Review: Beer Can Chicken from Popeyes

There’s only so much you can do with fried chicken and Popeyes has continuously come out with impressive offerings.  With almost every new offering we’re getting new marinade seasonings, a new cut, or new dipping sauce.  The newest menu item at Popeyes is called Beer Can Chicken and it follows the brands trend with some new flavors.Beer Can Chicken Popeyes 1

Popeyes describes their new Beer Can Chicken like this:

Our Beer Can Chicken is tender, juicy, all white meat chicken breast, partially cut into tenders and slow marinated in a blend of traditional beer can chicken seasonings like butter, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, and cayenne then hand-battered, breaded and fried up fresh in our kitchens.

The Beer Can Chicken entree is available for a limited time and is served in the traditional Popeyes combo-box style with fries and a biscuit for $3.99.  There’s also a new Creamy Cayenne Dipping Sauce to go along with the new chicken.

Beer Can Chicken Popeyes 2

I don’t have much familiarity with traditional beer can chicken beyond seeing a spice rubbed whole chicken sitting on an open beer can atop an outdoor grill.  I guess this method of cooking allows some moisture interior moisture and the flavors of the beer to make their way into the chicken.  Popeyes Beer Can Chicken doesn’t seem to have much in common with what traditional beer can chicken is as far as the method of cooking goes.  The misleading name aside, Popeyes version of Beer Can Chicken is basically Rip’n Chick’n with a new flavor.  Not familiar with Rip’n Chick’n?  It’s the one that looked like a hand made of fried chicken.  When I placed my Beer Can Chicken order, the guy yelled back to the kitchen “mano mano mano”… Spanish for “hand hand hand”. 

Popeyes Beer Can Chicken 3

Popeyes says their Beer Can Chicken is “slow marinated in a blend of traditional beer can chicken seasonings like butter, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, and cayenne”.  I tried looking online for a traditional beer can chicken seasonings and found too many different results to think there really is a standard.  So how does this new flavor of Rip’n Chick’n taste?  I think it had an interesting flavor… unique as far as fast food fried chicken goes.  It was hard to pinpoint all the ingredients in the description, but I got mostly a mix of garlic, lemon and rosemary.  Either my batch was a little overcooked, or the marinade and the chicken didn’t cooperate too well in the frying process, because this chicken was surprisingly dried out in some areas. I’m a big Popeyes fan, but within a couple of bites I already felt like Beer Can Chicken wasn’t going to live up to everything else that has come before it.  The meal was still enjoyable, but not to the level I’ve come to expect.  The dried ends made for some greasy, inedible crumbs with chicken breast left exposed.  Having the new Creamy Cayenne sauce handy made the issues with dryness a little better for texture.  Flavorwise, the Creamy Cayenne sauce was pungent yet decent, not too spicy and nothing too special.  Previous dipping sauces did a better job at pairing flavors.  The Beer Can Chicken’s flavor was pretty solid and different enough to stand alone without dipping sauce, but the flavor couldn’t help it with moisture.Popeyes Beer Can Chicken and Creamy Cayenne Sauce

With a price of $3.99, Popeyes still impressed me with a great value for the amount of grub in the box.  Most Popeyes items score in the 8’s and 9’s with me, but their Beer Can Chicken falls short.  I thought the marinade was tasty and unique yet suffered from texture problems and an uninspiring dipping sauce.

Pros: Flavorful, unique blend of seasonings in the marinade are unfamiliar grounds in fast food chicken. Only $3.99 with fries and a biscuit.

Cons: Suffered from some dryness. Creamy Cayenne was decent, but I've come to expect more from Popeyes dipping sauces.

Taste: 7.25/10
Value: 7.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Price: $3.99

Overall GrubGrade: 6.50/10

More Info: http://www.popeyes.com
Nutrition Facts:
Not available

21 comments on “Review: Beer Can Chicken from Popeyes

  1. Matt says:

    Anyone on their marketing team that thought beer can chicken was an appropriate name for this particular product should be fired. They have great LTO’s but this one seems misdirected.

  2. Lewbone says:

    I enjoyed this, the only one of these popeyes chicken tender deals I have disliked was the waffle chicken combo which I didnt even finish.

  3. Justin ST says:

    I was going to try this today but my local Popeye’s franchise is run like such a hot mess. I swear, I’m about to complain to corporate. Every time I ask for something now, unless it’s the standard fried chicken, they never have it, or it will take a super long time. It’s a really unprofessional franchise, and it’s such a shame. Went there today of course to get this, it was even put onto their electronic menu…asked the cashier, cashier turns around and asks another employee, “Hey, dey got da Beer Can Chicken yet?” “Other employee looks befuddled and shakes her head no and says, “Nuh uh.””

    See ya. What a joke.

  4. Mike N. says:

    I can’t help but think of “The Monkey’s Paw” with any of these Rip’n Chicken variations. But yeah, it’s definately ‘beer can chicken’ in name only.

  5. Raiders757 says:

    Being someone that has successfully made many a beer can/soda can chicken, I can attest that there is no such thing as “traditional beer can chicken seasonings”. This is easily one of the oddest marketing gimmicks I have ever seen. I love Popeye’s, but this LTO seems highly out of character for them. Really out of left field and not well thought out. I still have to try it out though, as these $3.99 deals are had to pass up no matter what they want to call them. I don’t trust “Creamy” sauces, so I won’t be trying that, but I’m hoping that it will still be good with a dose of hot sauce.

  6. Jessica O. says:

    Definitely worth trying a different Popeyes. You must have gotten a bad batch. The Beer Can Chicken I had yesterday was exactly the opposite of yours – moist chicken, and the breading was more puffy than usual and didn’t have the living daylights fried out of it like it looks like yours did. Very yummy!

    On a side note – it is a little creepy that they insist on cutting their LTO offerings to look like a hand…

  7. Phil G says:

    Yeah, instead it should be called Heartburn Chicken

  8. @homercles82 says:

    Bad name, but sounds good.

    Also, beer can chicken doesn’t impart any extra moisture or flavoring to the meat. Beer is 95-98% water. What makes real beer can chicken moist is the vertical roasting.

  9. Ceej says:

    I tried this yesterday, and for the $3.99 price, was very impressed with both the unique taste and value.

  10. scram says:

    Dumbest Marketing Gimmick ever. Beer Can chicken? Ok….and my shoe leather is flavored with rich, smoked-pit Bavarian cow meat. Really? REALLY???? Your LTO’s get me to swing by month after month, but this is just CRAP. Your LTO sauce this month SUCKS. Beer Can Chicken….how dare you, dumbasses. Have you ever tried it? It’s not what you have served up. Please, just stop with FAILURE gimmicks. Cincentrate on what you do well….which I’m still trying to ascertain.

    • Sascha says:

      So, you swing by month after month, but have yet to figure out what they do well? Maybe the problem isn’t Popeyes.

      I’m intrigued by this not because of the name, but because it seems to be a flavor combo I can really get behind. The sauce? Don’t know, not a big fan of Cayenne, but being a cream sauce might lighten it up enough, certainly not the most exciting sauce I’ve run across.

  11. Cory says:

    I had thought beer can chicken was a complete farce (reading about it but never having it). So, reading your review, I was simply hoping for something appealing. They could have called it Saab 99 chicken for all I care.

    Looks like that didn’t happen.

  12. din says:

    For $4 I don’t think you can go wrong. It’s only $5 for a combo with a drink too. I didn’t get any sauce with my order, but it was tasty and better than anything I’ve ever gotten from KFC

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  15. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Finally got it and it was terrible, gave half of it away. Normally they have great sauces but this was not one of them.

  16. Michael Andrew says:

    Is this real unadultered chicken breast or white meat that has been cut up and mashed back together (chicken mcnugget style)??

  17. kristina says:

    I love how people gripe and b’tch over a $3.99 meal. Did you expect them to serve it up with champagne and caviar, too? I ordered this yesterday and it wasn’t anything special nor was it anything bad. It was a good-tasting $4.99 meal with a drink. It’s edible food that tastes good. Be frigging thankful for it and stop complaining.

  18. BigBelly says:

    nothing to special about this one, It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t ever make the drive for it again

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