If you’ve never up-ended a whole chook on top of a beer can and popped it in a hooded barbie, be sure to put it on your menu for this weekend. 

It sounds like it should be an Aussie cult classic, but it actually hails from Canada and the deep south in the United States – cuisines famous for bold barbecue flavours.

It’s not on the menu at Apple Tree Creek’s Canadian-Australian café and bar, Mollydookers, but owners Alana and Mike Vandenbrink have the meal on heavy rotation at home. 

“It’s widely disputed if cooking the chicken over a can of beer makes any difference, but adding beer to anything can’t be bad, right,” Alana joked. 

“Fans say the steam from the beer going into the cavity creates a juicy and flavoursome chicken. Non-alcoholic beer, cider and soft drinks also work well.”

What you will find on the Mollydooker’s menu is an array of seasonings and spices specific to Canada and used in every dish. It’s the fusion of the Canadian and Australian flavours that inspired the café’s very own ‘magic dust’ recipe.

“Magic dust can be used as a rub or a seasoning and is reminiscent of a good ol’ Summer festival in Canada, where you walk around to all the food vendors and get turkey legs and cobs of corn,” Alana said.

Mollydookers’ Magic Dust 

½ cup paprika

¼ cup fine kosher salt

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup chilli powder

¼ cup ground cumin

¼ cup granulated garlic

2 tbs mustard powder

2 tbs freshly ground black pepper

2 tbs cayenne

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight container. Add to any meats, chicken wings, corn on the cob, roast vegetables or chips.

If you aren’t a hot food fan, remove the cayenne and add chilli to taste. For a more caramelised rub, replace granulated sugar with brown sugar.



Alana and Mike’s Beer Can Chicken

Rub the Magic Dust all over your chicken and vegetables. Take the top off your favourite can of beer. Make sure you take a few swigs, then a few more, so you have room inside the can to add lemon, peppercorns and a bit more Magic Dust. Place the chicken over the beer can and into the barbecue over indirect medium heat with hood down for about an hour.


Mollydookers’ Cafe & barBruce Highway, Apple Tree Creek. (07) 4126 1114