BBQ rockstar – the violated chicken

I detest oven cleaning – using rubber gloves so my hands don’t dissolve with chemical burns lacks appeal.  BBQs however, seem to be immune from cleaning standards.  A bit of grease and a few stray artefacts from the last few grillings are acceptable and simply part of living the Aussie/Kiwi dream.

canWhen I bought my first BBQ I was introduced to the ‘beer can chicken’ concept.   “Don’t bother with beer, encouraged the sturdy handsome saleswoman; use cans of bourbon and coke – crispy skin, and you can cut the meat with your tongue!”.

While my confused brain tried to visualise this concept, the brave BBQ buying feminist within said “I’ll take it!”.

I decided to trial the first chicken with a can of pepsi (I was pretty sure that Miss 5 and Master 3 weren’t going to eat ‘bourbon’ anything).

The can needs to be at least half empty so the kids eagerly helped make the excess soft drink disappear.  Afterwards they  stood in stunned silence/horror as they watched me ‘sit’ the chicken on the can.  It took a little persuasion.  Quite a bit of pressure.  The kids winced in sympathy.  First lesson – buy a big chicken.  Specifically a bird that can fit a can into it’s cavity.

The sight of a chicken sitting upright on a can is quite ridiculous.  The kids moved on from the kitchen torture scene and followed me giggling to the BBQ – with our impaled bird sitting regally on a roasting tray.

The results were quite something to behold.  Wanting to be sure the chook was thoroughly cooked, I left it in the BBQ for way too long.  The skin was hard.  Solid.  Like a motorcycle helmet.  The meat inside was still juicy.  We were sold.

After a bit of practice and trialling every canned liquid on special at woolies, our favourite is the lemon herb chicken – using a can lemon Solo as the weapon of choice.


1/3 can of lemon solo (or any canned drink you like the taste of)

shove into the can:
a couple cloves of garlic, squashed or chopped
a few twigs of herbs – rosemary, thyme, sage (whatever you have)

First put the can in the can holder on a BBQ tray, then sit the chicken on the can – apply enough pressure to push it all the way into the cavity.

Rub the chicken with some vegetable oil, salt and pepper.

Heat the BBQ (until the remnants of the last meal you BBQ’ed are smoking), then turn off one side of the grill and turn the other to a low heat.

Open the lid and place your bird on the side that you turned OFF.  Close the lid and let the magic happen.

After an hour check your bird.  You may need to swivel the tray 180 degrees so it cooks evenly.

When your bird is browned and the juices run clear, it’s done.

Warning: be very careful removing the bird off the can after cooking.  The liquid inside will be thermonuclear bro.  Take a long handled wooden spoon and push the handle down the chicken’s neck until you reach the can inside.  Grasp the chicken with tongs and slide it up the wooden spoon to get it off the can.

Dismember and enjoy your juicy/crispy feast.