Energy Drink enhanced BBQ

A few weeks ago, a couple of us here at the office were talking about our favorite BBQ foods…burgers….dogs….beer can chicken. So, being in the soft drink industry, we wondered if we could create our own variation: energy drink can chicken.


Now most of you are probably wondering why the heck anyone would want to do this. Well, we had two reasons. First, we were wondering if cooking with an energy drink would produce something that was edible. Second, we were curious to see if we could create food that gives you a boost of energy. Fortunately, the answer is yes to both.

To improve our odds of creating edible food with a boost, we decided that we’d make two chickens, each with a different energy drink. And since you can’t have a BBQ without BBQ sauce, we decided we’d make two energy drink BBQ sauce varieties.

For both the chicken and the sauce, we wanted to select energy drinks which had a naturally appealing flavor (meaning you can drink them) and are also widely available. After visiting a local Whole Foods and Store 24 convenience store, we settled on Monster’s “Khaos” and Full Throttle for the chickens. Both of these have sweet citrus flavors, which seemed like a good flavor to pass on to the chicken. For the BBQ sauce, we decided to try Red Bull for one variety and Steaz Organic Energy Fuel for the other. We chose Red Bull because, well, we were curious what it would be like to cook with Red Bull. Steaz, on the other hand, was selected because it has a more natural flavor and kick than the other varieties. And we were off and running….

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We prepared the chickens (using the recipe available at the end of the post). In our showdown of the energy can chickens, we prepared both the Monster Khaos chicken the same way as we prepared the Full Throttle bird. Then, we put them on the grill…

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Back in the kitchen, we started our two batches of energy drink BBQ sauce. Again, we used identical recipes and proportions of energy drink for both the Red Bull variety and the Steaz variety. However, we noticed that the Red Bull sauce produced a much spicier flavor than the Steaz variety.

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After about 1:15, our chickens were ready. We let them cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.

The results…

Chicken: Both Monster Khaos and Full Throttle produced a noticeable citrus taste to the chicken. However, there was a bit more flavor to the Monster Khaos chicken. On the other hand, eating the chicken without sauce did not, in either case, give any sort of caffeine buzz to the taster. Bummer. Winner: Monster Khaos chicken

Sauces: The Red Bull sauce had a lot more kick than the Steaz variety, but, just like the straight energy drink, Red Bull had noticeable energy flavor to it. Both sauces had a noticeable jolt of energy to them. However, the Steaz sauce was simply a lot more enjoyable than the Red Bull variety. Winner: Steaz BBQ sauce

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Overall, energy drink can chicken was a surprising success….Both chickens were enjoyable and it provided an entertaining afternoon for all who were involved. Continue to the next page for recipes so you can try your own…

Energy Drink Can Chicken recipe:
Prepare your grill for indirect grilling. We used a mixture of hardwood charcoal and hickory wood for our fire.

Start with a 3 or 4 lb whole chicken. Rinse it thoroughly, inside and out. Pat dry. Use a few tablespoons of a dry rub of your choice (our recipe: 1/4 cup Coarse Salt, 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar, 1/4 cup Paprika, 3 tbsp Black Pepper, 1 tbsp Garlic Powder, 1 tbsp Dried Onion Flakes, 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1/2 tsp Celery Seeds), rubbing it under the skip of the chicken. Sprinkle another tablespoon around the exterior as well.

Next, get your energy drinks ready. Open the cans and then, with a can opener, make a few more holes in the top of the can. If using a 16 oz. energy drink, pour about 1/3 of the can into a glass (don’t discard, just in case). Insert the can into the chicken. Make sure that the chicken is able to stand without toppling over.

Place the chicken on the grill. If you’re using charcoal, you’ll probably need to add more coals every 30 minutes. The chicken should cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees, which will likely take 1 to 1.5 hours. When cooking is complete, allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Energy Drink BBQ Sauce Recipe
While your chicken is cooking, you should have plenty of time to make the sauce:

In a heavy bottom pot, add:
½ lemon
1 clove garlic
1 slice of onion
1 cup energy drink of your choice
¾ cup ketchup
3 tbsp worcestershire
2 tbsp A1
1 tbsp tobasco
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp liq smoke
¼ tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Bring ingredients to a boil over medium heat. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce into a bowl. Put into the freezer for about 15 minutes in order to fully cool.