So, I purchased the Weber version of the Beer Can Chicken cooker. I bought this one because it looked a lot sturdier than most, plus it had a nice sized bottom to add veggies to cook in while the chicken was roasting.
All in all, the chicken came out very nicely. Only 2 things I wasn't so keen on:
1. The pan was very difficult to remove from the grill I don't know why they do not manufacture this with handles on the side to grasp. It took both my husband and I to manuever the thing off the grill, oh so carefully mind you because the bottom of it was of course filled with the chicken drippings and veggies. I'd suggest turning off the grill before removal on the off chance of a spill. All that fat on top of the gas flame could be quite the disaster. In the end, DH managed to remove the chicken from the roaster with tongs and get it onto a serving platter, but not without a lot of muss and fuss. Thankfully, chicken did remain whole in the removal.
2. Surprised that the skin did not get as crisp as I anticipated. Found that doing it in the oven produced a much more browned and crunch product. I did not peek at the chicken except for one quickie mid-way through cooking, so there was little heat to escape. I'd do the same at home. I can only think that maybe the juices in the pan were spattering back up onto the chicken, basically basting it as it cooked. Personally, I never baste my birds - I find it unnecessary.
However, the chicken was incredibly moist and tender and very flavorful. We didn't use beer - in fact the instructions specifically warned against using alcohol in the well - although my husband seems to think that beer doesn't count due to most of them having a very low alcohol content. I just filled it up with lemon juice and zest, various herbs and such. The veggies came out quite nice too.
But, it was a nice way to cook a whole chicken on a hot summer day. I'm sure I'll use it again, but I sure would like to figure out how to get the skin a darker color next time.
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