...Mesquite Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Our old gas grill was a hand-me-down from my brother when he was moving out of his place. It served us well for many summers, but since it started emitting a hissing sound we figured it was time to retire it once and for all. We thought about getting another gas grill, but the allure of a hardwood charcoal grill was too much to resist and Chrissy ended up getting a Weber Performer Deluxe 22" for me on Father's Day.  It  includes a nice stainless steel work surface and a propane starter for ease of use. The food that comes off this grill cannot be compared to that from a gas grill in terms of the smokey flavour and perfect char that comes with grilling over hardwood charcoal.  When it comes to grills, a gas grill is perfect for those looking for convenience and ease of use.   A charcoal grill is for the committed BBQ enthusiast- it is more work but the results are worth it.  This recipe for smoked chicken uses a beer can to prop up the bird so that every surface is perfectly roasted and crispy, while the beer adds moisture and flavour to the meat from the inside.  You can make this on a gas grill but the dry heat of the charcoal makes the skin extra crispy.  We would recommend wrapping the wings in foil to prevent burning and a better presentation.

- 1 whole chicken
- Dry rub of your choice
Here's our homemade one: brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, five spice, dried rosemary, dried sage
- 1 beer can half full of beer (we used Alexander Keith's)
- Mesquite wood chips
- 1 foil tray

1. Combine the ingredients of the dry rub in a large bowl. The proportions are up to your own individual tastes, my proportions were 3 parts brown sugar, 2 part each of garlic powder, onion powder and salt, 1 part each of black pepper, oregano, cumin, chilli powder, five spice, rosemary and sage.

 2. Rub the interior and exterior of the chicken generously with the dry rub and let it sit overnight in the fridge

3. Prepare your grill by igniting the charcoal. Once the charcoal has a layer of ash on the surface it is ready to start cooking. Place the charcoal in two separate piles on opposite ends of the kettle and place a foil tray filled with water in between. Place the grill overtop and put the chicken with the beer can inserted into its cavity over the foil tray. Add a handful of mesquite wood chips to each pile of coals and cover with the lid.

4.  Roast the chicken for approximately 1.5 hours at 350 F or until the internal temperate of the chicken reaches 165 F.   Add more charcoal if the temperature drops below 350 degrees.

5. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before removing the beer can (preferably over a pan or the sink to avoid too much mess).  Carve the chicken and enjoy!

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