Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beer Can Chicken

A style of cooking called “Beer Can Chicken” has been around to try to solve the dry chicken conundrum. The idea is that you cook the bird with a can of beer inserted. As the bird cooks, the beer boils off and provides moisture. This sounds like it should work, but beware. Beer cans are aluminum. Aluminum is reactive, so the cooking process will tend to break down the metal. Guess where that flavor goes?

If you really like the taste of chicken cooked in beer, just soak the chicken in a beer brine overnight and grill normally. Substitute beer for water in your recipe. Or if you really want the experience of “Beer Can Chicken”, get a stainless steel replacement for the beer can. You can use wine, barbeque sauce, beer – anything you desire to provide the steam and flavor. It’s a lot safer and the chicken doesn’t taste like aluminum foil.

But frankly, there’s no point. Brining the bird provides all of the benefits of “Beer Can Chicken” without the drawbacks.

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