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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2008
"Beer can chicken" has become quite popular in recent years because (1) the steam and vapors flavor the chicken from the inside cavity out and help keep it moist, (2) upright roasting has been popular with chefs because it's the optimal position to roast a chicken (fat drips away, heat surrounds the chicken 360 degrees, skin crisps up better).

This pan is a truly well made and well thought out solution to a problem. Using a beer can to roast chicken has several drawbacks and complications. The chicken is unstable and can easily tip over. A pan is still required to catch drippings and fat (even in an outdoor grill). You also might not like the idea of an aluminum beer can being inserted into your food and exposed to high heat. Recent studies have linked aluminum consumption to Alzheimer's Disease, for example, and who knows what chemicals or fumes are entering your chicken from the dyes and the can itself as your meal cooks?

With this pan, all those issues are no longer issues. A sturdy stainless steel construction ensures that your bird is held upright and sturdy with less risk of ruining your meal. The rack holds the can and bird in place very nicely. I was surprised just how heftily this pan was built. You can tell where your money went, as the pan is not at all cheap or flimsy as you might fear.

The pan comes with a stainless steel (non-reactive) canister to replace that questionable beer can you were thinking of shoving up your chicken's rear. Another bonus of using the canister is that you don't need to have a beer can handy just to make dinner (although I'm sure that isn't a problem for many people, but for those that don't drink or don't drink on a regular basis, it's a nice plus). Not to mention you can use any liquid you like: including wine, which is very nice indeed. Acids like wine or citrus actually react with aluminum to produce funky flavors (and also help leach out aluminum from the metal), but stainless steel is non-reactive and gives you peace of mind that your food will taste great and that you wont develop some strange disease.

There's also a heavy gauge drip pan to catch all that rendered fat and drippings. This is nice if you plan to make gravy, but equally nice to avoid needing a cookie sheet and preventing flare ups. The pan is very small, which is great for small grills and less clean up, but it's just the right size for most chickens. If you're cooking in an oven, you might wish you might still wish to place a small sheet of foil or a cookie sheet underneath the chicken, just in case your bird is a little on the large side and any drippings miss the pan. I've had no problems so far, though. The pan has two nice sturdy handles for easy insertion and retrieval. It even has a little pour spout designed to make emptying the drippings easier.

Clean up is also very easy. In fact, it is much, much easier than traditional chicken roasting pans (the kind with the slits that let the dripping run off into the bottom and the grease bakes right on). The small size limits evaporation of the juices (they pool up more, so less surface area) so they don't burn onto the pan and make clean up a real pain (not to mention ruin your gravy-making fodder). It's also much easier to fit in my sink to soak. As long as you soak it right after you cook, it's easy to clean and is dishwasher safe anyway.

The only complaint I have is that there were no recipes included in the box. Normally I would just ignore these anyway, but since the manufacturer is a BBQ guru, you'd think he'd at least throw in a couple of recipes for rubs and some suggestions. Eh, no big loss, though. Recipes are freely available online. I just used my pan for tonight's dinner and it came out fantastic. I prepared "Saint Nino's Chicken" (a Georgian recipe in honor of the current crisis) that I printed off Food Network's website. It was one of the moistest chickens I've ever had and the flavors were incredible and proliferated throughout the meat. It reminded me of the results of using a flavor injector (another new toy I recently acquired).

I highly recommend this pan, as I checked out all the other offerings and they all either seemed flimsy, unstable, cheap, or (in the case of the Weber) used a nonstick coating. I'm quite happy with my decision to buy this pan, and I'm sure you'll be satisfied too.
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on March 3, 2009
I'm not disappointed. It's pretty much as it is described. I like that it is stainless-steel. It's well made. It's easy to clean. The rack that holds the can and sits in the tray is very sturdy and stable (won't tip over during cooking). And it disassembles and stores back into the small box that it came in.

The only negative thing I can say is that it IS so small. I would have preferred a larger/deeper tray for the chicken to sit on. A few more inches in either direction and at least 2 inches in height for the base tray. If you think that little tray will hold all of the juices that come off of the chicken, you are in for a sad little mess at the bottom of your oven. To be fair, I probably used a large (4 pound) chicken - BUT, I could COOK a 4 pound chicken. I was smart enough to put the whole assembly into a larger casserole dish. Next time, I will omit the bottom tray all together and just use the can, the rack and a casserole dish or roasting pan. That way, I can have enough room to put potatoes and vegetables around the base while it is cooking (like another poster suggested). Plus, I'll know that it will contain all of those wonderful juices that come off of the bird.

Would I buy it again? Yes.
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on May 31, 2006
This product is great for the following reasons:
1 - Stability (your chicken won't fall over during the cooking process as with just a standard can)
2 - Quality is wonderful (not flimsy and cheap)
3 - Dishwasher safe (easy to clean)
4 - Not too big (so that it takes up the whole grill)
5 - Priced well compared to other similiar products
6 - No worries where the can has been and what inks might come off
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on June 21, 2009
Once you cook beer-can style chicken, you will never go back to your old ways of cooking chicken. This has to be the most MAINTENANCE-FREE method of cooking chicken - ever.

As you may already be aware, cooking chicken on a BBQ grill is a task in that you constantly have to monitor the chicken to make sure it is not flaming up. You also have to consistently flip the chicken so it will cook evenly on each side.

With this beer-can method, you just place the chicken on the can and let the BBQ grill do the rest.

Best results for me are as follows:
1. Season chicken with Lawry's or other favorite seasoning (I also throw some thyme in the inside of the chicken)
2. Let sit for an hour
3. Set up beer-can unit inside grill; fill can to 1/2-way mark w/your favorite beer
3. Place whole chicken inside and fire up the grill to 450F for about 10 minutes. (This is to sear the skin to keep the moisture inside.)
4. Drop grill temperature to about 350F for 1hr and 20 minutes.
5. When finished (1.5hr cooktime total) you will have the most juicy chicken you have ever tasted.

On a side note, this device will easily pay for itself in both time and money. You save precious time that you can now spend w/family and friends (still monitor the chicken but not as much in frequency). You save money because now I will buy a whole chicken which costs $0.88/lb rather than individual portions, breast or other that is in excess of $1.5/lb.

If you don't have one, buy one. They also make a great gift as well.
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on July 3, 2006
I've always felt it's probably a little unsanitary to use an aluminum beer can with inked labeling on a hot grill. Maybe not, but it gives me pause. This device works as a more stable and possibly more healthy alternative to a can of Bud. It is also perfect if you want to use other liquids such as wine, juice or whatever. The only downside is the clean-up. It consists of four parts, each of which get coated with chicken drippings and need some serious scrubbing to get off the cooked-on residue. I've found a dishwasher alone doesn't really remove all of it. A little scrubbing is necessary to really get the device clean.

This is certainly a useful item for us backyard cooks. It's a little inconvenient compared to using a beer can that can be tossed in the trash after using.
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on September 3, 2008
This thing works great. Well made, easy to use and clean up (I sprayed the drip pan with Pam for grilling). It is small so leaves plenty of grill space but holds the chicken very stable. Handles make it easy to remove the chicken from the grill. No aluminum or paint vapor or who knows what else. The chicken was moist with crispy skin and cooked perfectly throughout. Can't go wrong with this. (see pictures)
review image review image
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on June 26, 2006
This thing works great. I prefer to keep bottled beer on hand so I never had a chance to make beer can chicken. The chicken I cooked came out perfect. Crispy skin and juicy inside. Excellent! I'm going to dry lemon juice and wine next time. The bottom tray holds all the grease so your grill stays clean. Highly recommended.
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on August 2, 2008
My family bought me a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker for my birthday (April) this year. The first time I used it I made beer-can chicken, turkey legs, and a pork roast.

Everything was delicious!

This beer-can chicken rack is easy to use and fairly easy to clean. What matters most is the chicken -- and it comes out tender, juicy, and delicious every time!

Couple of things to consider:

1.) While I generally like to drink Sam Adams, Bass Ale, Guinness, Blue Moon -- I prefer Budweiser for the beer-can chicken

2.) An excellent web site for smoking/grilling tips and recipes is virtualweberbullet.com

Enjoy!
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on September 1, 2008
I bought this cooker, after looking at all the options. I could not have made a better choice! I used warm water, garlic, and lemon pepper in the liquid container. The chicken was wonderful, and the outside was golden brown and crispy~~ beautiful! I would recommend this rack to anyone, and plan to give them to my family for gifts!
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on July 11, 2011
My daughter gave us the Steven Raichlen beer can chicken rack as a gift. We decided to try it last night so I wanted to wash it before its first use. I was rinsing the stainless can part and inserted a sponge to wipe it out and sliced my finger on the edge of the can. Unbelievable that this product is manufactured with an edge sharp enough to cut with a gentle touch!

BEWARE OF THE CAN EDGE, IT WILL CUT YOU. Otherwise the rack works fine.
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