Beer Crockpot Chicken

0 Posted by - July 28, 2012 - Food & Drink

I’m not one to question things that follow the phrase, “One pinner said…” on Pinterest captions. Well, ok, I am. But one pinner said this chicken is the BEST. DAMN. CROCKPOT. CHICKEN. EVER.

Uh huh.

Image from My Daily Dish

Is my skepticism showing? Oopsie.

But I gave it a go, because I am me.

And also because, hey, I had to cook dinner anyway, and any dinner whose main ingredient is beer I can usually get on board with. Also, I used the good shit in here. This is local brewery Natty Greene’s Buckshot Amber Ale. I ain’t no beer slouch. (Craft slouch, yes. Cooking slouch, likely. Beer slouch, no.)

Anyway, as with most crockpot adventures, I had to smell this cooking all day and was practically starving to death from the delicious aromas by the time I could actually sit down to eat it. So I may have been suffering from a case of really high expectations, my hunger being combined with the “another pinner said” praise.

The result? Well… I’m going to try not to be too harsh here. The chicken was tender, and didn’t taste bad. But I was expecting explosions of awesome, and I kind of just got whimpers of mediocrity. I’m not dissing mediocrity, really. I’ve lived there most of my life– that is, when I wasn’t visiting utter and complete failure. But I had set myself up for deliciousness beyond compare, and this just… wasn’t. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t greatness.

Also, I’m pretty sure the picture from the blog is stock photography. Just sayin’.


  • EmilyButton July 28, 2012 - 4:37 am Reply

    I made this last week….I hated it. Couldn’t have been more disappointed!

  • SilverStreet July 28, 2012 - 7:27 am Reply

    Yeah, most recipes on Pinterest are overly complicated or not as flavorful as I it claims.LOVE your blog!

  • Elena Dench July 28, 2012 - 10:52 am Reply

    I always add more of my favorite spices than what the recipes call for. Otherwise, they would always be pretty bland. I haven’t tried this one, but did the whole roaster, BBQ sauce, cola & spices and it turned out fabulous. ~Elena

  • Truffles8761 July 28, 2012 - 7:27 pm Reply

    So was it worth wasting a perfectly good Amber Ale?  Would it have been just as mediocre without it?  I’m just saying that I can always accomplish mind numbing blandness without using a perfectly good beer.

  • Valleygurlie916 July 28, 2012 - 10:57 pm Reply

    i have a new goal…i no longer want to be a beer slouch. I will be stepping up the non beer slouch effort from here on out!

  • Kaitie507 July 28, 2012 - 11:47 pm Reply

    My mother-in-law made this last week for dinner and it was horrible. We all forced it down to be polite..but it still baffles me that something that cooked in juices could and did become so dry…bad bad experience! 

  • Carol A Strickland July 29, 2012 - 12:07 pm Reply

    I have a fabulous (low cal!) recipe for pot roast with beer (and brussels sprouts), but it’s made in a pressure cooker. I’ve also prepared beer butt chicken on many occasions, but that is oven work, not crockpot. I don’t trust crockpots, as I know (but many apparently don’t) that deadly bacteria breeds when subjected to warm conditions over long periods of time. Danger! Danger!

  • MegD_85 July 30, 2012 - 9:52 am Reply

    I’ve come to the conclusion, after trying many recipes labeled “Best. Damn. Whatever. EVER!”, that the people that think this probably have very little skill in the kitchen, and are probably just ecstatic that whatever they cooked didn’t come out tasting like complete butt. Therefore they should actually be labeling the recipe “Best. Damn. Thing. I’ve. Cooked. Yet.” It’s much less misleading for the rest of us.

    • AmberHolt July 30, 2012 - 12:37 pm Reply

      MegD_85 I’m really glad it’s not just me that feels like this!

  • chickieD July 30, 2012 - 11:07 am Reply

    After making several 5 star recipes from, I’ve concluded that the majority of people like things that are very sweet and very bland. I have a sweet tooth like anyone else, but many of the baking recipes to me are wretchedly sweet to the point where there is no other flavor you can taste. And the main dish recipes all have very few spices and seem geared toward 3 year old’s palates. So, I have become wary of recipes that are highly rated, because I’ve found that my tastes are toward more complex flavors. Still, the beer crockpot chicken idea seemed like it would taste like beer can chicken which is very good. It seems like this idea is a good starting point but like it needs something else – vegetables, onions, stock? – to give it more complex flavors.

  • Beets August 4, 2012 - 6:38 pm Reply

    You could’ve added more garlic powder, salt pepper.  And then added more spices such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, onion powder…etc.  It also looks like you just threw the ingredients on top of the chicken instead of mixing it all into the beer. 

  • kristie August 9, 2012 - 9:52 am Reply

    I made this last weekend. It was the driest, blandest chicken ever!

  • Stephanie August 9, 2012 - 11:52 am Reply

    I am pretty sure that the people who say “best ever” anything must just be really, really shitty cooks.

  • ChickyNugget August 11, 2012 - 12:40 pm Reply

    I did this exact recipe and my house smelled horrific.  It was like beer burps and garlic and a dead antlers asshole.  I had to light a candle to try to get the smell out of my house.  When I my husband came home I said “I’m trying a new crock pot recipe and I know it smells like shit in here” and he said “oh thank god, I didn’t want to mention it but this doesn’t smell like food.”  He ate it and said “it”s not bad, not good either” and I was furious that I wasted a beer on it. 

  • rhi August 12, 2012 - 10:15 am Reply

    Mmm, Natty Green beer.  The Wildflower Wit is my favorite.

  • Anabanana37 September 13, 2012 - 9:44 pm Reply

    it still looks pretty

  • clinefamily5 September 17, 2012 - 1:51 am Reply

    glad I checked here before making this! Now to pinterest to erase this pin!

  • chasingsparrows October 15, 2012 - 8:40 pm Reply

    I agree! I made it before I stumbled upon your blog, while the chicken literally fell off the bone.. it wasn’t anything special. Which wasted my time, and my boy-friend sweetly ate it without a word and didn’t eat any leftovers. Sigh.

  • AmandaWilliamsComeau November 25, 2012 - 5:37 pm Reply

    we have done beer crockpot chicken (and ribs, and whatever other meat we decide to throw in).  we do a bottle of beer, a bottle of any bbq sauce, and a sliced up onion.  it’s AMAZING!!!!!  to us anyway.  tip: remove the skin first.  who wants soggy skin.

  • BoxMan August 22, 2013 - 5:26 am Reply

    Looks like I’m beating a dead horse here, but here goes.

    When using other people’s recipes, always adjust the flavor to your palette. When cooking with beer, that’s especially important. It’s kind of tricky to find the right spice blend / beer combination, how to balance the malt / yeast / hop / flavors with other spices. Also, if a beer uses any specialty malts or spices, that can throw things off, too.

    It seems like they may have only lightly seasoned the food because either A) they enjoy bland food and light beer, or B) they just don’t know how to write down a recipe. The measurements seemed like estimates, and they also said “Use whatever spices you want”.

    Cooking is always kind of trial and error, and using beer just sort of “ups the ante”. When you find a good match, it’s absolute heaven, but when you find a bad match, the results can be pretty bad. Also, for some reason crock pot cooking with beer doesn’t make the food quite as moist as if you crock pot with beer AND a bit of stock. I’m not sure why that is.

    Also, being the nerd that I am, the type of salt (and other spices) you use can be a factor, too. When you add salt at the beginning of a dish, the flavor tends to cook out of the dish. Different salts (Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, etc) have different applications that are worth looking in to. A good, strong spice blend is important when cooking with most beers.

    Anyway, just my $.02.

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