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Everyone will love this slow cooker beer can chicken and so will you because it’s so easy!
Beer Can Chicken: Adapted For Slow Cooker
Beer can chicken is usually made on an outdoor’s grill due to its potential messiness. Therefore, it’s been a good-weather treat.
The same effect can be achieved in your slow cooker too! Since the beer acts more or less as a basting medium that infuses a flavor, the slow cooker is the perfect appliance to get almost the same results.
By using your crock pot, you can enjoy this treat year round.
Some Like It Hot
This rub can be anywhere from mild to super hot depending on the amounts of two ingredients.
The main heat-generating ingredient is cayenne pepper. Unless you know that everyone you’re serving is into 5-alarm heat, go with the lesser amount of this ingredient when you prepare the rub.
Next up is paprika. Sure you can use the generic variety found on most supermarket shelves, but this chicken will taste better if you use a smoked variety paprika. Smoked paprika comes either mild or hot. If you use the hot, you are going to add more heat on top of the cayenne, so choose wisely. I used the mild smoked variety here and as I mentioned before, I’d advise you to do so as well, unless, of course, you’re into big-time heat.
If you can’t find the more gourmet paprikas in your store, then the generic variety will do, but make sure it’s fresh otherwise it will have no flavor at all.
Now For The Beer
The choice of beer of course, is up to you.
The original recipe called for dark beer. Sometimes this is only available in the fall, but in larger cities, it should be available year round. Dark beer is not Guiness, although Guiness would probably produce an interesting flavor. If you’re willing to spend extra on a craft beer, then dark beer wouldn’t be difficult to find. I’ve heard it said about beer (and wine) that if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. I’m not that much of a connoisseur to be honest and I used an el cheapo lager for this and the chicken tasted fine.
Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken
- 5-6 lb whole chicken
- 2 tbs smoked paprika I used mild
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp tarragon
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or up to 1 tsp, depending on your preference
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbs butter softened
- 12 oz dark beer or lager
- Make 4 balls of aluminum foil (about 2-inches in diameter each)
- Place bunched rolls of foil in bottom of 6-quart slow cooker and pour in beer.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Pull skin gently away from bird. Mix all dry seasonings together.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning blend into butter.
- Spread butter mixture under skin of chicken.
- With clean dry hands, rub remaining spice blend onto chicken skin.
- Place chicken on top of foil balls in slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low on 7-8 hours. Check the temperature - chicken is done when the temperature is 165-170 in the thickest part of the thigh. Continue to cook if needed.
*Adapted from Cook Top Cove
Uma Maheswar says
Thanks for sharing a delicious recipe.
Dawn Williams says
This sounds delicious! I can hardly wait to give it a try soon. I’ve always wanted to give beer can chicken a try but have always been some what intimidated by it on the grill. Thanks for the recipe!
Judith Hanneman says
It’s a bit messy on the grill. This way is perfect.
Question: instead of foul balls, can you use a rack? Something like what you get with instant pot?
Judith Hanneman says
Great way to prepare a chicken. The marinade is interesting. I love cayenne pepper as I use it in almost every dish so this recipe will be on my must-do list.