keeping it tender and juicy.
Does chicken get marinated in beer for the beer can chicken recipe?
Chicken can be marinated in beer before cooking for the beer can chicken recipe, but it’s not a requirement. The beer can simply be inserted into the chicken’s cavity while it cooks, which adds moisture and flavor to the meat.
When you look at this list, you may find that some of these beers are beers you have in your fridge already. There are plenty out there on the market, but ultimately, not all of them will give you the beer can chicken flavor you are looking for — some might be too hoppy, too dark, or even too sweet. Here’s a quick recap of what we discussed:
- The best way to enjoy beer can chicken and know what beer is best for you is to try out different beers and use the ones you enjoy.
- How much your beer actually costs doesn’t matter.
- Beers like Budweiser or Coors Light are mostly used as they have the right amount of bitterness and acidity to balance the meaty flavor of the chicken.
- Carefully remove the can from the beer can chicken to avoid accidents.
- Malts, sour beers, and stouts are the best types of beers for beer can chicken, and a useful rule of thumb is to try beer you’re already familiar with and enjoy in making beer can chicken for the best experience.
The key is choosing a beer you enjoy and using a great recipe to achieve a juicy, flavorful, and moist chicken to enjoy alone or with family and friends.