Ever heard of beer can chicken? I’m talking about sticking a can of beer in a whole chicken (not pouring it in, literally cracking open a beer and sticking it upright with the chicken perched on top) and standing it up on a grill for about an hour and a half. Of course you can season your chicken as well, and I always recommend a little seasoning, even if that means just a little salt and pepper. Please, oh please sprinkle some rosemary on this one too…yumm. The result is amazingly moist (I am not a fan of that word but it really is moist! Ack, there it is again!) and delicious, fall-off-the-bone-tender chicken. They even make beer can chicken stands that will hold your beer and chicken while on the grill for a couple bucks. We have one such stand, but sadly have only used it once.
You see, in my house, I do the majority of the cooking. Grilling, on the other hand, even though it is of course a form of cooking, is my husband’s territory. Yes, I CAN grill. Some things. Like hot dogs, brats (low and slow!), and maybe a hamburger…but if it gets beyond that I just don’t have the experience to trust myself at the grill. And the problem with the beer can chicken is that it takes over an hour since you’re cooking a whole chicken. This makes beer can chicken problematic for weeknight dinners and weekends usually equate to easy dinners as we are on the go-go most of the time.
Where are you going with this Lauren? Oh yes, so while I LOVE beer can chicken, it just isn’t practical for us to make it near as often as I would like. Enter my trusty slow cooker/crock pot. I knew there had to be a way to recreate this in the slow cooker. So, after a little research, I found this post (via Pinterest…of course) and knew I had to try it. I really went out on a limb the first time I made this and made it for a friend who had just had her second baby. As it was cooking that day I remember thinking…I really should have made this for myself once first, just to make sure it’s good. Hindsight is 20/20 but luckily for me (and my friend!) it was delicious! (I believe her exact words were something along the lines of “If I don’t have that beer chicken recipe pinned on Pinterest, I need it.”) Since then I have made it multiple times for my family and it’s currently in the crock pot for tonight’s dinner so I knew I had to share a few pics to get you drooling.
Crock Pot Beer Chicken
1 cut up whole chicken (I have also used a whole chicken-not cut up-and it turned out perfect. Boneless, skinless breasts or thighs would be yummy too…basically you can use any cut of chicken your family likes!)
1 can beer (I used Bud Select)
Spices (Today I used pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika, oregano, and a little parsley.)
1 Reynolds slow cooker liner (If you haven’t tried these yet you are doing yourself a disservice. Ridiculously easy clean up, and I’ve never had any problem with anything sticking to it or flavor changes or anything like that. I highly recommend them!)
Line crock pot with liner and place chicken along the bottom. If chicken doesn’t fit in a single layer, put larger pieces (breasts, thighs) on the bottom with smaller pieces (wings, legs) on top around the outside. Pour beer over chicken. Sprinkle spices over chicken. Close the lid and allow to cook 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high if chicken is thawed/fresh. If it is frozen, you may want to up your cooking times a touch or at least aim for the longer end of those cooking windows. Enjoy!
Here are a few shots from this morning when I was getting this all started! This is seriously so easy…
Sorry for the poor picture quality today. I was in a hurry with Buddy running around the house so I just snapped a couple with my iPhone. See how my chicken didn’t quite make it in a single layer? Not a big deal at all. Pour the beer all over…you can experiment with different beers too to see how they change flavor profiles. Dark meat picks up much more of the beer flavor than white meat…it also retains more moisture in general because of the slightly higher fat content (I could be making that up…but it makes sense in my head.) Both are scrumptious!
Here we are all seasoned and ready for cooking. Paprika lends such appetizing color and flavor…I just love it! About an hour or so into cooking you will notice the aroma wafting from your kitchen and will have to get out of the house for the rest of the day to keep yourself from drooling all over the crock pot. Guilty.
Here you see the chicken after almost 4 hours of cooking…this is one of those times I had to be super careful not to drool into the crock pot. Note: I would not generally recommend opening your crock pot while cooking more than absolutely necessary or for long periods of time. It’s best to leave it closed to keep a consistent, safe cooking temperature at all times.
What are your favorite meals to make in the slow cooker? Gosh I just love that thing!!