Beer Brined BBQ Chicken

Rustys BBQ Chicken

Beer brined then smoked BBQ chicken has a great flavor. Rusty likes to use Yellowdog Wit Beer, for its citrus tones, but other light-colored beers will work as well.

Make sure to start this cooking project ahead of time, as the brine needs to sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours to develop good flavors. The chicken is then marinated for 4 to 8 hours, before cooking.

After marinating, the chicken is lightly smoked for a subtle flavor. Rusty suggests using apple wood, because of its delicate aroma. The method uses an offset closed grill but a smoker will also work. 

Swipe to see all photos
Raw chicken quarters with rub on them placed on a grill.
After the chicken has been brined and rubbed it is placed on the two zone grill to be cooked.
A cooked chicken quarter served on a white plate with salad and potatoes.
When the smoked chicken reachs your preferred doneness it can be served with your favorite vegetable or salad sides.
Rustys BBQ Chicken
Rusty’s BBQ Chicken is beer brined, for a great flavor. Rusty likes to use Yellowdog Wit Beer, for it’s citrus tones, but other light colored beers will work as well.

Beer Brined BBQ Chicken Recipe

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Rustys BBQ Chicken
Beer brined then smoked BBQ chicken has a great flavor. Rusty likes to use Yellowdog Wit Beer, for its citrus tones, but other light-colored beers will work as well.
Preparation 13 hours
Cook 1 hour
Ready in 14 hours
Servings 4 Servings
CourseDinner
InfluenceGlobal
DifficultySeasoned
MethodSmoke

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups beer
  • 1/2 apple chopped
  • 1/2 lemon chopped
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 shallot smashed
  • 1 chicken cut in to 8 pieces (drums, thighs, breasts, wings)
  • ¼ cup Rusty’s BBQ House Rub or favorite chicken rub

Equipment

  • wood chips

Directions

Brine

  • Mix together the warm water, salt, and sugar until dissolved.
  • Add the beer, apple, lemon, peppercorns, bay leaves, and shallot.
  • Let chill for a minimum of 6 hours to allow the flavors to blend. 
  • Take the chicken pieces and completely submerge them in a dish with the brine (a large sealable plastic bag works well, too). Let chicken marinate in a chilled space for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 8 hours.

To Cook

  • Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse off.
  • Place the chicken in a sealable plastic bag with Rusty’s BBQ House Rub. Shake until the chicken pieces are coated. Let rest in the bag, chilled, for 2 to 3 additional hours.
  • Preheat a grill to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  • Place the chicken on the indirect side of the grill. Set up the woodchips on the hot side to create a trickling of smoke. Smoke the chicken for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).
  • Rest the chicken for 5 minutes then serve.

Nutritional Information

Sodium: 7232mgCalcium: 116mgVitamin C: 12mgVitamin A: 416IUSugar: 17gFiber: 2gPotassium: 611mgCholesterol: 143mgCalories: 667kcalTrans Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 8gFat: 29gProtein: 38gCarbohydrates: 37gIron: 4mg

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About Rusty Johnson

2016 World Burger Champion and multi time award winning competitive barbecuer Rusty has a long history of creating championship standard food over live fire.

Learn more about Rusty Johnson
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