Perdue Is Debuting Canned Beer Made For Grilling Chicken

No one can say when beer can chicken was invented, but since the mid-1990s, it has come to be an American summertime tradition. Most commonly, this made-for-good-times cooking method involves a whole bone-in chicken grilled or smoked upright, propped up by a half-filled can of beer. Presumably, the heat causes the beer to vaporize, thus infusing the whole chicken with its complex, brewed essence, as well as a level of moistness that might be otherwise elusive – at least in grilled white meat. That would make the question of which beer to use an important one. And it just so happens that American chicken behemoth Perdue intends to provide an unequivocal answer.

For summer 2023, Perdue has partnered with the SoHo, Manhattan-based Torch & Crown Brewing Company to create Perdue-branded Beer Can Chicken Beer, which Perdue hopes will help many a backyard griller perfect their beer can chicken. Billed as a "honey double-citrus summer ale," it's different from other beers that one might choose for grilling purposes because it's brewed with herbs and spices traditionally associated with grilled chicken, such as rosemary, thyme, and pink peppercorn.

But Perdue says that it's also meant for quaffing. And if it is, then that stands to be a significant selling point because which beer to use isn't the only issue that's subject to hot debate when it comes to grilling chicken.

To drink or to cook with, that is the question

Perdue's Beer Can Chicken Beer debuts on Monday, May 22. Priced at $14.99, it will come in six-packs, but supplies are limited. Although it's available exclusively via Perdue's Beer Can Chicken Beer website, you may also see this beer name-checked on some of the packaging for fresh whole chickens that Perdue is selling. But some consumers might wonder if they should use this rosemary- and thyme-enhanced brew for grilling chicken or it might be best served cold.

Many experts question whether beer can chicken is all that it's cracked up to be. While some stand behind it, others claim it doesn't necessarily result in moister meat. Some go so far as to say that grilling chicken over beer runs the risk of drying out the meat and possibly detracting from its flavor. Beer can chicken also takes longer to cook than, say, grilling a butterflied or spatchcocked chicken.

On the other hand, there's no rule that says one must use their Perdue-branded beer for beer can chicken alone. In fact, there are many ways to grill a chicken with beer. It actually enhances many a grill-worthy marinade. If you do plan on using beer in your summertime grilling recipes, be sure to brush up on these essential cooking-with-beer best practices.