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Space City Cowboy Pulled Beer Can Chicken

  • 1 can of your favorite beer
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 4-pound whole chicken
  • 1½ cups or more of Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce, divided
  • Rub:
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup black pepper
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • cayenne, to taste


  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • light sprinkle of kosher salt, to taste
  1. Open your favorite can of beer, take a few sips and stuff can with 4 cloves of garlic and fresh rosemary sprigs. Set aside until chicken is ready to smoke.
  2. Brine chicken in the apple cider vinegar for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, depending on preference. This will keep it juicy.
  3. Coat the chicken with a thin slathering of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Original Barbecue Sauce. This will help the rub adhere and give a nice kick of flavor. 
  4. Prepare rub by combining each dry rub ingredient in a medium bowl. Apply rub liberally all over the chicken. You may have extra remaining.
  5. Let rub marinate on chicken for 30 minutes or longer.
  6. Insert the beer can inside the chicken and make sure it can stand by itself with the can upright. Some adjustments may be needed.
  7. Have your smoker ready at a set temperature of 275 degrees F. Place your beer can chicken inside. Depending on the size of your chicken this could take up to 2.5 hours. You want the internal temperature of the chicken to hit 165 degrees F.
  8. Let your chicken sit for 20 minutes or so before you cut or shred.
  9. Once you’ve shredded your chicken, fold in another ⅓ cup (or more to taste) of SBR BBQ sauce and serve.

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