Beer-Can Game Hens

This recipe is from Beer-Can Chickens by Steven Raichlen; it is for 4 Cornish Game Hens. The hens my image are more on the large size and I made 3 hens to serve 6 people since I had lots of yummy sides.

  • 4 cans of beer
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • 2 T olive oil
  • see The Rub ingredients
  • Make The Rub
  • Open beer cans and pour/drink half of the beer out from each can. Using a church key-style can opener, make 2 additional holes in each of the cans.
  • Rinse hens inside & out, blot dry.
  • Sprinkle ¾ tsp inside the neck cavity of each hen. Drizzle tsp of olive oil over the outside of each hen. Sprinkle the outside of each bird with tsp of rub and rub all over the skin
  • Spoon the remaining rub through the holes in the tops of the beer cans, dividing it evenly among them.
  • Put the hens onto beer can by holding the hen upright and lowering onto the can.
  • Set up the grill for indirect grilling (middle burner off, side burners on) and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce heat to medium
  • Balance hens securely on grate. Cover and cook the hens until skins are a dark golden brown (170 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer), approximately 40min to 1hr
  • Using tongs, hold a hen by the beer can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter. Let them rest for 5min and then carefully lift them off the beer cans.
  • Be careful not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself!
The Rub
  • 1 T coarse Kosher or Sea salt
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp ground cuman
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Suggested sides: sautéed corn and tomato, basil and mozzarella salad

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