How to Grill a Chicken on a Vertical Roaster

by Whitney Donohue ; Updated September 28, 2017

Chicken on a vertical roaster, beer can chicken, soda can chicken: Roasting a whole chicken on the grill just got a lot easier. Instead of having to use a rotisserie to cook your chicken, you can cook it on a vertical roaster for a perfectly grilled whole bird anytime. You can use a purchased vertical roaster, or you can use an aluminum can--this choice is completely up to you (and your budget).

Grilled Chicken on a Vertical Roaster

Make sure a standing-up chicken will fit in your grill with the lid closed. Rinse and pat dry your chicken, making sure to remove the bag of gizzards often found inside the whole chicken. Preheat grill to medium heat (about 300 degrees).

Salt and pepper the chicken to taste. If using a beer or soda can, open the can and pour out approximately half of the liquid.

Place whole chicken leg side down over the can or onto the post of the vertical roaster. If using a purchased vertical roaster, pour three-fourths of a cup of liquid into the base.

If you are using a gas grill, turn off the gas on one side of the grill and place the chicken there. If you are using charcoal, clear a space in the middle to place the chicken. If the heat source is to one side (as in the gas grill), plan on rotating your chicken every half hour. The chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, which takes from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Carefully remove the chicken from the grill. You can remove the chicken from the roaster or can by using tongs. Place on a serving platter. Let rest for five to 10 minutes before carving.


  • You can step up the flavor of the chicken by adding a spice rub to the chicken and a bit of the rub to the liquid. The sky is the limit when choosing liquids--you can use any full-sugar soda, beer, wine or meat broth.

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About the Author

Whitney Donohue is a freelance writer who writes for many different venues, including her local newspaper, The Moapa Valley Progress. Donohue earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a professional writing certificate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.