Beer Can Chicken 1 - Stretching the BBQ Season
Photo provided by Luke of

Last week I partook in one of my personal favourite rituals: picking one of the first cartons of eggnog from the grocery store shelf. This event signifies many changes in my lifestyle as fall and winter inevitably approach. While I will no longer be spending evenings imbibing in the pleasures of Vancouver summers, there are two patio activities I will bend over backwards to extend. The first, cigars,  requires a nice heavy jacket, and one that I don’t mind picking up a light aroma of cigar smoke. The second, bbq, leads me to push my grill as close to the door as I can to make the quick dashes from inside. Here’s a few ideas to minimize the amount of times you’ll be coming in and out.

Beer Butt Chicken

If I had to chose a favourite food, or even a favourite smell, roasted chicken would be right up there. Doing your roasting on the barbecue with a little help from some good beer is always a good idea. As you can see with the picture above, putting a beer can right into the bottom of your whole chicken will allow you to stand it up and leave it alone to roast(a metal rack can make it even more stable). Coat the inside and outside of the bird with salt and spices, and drink half of the beer first. I put my grill on medium and cook it until the white meat reads 70 Celsius. I’m still experimenting with different types of beer, and am not convinced that hoppy or malty flavours translate into the final product.

Wood Chip Smoker Box

The only smell that might beat out roast chicken is the smell of smoked roast chicken.  A stainless steel box can be filled with a variety of wood chips, depending on the smell you like, and placed on the grill beside whatever meat you are grilling. I like to use wet applewood and cedar chips, let them get nice and hot first, then turn the grill down to low and slow cook chicken, ribs or even bacon while the smoke fills your barbeque.


A surprisingly affordable addition to your existing grill, a rotisserie can make slow roasting meat very easy and is one of my favourite excuses to pull out the grill in the winter. Part toy/part tool/part meat cooker, this is something every cook needs to have. The slow turning creates great roasts that seem to hold moisture better than those done in the oven. Not to mention they taste better. I usually sear beef or game roasts on the grill on high first, then put it into the rotisserie brackets and let it begin its slow journey around and around.