Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Chicken, Fowl, Birds
shauno
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by shauno » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:00 pm

Smokey Mick wrote:Way to bring up an old thread :lol:
Komados do a particular good job of stand up chook.
Yea I was having a look at Chicken posts and saw this one so thought no point starting a new one haha


HendoNZ26
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by HendoNZ26 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:17 pm

I've never cooked a beer can chcicken but as an industrial chemist I feel I'm pretty well qualified to discuss this one. There is no way the flavour in the beer can can reach the chook and heres why:

Assuming the beer can chook is cooked somewhere from 100-200c the follwing will happen. Once the contents of the can reaches 80c the ethanol (alcohol) will evaporate, if it finds an area of chook below this temp it may condense there however ethanol os flavourless on its own and is aimed to be got rid of when cooking with most alcohol. Once the contents of the can reach 100c the water will boil off it is ppssible this could add moisture to the chook however if is a very small amount of liquid. The flavour of the beer is contained in the different sugars, tannns etc. The vast majority of these have boiling points far in excess of the temp of a bbq so will remqin in the can.

In short it is possible the beer adds a tiny bit of moisture but it is impossible for it to add any flavour. If you want a beer flavoured chook marinate it in beer.

Narmnaleg
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Narmnaleg » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:39 pm

Hendo that's a well thought out hypothesis. It should be tested before a conclusion is reached though. ;)

I've never done the can thing, but I use a Weber chicken roaster that stands the chicken upright. I think it makes a difference, but I've never tested it scientifically so could be wrong.

Card Shark
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Card Shark » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:51 pm

HendoNZ26 wrote:I've never cooked a beer can chcicken but as an industrial chemist I feel I'm pretty well qualified to discuss this one. There is no way the flavour in the beer can can reach the chook and heres why:
The world is full of beers that potentially behave differently interacting with food. Volumes of published recipes out there and a fav in the US tailgating for a reason... How many beer can chicken recipes have you cooked mate? Blind testing with different grades of chicken is another way to form an opinion. I'm a fan. CS

HendoNZ26
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by HendoNZ26 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:33 pm

As I said in my original post I've never cooked beer can chicken for the reasons stated. It is possible the beer can adds moisture but the same could be achieved with water and a stand the beer flavour ihas no way of reaching the chicken. P.S boiling points of ethanol, water and sugars aren't hypothesis they're facts :-)

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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Card Shark » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:06 pm

HendoNZ26 wrote: P.S boiling points of ethanol, water and sugars aren't hypothesis they're facts :-)
Now I understand, most don't make it to "boiling" cooking indirect until mid way in the cook.. All that goodness goes some place upward in the interim :idea:
Go on, try and cook one and revisit that hypothesis.

titch
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by titch » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:18 pm

I believe beer can chicken make a huge difference for only one reason.
People are following a recipe, no other reason,
read this.
http://www.nakedwhiz.com/beercanchicken.htm
Just one test
There are multiple experiments on this subject and science wins out.
ImHO
Cheers
Titch

Narmnaleg
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Narmnaleg » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:59 pm

HendoNZ26 wrote:P.S boiling points of ethanol, water and sugars aren't hypothesis they're facts :-)
Sure, but that wasn't your hypothesis :)

I do appreciate the thinking around this topic and I'd like to understand it better. My question is: if I boil a pot of beer, does it smell the same as if I boil a pot of water?

Davo
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Davo » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:05 pm

I tried this method many years ago when I first heard about it and yeah no beer flavour nor was it any moister than i normally cooked a chook however, all is not lost.

If you use a chicken sitting device like a can, a chicken or poultry sitter and the like and having the bird standing upright, the convection effect in the BBQ with lid down will ensure that the hot cooking air surrounds the bird equally giving it an even doneness and I beleive this to be true on the chickens I've cooked like this over the years..I don't do it now as I'm more likely to butterfly the bird or just do pieces.

If you try and do it in a weber kettle, use small birds because you won't usually have the height inside the kettle bbq and if they touch the underside of the lid, not only will it burn where it's touching but there's no convected hot air that can pass over.

If you have a high lidded BBQ with a decent amount of grill space such as a Large Komado, you may be able to stand 3 chooks up in the space to get even cooks.

With the sizes of beer cans, if you shove one up the chooks clacker, by the time you get it far enough up there so the chicken can easily find a stable tri-pod position using it's legs, the can is so far up into the cavity by this time that theres simply no where for any moisture to work even if it did steam up.

The art of brining has a much more desired effect on the moistness and flavour for chicken. It can also depend on the bird too, some chickens can't hold flavour if they tried......how many times have you thought...oh man..that chicken smells so good only to eat it wondering where all the flavour went. It may well be in the way the chicken was raised. Butterflying/ spatchcocking chicken is great too but takes up a lot of grill space.....however it cooks evenly with good char flavours.

Cheers

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Card Shark
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Card Shark » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:48 am

titch wrote:I believe beer can chicken make a huge difference for only one reason.
People are following a recipe, no other reason,
read this.
http://www.nakedwhiz.com/beercanchicken.htm
Just one test
There are multiple experiments on this subject and science wins out.
ImHO
Fan of beer can chicken recipes as the cooking audience here requests them.

Fan of the Wiz however the article above is a US perspective and the beer world thankfully extends well beyond Budd in "intensity" and "flavor". Perhaps in the future the latter may be a consideration.

"Blind testing" would add another helpful perspective from the audience rather than the cooks:- Beer drinker or not, a variety of social demographics... To date a big topic too easily dismissed IMHO with a potential to get so many engaged and enjoy BBQing no matter the equipment. Often there is no. CS

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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Davo » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:46 am

The beer is better for it's intended purpose...down the gullet!! :D
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food&fish
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by food&fish » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:10 am

Davo wrote:The beer is better for it's intended purpose...down the gullet!! :D
I will drink to that :P

2browndogs
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by 2browndogs » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:59 am

remember too, that the can, being inside the chook, will not get that hot - if you're cooking your chicken hot enough to heat the beer inside it, it will be very well done indeed. Perhaps you could start by boiling the beer before the cook - never tried.

Mickvr
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Mickvr » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:20 pm

Sorry to rehash an old subject but....
This whole thread is based on us as cooks and science. What about fun and surprise ?
I've done spit, spadge-cocked, stuffing, no stuffing, whole chooks, part chooks, brined and beer can, with or without beer or sunkist orange, with or without seasoning in the liquid.
Yep, I've found no flavor difference regarding contents of the can, whether spiced/herbed or not. Or even moistness.
What I have found though, that even using an empty can I get a better equalization of thigh vs breast temps in an over all cook. The difference even carries over to spit vs Beer can. I get better results using beer can as far breast/thigh finishing temps go. That being said, I prefer stuffed spitted chooks that have been brined.
But here's the clanga.....
Every recipient that saw me do a beer can chicken whether young or old (The person, not the cook), whether with or without beer, flavorings etc. thought the beer butt chicken won out, why ?
It was different and funny. I've had pre-teens running around saying that the chickens are cooked over a dunny, I've had adults going the "That's Different route".
No matter how I cook a chook, I make a butter/seasoning mix, and stuff it down between the skin and the meat, so I get the flavor profiles I want, and the butter helps crisp the skin. The thing is though, beer butt chicken makes it more intriguing (fun) for the recipient.
I haven't yet gone down the path of the funny porcelain chook heads you can buy over the internet, but I will try it because it means fun.
And that is what BBQ is about. FUN !!!
Yes, we as cooks want our product taste just right, and be just the right tenderness. But lets not forget the FUN factor for recipient as well as cook !!!

Cheers and Beers
Mickvr

Bentley
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Re: Beer Can Chicken is a Myth?

Post by Bentley » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:39 am

I always thought the contents of the can did not really matter, it was just more of a vessel to hold the chicken upright. It exposes the bird to a more even application of heat, allows fats to run off better.

But the only real good chicken is a deep fried one anyway!
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