Juicy and tender beer can chicken marinated in a flavorful cilantro lime marinade and served on warm tortillas with a quick slaw. A beer can chicken recipe that you’ll make over and over again!
This recipe is sponsored by ALDI. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Beer can chicken is one of my favorite foods to grill in the summer because it’s incredibly easy to prepare and delicious! It always turns out juicy and moist, and I come out looking like a pro every time I make it.
To get the chicken as flavorful as possible, it’s tossed in a heavily seasoned cilantro lime marinade and then grilled with an entire beer can stuck in the cavity to help keep it extra moist while it cooks.
The result is a tender, fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking good chicken that you’ll want to make again and again.
It’s truly the ultimate summer grilling recipe!
All of the ingredients in this recipe were purchased at ALDI, including the Simply Nature Fresh Organic Whole Chicken, the Hopping Nomad Session IPA Beer, and all the fresh produce used in the marinade as well as the quick slaw for the tacos!
If you’re not shopping at ALDI, you are missing out. They have a huge selection of high-quality and affordable organic produce, meat and poultry, and everything you need for the perfect summer BBQ feast including beer and wine!
And don’t even get me started on their snacks.
ALDI is a literal one-stop shop that you can shop at in store or online via curbside pickup or delivery.
Beer Can Chicken Marinade
For this recipe, I used a 4.5 pound Simply Nature Fresh Organic Whole Chicken from ALDI. To prep it, just remove and discard the neck and giblets that are typically stuffed in the cavity, then pat it dry with paper towels and place it in a zip-top storage bag.
For the marinade, I used a mixture of fresh cilantro, onion, olive oil, lime zest and juice, fresh garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt, chili powder, ground cumin, and black pepper. I pulsed it a few times in a food processor until it was fairly smooth (you could also do this in a blender), then poured it into the zip top bag with the chicken to marinate it.
How long to marinate
To get the flavors infused into the chicken as much as possible, I recommend marinating it for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
I tested this recipe with an 8 hour marinating time as well as a 24 hour marinating time, and both were absolutely delicious and full of that cilantro lime flavor, so you can’t go wrong with either amount of time.
How to grill beer can chicken
Once the chicken is finished marinating, remove it from the marinade and shake off any excess marinade.
Now comes the fun (and weird) part – sticking the beer can in the chicken! You’ll need a half-empty can of beer. You can drink half of it (my preferred method) or just dump half of it. Then stick the half-empty can inside the cavity of the chicken so that the chicken is sitting upright.
To preheat the grill, light the burners (or charcoal) on only one side of the grill so that one side is hot and one side is a little cooler. Then place the chicken with the beer can on the cool side of the grill so that it isn’t directly over the heat. Close the lid of the grill and cook for a total of about 2 hours, rotating the chicken halfway through so that it cooks evenly.
You’ll know the chicken is done when a meat thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
What beer is best for beer can chicken?
An affordable beer that’s refreshing and perfect for sipping on hot summer days is best. A pilsner, lager, kolsch, or low ABV session IPA are all great options.
I used a can of Hopping Nomad Session IPA from ALDI and it was perfect!
Beer can chicken tacos
When serving this chicken in tacos, you need a crunchy element like this quick cabbage slaw. It’s made with fresh produce I got at ALDI including cabbage, carrots, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. It’s super simple to make and gives that much needed crunch that is perfect in every taco bite.
If you’ve never shopped at ALDI, they have a wide selection of fresh produce with prices that just can’t be beat, including a growing organic produce section! They carry everything from avocados and tomatoes to berries and squash. I can typically find all the produce I need for my family in one ALDI trip, which is incredibly important.
I chose to use corn tortillas for these tacos because I think they’re the perfect little vehicle for grilled chicken, but you can also use flour tortillas if you prefer.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Me and my husband are obsessed with it and have both said that this is one of the best chicken recipes I’ve ever made.
If you make this recipe, please let us know by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. Thank you for all your support!
For the chicken
- 1 (4-5 pound) Simply Nature Fresh Organic Whole Chicken
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro, leaves and stems
- 1/3 cup Specially Selected Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons Simply Nature Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons Stonemill Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- 1 (12-ounce) can Hopping Nomad Session IPA Beer
For the quick slaw
- 2 cups lightly packed shredded cabbage
- 1/3 cup shredded carrots
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
For the tacos
- warm tortillas (corn or flour)
- chopped cilantro
- hot sauce (optional)
- Prep the chicken: Remove the neck and giblets from the whole chicken and discard. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to a gallon zip-top storage bag and set aside.
- Make the marinade: Add cilantro, oil, onion, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper to a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth.
- Marinate the chicken: Pour the marinade over the chicken in the zip-top storage bag, close, and massage into the chicken so that it is completely coated. Place chicken in the refrigerator and marinate overnight, or up to 24 hours.
- Prep the grill: When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium heat (350°F-375°F) by lighting the burners (or charcoal) on only one half of the grill, and leaving them off on the other half. This creates a zone of direct heat and a zone of indirect heat.
- Place the beer can in the chicken: Remove the chicken from the storage bag and shake off any excess marinade. Open the can of beer and discard (or drink) half of it. Lower the chicken onto the half-full beer, placing the can in the cavity with the chicken sitting upright.
- Grill: Carefully place the chicken with the beer can onto the cool side of the grill so that it’s over indirect heat. The legs of the chicken and the beer can will act as a tripod so that the chicken sits upright. Close the lid and let the chicken cook for 1 hour.
- Rotate and finish grilling: Open the lid and carefully rotate the chicken 180° so that it heats evenly. Close the lid and let the chicken cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
- Rest: Carefully transfer the chicken and beer can to a rimmed plate or tray and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, carefully remove the beer can from the cavity of the chicken and discard. The beer will still be hot so be extra careful.
- Make the quick slaw: While the chicken is resting, make the slaw by adding cabbage, carrots, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Mix together, taste, and season with more salt if necessary. Set aside.
- Cut or shred chicken: Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Serve: Serve in warm corn or flour tortillas with quick slaw and garnish with chopped cilantro and hot sauce if desired.
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