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.
Beer Brined BBQ Chicken Recipe
- 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
- wood chips
- 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.
- 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.