How to cook Smoked Beer Can Chicken in a Tennessee Smoker

Portable Smoker

landmann tennessee smoker
landmann tennessee smoker | Source

Smoked meat


hi everybody, come on in, welcome to my kitchen. Grab yourself a beer and join in the fun.

It has to be said that one thing my friend Fabio has learnt since his move from Tuscany to Yorkshire is how to be, what we call ‘canny wi ‘is brass’ or very careful with his money.

I convinced him we needed a smoker and so the hunt began to find one perfect for our needs. We thought it might be nice to have one we could also use as a barbe’ too. We wanted a charcoal rather than a gas one, I think gas takes all the fun out of outdoor cooking, it’s a bit like paddling with your wellington boots on.

After hours trawling the internet we finally decided on which we wanted, and then we had to sort out where we were going to get it from, because it was on offer in about ten UK sites.

The smoker duly arrived flat packed as usual, and without instructions as usual. It went together quite easily once we'd counted how many bolts and how many holes.

Smoking certain foods just gives that little bit extra flavour kick. Some foods can be cold smoked; foods such as cheese, garlics, fish. This process does not cook the food but just adds that lovely smoky taste to them.

So first of all to experiment we used a piece of Cheddar cheese and a piece of pork line. The taste was remarkable, I've had smoke produce from the shops, but it tasted nothing like this.

How to set your Charcoal Burner

the fire end of the smoker
the fire end of the smoker | Source
charcoal brickettes
charcoal brickettes | Source
the cooking chamber
the cooking chamber | Source
my gas lighter.
my gas lighter. | Source

Charcoal and wood


As you can see there are two chambers to this smoker, small one is way light your fire, add your wood for the smoke, and a larger chamber to cook in.

The whole thing is made from some quite lightweight sheet steel, and so in the firebox I've put a layer of clay balls the kind you use in a plant pot to hold the water. These will prevent the hot coals over time burning through the metal. Because ceramics can withstand very high temperatures the clay balls should last quite a while before they need to be changed or replaced.


Also in that chamber, there is a wire hearth to support the charcoal. This will allow air to be drawn in and help the charcoal burn.

The larger cooking area I have lined with aluminium foil this is serving two purposes; firstly it will catch any juices that miss the drip trays, and secondly it will help keep the heat in the box.

The gadget in the bottom picture is my gas gun, a great tool which eliminates the need for firelighters.

Food smoker.


I liked the design idea of this smoker because the food is not sat on top of the heat, usually when cooking chicken and some other meats, you end up with burnt on the outside and raw in the middle food. This smoker has a separate smoke box which also provides the heat for the cooking. The heat is drawn from the small box through the large cooking box, and out through the chimney on the end. I'd seen other similar designs where the chimney was on the top, but on youtube there are a number of guys making alterations to their smoker/barbecues because with the chimney on top the heat is drawn straight out and does not circulate the food properly.

Ingredients

  • one 3-4 pound chicken
  • salt
  • small potatoes, enough for your guests
  • pickled beetroot
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. I like to prepare a chicken the day before, because I like to soak it overnight in a pan of slightly salted water. The chicken absorbs a little of the water and the salt begins the seasoning process, be careful not to add too much salt or it will pull the moisture out of the chicken meat.
  2. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil.

Beer Can Holder

beer can holder
beer can holder | Source
Beer can in place
Beer can in place | Source

Beer can Holder


This is a gadget I bought online just for this dish as you can see I've put it in the drip tray. I think beer cans must be pretty much a standard size in diameter, because my cans of John Smith's beer fit perfectly. Fortunately, you don't need all the beer in the can, only about a quarter or half a can is needed.

Great Fun with Chicken

place your chicken on the stand
place your chicken on the stand | Source
Fabio was in hysterics...
Fabio was in hysterics... | Source

Fresh Chicken



Now place your chicken onto the frame.


Fabio was in hysterics at this point and we both laughed as the chicken's wing looks to be waving at us. He managed to splutter that he thought it looked to be dancing.

Perhaps it is doing the chicken dance.

How to prepare the potatoes.


How to prepare your Canary Island potatoes.

I don't know what these potatoes are really called, but we call this style of potato after some we had on holiday in Tenerife. We had been to see the famous Dragon tree, and called in at a small bar nearby for lunch. We were served a huge pan of these potatoes with three dips, one a hot chilli, the second was a garlic mayo, and the third is spicy vinaigrette.

As we are cooking the potatoes in their skins give them a good wash before you start. Rub the potatoes in salt, and paprika. You can use other flavourings, in the past I've used curry powder, or Italian seasoning mixture of herbs.

In a dish pore two or three tablespoons of olive oil. Add the potatoes and make sure they are covered with the oil, you can also add a drop of sesame oil.

Prepared Pork Loin

pork loin
pork loin | Source

Wood Chips for the smoker

wood chips
wood chips | Source
heat probe
heat probe | Source
Heat Probe
Heat Probe | Source

Pork Loin.

We also cooked a piece of pork loin to be eaten cold through the week.

The pork needs to be soaked overnight in a mix of 3 tablespoons of salt and the same of brown sugar. Dry it, and then place it in a tray ready to be smoked and cooked.

Wood chips for smoking


I think it's probably a good idea to get your charcoal burning before you prepare the food. You don't want to cook in the smoke from the charcoal, only the smoke you add by placing the woodchips in the burner.

You can soak the woodchips if you like this will make them burn slower and release the smoke much slower. To give extra flavour the woodchips can be soaked in alcohol, brandy whiskey, or whatever your favourite tipple happens to be.

I've have one of those fancy Wi-Fi thermometer probes which are really useful when cooking any larger pieces of meat. Certain areas of the chicken can be tricky to cook properly and it is very easy to find still bloodied areas on the thigh bone or in its pelvis.

This probe is very convenient as you can take it away from the cooking area and still be able to check the internal temperature of your meat. I use it in my conventional oven too, in particularly when I am cooking beef and want it to be rare or medium rare.

Enjoy your food and outdoor life


I've got a beer, Fabio has a beer, the chicken has its beer too, so let's make a start.

The probe is inserted into the chicken through the breast and into the top of its thigh, which is usually the most difficult part to be cooked.

The heat from the charcoal is already pulling into the cooking chamber, but it is not too hot to work. Put the chicken with its drip tray into the cooking chamber, on grills place the potatoes in their tray and the pork loin. Now close the lid for the cooking chamber. Open both the chimney damper under fire damper so that maximum air is drawn.

Miracle Aroma Hub

Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Ready in: 3 hours
Yields: Serves four

Fabulous outdoor food

Cook to perfection
Cook to perfection | Source
Ready to carve
Ready to carve | Source
chicken, beetroot,potatoes and fresh bread.
chicken, beetroot,potatoes and fresh bread. | Source

Serving Suggestions




I think you'll agree that the chicken and other food looks very tempting in the photograph above. We thought the chicken had enjoyed the experience, if you look carefully in the picture you will see that the chicken is giving the wing equivalent of a hi-five.

This made a wonderfully rustic and simple meal. We plated the chicken and potatoes, and then added a few baby beetroots and of course some wonderful homemade bread.

I have to say that this was the most tender and juicy chicken I have ever eaten. We used what beer was left in the can, and the cooking juices from the tray to make a fantastic gravy.

Drinks cabinet.

We drank John Smith's bitter, a good old Yorkshire beer, but we also had a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc handy, which adds a nice herbal taste and refreshes the pallet.

5 stars from 2 ratings of Beer Can Chicken

Adventure and Romance

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Comments 9 comments

stessily 4 years ago

Tony, The title lured me in, and the photos and instructions and tidbits kept me reading to the end. I always enjoy your culinary adventures with Fabio. I think this recipe would be fabulous with Deedee's plum tomato bruschetta, which responds so well to flame broiling: http://derdriu.hubpages.com/hub/Italian-bread-with...

Is John Smith beer named after the great explorer? Did he have a Yorkshire connection?

Up + UFABI + sharing.

ta ta for now, Stessily


scarytaff profile image

scarytaff 4 years ago from South Wales

Great hub, Tony. Those foods look marvellous. Voted up and useful.


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Stessily, thank you for your comments and visit, always so nice to hear from you. MAybe I should ask Derdriu if she would like a link here? I can add something in a text box.

I don't think there is a connection, this family of Smiths, were brewers from 1850, they also produce a Samuel Smiths's beer; with a slightly different character.

They lived in Tadcaster near York. It has a ring road now, but when I was a kid it was a terrible traffic bottle neck, with two narrow bridges in the town.

regards

Tony


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Scarytaff, how are you doing my friend well I hope? Thanks for the votes and visit.

cheers Tony


Derdriu 4 years ago

Tony, What a belly-rumbling, finger-licking, mouth-watering, tummy-scrummy bunch of recipes! In particular, I appreciate the detail regarding prepping the chicken, which is so photogenic, hip and friendly. Additionally, you do a great job of situating the chicken within the wider context of refreshing bitters and Sauvignon as well as yummy beetroot and potatoes.

What do you think of linking this hub to "Tony Mead's Tenerife Dragon Tree" and my linking the tree to this?

Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing, Derdriu

P.S. You've gotten all the votes (including 5-star rating), but where's the vote-up button?


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Derdriu, it would of course be an honour to link to your hub, I presume it has appeared again...

Your comments are always constructive and hit the nail on the proverbial head.

Are European wines available where you are? I tend to think of people just drinking the New World wines.

many thanks for your comments and votes.

Have you netted any peepers yet for the oven?

regards

Tony


Derdriu 4 years ago

Tony, No, the peepers are peeping away what with all the rain of late. They never will end up in my oven even if it can be proven to me that their legs will regenerate.

Yes, European wines are available even though Virginia has some long-standing, respected vineyards.

Thank you about the linking.

Respectfully, Derdriu


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Derdriu,

Link in place.

I'll look out for the wines from Virginia, we've had California wines in the shops here for perhaps 30 years, Paul Mason in strange bottles that looked more like hospital sample bottles.

ttfn

Tony


Derdriu 4 years ago

Tony, The most famous are most likely Château Morrissette (http://www.chateaumorrisette.com/).

TTFN, Derdriu

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