Flavor Town USA: Avery Gregurich
Beer Can Chicken Primer: Revised
never ask the scout leader about the troop’s beer can chicken recipe because you are not and were never a scout of any kind. he makes it better off duty anyway, down the hill in his driveway where
the divorce camper is parked. all recipe-makers now implore you to get that charcoal hot, crucify that bird, and set that can down center with the chicken sliding into place after. the scout leader’s
no different, says if you don’t get turned on doing it, you haven’t done it right. what sublimates first—the red and white tent poles of the budweiser can, or the faded golden suds inside? now, we are
reminded often that these colors don’t run, but does blue? a can of coke may be substituted, but the scout leader never does and that’s important. turns out you are free to engastrate almost
anything if you stretch the meaning out far enough to buy a beer can chicken holder shaped to look like the bird is riding a motorcycle. most secrets passed down in the barbeque bible are owed to
this kind of culinary prospector. beer can chicken is a meal for the stump grinders, those who opposed sending the golden record to space on strict libertarian principles, the substitute school bus
drivers that lost out on regular routes after getting caught having a liquid lunch. if you push lemon wedges or garlic cloves down into the mouth of the can and cut your finger doing it, it’s supposed
to be better. better yet is draping the bird with bacon, but this might just be a self-serving plug: the scout leader is a hog farmer after all. as to whether the technique works at all, debate still
rages. some of the pit purists, deacons who live and preach their gospel from planet barbeque go on and drink the beer after it cools. that there is star stuff, the kind of salvation you have to taste to believe.
Avery Gregurich is a writer living and working in Marengo, Iowa. He was raised next to the Mississippi River, and has never strayed too far from it.