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Pumpkin Spice Beer Can Chicken

Years ago, we sponsored a recipe contest that yielded a number of great entries. Among them was one by Louis Kiss, a special effects expert from Los Angeles, for an innovative version of beer can chicken that was rubbed with a mixture of pumpkin pie spice, paprika, and other ingredients, and roasted over a can of pumpkin ale. We found the recipe in our archives and are reprinting it here.

Pumpkin ale is usually available in bottles so be sure to reserve an empty can to transfer the beer into.


More Grilled Chicken Recipes:



Pumpkin Spice Beer Can Chicken

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 2 to 3
  • Method: Indirect grilling
  • Equipment: 2 cups of hickory wood chips (hickory uniquely complements the spices) soaked for 1 hour in pumpkin ale, then drained


For the Rub

  • 1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Ground cayenne pepper to taste

For the Chicken

  • 1 bottle of pumpkin ale
  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 whole cloves

Recipe Steps

1: Make the rub: Place ingredients in bowl and stir with a spoon or your fingers until no lumps remain.

2: Rub olive oil over the chicken. Sprinkle with the rub, adding a bit to the main and neck cavities.

3: Set up your grill for indirect grilling. Add the drained wood chips to the coals, or if using a gas grill, place them in a smoking box or foil pouch.

4: Fill an empty beer can 3/4 full with the pumpkin ale and add the cloves. Place the can into the main chicken cavity and pull the legs forward to stabilize the bird on the grill grate. (Alternatively, use a beer can chicken roaster.)

5: Indirect grill the chicken for about 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 to 170 degrees.

6: Carefully transfer the chicken from the grill and let it stand for a few minutes before carefully removing it from the can. (Do not spill the hot beer.) Carve and serve.