The Myth of Beer Can Chicken with Meathead Goldwyn | Food Network

The Myth of Beer Can Chicken with Meathead Goldwyn | Food Network

Hello, everyone. I’m Meathead. And I’m in the Food
Network Test Kitchen. This is my book, “Meathead,
the Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.” And in the book, we talk a
lot about barbecue myths. And I’m going to tell you
about one of my favorite myths about barbecue. Everybody know what this is? It’s a beer can. And that little
piece of foam rubber, they call it a beer
koozie or a beer cozy. And that’s supposed to
keep the beer cold, right? OK, you know what this is? This is a chicken cozy
or a chicken koozie, with a beer can up its butt. That’s right, if you’re going
to make beer can chicken, you have made a chicken koozie. You have found a way
to take a 38-degree, three-and-a-half-pound
chicken that’s ice cold, and put it around a beer can. And you’re going to
heat it up, And it’s never going to get that beer
any hotter than chicken. So if you cook the chicken
to a safe temp of 160 to 165, or even if you badly
overcook it to 170 or 180, what’s the boiling
temperature of water? 212. The beer is not going to
come anywhere close to 212. It can’t boil. If you weigh the can
before you put it in, weigh the can when you take it
out, if you put a thermometer in the can, put
thermometers in the bird, I’ve done all this,
no evaporation. The beer never evaporates. You’ll never get beer flavor
or anything into the bird. And now you’re saying, but
doggone it, Meathead, my beer can chicken’s delicious. And everybody loves it. Of course it’s delicious. It’s roast chicken. Everybody loves roast chicken. You can’t mess up roast chick–
well, you can mess it up. But it’s hard to do. You’ve made a roast
chicken, that’s all, with a beer can up its butt. Now, if you want to make a good
chicken, brown is beautiful. The outside is nice and brown. Get the beer can out
of there, and hot air can get on the inside
and cook the inside. Or better still, cut
it in half and cook the two halves on your grill. You can put one side down, turn
it over, cook the other side, get both sides brown. Or cut it into
quarters, and then you can temp each piece
individually, get them to the perfect temperature. They’ll cook a lot faster than
as a big, solid thermal mass. The faster they cook,
the less moisture lost, the better the taste,
the better the flavor. Save the beer. Drink the beer. Don’t stick it up the
butt of the chicken.

96 thoughts on “The Myth of Beer Can Chicken with Meathead Goldwyn | Food Network

  1. Here are the details of the research we did on the subject

  2. Here's a question…What if you brought the beer or whatever liquid to a boil and then added it in one of those vertical beer can roasters that has a fully open top? Do you think that is a more viable option? Just curious what effect steaming liquid in the middle of the bird might have. Loved the full article Meathead

  3. Side note: A spatchcocked chicken beats a beer-butt every day of the week, and it cooks faster with crispier skin.

    Meathead is the man. I've got a fridge packed with fresh homemade maple bacon to prove it!

  4. What is this guy talking about? Evaporation also happens at room temperature, just at a lower rate. By his logic, water spilled on the floor would never dry up, unless it was brought to 100*C.

  5. Meathead. This is my first discovery of your channel and I know I will be back for more. I have been doing beer can chicken for over 20 years, and mine really does work. Why, cause I trust where my chicken comes from and it is always room temp when beer butted. I bring my beer can filled contents up to a boil before they ever see the entrance of the butt. I don't waste beer cuz beer is never in the can. I fill the can with what ever I choose to marinate the chicken in. Usually a citrus mix with spices. Your being brilliant for discovering the fallacy of typical beer can chicken, only makes me brilliant too, since I saw the flaw the first time I made it, but corrected it so it would work.

  6. Evaporation does take place, even at room temperature, just at a slower rate. Cold beer and cold chicken however and you're asking for trouble.

    The solution to this is bring your chicken up to room temperature, have your beer or whatever you choose to stick up it's butt, heated almost to boiling and then cook the chicken as you normally do. Or you just forget the whole thing and spatchcock it.

  7. Okay, explain where the beer goes, because whenever I make drunken chicken, the beer can is always empty whenever I pull it out of the bird.

  8. Sorry pal, but the way you're taught to do it is to put the chicken on the beer, so the can is making direct contact with the bottom of the oven (along with the chicken legs) this way, the beer boils and steams the inside of the chicken, and having done this myself, it works. I put a 330ml can of beer (minus 1 gulp) in the chicken and cooked at 180c, when it came out the chicken was moist and the can had a few drops left.

  9. Wow – you have just made a fool out of yourself on the entire internet.

    Put water in a 400F oven and it wont evaporate – SCIENCE !!

    My god you really are this dumb ?

    Bottom of can is directly exposed to 400F 200C temps – like a pot on a stove – water evaporates.

    Astonishing levels of stupidity.


  10. Are you implying that the can material doesn't lead heat better than chicken meat?
    You are trying to debunk something people do all the time.

  11. Oh my god people really take their fucking beer-chicken seriously. I've observed the same reaction to this on Reddit (agressive comments towards Meathead). Why is this?
    I mean the guy has no reason to lie over this, he has probably done more research than "my chicken always comes out amazing", and yet people get so offended.

  12. Hey hey now guys no need to fight about chicken and beer! Just enjoy them how you want wether it is stuffed up a chicken ass or in a glass 😉

  13. I agree with him. I'v done it several time with and without the beer can and it comes out the same and the liquid level does not change. Water boils at 211 @ sea level 14.7 PSIG. I'v found it best to brine the chicken cook it without the can and it's delicious.

  14. This guy is wrong.
    Something does affect the chicken when done with beer. The chicken has a very moist almost slippery texture that I don't get with any other cooking method. That includes Chicken under Brick and various Sous Vide temps and times.
    In fact, "Americas Test Kitchen" did this on one episode and they tried all sorts of beverages like lemonade, wine etc, they said the beer made a difference.

  15. Some people did not pay attention in cooking class maybe that is why they call him meat head. Sir you need to rethink what you wrote, correct it and never write anything again………………..!!!

  16. Who gives a rat's rear end what the internal temp of a cooked chicken is supposed to be (@ 0:53)? The beer can is sitting directly on the grate which is directly above the coals. Beer butt chicken is not grilled "low and slow" at temps between 225 — 240 F, but at higher temps of 380 F plus so it will be perfectly done in 45 min.

  17. Last time I made this, I opened the grill and a volcano of steam was coming out of the top of the chicken. My beer can had 1oz of beer left in it, the rest had BOILED AWAY. Maybe Meathead doesn’t understand that the can sitting right on the grill will boil the liquid. Or maybe he doesnt know that ever grill in the world can get hotter than 212°

  18. That was soooooooo bad!!! I wouldn’t ever consider buying that book! I’m shocked the Food Network, producers of brilliant and amazing Iron Chefs, allows this “whatlessness” on their channel.

  19. Seems like he thinks the only reason chicken is cooked this way is the "BEER!" factor… The can just serves as a device to steam and cook the inside of the chicken and keep moisture in the cooking environment of the grill or cooker to prevent it from drying out. Some important details left out of a great and easy way to cook chicken. If it ain't broke do fix it…Meathead.

  20. This guy needs to take a basic physics class. Heating the bottom of an aluminum can at 400 F will indeed transfer the heat to the beer inside and raise it above the boiling point.

  21. This guy's a little off on his science. An aluminum can has a way higher heat transfer coefficient than chicken meat. This heats up the water and alcohol in the beer can in direct contact with the grill. Cooking at around 325 for 2 hours on my smoker, the can can boil the water and alcohol, with BPs of 212F and 173F respectively very quickly before the "thermal mass" of the chicken gets up to 185, to use his terminology. Sorry buddy.

  22. This guy is completely wrong, I have been grilling for more than 20 years. Trust me when I say that beer can chicken taste awesome, and yes it works. Obviously, he doesn't do it right. The beer does evaporate! It is absorbed by the chicken which gives it the moisture and tenderness, and you can taste beer in the chicken. Also you grill or smoke it at 250 to 350 degrees depending on how your doing it. Which is beyond 212 degrees. Don't write books on the subject if you know nothing about it.

  23. Science is about observation. Either a chicken cooked over an empty beer can, or over a can with beer in it will taste better. Taste test should be blind to the variable. Quoting entry level science textbooks and saying you have a team of PhD's vetting your stuff just sounds really pathetic. Everything needs to go back to empirical data, not someone's personal preference.

  24. My beer always evaporates in side my chicken. I like to do it with hard apple cider. And it does get hot and some of the moisture goes into my chicken

  25. Don't have any science to disprove it… but I'd disagree…

    I'll think about it though…

    Spachcock is the next best thing… beer can much easier though.

    Honestly… don't necessarily need the beer to vapourize. but the upright placement of the chicken in the middle of the uniform heat.. it's has to be worth something… easy roast chicken. Surely the beer can does something good..

  26. I beg to differ on this one. I put extra holes in the sides of the can and use room temperature beer. I get plenty of moisture and
    flavor from the beer in my chicken especially in the breast.

  27. This video is ridiculous. Have you ever seen a rain puddle, then come out later and it is gone? Is the sidewalk 212 degrees F? Is it 212 degrees F in the shower just because there is "steam"? (Not technically steam, I know). Ever had water dry on your body at the beach – does the water boil on the surface of your skin?

    What you are doing with the beer can is keeping the inside of the bird moist through evaporation. You can also put some sage, herb-de-provence, cumin and/or coriander in the beer prior to cooking and you can taste it in the meat. Like one of the other commenters noted, I have been making chicken this way for years and the beer can is nearly empty when it is done. If moisture could not penetrate the meat, then conversely it could also not leave the meat and it would never dry out if overcooked; which of course we know is false. Because the outer layer is kept moist, the moisture already in the chicken cavity does not escape. Same reason people have basted meats for centuries.

    You should really take this down, to say something has to be at boiling in order for evaporation to occur is staggeringly ignorant of very basic chemistry.

  28. If the intent were to bring the beer to boiling temperature, then you would be cooking the chicken from the inside with steam. That isn't the idea at all. The idea is to keep the chicken moist from the inside to prevent it from drying out. Remember when nearly everyone put the stuffing inside the turkey at Thanksgiving – thus the name "stuffing"? Now most chefs recommend against this because the stuffing steals the moisture from your turkey like a sponge and dries it out. It is the same principle here – you are simply using evaporation of the beer to keep the moisture which is already in the chicken from escaping and imparting a little bit of flavor. The can itself acts a little like a plug. You're not trying to freaking steam the chicken with 212 degree water molecules.

  29. Idiot. I've watched it boil and Steam. Can sitting directly on the grill. Trust me it steams lol and keeps the chicken moist. Don't spill it on ya or grab that can. Also. You want the can say half full. This guy's about stupid lol

  30. It works in the oven, no doubt about it.
    Whether it works on a barbecue is debatable, and that makes sense.

  31. If you're measuring the temperature of the beer and it is "only" 212 degrees F, that is because there is a latent heat transfer happening. The beer boils once it hits 212 and then it doesn't change temperature until all of the beer has turned into steam, and by that time there is no liquid left to measure a temperature of.
    If you are measuring a temperature close to 212 degrees F and it does not change, you thermometer is faulty or it is in the wrong place.
    But in this scenario, it is likely that there is a latent heat transfer happening while the beer is changing from liquid to vapour.

  32. Don't do it. He's right

  33. OK, if this guy knew ANYTHING, about Beer Can Chicken, your supposed to leave the can open, IN SUN ,or at least till it's ROOM TEMPERATURE. And this guy is some kind of "grill expert" & yet he doesn't know to let the can sit out?!

  34. I don’t know about this guy but my grill grates get super hot! ? My beer can rests on the grates that are directly heating the beer can causing evaporation into the chicken cavity. Not a good analogy.

  35. This guy is the dumbest person I have ever heard talk but then again he is on the food network and knows nothing about science except "moisture only evaporates at 212 degrees" what an idiot and if the beer can is touching a hot surface like a grill it will heat the beer inside a cozy works because its ambient temperature around the can but if you put the beer in a cozy on a grill it will heat up… pretty fast… just like if it was in a chicken. But if your beer can chicken is magically floating in your grill then yes it might not boil in the can. Food network why do you hire these wanna be "chefs" who don't know a thing about cooking

  36. I remove the beer add boiling water, lemon and herbs into the can..
    It does evaporate into the chicken.. butt thanks lol

  37. B S. Been doing this forever. Been roasting in the oven without too. Beer can chicken does work. But I guess you gotta keep a you tube channel going eh?

  38. If meathead had ever bothered trying beer can-chicken he'd know that the beer does boil away and that it makes the chicken wonderfully juicy even if you happen to overcook it a bit.

  39. Never tried beer can chicken so I cannot speak to that, but the science you have dead wrong, things can and do evaporate even when frozen, its call sublimation.

  40. Hey Meathead, we did this beer can chicken the other day and it was awesome. Totally agree with you so we built a little fire in the can to cook from the inside out. Give it a try. Cheers AJ

  41. The can is heated from the bottom idiot. Hence the can gets hotter internally than the chicken. Lol glad he isn’t god otherwise we’d all have nosebleeds. Somehow I think he’s my local weatherman

  42. Evaporation doesn't need boiling. Water evaporates even at room temperature. So at 120°F, it certainly produces steam. Have you seen ever vapor coming up from a hot cup of coffee? Have you seen peoples breath in the air on a cold day? That is evaporation.

    Let's talk about the internal temperature of the meat. That is when the heat reaches the inside of the flesh from the outer surface. Meat is not a good conductor of heat compared to Aluminum. In the case of beer can chicken, the heat comes inside through the aluminum can, which is exposed, at the bottom, to the 275-300°F temperature of the oven. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat. So the beer inside gets hot enough to generate steam.

    And by the way 212°F is the boiling point of water. Alcohol evaporates at 170°F or so. So that's why people say they can taste the beer.

     When you say you have weighed the can before and after, and there was no weight difference, and that you put thermometer inside, that is just flat faced lie. Absolute bullshit.

    Do this experiment. Weigh half a can of beer, put it in an 160°F oven for an hour and a half, and weigh it again, after it has cooled. According to this Meathead's theory, the weight should be same. Because the temperature never got to 212, right? Do the experiment and get back to us viewers.

    Food Network, you should be ashamed of yourselves for putting this ignorant clown online.

  43. Why in the world would I want to waste perfectly good beer by sticking it inside a chicken when I can get the same results without it? I prefer to keep the beer in my hand and the chicken on the grill. owever, barbecue is more about the cooking itself and less about the actual eating which is why most barbecue people are content to let others eat while they do the cooking so if beer can chicken is enjoyable to you then have at it. It's your chicken and your beer. 🙂

  44. Or get the beer to a simmer/boil add thyme and garlic and salt stuff the chicken butt and grill.. I always have 3/4 (at least) of the beer gone works like a charm you are reducing the other stuff in the beer too giving it that flavor. I’m no pro chef just a dude who loves to grill. My beer butt chicken NO LIE has gotten me laid 2x but the only thing I put in a butt the first time was the beer in the chicken. Second time different story but that was when I made my Mac and cheese too last summer. Lol Find a friend who’s family can’t cook and make sure his cousins from college are there lol

  45. Dude is a dumbass . He's so worried about trying to make fun of people he forgets simple physics. The temp of the chicken has nothing to do , of course , with the temp of the can . It's the temperature of the air hitting the can from the bottom …. which is gonna be somewhere around probe temp. Like about 250 in my case . The boiling point of that beer is around 212°F . It's no different than Aaron Franklin putting a water pan in his smokers LOL . Some of you people on this thread are just as stupid as the guy in the video LMAO

  46. If its impossible for moisture to evaporate inside a bird unless its 212, then why do turkeys dry out? Saying something with confidence doesn't make you right.

  47. I’ve yet to try a full beer can chicken, but I frequently braise chicken breasts with some beer. Very juicy!

  48. Bro, I dont cook my meat at 160 ?????
    My oven goes to 350°

    Please turn your temps up, you're gonna give someone salmonella

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