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The pitmaster’s guide to chicken

Thinking about summer BBQ season? Don’t miss out on a Ladram Bay favourite, Beer can chicken. It’s super easy and ridiculously tasty – if not slightly undignified for that chicken! This recipe has strong southern USA roots, so those using this recipe should be addressed by their peers as ‘pitmaster’ – an American term of respect for someone who is skilled at barbecuing.

So for y’all laid back southern types this recipe is for you:

Beer can Chicken


BBQ or oven bbq-grill-icon 1hr 20 mins cooking time Clock icon for cooking
Serves 4 people
cooking for people 4   15 mins prep time Clock icon for cooking

Ingredients for the rub

    • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
    • 1 teaspoon of paprika
    • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
    • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
    • A pinch of salt & black pepper


      • 1 chicken (1.2 – 1.6kg) available from Greendale Farm shop
      • 1 can of beer

Preparation Instructions

This cooking style is ideally done on a BBQ with a lid however it works perfectly well in an oven – I’ll vouch for that!

            1. Heat your barbecue /oven to around 200°C / gas mark 6.
            2. Add the rub ingredients together (minus the olive oil) and blend together in a pestle and mortar. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar try using an empty salt / pepper grinder.
            3. Now stir in the olive oil – you’ll be left with a thick paste – rub the paste all over the chicken.
            4. Now open your beer (pour 1/2 into a glass & enjoy responsibly), with the can vertically positioned insert into the cavity of the chicken – so the chicken looks like it’s sitting on the can.
            5. Position the hot coals in a circular area around where the chicken will sit on the barbecue – this will mean it is cooked more evenly from multiple angles.
            6. Carefully place the chicken onto the barbecue so the beer can sit on the grill and the chicken’s legs provide a bit of balance.
            7. Cook the chicken for around 1hr 20 mins with the barbecue lid on – remember the can of beer will remain very hot after cooking!

During the cooking process the beer will ensure the chicken remains deliciously moist while the barbecue will crisp up the outer skin of the chicken. This dish is best served with some grilled red peppers, salad and chips.

By now you’re probably wanting to try this recipe for yourself? We’d recommend buying a locally reared chicken from Greendale Farm Shop just 15 mins away from Ladram Bay. We’ve included a map below – that way you can spend less time driving and more time cooking.

All BBQs must be raised off ground level and disposed of safely. Please note BBQ’s are not permitted on the beach, decking or on our recreational fields. Disposable BBQ’s are not permitted at Ladram Bay Holiday Park.

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