Saturday, March 21, 2009

All Purpose BBQ Rub & (Beer) Can Chicken

This is the rub we put on anything that we roast on the BBQ. It's what's for dinner at our house, tonight. I hurt my back so Robert is making dinner. Yum!

All Purpose BBQ Rub

1/4 cup Kosher or Sea Salt
1/4 cup Sweet Paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar (we like a little extra brown sugar, but not too much more sugar has a tendency to burn on the grill)
2 Tbs. ground black pepper.

Mix together and store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months.

To use, place some of the rub into a small bowl (this prevents you from contaminating the rest of the rub.) Rub the meat with oil, then use your fingers and rub the seasoning into the surface of the meat.

We've used this rub on ribs and roasts, but mostly we love it for Beer Can Chicken.

Beer Can Chicken

1 roasting chicken
2 tbs vegetable oil
All Purpose BBQ Rub
Can of Beer, Soda or Upright Chicken Roaster

It doesn't matter much what kind of can you use. We actually use an upright chicken roaster with a well for liquid. We have used a variety of liquids beer, 7up or lemon juice, apple cider. The main thing is that the liquid in the well will steam the inside of the chicken helping keep it moist. We have not found that differnt liquids seem to make much differnce in flavor so use what you have.

We use a gas grill set up for indirect roasting.
If your gas grill has 3 controls preheat all three the 2 outside stations will remain on for cooking, you'll position the bird in the center and turn off the gas to that station when you put the bird on to cook. If you have 2 gas stations heat both, you'll place the bird on one side and turn OFF the gas on the side with the chicken. Preheat the grill to medium. (link at bottom to recipe discussing charcoal grill set-up)
More info on indirect grilling vs direct grill & setup. Ideal temperature for indirect grilling is 325-350 degrees F.

Prepare your wood chips. We put the wood chips inside a foil pouch and punch holes in the foil. If you are going to place the wood on top of charcoal soak it in water or beer for 1 hour so that it will smoke and not just burn up. We've developed a preference for mesquite smoke while living in Texas, but sometimes use pecan wood.

Wash the chicken, remove any extras from the cavity and pat dry with paper towels. If using an upright chicken roaster with a well put liquid in the well. If using a can, open the can, pour out 1/3 of the liquid and make 2 more holes in the top of the can with a church-key style can opener. Rub some of the rub in the chicken cavity and place the chicken tail side down on top of the roaster or can. Use the can and 2 legs to form a tripod. Now rub 2 Tbs of oil on the outside of the bird, followed by the rub. I like to get some rub down inside the skin, the meat is better seasoned that way. Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken's back.

When the grill is ready turn off the gas to one station and place the chicken on that part of the grill, place the wood chips over the flames (or directly on the charcoal) and close the lid. This is where you're at a disadvantage with fancy Stainless BBQ's as they usually have a gap in the back that lets the heat and smoke escape - not ideal for this recipe - it may take longer to cook and you won't have as much smoke flavor.

Check on the chicken after 40 minutes, you'll probably want to turn it so it faces a different direction. Cook the chicken until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F placed through the meatiest part of the thigh. Carefully remove chicken from the heat be careful not to drop the can out the bottom, very hot liquid. I've used a large spatula under the can and large tongs holding onto the chicken to transfer to a platter or cutting board. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving. If you carve too soon all the juices will run out and the bird will be dry.
We usually allow an hour and a half of cooking time, but some birds cook much faster depending on their size, and sometimes they take longer so use a thermometer to know when the chicken is done. If you've never cooked with smoke before you may no know... smoked meat gets a "smoke ring" this is a pink tinge to the meat, the inexperienced sometimes mistake this for undercooked meat - yet another great reason to use a meat thermometer!

I get the drumsticks!!!

Here is a link to the original recipe - He includes information about how to setup a Charcoal Grill for Indirect Roasting, but I think his gas grill instructions are incomplete.


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