There’s quite a bit of lore surrounding beer-can chicken, and for good reason. Just look at that burnished mahogany bird. The steam from the brew flavours the meat and keeps it moist. The can props the chicken up, so it roasts evenly—no scorching, no flipping, no stressing. And you get to drink some beer. We’re believers.
Pour out (or drink) half of beer.
Prepare grill for high, indirect heat and fit with grill pan (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill and put drip pan on empty side; for a gas grill, leave 1 burner turned off and place drip pan over unlit burner). Add water to pan to a depth of 1/2″.
Season chicken with 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub. Place cavity of chicken, legs pointing down, onto open can so that it supports chicken upright. Place can, with chicken, on grill over indirect heat (and above drip pan). Grill chicken, covered, until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 45-60 minutes. (If using charcoal, you may need to add more to maintain heat.) Let chicken rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve with pan drippings.
4-3-2-1 Spice Rub
Makes enough spice rub for two whole chickens. Double or triple the recipe and use it all summer.