Project Description

Mustard BBQ Chicken

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4 Servings
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Difficulty Level
Active Prep
Active Prep
40 min
Total Time
Total Time
1 hour

It’s no secret that the myriad of barbecue styles can incite even the most laid-back person to stand on a chair to declare their favorite ’cue to be the best. We’re not trying to get into any arguments here; they all have their place in the barbecue bible. This recipe represents the mid-South Carolina region, where the influence of German immigrants and their love for mustard with pork swayed the sauce to yellow. Pitmasters there smoke the whole hog, then break it down into parts and smother with the tangy mustard sauce. Since smoking a pig in your backyard might be more than you want to do for your Fourth of July party, the sauce works great with chicken as well, and the kids won’t be as terrified.

See Cook’s Note on differences in grills.


Mustard BBQ Chicken

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while the grill heats.

Preheat a gas grill with all burners on high and the lid down, for at least 15 minutes, to 350 degrees.

Whisk the mustard, vinegar, ketchup, maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.

When the grill is ready, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Oil the grill grates and grill the chicken on the high heat burners to brown and sear the skin, turning as needed, 10 to 15 minutes total. Open the lid only to move the chicken. Lower the heat on the burners if necessary to prevent flare-ups or burning.

Turn off one burner to create a section of indirect heat and adjust the other burner(s) to maintain temperature. Move the chicken to the area over the turned-off burner and baste all over with the mustard sauce. Cover the grill again and continue to cook, basting 3 to 4 more times. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 25 more minutes.

Grilling is like a 3-year-old in some way: unpredictable, messy. Use our recipe as a guideline, and stick to internal temperatures to be certain of the doneness of the chicken. Grilling is affected by outside temperature, fuel (gas or charcoal), wind conditions, altitude, grill brands, how long you let it heat up, etc. So spend a little quality time to get to know your grill. It’s well worth it.


Mustard BBQ Chicken

  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2½ pounds)
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill

special equipment

  • gas grill
  • BBQ basting brush
  • Instant-read thermometer
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