If you haven’t tried German Barbecue Chicken, then today is your lucky day. My recipe is simple and produces a flavorful, delicious chicken dinner perfect for mustard lovers!
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 grill or even in the oven. Serve this delightful German barbecue chicken with a side of sauerkraut and grilled potato kebabs.
What is German mustard?
German mustard is 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 as sweet as the Bavarian variety but is definitely worth exploring!
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
- Vegetable oil
- Dried herbs and spices
Marinating your chicken:
- Trim up the chicken pieces first and place them into a large bowl or 1-2 resealable plastic bags.
- Combine your marinade and pour over your raw chicken. Toss to combine, cover, and place into the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. You can marinate this chicken for up to 12 hours if desired.
Grilling German Barbecue Chicken:
- Charcoal grill set up: Set up for indirect cooking or 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 cooler side. Cook over low heat until your chicken reaches between 165-170 degrees F. Move the chicken to the hot part of the grill and sear at the end of cooking time.
- Pellet grill set up: Preheat your grill for 250 degrees F. Cook chicken parts for 1 hour, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165. 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 per side.
- 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 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 time.
Not a fan of dark meat chicken? Use chicken breasts for this German barbecue chicken recipe. 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 four 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.
Recipes to try!
German Barbecue Chicken
- 3-4 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 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
- 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.