Covered in nonstick ceramic to preserve food quality and ease removal and serving. Fits most gas and charcoal grills. Flavor cup comes with cap to seal in steam and basting juices.
The nonstick coating can flake off over time.
Porcelain construction is durable, reusable, nontoxic, and dishwasher-safe. Wide base holds flavoring liquids like beer and gives stability while cooking. Generous chimney neck for even cooking and flavoring.
Can be sometimes difficult to clean.
Durable stainless steel is easy to cook on, clean, and break down for storage. Can be used in the oven and on the grill. Sliding tray allows for beer, wine, marinade, or wood chips. Multifunctional.
Holes on the underside of the rack are a bit on the sharp side.
Can be used on the grill, in a smoker, or in the oven. The container locks into place so the bird doesn't fall over. Can be filled with any liquid for flavoring. Users are pleased with how simple it is to clean.
Chicken may stick to the pan without nonstick spray. Container is sharp on the inside.
Can also be used to roast garlic. Considered safer than a real beer can due to its cast iron material. Material is hardy and dependable. With proper care, it can last a long time. Free of PFPAs and PTFEs.
It may be on the tall side for a camping grill.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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 of hours, the chicken is fully cooked and ready to be enjoyed.
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.
Beer can chicken roasters are 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 vary considerably.
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.
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 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.
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, flavors can travel up and around the chicken. When you roast chicken on a roasting pan, the flavor has a tendency to concentrate 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.