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Keto Beer Can Chicken

Keto beer can chicken is such a quick and easy recipe; it is perfect for those hot summer evenings when you want to stay out of the kitchen.

Beer Can Chicken

It is almost grilling season!

As the weather gets warmer, I like to use our grill and cook outdoors, rather than using the stove or oven and heating up the house.

A fun (and simple) recipe to make on the grill is keto beer can chicken.

Is beer can chicken keto-friendly?

Beer can chicken can be keto-friendly, but it depends on the ingredients and preparation method used.

Keto-friendly diets focus on low-carb, high-fat foods, and moderate protein. Here’s how to make a beer can chicken more keto-friendly:

  1. Choose a keto-friendly seasoning: Many store-bought spice rubs and marinades contain sugar, which is not keto-friendly. Opt for a homemade seasoning mix using herbs and spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Use a low-carb beer: Traditional beer can contain significant amounts of carbohydrates, so opt for a low-carb beer or beer substitute. Alternatively, you can use a can of your favorite keto-friendly liquid, such as chicken broth or flavored water.
  3. Be mindful of side dishes: To keep the meal keto-friendly, pair the beer can chicken with low-carb side dishes like green vegetables, cauliflower rice, or a simple salad.

Remember that individual carb tolerance may vary, so it’s essential to track your own carb intake and adjust the recipe accordingly to maintain ketosis.

What is keto beer can chicken?

Beer can chicken is a whole chicken cooked over (and held up by) a beer can. It’s got to be the easiest way to cook a whole chicken on the grill without needing any fancy equipment.

raw chicken

Any beer will work, but a lager will provide a more robust flavor. You only need the can of beer half full for this recipe (you can pour it out or drink the rest as you’re prepping dinner – no judgment here).

seasoned whole chicken

The chicken will take longer to cook than standard grilling due to the beer – around 60-90 minutes until your thermometer registers 165 degrees. The beer steams the chicken, and the result is a moist, perfectly cooked chicken without any flipping required.

Wait, can you have beer on keto?

A keto diet typically involves consuming around 20-50 grams of carbohydrates per day, depending on individual factors such as weight, activity level, and health goals. The primary purpose of this low-carb intake is to encourage the body to enter ketosis, a metabolic state in which it burns fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. As beer is often associated with high carb content, many people on a keto diet may hesitate to include it in their meal plans.

Can You Drink Beer on Keto?

In short, traditional beer is not the best choice for those following a keto diet due to its high carbohydrate content.

Most beers contain anywhere from 10-20 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving, with some even reaching up to 30 grams.

Drinking a single beer could easily use up your entire daily carb allowance, making it challenging to maintain ketosis and potentially derailing your progress.

However, not all hope is lost for beer lovers on keto!

Several breweries have started producing low-carb and even keto-friendly beers that can be enjoyed in moderation.

These options typically contain 2-6 grams of carbs per serving, allowing you to partake without sabotaging your ketosis.

The best Low-Carb Beer Options

  1. Michelob Ultra: With only 2.6 grams of carbs per 12-ounce serving, Michelob Ultra is one of the lowest-carb beers available. It’s a light, refreshing option for those who enjoy a beer without guilt.
  2. Corona Premier: Another low-carb option, Corona Premier, contains just 2.6 grams of carbs per 12-ounce serving. It’s an excellent choice for those who enjoy a lighter, crisper beer.
  3. Budweiser Select 55: This light beer has only 1.9 grams of carbs per 12-ounce serving, making it one of the lowest-carb options on the market.
  4. Flying Dog Slightly Mighty IPA: For those who enjoy a hoppy IPA, Flying Dog’s Slightly Mighty offers a low-carb alternative with just 3.6 grams of carbs per 12-ounce serving.

What to use for keto beer can chicken.

beer can chicken

A perfectly flavored beer can chicken is equal parts beer and dry rub. As I mentioned, a lager will provide a more robust flavor, but you can use any beer that you enjoy drinking.

My favorite combination for the dry rub uses salt, pepper, smoked paprika, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.

whole chicken

How to remove the chicken from the can?

This is best done with a helping hand. Move the chicken and can over to a cutting board. Have one person hold the can with tongs (it will be very hot!), and the second person gently lifts the chicken off the can and places it on the cutting board.

Keto Beer Can Chicken

Can I make keto beer can chicken in the oven?

Beer can chicken is a popular and flavorful way to prepare a whole chicken, and although it’s typically cooked on a grill or smoker, it can be easily adapted for the oven.

Follow these simple steps to create a delicious beer can chicken in your oven:

  1. Preheat your oven: Set your oven to 375°F (190°C) and make sure there’s enough space to accommodate the upright chicken.
  2. Prepare the chicken: Remove the giblets and neck from the chicken cavity, rinse the chicken under cold water, and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil or melted butter, and season it generously with salt, pepper, and your choice of dry rub or seasoning blend. Make sure to season the cavity as well.
  3. Prepare the beer can: Open the beer can and pour out (or drink) about half of the beer. Use a can opener to make a few additional holes in the top of the can. This will allow the beer to steam and infuse the chicken with moisture and flavor.
  4. Mount the chicken: Carefully slide the chicken onto the beer can, so the can is inserted into the cavity. The chicken should sit upright, with the can in the cavity and the legs acting as a tripod to stabilize the chicken.
  5. Prepare the baking sheet: Place the chicken (with the beer can) on a baking sheet or roasting pan to catch any drippings. You can also surround the chicken with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions if you’d like a complete meal.
  6. Bake the chicken: Place the baking sheet with the chicken in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) when measured with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone.

What keto side dish can I serve with beer can chicken?

  1. Garlic Butter Sautéed Green Beans

Green beans are a low-carb, nutrient-dense vegetable that pairs well with keto beer can chicken. Sauté them in a generous amount of garlic butter, and you’ll have a delicious, fragrant side dish that’s sure to please.

  1. Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a popular keto staple and for good reason. It’s versatile and can easily take on the flavors of your favorite seasonings. Add some grated cheese and spices to your cauliflower rice for a delectable, cheesy side dish that goes wonderfully with beer-can chicken.

  1. Loaded Keto Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a classic side dish, and making it keto-friendly is a breeze. Swap out the sugar in your favorite coleslaw recipe for a low-carb sweetener like erythritol, and add some bacon, cheese, and chopped nuts for an extra burst of flavor and texture.

  1. Creamed Spinach with Parmesan

For a rich and satisfying side dish, try creamed spinach with Parmesan cheese. Simply cook fresh or frozen spinach in a creamy sauce made from heavy cream, butter, and grated Parmesan cheese. It’s a delicious and comforting side dish that’s perfect alongside keto beer canned chicken.

  1. Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic

Roasted asparagus is another excellent low-carb side dish option. Season your asparagus with lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, then roast them in the oven until tender and slightly crispy. The bright, fresh flavors of this dish will complement the savory beer can chicken nicely.

  1. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Swap out traditional pasta for zucchini noodles (or “zoodles”) to create a keto-friendly side dish that’s full of flavor. Toss the zoodles with a generous helping of homemade or store-bought pesto for a tasty and satisfying accompaniment to your keto beer can chicken.

  1. Warm Greek Salad

For a lighter side dish option, try a warm Greek salad. Combine sautéed bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and Kalamata olives, then toss with crumbled feta cheese and a simple dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar. The combination of flavors in this salad pairs well with the savory, well-seasoned chicken.

Check out all my keto-friendly side dishes here.

Keto Beer Can Chicken

Keto Beer Can Chicken

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1- 5 lb Whole Chicken
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 Lager Beer 

For the Dry Rub:


  1. Preheat your grill to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the rub ingredients. 
  3. Remove the insides from the chicken and pat dry.
  4. Rub with avocado oil
  5. Season well with the dry rub. It's ok if you have some leftovers but season the chicken liberally. 
  6. Open the beer can and either drink half or pour it out. 
  7. Pick up the chicken and slide the beer can inside the cavity of the chicken over the beer can.
  8. Alternatively, you can use a beer can chicken holder. I use THIS one.
  9. Grill the chicken over indirect heat for 60-90 minutes or until the chicken registers at 165 at the thickest part. 
  10. Gently slide the chicken off of the beer can and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. 
Nutrition Information
Serving Size 4 oz
Amount Per Serving Calories 381Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 74g

Did you make this recipe?

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More Keto Recipes to try:

  1. The Best Grilled Keto Veggie Skewers
  2. Keto Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary
  3. The Best Easy Clean Keto Lunch Recipes
  4. The Best Keto Side Dishes
Keto Beer Can Chicken
roasted chicken

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