In some parts of the country, grilling is solely a summer affair. Thanks to pleasant autumns and mild winters, Southerners can grill their favorite meats year-round. Next time you're hosting a backyard tailgate or relaxed fall party, fire up the grill and treat your guests to this easy beer can chicken recipe.Southern Living Test Kitchen Professional Ivy Odom simplified this Southern favorite by trading a whole chicken for drumsticks and the fuss of a beer can for an overnight marinade. You'll get all the juicy flavor of classic beer can chicken without the hassle. If you're hosting a party you have a few other things to focus on, right? Marinate these drumsticks the night before the big game, and you can spend the day of your tailgate preparing sides, decorating the porch in your school's colors, and setting up the TV. When your guests arrive, find them seats, hand them drinks, and then grill the legs. You'll love the crispy char and smoky flavor that a few minutes on the grill gives these beer can chicken drumsticks.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

40 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 drumsticks)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk in beer, garlic, and ginger.

  • Place drumsticks, olive oil mixture, and onions in a large zip top bag. Massage marinade into chicken. Let marinate in the refrigerator 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

  • Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) on one side, or push hot coals to 1 side of a charcoal grill.

  • Remove drumsticks from marinade with tongs and place drumsticks on oiled grates over lit side of the grill. Discard onions and marinade. Grill drumsticks, covered, until skin is well marked and crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn drumsticks over, and transfer to unlit side of grill. Grill, covered, until a thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into thickest part of a drumstick, 20 to 22 minutes, turning halfway through grilling. Remove from grill, and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.