Student information

Food for bbqs and picnics

Whenever the sun shines, you see students leaving their digs and going outdoors with plates and pans. Some are lucky and have a roof terrace or a garden, others move to the park or the ‘uiterwaarden’ (summer meadows). Dining in the open is also perfectly possible on Campus: many students enjoy their lunch sitting on the grass and in the evenings the campus-bbq is quite often overbooked. The chapter ‘Food for BBQs and picnics’ offers delicious recipes from all over the world for eating ‘out’.

Here is one recipe you can try. For more recipes, you can buy the cookbook Food for Students from September 2 at the beach club, in the WUR shop and in the webshop for €14.95.

Beer Can Chicken

Serves 6

  • 1 chicken
  • 1 can lager, half-filled
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 6 tsp sambal
  • 1 tsp mixed chicken spices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Necessary utensil: BBQ with (domed) lid

  1. Light up the barbecue, preferably using (char)coal. When the coals are glowing, push them to one side of the barbecue.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. Put 5 cloves of garlic and half of the amount of rosemary, thyme, marjoram and sambal in the can of lager. Finely chop the remaining cloves of garlic and mix this in a bowl with the remaining herbs, the mixed chicken spices, the sambal and the oil. Rub the chicken with the oil mixture, using your hands or a brush. The whole chicken should be evenly coated.
  3. Taking a chicken leg in each hand, push the bird’s bum over the beer can. Transfer the bird-on–the-can to the barbecue, placing the chicken on indirect heat, i.e. the side without the coals. Close the lid and leave the bird to cook in about 1,5 hours.
  4. Test whether the chicken is cooked with a meat thermometer. The chicken is done if insertion of the thermometer in its thickest part (thigh) reads 75-80º C.. Another way to tell if the chicken is done, is to cut its meat, which should be white.


It’s obvious that you drink the other half of the can of lager yourself.
Oregano (wild marjoram) can be used instead of marjoram.
No barbecue with domed lid available? Use any other lidded grill or, if the bird-on-the-can fits in, cook the chicken in the oven. In that case, the bird takes about 1.5 hour on 180º C to cook.
Do you have vegetarian friends? Put halved sweet pointed peppers filled with soft goat cheese, walnuts, honey and thyme on the barbecue for them and grill for about 10 minutes.

Giovanni Woltinge, the Netherlands, BSc Plant Sciences

Back to Cookbook