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German Barbecue Chicken

If you haven’t tried German Barbecue Chicken, then today is your lucky day. Our recipe is quick and easy, and produces a flavorful, delicious chicken dinner that is perfect for any occasion!

German-BBQ-chicken-featured-image

This Dusseldorf-style barbecue chicken is bathed in a lager and mustard marinade, then cooked over charcoal. If you don’t have a charcoal unit, never fear. This chicken can be cooked on any type of grill or in the oven. Serve this delightful German barbecue chicken with a side of sauerkraut and grilled potato skewers.

All about German mustard

German mustard is uniquely delicious and can be broken down into two styles; Dusseldorf (which we are using for this recipe), and sweet Bavarian. Dusseldorf mustard is similar to Dijon mustard, except it is more pungent and contains a vinegar base rather than wine. This type of mustard is not sweet like Bavarian style, but is definitely worth exploring if you’re looking to add an extra layer of flavor to grilled or baked poultry and pork.

Ingredients for German Barbecue Chicken

  • Chicken: 3-4 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks.
  • German-style or Dusseldorf Mustard: If you cannot find Dusseldorf mustard, substitute with Dijon. 
  • German lager: You can substitute with a dark ale or porter instead of using a lager.
  • Fresh lemons
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dried herbs and spices

Marinating the chicken

  • Trim the chicken pieces of excess fat or hanging bits of skin, then place them into a large bowl or 1-2 resealable plastic bags.
  • Combine your marinade ingredients in a medium bowl, and pour it over the raw chicken. Toss to combine with tong, cover ( or seal bags), and place it into the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. You can marinate this chicken for up to 12 hours for deeper flavor.
Grilled German-style BBQ chicken marinated in beer and mustard.
derrickriches.com

Grill set up

  • Charcoal grill set up: Set up for indirect cooking by creating a two-zone cooking area on your grill. Bank all of the hot coals on one side of your grill, and leave the other side bare. Set the chicken on the grate over the bare side. Cook until the chicken reaches between 165-170 degrees F. Move the chicken to the hot coals and sear for a 2-3 minutes, turning as needed, during the end of cooking.
  • Pellet grill set up: Preheat your grill for 250 degrees F. Cook chicken pieces for 1 hour, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees F. Remove chicken from the grill, set aside, and crank up the heat to 500 degrees F. Once up to temp, place chicken back on the grill and sear it for 2-3 minutes, rotating as needed.
  • Gas Grill set up: If using a 3-burner grill, turn on each burner to high heat. After your grill comes up to temp, turn off the center burner and reduce the heat on the opposing burners to 350-375 degrees or, medium or medium-high heat. Cook chicken pieces over the center burner until they reach an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees F. Move them off to the hotter part of the grill to sear toward the end of cooking.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Reheat in microwave, oven, or air fryer.

Oven Method

Bake chicken on a wire rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature between 165-170 degrees. Remove from heat, let stand for a few minutes, and serve.

Tip

Not bone-in chicken pieces? Use chicken breasts for this German barbecue chicken recipe. We recommend flattening them to half their thickness by setting them between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to flatten them. Use four medium-large breasts and marinate for 3-4 hours. Grilling time will be shorter, so keep that in mind, and check their internal temperature earlier in the cooking process.

More chicken recipes

German-BBQ-chicken-featured-image

German Barbecue Chicken

This Dusseldorf style barbecue chicken is bathed in a lager and mustard marinade, then cooked over charcoal. Serve this delightful German-style chicken with a side of sauerkraut and grilled potato kebabs.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Keyword: bbq chicken, German chicken recipe, grilled chicken, Grilling Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 527kcal

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks

For Marinade:

  • 1 1/4 cups dark German lager
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons German-style mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Instructions

  • Combine beer, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, herbs, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in oil. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  • Trim off excess skin (just the straggling bits) on chicken thighs and drumsticks. Place into a deep plastic or glass bowl (large enough to fit all of the chicken), and pour marinade over top. Using tongs, gently toss to coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
  • Prepare your grill for indirect cooking.
  • Remove chicken from the marinade, and place them onto the cooler part of the grill. Reserve the marinade and brush onto the chicken during the first 2-3 minutes of grill time. Do not apply marinade after that.
  • Close the lid and let the chicken cook for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 165-170 degrees F. Move chicken over direct heat (hot) and sear for 2-3 minutes per side to form a nice crust.
  • Once cooked through, remove chicken from the grill and place onto a clean serving platter. Serve with your favorite sides.
  • *Oven: Bake chicken on a wire rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature between 165-170 degrees. Remove from heat, let stand for a few minutes, and serve.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Reheat in microwave, oven, or air fryer.

Notes

Things to keep in mind for this recipe:
Cooking equipment: I recommend cooking this chicken over charcoal, but a gas unit works just fine. You can cook this in the oven as well, though it will be lacking that open flame flavor.
Chicken: Not a fan of dark meat chicken? Use chicken breasts. I recommend flattening them to half their thickness by setting them between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to flatten them. Use 4 medium-large breasts and marinate for 3-4 hours. Grill times will be shorter, so keep that in mind, and check their internal temperature earlier in the cooking process.
Mustard: If you can find it, I recommend using Dusseldorf mustard. Its consistency is similar to Dijon, but has a far more assertive flavor and is a tad deeper in color. You can certainly substitute with Dijon mustard, but you’d be better off using about 2 1/4 teaspoons of it instead of the 1 1/4 teaspoons called for in the recipe.
Beer: You can substitute with a dark ale or porter instead of using a lager.

Nutrition

Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 222mg | Sodium: 841mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

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