ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Cook-Smoked Beer Can Chicken in a Tennessee Smoker

Updated on May 2, 2017

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.


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


  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


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

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)