Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken


I came across this recipe on

No grill or oven needed! Make this delicious beer can chicken in your slow cooker!

Everyone will love this slow cooker beer can chicken and so will you because it’s so easy!

Beer can chicken is usually made on an outdoor’s grill due to its potential messiness. Therefore, it’s been a good-weather treat.

The same effect can be achieved in your slow cooker too! Since the beer acts more or less as a basting medium that infuses a flavor, the slow cooker is the perfect appliance to get almost the same results.

By using your crock pot, you can enjoy this treat year round.

This rub can be anywhere from mild to super hot depending on the amounts of two ingredients.

The main heat-generating ingredient is cayenne pepper. Unless you know that everyone you’re serving is into 5-alarm heat, go with the lesser amount of this ingredient when you prepare the rub.

Next up is paprika. Sure you can use the generic variety found on most supermarket shelves, but this chicken will taste better if you use a smoked variety paprika. Smoked paprika comes either mild or hot. If you use the hot, you are going to add more heat on top of the cayenne, so choose wisely. I used the mild smoked variety here and as I mentioned before, I’d advise you to do so as well, unless, of course, you’re into big-time heat.

If you can’t find the more gourmet paprikas in your store, then the generic variety will do, but make sure it’s fresh otherwise it will have no flavor at all.

The choice of beer of course, is up to you.

The original recipe called for dark beer. Sometimes this is only available in the fall, but in larger cities, it should be available year round. Dark beer is not Guiness, although Guiness would probably produce an interesting flavor. If you’re willing to spend extra on a craft beer, then dark beer wouldn’t be difficult to find. I’ve heard it said about beer (and wine) that if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. I’m not that much of a connoisseur to be honest and I used an el cheapo lager for this and the chicken tasted fine.


  • 1 5-6lb chicken
  • 2 tbs smoked paprika (I used mild)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼-1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbs butter, softened
  • 1 can (12 ounces) dark beer -OR-lager


  1. Make 4 balls of aluminum foil (about 2-inches in diameter)
  2. Place bunched rolls of foil in bottom of 6-quart slow cooker and pour in beer.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Pull skin gently way from bird. Mix all dry seasonings together.
  4. Mix ½ teaspoon of seasoning blend into butter.
  5. Spread butter mixture under skin of chicken.
  6. With clean dry hands, rub remaining spice blend onto chicken.
  7. Place chicken on top of foil balls in slow cooker.
  8. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low on 7-8 hours. Check the temperature – chicken is done when the temperature is 165-170 in the thickest part of the thigh. Continue to cook if needed.

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Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken
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