Here's The Beer Substitute You Can Use In Beer Can Chicken

Chicken is one of those foods that can take on tons of different flavors, making it super versatile for home cooks. A roast chicken is hard to beat, but there is one well-qualified contender that might just come out on top: beer can chicken. If you're not familiar, beer can chicken involves inserting a half-full can of beer into the cavity of a whole, raw chicken and standing the whole thing up on the rack of your grill to roast. As the chicken cooks, looking hilariously cute and cartoonish from its boozy roost, it theoretically absorbs all that tasty beer flavor and comes out moist and delicious.

But what if alcohol isn't part of your diet, or you just don't have a can of beer in the house? Fear not. You can still enjoy all the theatrics and delicious rewards of beer can chicken, without an ale, lager, or IPA. Substituting the beer with another flavorful liquid is simple. And, it turns out, the options are pretty endless.

Use soda, stock, or wine instead of beer for beer can chicken

When you're attempting to customize a recipe for beer can chicken, don't get too hung up on the beer. Yes, beer and chicken are a yummy combo but the real appeal of this technique is that, from it's perch on top of an aluminum can, the chicken's juices drip off instead of collecting around the bird like they would in a baking dish or roasting pan. The result is crispy chicken skin all around (via Vinepair). 

The liquid inside the can doesn't really matter all that much, as long as it's flavorful. Sober Julie opts for a half-full can of lemon lime soda, or even a mason jar half-filled with chicken stock. If deep, caramel flavors are more your style, try a can of Dr. Pepper like Serious Eats suggests. If you're anti-beer but not anti-alcohol, food blog Cook Better Than takes things up a notch by emptying out a can of soda and refilling it with aromatic white wine, lemon juice, orange peel, and rosemary. Although, these days, you could just combine those things in a can of wine

So, the next time you're in the mood for a crispy-skinned, flavor-infused bird, choose whatever liquid substitute you like and don't look back — you'll never miss the beer.