Soda can roast chicken. Perfectly cooked. Beautifully browned.

Finally, the roast chicken that figured prominently in the two previous posts — the honey cider vinegar I used for the salad dressing that accompanied the chicken and the free range chicken experiment — takes center stage. Yes, that is free range chicken and if you want to learn more about our experiment, click the link in the previous sentence.

This is a soda can roast chicken which is a pretty popular way to cook a whole chicken. You sit the chicken in an upright soda can and you roast it. Because no part of the external surface of the chicken touches anything, the skin browns beautifully. And because the heat flows freely around the bird, it gets cooked evenly. Wonderful technique. Some do this on a grill with live coals and I would have except that the punishing summer heat made the oven preferable.

The recipe for the marinade is provided. You can use your own. Just remember that sugar or anything with sugar will make the chicken skin brown faster. Personally, I like to derive the sweetness from the coconut milk which foils perfectly with the Sriracha.

Recipe: Soda can roast chicken


  • 1 whole chicken (we used free-range), about 1.3 kg.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. of coconut cream (yes, thick)
  • 4 tbsps. of Sriracha
  • 2 tbsps. of rock salt
  • 1 tsp. of black pepper


  1. Rinse the chicken and wipe inside and out with a kitchen towel.
  2. Mix together the garlic, coconut cream, Sriracha, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the paste all over the chicken, including the cavity.
  4. Place the chicken in a bowl. If any marinade remains, pour over the chicken. Cover with cling film and let sit in the fridge overnight. For best results, turn the chicken over after about six hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 410F.
  6. Take an empty soda can and half fill with water.
  7. Soda can roast chicken
  8. Stand the soda can upright and lower the chicken into it so that half of the soda is inserted into the chicken’s cavity. The water inside the can will make sure that the can is heavy enough to anchor the chicken. The water will also create steam during cooking that will help keep the chicken meat moist.
  9. Roast the chicken at 410F for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 375F and continue roasting for another 45 minutes.
  10. Soda can roast chicken
  11. Allow the chicken to rest for about ten minutes before cutting.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s), excluding marinating time

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4 Soda can roast chicken

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  1. says

    So, pwede siyang free range and still the owner can feed them with “commercial feeds”? Kasi ang nabibili ko sa Whole Foods naka-label – “Organic Free Range” and airt tight packed siya.

    • says

      Yep, can be free range but not organic.

      Free range and organic would be top of the line (most expensive) but according to the lab tests I mentioned in the free range chicken post, there really isn’t much added value to free range AND organic. It’s the ability to roam freely that gives chicken the capacity to produce that-thing-I-can’t-remember-the-term which makes it nutritious.

  2. Alma Cerezo says

    Hi, Ms. Connie!
    Wow, something new to me…Did you use the convection oven or the gas range? Thanks and more power :)

  3. Karen says

    It’s similar to cooking those Beer can chicken recipe. Looks yummy. Surely the coconut cream added more taste to the chicken.

  4. Archana says

    HI Connie, I was showing this article to a friend and she asked me If the high oven temps did not alter the printing substance on the can. Any idea? I am making this any how when our beer bottles run out and we get some cans this time, though. :P

  5. JLS says

    Dear Connie,

    Its good to know this technique to your newsletter, can this roast chicken in soda be cooked also in turbo? Also, instead of water being filled in the soda can, maybe I’ll pour some marinade (half with water, perhaps) in it as you said the liquid pour inside the soda can will steam inside the cavity of the chicken to retain it’s moisture. I think I’ll try this tomorrow. Thanks a lot for sharing us always your knowledge and concern and happiness about the joy of cooking and discovering new things. I learned a lot in your blog as if, I had traveled, even thought am just viewing your blog thru internet.

    • says

      The heat source of the turbo broiler is on top. The top side of the chicken, while positioned in the can, might be too near the heat source. This can result in the top overbrowning and burning before the rest of the chicken is done.

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