Baked Chicken Recipe: South of the Border Beer Can Chicken

by Pamela

baked chicken recipe, beer can chicken, whole chicken recipes, mexican spices, baked chicken

Who says you need a grill to make beer can chicken? Well, they lied…you can make beer can chicken right in your oven. This south of the border baked chicken recipe is loaded with Mexican spices, and beer, to get your taste buds tingling and your tongue wagging. You’ll never want to buy one of those store bought roasted chickens again.

McCormick asked me to take a look at their summer grilling forecast and specifically look at their Fiesta Inspired Cookout ideas. In there, they talk about the vibrant flavors that everyone is adding to chicken (the perfect blank slate for seasoning btw), corn on the cob (who knew you could basically sink your teeth into designer flavored corn) and cocktails. Yes, even cocktails are getting the kicked up spice treatment.

I decided that I’d share one of my favorite baked chicken recipes with you, but give it more of a fiesta type feel with some good ol’ fashioned chile kick and other tasty Mexican inspired flavors.

While this post is part of McCormick’s Summer Grilling series, I hope you’ll forgive me for making this recipe in my oven and not my grill. It might seem a little weird to be making beer can chicken in the house instead of the grill, but I have one big reason – my little grill isn’t tall enough to handle a vertical bird inside of it. I’m also guessing that there’s quite a few people with the same issue (if you even have a grill at all). So we’re going to take the cooking of this bird inside, but still serve it outside. I will say that beer can chicken, to be done right should be done on the grill and this recipe can be done on the grill. The only change is to cook it over indirect heat (meaning not directly over a lit burner or hot coals) for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until the internal temp of the thigh is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whole chicken recipes are easier to make than you think

I’ve got a couple of tricks I use when making beer can chicken, that I’ve taken from my regular baked chicken recipe. One of the biggest problems is the can covers up some pretty valuable real estate inside the bird, so it doesn’t get the flavor inside that you normally get when you just bake the bird stuffed with seasonings and vegetables. So I very liberally coat the inside of the chicken with seasoning before I pop that can of beer in its butt.

Also, because the can is encased in so much chicken, the beer never really gets quite hot enough to boil and steam properly. So I make sure to open up the hole at the other end (of the bird) so that more heat can get in there. The other trick with that (this helps to pull more of that beer flavoring out of the can) is to start the chicken at a much higher heat than normal. This gives the surrounding air a bit of a jump on getting everything hot. Plus it helps to give you that nice crisp crust.

Speaking of nice crisp crust. Yes, we all like those grilled crispy bits from the grill, but you don’t usually see those in baked chicken. Well, you can if you season your bird and let it sit uncovered in your fridge overnight. This helps the seasoning absorb into the chicken and it helps to remove excess water from the skin. This will give you super crispy skin on an oven baked chicken every time. (Oh yeah, this trick works on turkey too. I do it every year for my Thanksgiving bird.)

So let’s get this party fiesta started!

This post is another in my summer series with McCormick Seasoning.

Baked Chicken Recipe: South of the Border Beer Can Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This south of the border beer can chicken is an easy baked chicken recipe that doesn't need a grill. Mexican spices, beer, & chicken is all you need.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
  • 5 Tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Chipotle & Roasted Garlic Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon McCormick Dried Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Liquid Smoke
  • ¼ Teaspoon McCormick Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 12 Ounce Can Mexican Beer
  • 2 Large Cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 4 Pound Chicken
  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together to form a really thick paste.
  2. Rub the paste all over and inside of the chicken. Try to rub some of the paste underneath the skin of the chicken so you get even more flavor in the meat.
  3. Place the chicken into a baking pan and put it into the refrigerator over night (uncovered).
  4. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. You'll be using the lower third rack in your oven, so you may want to remove the rack that's above that one.
  6. Open the can of beer and drink/pour out about ½ cup. Then use a can/bottle opener to open up the top of the beer. I used a bottle opener to punch open large holes that would bend back and open up the top.
  7. Drop the garlic cloves into the beer can.
  8. Place the can into the center of a deep, and heavy, pie pan or a baking pan. Now, carefully place the chicken onto the can and settle the can well into the bird. The can will go in the larger of the two holes, between the legs (yes, I'm snickering too).
  9. Now make sure to open up the hole at the top. Remove anything that might be obstructing the hole. We want that open so that it can vent.
  10. Slide the bird into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Reduce the temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue cooking for another hour and twenty minutes. (If you notice the top is getting a little charred, Just cover the charred area with a piece of foil.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle the bird.
  13. Hold the can and carefully pull the bird off of it and onto a platter.
  14. Serve and eat!
You don't have to let the chicken rest overnight in the refrigerator if you don't want to. But this is how you get a nice crispy skin on it when you bake it.


Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.


Maureen | Orgasmic Chef August 28, 2014 at 6:21 am

What do you use to prop the chicken up other than the beer? It would fall over in my oven. 🙂 It looks beautiful!

Pamela August 28, 2014 at 7:27 am

Maureen, it’s just the can. It’s so far in there that it balances just fine. I set it in a heavy roasting pan so that it’s nice and smooth on the bottom, less chance of tipping over. But can only is how you do it on the grill. Trust me, it’s not going over.

sippitysup August 23, 2014 at 7:57 am

Viva la Fiesta. GREG

Leave a Comment