Matthew McConaughey Loves This ‘Butt Chicken’ Recipe With an Unexpected Ingredient

Matthew McConaughey once shared in an interview for Feherty how one of his favorite recipes is “butt chicken.” The actor explained why it has that unique name and the unexpected ingredient and cooking method involved to make the delicious chicken.

Matthew McConaughey speaks onstage during HISTORYTalks 2020
Matthew McConaughey | Noam Galai/Getty Images for HISTORY

Matthew McConaughey said ‘butt chicken’ is ‘the best’

In a 2017 interview with David Feherty, McConaughey shared his interesting chicken recipe that requires setting a chicken atop a can of beer filled with other ingredients and grilling it.

“You claim that you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted my butt chicken, which, I don’t even know what that means,” Feherty said.

McConaughey had a laugh about it and explained that he got the recipe from a friend.

“We were grilling chicken all the time and he had said, ‘Look, you’ve got to do it this way — butt chicken,'” the actor recalled. “So he grabs a tall boy, cuts off the top quarter, leaves the beer in there, throws a stick of butter in there, a bunch of spices, and sticks the chicken on top of the beer and he goes, ‘Watch this.’”

“One, it’s going to cook but it’s also like a convection oven and this beer and butter and spices are going to boil and they’re going to lubricate the inside of the chicken,” he continued, “And damn if it wasn’t the best chicken we’d had.”

“I said what do you call it and he said ‘It’s called butt chicken,’” McConaughey added. “You stick the can of beer up the chicken on the backside and set it on top of the grill. And it works.”

Feherty had some reservations, saying, “it doesn’t sound great,” but the actor assured, “but it tastes great.”

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Beer butt chicken recipe

While McConaughey didn’t give the specifics of the ingredients used in his recipe, there are a number of beer butt chicken recipes that are generally pretty similar.

One highly rated beer butt chicken recipe on AllRecipes sounds similar to what the actor described.


  • 1 cup butter 
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) can beer
  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken

Preheat a grill on the low heat setting. Melt a ½ cup of butter in a small saucepan on the stove, then add a tablespoon garlic salt, a tablespoon paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. This melted mixture will be used to baste the chicken.

Pour out half of the beer (or drink it!) and add the remaining butter and spices to the can, then place it on an aluminum baking pan, setting the chicken on top of it so it’s sitting upright with the can inserted inside of it. Baste the chicken with the melted butter mixture then grill it over low heat for 3 hours, until the temperature is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

McConaughey cooked with Guy Fieri

The actor has also done some cooking with celebrity cook Guy Fieri for his Just Keep Livin Foundation. In one cooking segment, Fieri and McConaughey explored some healthy breakfast tips and how to not sacrifice taste and flavor to be healthy on a budget.

Fieri showed him how to make a vegetable and ham omelet. He added a couple of ounces of cheese, thinly sliced peppers, onions, ham, salt and pepper to whisked eggs. In five minutes, he delivered a healthy, affordable protein-rich breakfast.