Honey-Smoked Beer Butt Chicken




  • 2 Cups Spicy Italian Marinade
  • 2 Cups Barbecue Sauce Of Your Choice
  • ½ Cup Honey
  • ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Sour Mash Whiskey
  • 2 Teaspoons Rubbed Sage
  • 2 (4-5 LBS) Whole Chickens
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Opened Can Of Beer, Each Half Full (Drink the Other Halves)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Fine Black Pepper
  • Bourbon Barrel Wood Chips For Smoking As Needed


Remove and discard any neck or giblets that you may find, and rinse the chickens under cold water, pat dry, place each in a large zipper-top plastic bag, and pour 1 cup of Spicy Italian Marinade in each bag. Turn to coat, seal, and let them marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Combine the barbecue sauce, honey, soy sauce, whiskey, and sage in a medium sized nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and simmer, well blended, for 15 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat grill for medium heat.

Place Mo’s Smoke Pouch full of Bourbon Barrel Wood Chips on the grill over the flame or hot coals on the cooking surface. If you don't have this option you can make a packet out of aluminum foil and punch a few holes in the top of it with a fork and place directly on the hot coals.


Remove the chickens from the bags and discard the marinade. Rub the chickens all over with the olive oil, and then sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme mixture. Lower the chickens onto the half-full cans of beer so that they sit upright, with the cans in their cavities. As soon as the pouch begins to smoke (3-4 minutes), reduce the heat to low directly under the pouch. Place the upright chickens on the grilling surface toward the edge of the heat, using the can and the legs as a “tripod” so it stands up. Close the cover and walk away for at least an hour.


After an hour or so, check the chickens periodically for doneness. In the last half hour of cooking time, frequently glaze the outside of each chicken with the prepared barbecue sauce mixture. Check the chickens with an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh until it reads 165°F. Remove them from the grill, let them rest for 10 minutes, and carefully remove the cans, using tongs if necessary.

Suggested Sides:

  • Deviled Eggs
  • Fiesta Rice Salad
  • Baked Beans Flavored with Yellow Mustard