Dueling Chickens for Recipe Friday

I love chicken on the Traeger, but usually we do chicken breasts or drumsticks. But a couple of weeks ago we were at Costco and they had two-packs of whole chickens. We decided to just cook them both on the same day and have leftovers. We planned to cook one as a beer can chicken with the beer can cooker we purchased at the hardware store.

So we had it all planned to cook them on a Sunday afternoon after church. On Saturday I had purchased some Apricot Pale Ale and side dish veggies and we were set.

Beer can cooker and beer

We thought it was going to be a beautiful sunny day, but woke up in the morning to a slight rain. By the time I was driving home from church it was pouring down rain, the kind of rain that requires full wipers, not just intermittent wipers. I thought the chicken plans were a bust. But then about 3:00 it cleared up and Traeger was on again!

I didn’t want to cook both chickens the same, especially since I only had one beer can cooker. So I prepared them quite differently and cooked them both at the same time – hence the title of this post: Dueling Chickens.

I personally liked the Apricot Beer Can Chicken better, but my son preferred the Rosemary Garlic Chicken. So today I thought I’d share both recipes and you can decide which you prefer.

Dueling Chickens

Apricot Beer Can Chicken


1 whole chicken
2 tbsp pineapple salsa
6 oz Apricot Pale Ale
2 tbsp olive oil
Traeger Sweet Rub


Remove gizzards from chicken, rinse inside and out, and pat dry with a paper towel. Rinse an empty beer or soda can. Put salsa and beer in the can. (Note: Apricot Pale Ale or any other pale ale that works good for cooking comes in a bottle, and everything I read about beer can chicken says that the kind of beer that comes in a can doesn’t taste as good.) Place the can in the beer can cooker. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken. Place the chicken with legs pointing down over the cooker. With a basting brush, coat the chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with Traeger Sweet Rub and a small amount of salt.

Rosemary Garlic Chicken


1 whole chicken
2 – 3 whole garlic cloves
2 tbsp melted butter
Rosemary garlic spice
Salt and pepper


Remove gizzards from chicken, rinse inside and out, and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken. Peel garlic cloves, slice into 3 or 4 slices each, and place the garlic inside the chicken cavity. Place the chicken on a small jelly roll pan. With a basting brush, coat chicken with melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with rosemary garlic spice and a small amount of salt.

Cooking both chickens:

Heat Traeger to 350°. Place both chickens on the Traeger and roast for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until internal temperature is 180°. Baste the beer can chicken periodically using the juices in the bottom of the beer can cooker. Remove the beer can chicken very carefully because the beer and salsa mixture will be very hot. Let both chickens sit for a few minutes before cutting.

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5 Responses

  1. Only you would bring us dueling chickens! 🙂 The beer can cooker is cool. Did it come with the Traeger? They do both look great!
    p.s. I did the pork tenderloin, and while my husband didn’t want to eat that night, unfortunately, it WAS delicious. 🙂 Thank you!

    • Deb, The beer can cooker didn’t come with the Traeger, but we bought it at the hardware store where we get Traeger wood pellets. I still think I like just doing breast or drumsticks better. I find the job of getting all the meat off the bone of a whole chicken after dinner is over to be quite tedious. But it is juicier when you do a whole bird.

      Glad the tenderloin worked out for you. As for your hubby, the phrase “a fool and his tenderloin are soon parted” comes to mind. 😉 I can’t imagine my husband ever not wanting to eat! I would probably call 911 thinking something was dreadfully wrong if he ever did. Peace, Linda

  2. Thanks Linda

    Looks like a tie from this end 🙂

    I have to sub Traeger and Traeger rub so I’m thinking oven… Will have to try both to have a fair assessment. 😉

    Blessing much

    • Ann, We had a whole chicken on the Traeger again last night and did a combination of these two recipes, with just using the beer and salsa mixture to baste it while cooking. Turned out so juicy and wonerful! If you are interested, I can look at what the spice mixture is in the Traeger sweet rub and let you know, though I’m sure part of the ingredients will be “and other ingredients” or “and other spices.” 😉 Enjoy! Peace, Linda

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