Alright, this is good. REALLY good. As in “best chicken ever!” praise from my daughter. And I don’t even own a decent smoker yet! Just a little one I stick in my cheap grill with it’s whopping 40,000 BTUs. So, my lesson is that an amazing smoked bird can be made with crap equipment 🙂
Beer in the Rear Smoked Chicken
4-5 lb whole fryer chicken
my Grilling Rub for Chicken
1 can beer (something light like Yuengling, Stella, Corona)
mesquite wood chips, soaked in water at least 30 min
For the brine:
1 gallon water
3/4 c kosher salt
2/3 c sugar
Combine the water, salt, and sugar for the brine in a large pot (I have a Home Depot bucket dedicated for brine poultry. I’m cool like that). Take the chicken and rinse inside and out, discarding the neck and giblets. Put in the pot with the brine. Chill 6 hours to overnight.
Remove the chicken from the brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub with the grilling rub all over, inside and out of the bird. Take the can of beer, open it, and pour out half. Punch holes around the top of the can with a knife. Take a disposable aluminum casserole pan, place the beer in the middle, and stick the bird on so it sits upright (see photo above). Tuck the wings up on the breast.
Drain the woodchips. Now, I have a smoker I put under the grill grate directly over the flame on my gas grill. If you don’t have one, you can use heavy duty foil, and just make a pouch for the chips with holes for the smoke to get out.
Put your smoker or foil pouch with the chips over the burners that will be on – you will be cooking the bird with indirect heat, so I use the 2 left burners and put the bird over the 2 right burners that will be off. Preheat the grill to 350F.
Put the pan with the bird over the side of the grill that is off. Roast ~1 1/2 hours (be sure to monitor the grill temp – if you have not so many BTUs like my grill, you will have to turn on burners 3 and 4 every so often to keep the temp up) until thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170. Remove from heat, let rest 5-10 min, and carve!