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Men like to grill. And men like gadgets. There are two cooking gadgets that will transform the way you grill chicken. (I'm not so sure that men like chicken, but women do, and since men like women, well, you follow what I'm saying.)

The first gadget is a beer can. It is the key to Beer Can Chicken, a brilliant technique for roasting a whole chicken on the grill.

Start by making a spice rub for the chicken. You can find plenty of recipes on the Internet. The basic ingredients are brown sugar, salt, cayenne, thyme and cumin. Rub it on the bird.

Preheat a grill to medium low or prepare a charcoal grill for indirect heat. Drink half the beer and stuff the half-filled can into the cavity of the chicken. Use the chicken's legs and the can to balance the bird on the grill. It will look very silly. Then close the grill and let it cook for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. (The goal: an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.)

By suspending the bird in mid-air with a beer humidifier, the moist and dry heat wafts to the places the chicken needs them most. The meat stays moist, dripping with juice, and the skin gets tight and crispy. Plus, because the bird is levitating, rendering fat on both sides, you'll enjoy twice the amount of crispy skin.

The only way to improve upon the perfection of Beer Can Chicken is to forgo the actual beer can for an even better gadget. And before you scoff at purchasing a unitasker, consider its second benefit: It takes care of the bird's balance so you can pop open another PBR and not worry about yours.

There are a number of beer can chicken racks available from

Ace Hardware


Texas Irons

and grill pro

Steve Raichlen


The second gadget for sublime chicken on the grill is a brick. Cover it with heavy-duty aluminum foil. You are about to make

pollo al mattone

, Italian for "chicken under a brick."

For Chicken Under a Brick, take a smaller, 3½-pound chicken and use poultry shears to remove the backbone. Remove the breast bone as well and cut the bird completely in half, so you have two breast-and-leg portions. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the bird; this will ensure even cooking.

If you like, make a marinade for the bird. A little lemon, garlic, rosemary and olive oil is one way to do it. Let the bird soak for up to a day.

Heat the brick on a medium-high grill. Remove the bird from the marinade, pat it dry and season it well with salt. Place it skin side down on the grill and cover it with the brick.

By weighting the chicken with a brick, the chicken skin will become crispy, and the meat will cook evenly. You will be able to enjoy a golden, perfectly cooked, grilled chicken. Turn the bird halfway through cooking, about 30 minutes total.

If you'd like a more upscale version of the brick, try this

grill press




or this one available at






The brick and the beer can are two common household items that transform grilled chicken from predictable and ordinary into "Market crisis? What market crisis?!" Kinda makes you want to take that grill out for one more spin before you kiss summer goodbye.

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