If you like beer can chicken then you will absolutely love this beer brined smoked chicken. I recommend cutting the chicken into pieces to enhance the flavor and to help it to cook more evenly.

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Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Smoker Temp: 275°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need

Get the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce


recipe-ad-rubI cannot begin to tell you how great my rub tastes on poultry of all kinds and it is especially amazing on this beer brined smoked chicken where I am able to use it during the brining and the smoking of the bird. The sauce mixed with beer also adds to the wonderful “beer flavored chicken” theme.

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Step 1: Make the Brine

Add 1 cup of coarse kosher salt to 1/2 gallon of cold water..

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Stir in the salt until it dissolves and the water becomes clear.

Add ¼ cup of Jeff's rub and 4 bottles of beer (12 oz)

Stir to combine. It may get a little foamy..

2015-IMG_7546 2015-IMG_7549

The brine is ready to use

Step 2: Brine the Chicken

Rinse chicken pieces under cold water

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Place chicken into a plastic or glass container

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Pour the brine over the chicken to cover.

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Add some ice on top to make sure it is nice and cold and place the bowl in the fridge for about 4 hours.

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When the brining is finished, rinse the chicken really good to remove any extra salt residue from the surface.

Step 3: Apply the Rub

Place the chicken pieces into a large ziptop bag and pour ¼ cup of Jeff's rub into the bag.

Zip the bag closed and roll or massage the bag to coat all of the chicken with the rub.

2015-IMG_7576

Once the chicken is well coated, place the chicken pieces onto a Bradley rack or pan. It is now ready to cook in the smoker.

2015-IMG_7577

Step 4: Smoke the Chicken

Set up your smoker for cooking at 275°F if possible.  If your smoker will not heat to that temperature, then normal smoking temperatures (225-240°F) will work fine.

Use indirect heat (most smokers are designed for this by default).

Once the smoker is ready, place the chicken on the smoker grate and let it smoke cook until it reaches 165°F  in the the thickest part of each piece. This should take about 1 hour but watch the temperature carefully as the times will vary from smoker to smoker and depending on how often you open the lid, how cold the chicken entered the smoker and even weather.

2015-IMG_7585

About 15 minutes before the chicken is finished, brush on the beer barbecue glaze (recipe below)

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Beer Barbecue Glaze

Stir well to combine. You can make it more thick or thin by changing the ratio of sauce to beer.

2015-IMG_7583

Step 5: Serve It Up

Check each piece using a quick reading thermometer such as a Thermapen to make sure a safe temperature of 165°F has been obtained.

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Serve with extra beer barbecue sauce for dipping if you like.

Notes/Comments:
  1. This chicken was extremely juicy, even the white breast meat and you could distinctively taste the beer flavor all the way through the meat.
  2. Use any kind of beer you like.. the cheap stuff will work perfectly. I always use Shiner Bock when I use beer in recipes and it works great.
  3. Yes, you can use something besides beer if you like and it will still be super juicy and flavorful. Some things that work well are:
  • Cherry Dr. Pepper
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Root Beer
  • Peach, Apple, Apricot nectar
  • Apple Cider or Juice
  • Sparkling Grape Juice
  • Buttermilk

If you are not able to smoke at the higher temperature I recommended, it will take longer for the chicken to get done. At normal smoking temperatures of 225-240°F, the chicken pieces will take around 2 hours to reach 165°F.

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***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"

No worries! Make up a batch and if it's not as good as you've heard.. simply ask for a refund. Now that's a bargain and you know it. Let's review:

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Well.. what are you waiting for.. click on the big orange button below to order the recipes now.

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I really, really appreciate the support from my newsletter friends and be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this.

Jeff's Smoking Meat Book

smoking-meat-book-cover-275x289The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that "no smoker should be without this book"!

With more than 800 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended.

It is a Bestseller in Barbecueing & Grilling books on Amazon.

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Printable Recipe

Print

Delicious Beer Brined Smoked Chicken

4 from 4 reviews

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Yield: 3-6
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Hot Smoking

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Chickens (cut into pieces)
  • 4 bottles of beer (12 oz)
  • 1 cup coarse kosher salt
  • ½ gallon water
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe
  • Beer/BBQ Glaze (recipe below)

Instructions

Step 1: Make the Brine

  1. Add 1 cup of coarse kosher salt to 1/2 gallon of cold water..
  2. Stir in the salt until it dissolves and the water becomes clear.
  3. Add ¼ cup of Jeff's rub and 4 bottles of beer (12 oz)
  4. Stir to combine. It may get a little foamy..
  5. The brine is ready to use

Step 2: Brine the Chicken

  1. Rinse chicken pieces under cold water
  2. Place chicken into a plastic or glass container
  3. Pour the brine over the chicken to cover.
  4. Add some ice on top to make sure it is nice and cold and place the bowl in the fridge for about 4 hours.
  5. When the brining is finished, rinse the chicken really good to remove any extra salt residue from the surface.

Step 3: Apply the Rub

  1. Place the chicken pieces into a large ziptop bag and pour ¼ cup of Jeff's rub into the bag.
  2. Zip the bag closed and roll or massage the bag to coat all of the chicken with the rub.
  3. Once the chicken is well coated, place the chicken pieces onto a Bradley rack or pan. It is now ready to cook in the smoker.

Step 4: Smoke the Chicken

  1. Set up your smoker for cooking at 275°F if possible. If your smoker will not heat to that temperature, then normal smoking temperatures (225-240°F) will work fine.
  2. Use indirect heat (most smokers are designed for this by default).
  3. Once the smoker is ready, place the chicken on the smoker grate and let it smoke cook until it reaches 165°F in the the thickest part of each piece. This should take about 1 hour but watch the temperature carefully as the times will vary from smoker to smoker and depending on how often you open the lid, how cold the chicken entered the smoker and even weather.
  4. About 15 minutes before the chicken is finished, brush on the beer barbecue glaze (recipe below)
  5. Beer Barbecue Glaze
  6. TBS Jeff's barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here)
  7. /4 cup beer
  8. Stir well to combine. You can make it more thick or thin by changing the ratio of sauce to beer.

Step 5: Serve It Up

  1. Check each piece using a quick reading thermometer such as a Thermapen to make sure a safe temperature of 165°F has been obtained.
  2. Serve with extra beer barbecue sauce for dipping if you like.

Notes/Comments:

  1. This chicken was extremely juicy, even the white breast meat and you could distinctively taste the beer flavor all the way through the meat.
  2. Use any kind of beer you like.. the cheap stuff will work perfectly. I always use Shiner Bock when I use beer in recipes and it works great.
  3. Yes, you can use something besides beer if you like and it will still be super juicy and flavorful. Some things that work well are:
  4. Cherry Dr. Pepper
  5. Dr. Pepper
  6. Root Beer
  7. Peach, Apple, Apricot nectar
  8. Apple Cider or Juice
  9. Sparkling Grape Juice
  10. Buttermilk
  11. If you are not able to smoke at the higher temperature I recommended, it will take longer for the chicken to get done. At normal smoking temperatures of 225-240°F, the chicken pieces will take around 2 hours to reach 165°F.

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

10 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Ben October 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Planning on trying this tomorrow. Do you know how it would work for pulled chicken? I have a large package of thighs and thought I would make some for lunches this week. I think you would probably omit the glaze at the end if removing the skin, but seems like this would work. Right?

  2. Pete July 24, 2015 at 9:50 am - Reply

    We have beer can chicken smoked, grilled, or oven roasted often. This recipe cuts to the chase and intensified the flavor and moisture. The one cup of salt to water and beer looked like too much, and I was brining in a one gallon vacuum bag. I cut the salt to about a quarter cup, added the rub, and filled with the water and beer. I rinsed it, patted it dry, and seasoned with the rub. Every piece came out really moist, full of flavor and the aroma appetizing. I used Apple wood to smoke on my Brinkmann Gourmet electric. Today the Maple syrup chicken will be on the rack! Thanks Jeff. I bought the book, downloaded the rubs and sauce too.

  3. Willy July 8, 2015 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    followed recipe to the T!! I’ll be in a hypetensive crisis by morning. I followed the recipe as listed when printed (note there are some issues vs. the website description) and the salt taste was overwhelming!!!! I rinsed the chicken on both side and under the skin after the brining. Chicken was tender, looked great, just like your pics on the website, but tasted like a saltlick block for my horse…. there has to be an issue somewhere, I’m a numbers guy (engineer type) and this didnt work for me. noted that you admit there was an adjustment on the water from J. Rowland… if there is an adjustment from your part please note/adjust the recipe (wood type, water quantity etc…) in the recipe and not leave any corrections in the comment section. Your readers dont rely on comments to correct recipe changes. Cant give this one an endorsement.

    • Cyndi July 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry I don’t usualy make comments but I have to disagree on this one. First time I made this recipe my husband thought it was the best BBQ chicken he had ever eaten. I have made this recipe on four different occasions now. Each time following the recipe. In all I have probably served it to about 50 people, all with rave reviews and several requests for the recipe.
      This is easy and comes out perfect every time. I think its a keeper

  4. sam abell July 6, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Jeff,
    I had 35 more dinner on the 4th of July. I made your beer brined chicken! It was AMAZING. Hands down the best chicken I have ever cooked. The chicken was super moist and your rub clearly took the flavor to a new level.
    Thanks!

  5. Jim Rowland June 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Your brine recipe says “1/2 gallon of water”, which is 2 quarts. Your pitcher (in the picture) looks like a standard 2-quart pitcher, but you only filled it half-full, which would be 1/4 gallon of water.

    If you really added 4 bottles of beer to 1/2 gallon of water, you would not be able to fit it into a standard 2qt pitcher. I just want to clarify whether: A) you have a giant, 1-gallon pitcher; or, B) you meant to say 1/4 gallon of water (which it what your picture *looks* like).

    Thanks!

    • Jeff Phillips June 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Jim, that is a 1-gallon pitcher and I guess I should have pointed that out 😉

      Have a great day!

  6. Cyndi June 15, 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Great recipe, I made this with Dr Pepper instead of beer. My husband said this is the best BBQ chicken he has ever eaten!

  7. Kathryn June 15, 2015 at 2:13 am - Reply

    Hello Jeff,
    I’m from Australia, and I’m sure people all over the world love learning from you. Can you please update your recipe’s to include degrees Celsius for us using the metric system? Or say when it is Fahrenheit? That would be very helpful thanks.
    Cheers
    Kathryn

  8. Grant June 11, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hey Jeff,

    Looks delicious! Curious if you could use this same recipe with regular chicken breasts purchased at a super market, or if there is something particular about breaking down a full chicken that makes this work better?

    Thanks!

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