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Published:October 15th, 2008 06:58 EST
The Art of Cooking Beer Can Chicken

The Art of Cooking Beer Can Chicken

By Rocco Loosbrock

Recently I met with Cary Black who wrote the book Zen and the Art of Cooking Beer-Can Chicken: The Definitive Guide and Tom Simon the inventor of the Poultry Pal. This was an exciting meeting as these two men showed me how to cook a Belfast Bacon Spud Bird using the Poulty Pal and of course Bacon Freak Bacon.

Cary`s book is the only beer-can chicken book featuring sections covering brining and injecting. The cookbook features marinades, appetizers, accompaniments, desserts, and a diverse range of recipes to encompass an entire healthy, easy and yet gourmet meal!

I am excited to tell you about Beer can chicken because it is fast becoming a popular way to cook poultry. Cary`s recipes are designed to be very simple, easy to understand, while still leaving a bit of room for creative input from the user, in fact Cary and Tom Simon have prepared a recipe for us using Bacon Freak Bacon.

At Bacon Freak we use a dry cure method to cure our bacon so I was particularly interested in how Cary uses brining ? to prepare poultry. To start I asked Cary to tell us about what brining is. Cary told me that, Brining is an old practice of meat preservation. The poultry is marinated ? in a spiced salt solution, from 4 to 16 hours depending on the size of the bird. As the bird marinates, the salinity induces osmosis of the brine water into the muscle tissues of the bird. The result is a faster cooking incredibly moist bird. Coupled with the continuous infusion cooking process, it is a real winner. ?

Naturally I followed up with what is injecting ?? Cary told me that, Injecting allows one to actually inject a sauce directly into the bird. Meat injector kits are usually available at most stores selling grills. The cookbook has many fine injectable marinade recipes. Injecting a bird allows one to put spices, special flavorings and additional moisture deep into the meat of the bird. ?

Next I asked why is it that these two have teamed together. Cary told me that the two were working together at the time and Tom knew I was a writer, and asked me to write a series of recipes for his new product, the Poultry Pal. As I cooked up more and more birds trying different variations of rubs, marinades, flavoring liquids and so forth, it became clear to me just how versatile and fun Tom`s chicken cooker was. Every chicken turned out perfect ?.always moist; always full of flavor, and always a hit with the family.

Belfast Blarney Spud Bird

Basic Stuff

1 3 to 5 lb. chicken

½ c. ranch salad dressing

2 c. instant potato flakes

1 c. freshly cooked and chopped Boss Hog Bacon


1 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

Liquid Flavor Essence

6 oz. Irish whiskey

6 oz. dark beer


Cooking Directions:

Using a basting brush liberally paint the chicken with the ranch dressing.

Sprinkle the rub over the ranch dressing.

Combine the instant potato flakes and bacon in a bowl.

Roll the bird in a pan containing the instant potato flakes.

Add the ingredients for the liquid flavor essence to the flavor base.

Line the base of the flavor tower with small red potatoes and chunks of cubed onion.

In a conventional oven, cook at 350° for 1¼ to 1½ hours or until the drippings are clear and the leg quarters move easily in their joints.

If grilling, cook using the indirect heating method as explained on page 25 of Zen and the Art of Cooking Beer-Can Chicken.

Remove Blarney Bird from the grill or oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Serve with a fine dark beer, fresh salad and green beans spiced with dill weed. The luck of the Irish and charms of the leprechauns will permeate your dinner table. Be careful however; you may find your diners suddenly spouting limericks and quickly leaving the table to find green socks and 4-leaf clovers.

Signing off at Pigging out!
Rocco "Boss Hog" Loosbrock

Use coupon code (sop) to get a 10% discount at

Rocco owns and runs a Bacon of the Month Club called The Bacon Freak Bacon is Meat Candy Bacon Club as well as a Wine Club called the Coastal Vineyard Wine Club

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