Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

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Spence
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Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Spence » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:36 pm

I just read an interesting article about beer can chicken which basically concludes that the contents of the can makes no difference to the moisture or flavour of the chicken

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/beercanchicken.htm

they tried with beer, Beer + flavorings and nothing

Anyone else have an opinion or experience to share on this?


Bill44
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Bill44 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:13 pm

Well I've never done a beer can chicken but I did a brined chicken last Sat. with a big bunch of fresh Thyme stuffed into it. There was no taste of Thyme in the chicken and a very experienced member here told me that the membrane in the gut cavity stops the absorption of the flavour, so I can see why the beer can method may not work.
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Amfibius
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Amfibius » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:05 pm

I have to agree that the beer in the can doesn't seem to make much difference. For me the greatest advantage is roasting the chicken vertically. The chicken is evenly heated and there is gorgeous skin everywhere on the chicken. The traditional breast up or breast down horizontal roasting always results in soggy skin at the bottom. As far as I am concerned, roasting the chicken vertically is the second best method after rotisserie.
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Amfibius
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Amfibius » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:30 pm

Beaver wrote:the ONLY difference i can think of is the thermal mass inside the chicken keeping the breast cooler which is of an advantage as thighs/wings i like at 75c and breast at 60-65
Actually, that is a bloody good point. I wonder if we can place some ice cubes in a can and put that inside the cavity to retard cooking of the breast.

The graphs do show that a Weber beer can chicken cooker (I have one of these) is the quickest to reach target temperature. But then it doesn't hold much beer and it is mostly metal.
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by paulr » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:52 pm

Bill44 wrote:Well I've never done a beer can chicken but I did a brined chicken last Sat. with a big bunch of fresh Thyme stuffed into it. There was no taste of Thyme in the chicken and a very experienced member here told me that the membrane in the gut cavity stops the absorption of the flavour, so I can see why the beer can method may not work.
Hmm I have tried beer can chicken.. yeah I agree hard to get a hint of the flavour (also greatly depends on the beer used tho!!).
It is an accepted method to stuff the cavity with herbs/leaves I use lemon myrtle a lot and you can definitely taste the lemon flavour from the leaves in the cavity.. :mrgreen:

Membrane stopping the absorption? :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Spence
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Spence » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:41 am

I did my very first been can chicken last night with a donated beer from a party and I too think that the benefit to the method is that the orientation of the chicken while cooking, closest thing to a rotisserie chook I have ever made.

not a hint of beer flavour.

Amfibius
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Amfibius » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:10 pm

Oh and BTW I have to disagree that the peritoneal lining of the chicken stops flavours from penetrating through to the meat. Given that I know a little bit about what that lining is - a few layers of squamous epithelial cells - it is as effective at stopping flavours penetrating as a sausage skin stops smoke from flavouring the sausage. In humans, proteins as large as 70kDa (kilo Daltons) can pass through the peritoneal lining, so things like acid, ions, and small flavouring molecules will have absolutely no trouble. Put a lemon in the cavity, and your chicken will taste of lemon. I can taste it, and I would wager most people can too.

Here is a similar experiment - spend 10 minutes rubbing your hands with garlic. Now spend 10 minutes scrubbing it off. Your fingers will still smell of garlic. Why? Because it has been absorbed by the skin. And your skin - with its layers of keratin and dead squamous cells - is a much more difficult proposition for flavour absorption than the thin internal membrane of the chicken.
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Bill44 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:56 pm

Amfibius wrote: Here is a similar experiment - spend 10 minutes rubbing your hands with garlic. Now spend 10 minutes scrubbing it off. Your fingers will still smell of garlic. Why? Because it has been absorbed by the skin. And your skin - with its layers of keratin and dead squamous cells - is a much more difficult proposition for flavour absorption than the thin internal membrane of the chicken.
Now spend 1 minute rubbing your fingers with Stainless Steel Soap or rubbing them on the SS sink and all the garlic smell is gone. :D :D :D
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Smokey
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Smokey » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:07 pm

I think you are right.
Before I Had a little rotisserie, I mainly cooked them beer can style.
Taste the beer?, No. Makes it more moist? I dont think so but was moist I think because of the way it was positioned.
You would be better off adding beer to a brine if that's the flavour you are after.
I do love my stuffing and I do love sage stuffed and rubbed chicken and only trivet or rotisserie style will allow me to use a stuffing
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Smokey » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:18 pm

Bill44 wrote:
Amfibius wrote: Here is a similar experiment - spend 10 minutes rubbing your hands with garlic. Now spend 10 minutes scrubbing it off. Your fingers will still smell of garlic. Why? Because it has been absorbed by the skin. And your skin - with its layers of keratin and dead squamous cells - is a much more difficult proposition for flavour absorption than the thin internal membrane of the chicken.
Now spend 1 minute rubbing your fingers with Stainless Steel Soap or rubbing them on the SS sink and all the garlic smell is gone. :D :D :D
I think that is because you are ionising your skin, drawing metallic /chelated metals that pass the skin and only mask what garlic oils that have already past.
My pool is solar ionised with copper (Floats around and I sell them) and it is amazing how it keeps you free of natural body odors compared to a salt or chlorine pool.
EDIT: A good tip, You dont need a SS soap block. Just rub your wet hands on the SS sink, Gets rid of onion or garlic smell :wink:
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AzJohnnyC
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by AzJohnnyC » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:04 pm

My thoughts are...at the end of the cook, there is usually fluid left in the can. So, what has happened during the cook? The fluid (beer, or otherwise) may have boiled, releasing steam. Steam is water, so it won't flavor the food. If the can were to empty, leaving only the non water stuff, the remnants would burn, then giving some flavor. That's just what I believe may be happening, from a non science point of view. Or, maybe it's just the beer talking. :shock:
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Spence
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Spence » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:56 pm

read the article in the first post, these guys asked all the questions like that and just kept coming back to the fact that it just doesnt matter,

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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by trentski » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:21 pm

I read somewhere on the web about a guy that completely filled the cavity of the chicken with cayenne pepper and then beer can roasted it. there was no trace of the cayenne pepper in any of the meat, not even the breast meat close to the bone.

why do you think that would be, if what Amfibious says is true? :? (and I don't doubt him by the way :wink: )

ooh look, found the thread
http://www.bbqsource-forums.com/invboar ... topic=7986

FirePlay
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by FirePlay » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:57 pm

My two bob's worth is that the moisture is coming out of the chook rather than the other way around. (I can't take credit for this particular observation - Chris suggested it to me but it certainly tallies up with my experience)

Start with an empty beer can and at the end you will find plenty of juice in it. Pretty hard to flavour a chook with something that's in the can when all the flow is going the other way!

So Fib is probably still right - it's just the direction of flavour flow is wrong - it's coming from the chook and ending up in the can! I don't find hot chicken juices improve the flavour of beer so I tend to just drink the beer straight! :D

Still a great method if you don't have a rotisserie though... though for me nothing beats chicken juices from a little rotisserie landing on hot coals and smoking up - yum!

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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Captain Cook » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:18 am

My 2 cents worth,
Beer can chicken is all about impressing with the wow factor. The flavor is a very very minor difference from normal. The best method for enhancing the flavor is to brine the chicken and add your aromatics to the brine solution. You can change the inner flavor by cutting a lemon into quarters and put these into the cavity with the skin of the lemon to the middle. This allows the citric acid to penetrate the flesh while cooking.

The osmotic effect created by brining helps carry the flavours into the meat (actually it is into the fluids surrounding the cells).

I have demonstrated cooking a brined chicken and a beer can chicken on a Genesis, everyone one preferred the brined chicken. If you brine a chicken and then do it on a rotisserie over charcoal, that is the absolute best.

My suggestion is that you try BBC and Brined Chicken and see which one you prefer. This is the post viewtopic.php?f=7&t=65 for the Gourmet Brined Chicken.


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