German Barbecue Chicken

German Barbecue Chicken

German Barbecue Chicken

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 a gas unit, or even in the oven. Serve this delightful German-style chicken with a side of sauerkraut and grilled potato kebabs.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Grilling Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • 3-4 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks

For Marinade:

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


  • 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.
  • Heat grill for medium-high heat.
  • Remove chicken from the marinade, and place them onto 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 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Turn the chicken a few times during the cooking process and watch for burning. Adjust heat accordingly, or move pieces off to a cooler part of the grill and finish cooking indirectly,
  • Once cooked through, remove chicken from the grill and place onto a clean serving platter. Serve with your favorite sides.


Photo by: Sabrina Baksh
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.

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