Grilled Spice Rubbed Chicken

Grilled Spice Rubbed Chicken

This is also known here in Western PA as “Beer Can Chicken”.  It is by far my favorite way to cook chicken on the grill.  There isn’t anything better than smoky, spicy, crispy skin and juicy, tender meat underneath.  Very yummy!  I used to buy a pre-made spice rub….but it costs $4.99 per jar (about 1/2 cup).  So my hubby and I started playing around with different combinations and finally came up with one we love (recipe follows).  I usually serve it with simple roasted potato wedges and a big salad.

Chicken Spice Rub

1/4 cup paprika

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1/4 cup ground cumin

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon dry mustard

Mix all ingredients.  It makes approximately 1 1/4 cups of rub and will keep for 1 – 2 months in an airtight container.  But for me, it never lasts that long!

To make this recipe, rub the outside of  1 whole chicken with enough rub to make a nice crust.  I usually use one-third to one-half of the above recipe.   Let marinate in the refrigerator for 4 – 6 hours, preferably overnight. Open up one can of beer and pour out 1/3.  Place the chicken on top of the beer and press down so that the beer is inside the cavity of the chicken.  Put the chicken on the grill, keeping the temperature low.  I typically buy six pound chickens and it takes about 2 – 2 1/2 hours to cook through.  To check, pierce the chicken between the thigh and body, if the juices are clear – it’s done.  Remove from the grill and let rest under an aluminum foil “tent” for 10 minutes.  It’s now ready to eat!  This takes a little time, but is so worth the wait.  The chicken comes out tender and juicy, with a wonderfully crisp crust.

Cost Breakdown:

Chicken:  $11.84 for a six pound roaster/$5.99 for one rotisseree chicken (already cooked, about 3 pounds)

Spice Rub:  $2.00 to make (can be less depending on where you get your spices)/$4.99 per tub

Roast Potatoes:  $1.25 (I used half of a 5 pound bag, cut them into wedges, tossed with salt, pepper and olive oil – Roasted at 400 degrees for 45 minutes)/2/$6.00 for frozen potatoes

Salad Dressing:  minimum cost (I toss olive oil and red wine vinegar together with salt, pepper, one mince garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard)/$2.99 for one bottle of balsamic vinaigrette

Total Cost:  $15.09 – homemade

Total Cost:  $22.96 – store-bought

That’s a savings of $7.87 – and it tastes way better made from scratch!  I hope you give this strange recipe a try, if you do, I promise you’ll love it too!

22 thoughts on “Grilled Spice Rubbed Chicken

  1. I’ve made beer-can chicken for years, but your spice rub is a great idea I will have to try next time. Thanks for liking my blog, and welcome back any time.

  2. The spice rub looks great. One question: how do you place the chicken on the grill so that the beer doesn’t run out? Do you have to prop it up, or do you use one of those special “beer can chicken” racks?

    • The whole chicken should be placed “standing up” on the grill – with the beer can bottom resting on the grates. I usually prop it up with some aluminum foil to keep it from leaning. I don’t have a special rack, but I have heard that they are very reasonably priced and work well.

  3. My son makes something similar, but he doesn’t use Cumin. The racks are pretty cheap, and they work really well. Thanks for the break down on cost!

  4. very cool. love how you list the prices at the end. and ps: absolutely love the name of your blog!

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  7. I do a weekly meal plan and do all my hopping on one day I’m wondering of having a break down like this would help me know how much spending a week on the meals

  8. Thanks for checking out my blog, and for this rub recipe. I can never justify the expense (or unwanted, additional non-food ingredients) of prepackaged spice mixes, so I am looking forward to trying this one out.

  9. This looks delicious. I love roasting a whole chicken on the weekend and enjoying the leftovers all week. Side note, I grew up in western PA; maybe we were neighbors!

  10. Pingback: Simple Summer Sides – Homemade Rice A Roni (Chicken) « A Modern Christian Woman

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