Beer Brined Chicken

This easy, versatile, Beer Brine can be used for Chicken, Turkey, or Pork. Add extra flavor and moisture to your favorite recipes.

Beer Brined Chicken- Life Food and Beer

This week has kicked my booty! Five of the last six days, I’ve spent driving all over the state of Florida. One trip to Daytona, two trips to Southwest Miami, and two days were spent driving ALL THE WAY to Homestead! So, not all over the state, but I feel like it’s all I’ve done.

The thought of getting back in the car makes me want to cry, but I have a full week of driving planned for next week, too! We’re going home for Thanksgiving this year, and of course we’re driving the 9 hours there. Then we’ll spend every day going from here to there and back to here! I’m going to need a vacation after all this! I’m not usually one for laying on the beach {pale girl problems}, but sitting in a chair with a cold, fruity, drink in my hand, sounds heavenly right about now!

With all that said, I’m SO EXCITED to head home to see my family. We’ve missed the last three Thanksgivings, and I miss family get togethers.

Huck is obsessed with Thanksgiving food, and ask for it all the time. Usually I’m like, “No Huck! I cannot make a full Thanksgiving meal today! It’s 7PM! I don’t even have a turkey!” His eyes lit up when I told him I wanted to make a few thanksgiving recipes for the blog. He practically ran to Publix when I told him I wanted to experiment with brines. Beer Brines to be exact.

One thing I learned about turkeys, this month, they’re either 20 pounds or overpriced. I can either buy a 5 pound turkey breast for $20 or a 20 pound turkey for $12?!?

Beer Brined Chicken- Life Food and Beer

Huck had like four 20+ pound turkeys in our cart, so we could have “leftovers” and they were cheap! I was able to convince him we did not need 20 pounds of turkey for the two of us, and a small chicken would be plenty of food. It wasn’t easy though!

I’ve wanted to experiment with brines for a while. Ever since watching Alton Brown’s episode about Brines. {I loved Good Eats!} They’re an easy way to add flavor and moisture to meat. And the flavor combinations are endless!

I found this basic brine calculation online to follow:

Brining 101- Real Simple

{Source from Real Simple}

I felt this was a good base for a brine in regards to portions and time. I changed up of flavors of course with the addition of a few other ingredients and some beer.

When picking a beer, you first need to decide what flavor you’re wanting to achieve. Roasted? Citrus? Spicy? Earthy? Again, endless possibilities.

For a citrus flavored bird, a beer with citrus notes and low bitterness will work perfectly. For a roasted flavor, choose at darker beer with a low bitterness like a Brown Ale or Porter. If you’re looking for a more earthy taste, try an English Brown Ale.

I decided to go the citrus route. I used a bunch of orange zest and juice plus a Pale Ale {Sierra Nevada Pale Ale}. Once my chicken soaked in his flavorful salt bath, I rinsed and patted him dry, then messaged him with butter! I stuffed him with onion, garlic, and citrus and baked it in the oven! It was moist, tender, and so flavorful.

Beer Brined Chicken- Life Food and Beer

Other Beers to Try:

Beer Brined Chicken-Citrus Infused
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2½ Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 6 Peppercorns
  • 2 Jalapenos- Cut in half
  • 2 Large Oranges-Zest and Juice
  • 2 Cup Ice Water
  • 1 Cup Cold Beer
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter- Room Temp
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • ½ Medium Onion- Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic- Smashed
  • 1 Large Orange- Quartered
  1. Combine 1 Cup Water, Salt, Sugar, Bay Leaf, Peppercorns, Jalapenos, Orange Zest and Juice. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar and salt is dissolved.
  2. Combined Ice Water and Cold Beer in a large bowl with a lid or brining bag {Bowl needs to be large enough for meat and liquid.} Add hot liquid to the bowl/bag and stir. Once liquid is cool, add meat. Store in the refrigerator until ready to cook. {Times depend on meat and size. When using citrus, reduce brine time by an hour.}
  3. Once ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Remove the meat from the brine, rinse, pat dry, and place on a roasting pan. Rub with Butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with Onion, Garlic, and Orange.
  5. After an hour, remove chicken from oven and baste with butter every 15 minutes fully cooked.
  6. Chicken is cooked when juices run clear and skin is golden brown, about 80-90 minutes for a 5-6 pound chicken.
  7. Remove chicken from oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. Pan drippings can be used to make a gravy.


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