April 2016 —The Beer Can Chicken Issue

Beer Can Chicken and Grits recipes

Spring has arrived, and grilling season is officially underway. To celebrate, we have created a delicious recipe using a popular grilling technique: beer can chicken. It has become a cookout staple because it is simple to make, tastes great and looks impressive. In true Kalamazoo fashion, we’ve added our own twist to this classic by roasting the bird over veggies. To round out the meal, we’re sharing our Cheesy Grits with Bacon and Scallions recipe. Because what goes together better than chicken and grits?! Now all that’s left for you to do is get out there and start grilling! 


Russ Faulk

Russ Faulk Kalamazoo Grillmaster

Beer Can Chicken with Mushrooms, Potatoes and Onions

Beer Can Chicken

Grilled beer can chicken is a favorite amongst many grilling enthusiasts. It yields beautifully browned, crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Our Hopped-up Chicken Rub is a simple blend of hop salt, lemon pepper and turbinado sugar - the perfect mix of sweet and salty. We’ve taken this classic one step further by roasting the chicken in a skillet over potatoes, onions and mushrooms. The drippings from the bird collect in the skillet, adding incredible flavor to the veggies.


  • Hopped-up Chicken Rub
    • 1 tablespoon hop salt (we use Rogue Rations Hop Salt)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper blend
    • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1 whole fryer chicken, 3-4 pounds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 Baby Bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 24 marble potatoes, variety of colors, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 12-ounce can of beer
  • 1/4 cup water

  • Also needed:


Prepare the grill for indirect roasting at 400°F. See detailed instructions below for setting up a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill.

Combine the ingredients for the Hopped-up Chicken Rub in a small bowl.

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Brush with olive oil and season liberally with roughly 2/3 of the Hopped-up Chicken Rub.

Cut the top off the red onion and remove the papery outer layers. Cut the onion into eight wedges, leaving a portion of the root end of the onion at the end of each wedge. This will hold the layers together. This is a favorite prepping technique at Kalamazoo for roasting onions on the grill.

Toss the onions, potatoes and mushrooms with olive oil and season with the remaining Hopped-up Chicken Rub.

Empty half the contents of the beer, so that the can is half full. Stand the beer can in the center of the skillet (we recommend using a beer can chicken rack in the skillet). Place the chicken cavity over the can (legs down, wings up), and position the legs in a forward position. Arrange the potatoes, onions and mushrooms in the skillet around the chicken and pour in the water.

Place the skillet in the indirect zone of the grill and close the hood. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, rotating the skillet once or twice for even cooking. Remove the skillet from the grill when an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165°F in the chicken’s thigh.

Method for cooking on a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill

Flip up the warming rack to make room for the upright chicken. You will be cooking with a gas fire.

Preheat the grill with all of the main burners on HIGH, the ignition burner set to MEDIUM and the hood closed until the hood thermometer reaches 500°F, about 10 minutes. The top vents can be fully closed.

Turn all but the far left main burners OFF, leaving the ignition burner set to MEDIUM. Wait for the temperature reading on the hood thermometer to settle down to 400°F and stabilize.

Place the chicken on the right side of the grill, near the leftmost grill grate, but not on it. This is the indirect zone closest to the heat.

Cheesy Grits with Bacon and Scallions

Cheesy Grits with Bacon and Scallions

Luscious, cheesy grits are the ultimate comfort food. Our recipe follows the classic dish pretty closely, but with a few gourmet additions. With its wonderfully rich, buttery flavor, we opted for an aged fontina over the more traditional cheddar cheese. To top things off, we added some bacon and fresh green onions. This recipe is simple, fast and incredibly delicious. Enjoy!


  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup corn grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
  • 4 ounces aged fontina, grated (we used Fontina Val D’Aosta Italian Cheese Raw Milk)
  • 3/4 pound thick-cut bacon, fully cooked, then chopped
  • 4 green onions, light green parts only, thinly sliced


Bring water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add corn grits and reduce the heat to medium. Cook slowly for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until fully incorporated. Stir in the cheese until melted. Stir in about 3/4 of the bacon. Cover the saucepan and hold for 2 minutes before serving.

To serve, top with the remaining bacon and the green onions.