Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Sunday afternoon of beer and smoking

For my birthday a couple of years ago, my step sister gave me a book called ‘Beer Can Chicken [and 74 other offbeat recipes for the grill]’. The book contains some real gems, but they can take a bit of practice. Recipes include Mussels Grilled with Pine Needles, Stoned Chicken, and Fish Grilled on a Plank of Wood. But most of the recipes involve perching a bird (be it chicken, duck, quail or even a turkey) on top of can which contains a liquid. Now the liquids vary from beer or wine to the absurd like Coca-Cola, Orange Fanta or Ginger Ale. Now not having tried them all, I can’t vouch for the strange ones, but today I had a feast of a crispy, smoky, beer can chicken.

The recipe is pretty simple. Wash a whole chicken and dry it, rub it with a spicy seasoning. Then wash a can of beer, pour half of it over some hickory wood chips to soak, and stick the half full can of beer up the chickens butt. The results is a rather odd looking orange bird, which sits up on a stool mad from a beer can, with it’s legs pointing forward to keep it’s balance.

The book also has lots of instructions for setting up the grill for indirect cooking, and calls for a 350oF (180oC) barbecue for about 90 minutes. Now in the past, my grill was pretty much what ever temperature it felt like being, and every time I opened the lid to check the progress, the temperature plummeted and the whole process took ages.

Now the new Weber was a completely different story. Using 2 of its 6 burners on low, and the smoker burner on full gave me the perfect heat, and I didn’t have to open the lid to check the temperature due to the inbuilt thermometer.

The result… Well try for yourself.


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