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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
442 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best beer can chicken roasters

Last Updated July 2020

If your family loves eating chicken, you might find yourself spending big bucks on pre-made roasted or rotisserie chicken. But juicy, flavorful chicken doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to be a hassle to cook. When you buy a beer can chicken roaster, you’ll be able to enjoy chicken exactly the way you like it – in a cost-effective way.

Believe it or not, beer can chicken roasters rarely involve actual beer cans. They only adopt the beer can design, which is essentially a cylindrical canister that holds spices, vegetables, broth, and, yes, beer. Simply fill the receptacle with flavorful ingredients and place an opened chicken over it. Then place the beer can chicken roaster in the oven, grill, or smoker. Within a couple hours, the chicken is fully cooked and ready to be enjoyed in time for dinner.

If you’re ready to start roasting your own chicken, our buying guide has everything you need to consider when shopping for one of these handy kitchen devices. And don’t forget to take a look at our picks for the best beer can chicken roasters on the market.

While you can use beer, wine, or hard cider to flavor your chicken, you can also use orange juice, apple cider, balsamic vinegar, or orange soda.

Key considerations

Compatibility

A beer can chicken roaster is a convenient way to cook a whole chicken, but keep in mind that you’ll be cooking the chicken upright. The average chicken is approximately 10 to 16 inches long, so to accommodate that height you’ll need to adjust your oven racks accordingly. If you have a small oven, you might need to stick to smaller chickens as well.

Beer can chicken roasters can also be used on grills. However, you’ll need to make sure the lid can close fully if you don’t intend to cook on an open grill. A beer can roaster and chicken will fit most larger grills, especially those with dome lids, but might not fit smaller grills. As for smokers, you’ll need to make sure the roaster and chicken can fit through the door as the grease pans of some roasters are simply too wide.

Seasoning

For internal seasoning, ingredients are placed inside the beer can part of the roaster. This can include dry ingredients like spices as well as chopped fruits and vegetables, such as onions, apples, celery, ginger, and mushrooms. Wet ingredients are also important and aid in adding flavor as well as moisture to the chicken. Popular choices include beer, wine, barbecue sauce, broth, or even soup.

Beer can chicken roasters excel at adding flavor to chicken by working from the inside out. Because the flavor won’t reach the outermost part of the chicken, it’s a good idea to use a rub or sauce on the exterior of the chicken. Massage a moderate amount onto the chicken to add flavor as well as color. As far as selecting a rub, you can blend spices and seasonings of your own choosing or buy a premade blend.

Ease of cleaning

The vast majority of beer can chicken roasters are incredibly easy to clean. As they’re made from stainless steel or food-grade plastic, you’ll find that most of them are also dishwasher-safe. The main parts, such as the beer can and drip tray, fit relatively easily into a dishwasher. If your set comes with skewers, it’s better to hand wash those, especially since bursts of water can dislodge skewers from a dishwasher rack.

EXPERT TIP

Instead of disposing of your drippings after roasting, you can save them to make flavorful gravy, sauces, or broths.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

The main parts of most beer can chicken roasters are the beer can, drip tray, and skewers. Many roasters also come with a recipe booklet.

Beer can

The beer can is the most important part of the entire apparatus. In most models, it’s a separate piece from the drip tray. Some cans come with twist-on perforated lids, while others are open at the top. As far as size goes, beer cans hold anywhere from 10 to 14 ounces of ingredients.

Drip tray

While roasting, juices will leak out of the chicken. For that reason, beer can chicken roasters usually come with drip trays. These grease pans have pronounced lips to ensure juice doesn’t trickle off the sides of the roaster into the oven. Many drip trays are equipped with molded or hinged handles to make carrying the roaster easy.

Skewers

Some beer can chicken roasters come with skewers that let you roast side dishes simultaneously, such as corn, potatoes, and other vegetables. These snap or slide into place on the roaster. While they’re a convenient addition to any beer can chicken roaster, you’ll need to examine skewers carefully to make sure you can actually use them as shape and length varies considerably.

Recipe booklet

While using a beer can chicken roaster is a relatively hassle-free, straightforward process, there’s still a bit of a learning curve. For that reason, most roasters come with quick-start recipe booklets. These include basic seasoning recipes, both for the beer can ingredients and for rubs. Some roasters offer free ebook versions of these booklets as well.

To maintain a consistent flavor profile, choose a rub that complements the ingredients in your beer can.

Accessories

Chicken rubs: Jack Daniel’s Original Quality Chicken Rub
Maximize your flavor potential with a chicken rub, such as this one from Jack Daniel’s. This spicy-sweet seasoning is free of MSG and gives the chicken a rich roasted color.

Barbecue sauces: Bill’s Best Barbecue Sauce Variety Pack
Give your chicken a smoky barbecue flavor with this three-pack of organic barbecue sauces from Bill’s Best. All three flavors – original, honey, and spicy – are free of high-fructose corn syrup, gluten, soy, and processed ingredients.

Oven mitts: OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt
Protect your hands when removing the beer can chicken roaster from the oven with these mitts by OXO Good Grips. The heat-resistant silicone is easy to rinse or clean with a damp cloth. They also come in a range of colors to suit any kitchen.

Beer can chicken roaster prices

Beer can chicken roasters cost $15 to $60. The better the construction, the more you can expect to spend.

Roasters made with plastic components cost between $15 and $20. These rarely come with skewers or drip trays. There are some stainless steel options in this range. However, quality can be hit or miss with inexpensive roasters.

Well-made beer can chicken roasters cost between $25 and $40. Not only do these roasters have better attachment mechanisms between the can and drip tray, they often come with bonus accessories like skewers, basting brushes, and sample rubs.

There are a few beer can chicken roasters in the $40 to $60 range, mostly manufactured by high-end kitchen accessory brands. These roasters are undoubtedly well-made, but they don’t have many more bells and whistles than mid-range options.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re hand washing a stainless steel beer can chicken roaster, use steel wool pads to effortlessly dislodge any caked-on residue.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Pay attention to temperature and cook time. To end up with a juicy roasted chicken, pay close attention to the temperature and cook time. You’ll also need to adjust both depending on the weight of your chicken.
  • Try to avoid opening the oven door during cooking. As tempting as it is to open up the oven and smell the chicken, keep the door closed. Introducing cooler air into the oven can cause the internal temperature to drop, which means your chicken won’t cook as quickly.
  • Let the chicken sit before slicing. To keep the juices inside the roasted chicken, wait at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Give a beer can chicken roaster as a housewarming gift. If someone you know recently moved and enjoys cooking, give a beer can chicken roaster as a housewarming gift, especially if the new home features a grill or smoker.
Rather than cooking a larger chicken that may not fit on your beer can chicken roaster, consider investing in two roasters to cook two smaller chickens. You’ll end up with more servings, plus you won’t struggle to fit the roaster inside the oven.

FAQ

Q. Is there a big difference between cooking with a beer can roaster and cooking a chicken horizontally on a roasting pan?
A.
The main difference is the way flavor penetrates the chicken. When placed upright, flavor can travel up and around the chicken. When you roast chicken on a roasting pan, flavor has a tendency to concentrate itself toward the bottom side of the chicken.
 

Q. My beer can chicken roaster doesn’t come with a drip tray. Can I place it in my oven without one?
A.
It’s best to use a drip tray with these roasters. If you don’t trap the juice, it will only end up inside the oven. You can use any baking sheet with a lip if your beer can roaster doesn’t come with one. If possible, use a high-quality tray that won’t pop or warp in the oven as this can cause the roaster to get knocked off balance and fall over while cooking.
 

Q. Can I buy cookbooks for beer can chicken roasting?
A.
There aren’t too many on the market at the moment. However, you’ll find a wide variety of recipes and cooking tips on culinary websites and YouTube. Many beer can chicken roaster manufacturers have dedicated YouTube channels and offer free recipes as well.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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