Beer can interiors are coated with an epoxy that contains Bisphenol A (BPA). Is the popular method of cooking a chicken perched on an open beer can really a good idea?
Some studies have linked BPA to cancer and other harmful health effects. To evaluate the ramifications of cooking chicken on a beer can, we roasted two whole birds, one set on an open beer can containing 6 ounces of beer and the other on a stainless-steel vertical roaster with the same amount of beer poured into the reservoir. After roasting the chickens, we collected their drippings and stripped each carcass, grinding the meat and skin to create homogeneous samples. We sent the samples to a lab to be evaluated for BPA content.
In each chicken, the BPA measured less than 20 micrograms per kilogram, leading us to believe that the beer can cooking method is safe. (The Food and Drug Administration’s current standard for exposure is 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight for adults, or 3,400 micrograms per day for a 150-pound person.) For those who have any remaining concerns, there is always the vertical roaster, which works just as well as a low-tech option.