Coffee Can Chicken: You need one whole chicken at least a 4 pounder. A large coffee can or a number 10 can that restaurants use. One church key to poke holes above the lower bottom edge of the can to provide air flow. Regular strength Aluminum foil to wrap chicken in TWICE. A fist size stone to place in the bottom of the can.
Charcoal briquets to pack around the stone and add enough briquets to take it about 2/3 the way up the can. A lighter to light the briquets and when the get grey enough carefully and with confidence squish the Twice wrapped chicken onto and partially into the can. It will stay. Let it smoke and chortle and sputter for 2 to 3 hours. It falls off the bone!
Do you have to turn the chicken over?
No. Just leave it in. It seems to work best to put it in butt up (that’s the chickens butt). It keeps the juices in. I have tossed garlic and lemon in the cavity to enhance the flavor. Don’t really think it needs it, but it makes me feel good.
I keep my eye on it and occasionally squiggle the top of the enclosed chicken to give me something to do and to make sure it has good air flow.
To speed the cooking process up a bit I also have made little aluminum bishop shaped caps to put over the whole works. It keeps the heat in. It will not hurt the quality at all to keep it on the “stove” longer.
How long does it take to normally cook?
A four pounder takes anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on weather outside and the quality of your charcoal.
It will still be nicely done. When I cooked my first chicken I was nervous as to the time also. Everett (my ccc mentor) said don’t sweat it. It will be fine even if left on longer.
Photo by izik.