Instead of grilling chicken hot and fast, this easy dinner recipe calls for a quick sear and then cooking it low and slow. Some of the most flavorful, tender, and juicy chicken I’ve ever had, and you still get that amazing grill flavor! 

Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken from The Food Charlatan

Today I went with my brother and his family to the beach. If you don’t live in California, probably when you think “beach + CA + July,” you think sunshine and stuff, right? But we live in Northern California. Going to the ocean here is like going to the Hoth of beaches. (What? You don’t understand obscure Star Wars references?) It was COLD, okay.

Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken from The Food Charlatan

And I showed up in shorts and a t-shirt. You’d think I would learn after an entire lifetime of cold ocean-outings. Nope. My kids were in flip flops, nary a sweater in sight.

Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken from The Food Charlatan

By the end of the day I felt downright negligent. Blue-lipped, underdressed, shivering children, one of them by this time barefoot as we hiked through tide pools. (Charlotte’s cousin Ryan buried her shoes in the sand as a practical joke, but then forgot where he buried them. We searched forever. Shoes, schmooes, right?)

But that’s okay, kids forget minor details like freezing weather when they look back at awesome pictures like this, right?

Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken from The Food Charlatan

Welcome to my favorite dinner recipe of the summer! And last summer too, actually, I’ve been majorly holding out on you. I’ve probably made this recipe at least 5 times by now, and for a girl who doesn’t repeat a lot of recipes, that’s saying something. My mother-in-law told me about it, and now it’s how I always cook chicken on the grill if I have the time.

Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken from The Food Charlatan

The title of this recipe is actually incorrect, since grilling is defined as cooking hot and fast. This is a low-and-slow barbecue recipe. But barbecue makes me think of the sauce, not the cooking method, and barbecue-mustard sounded gross to me.

The idea is that you sear one side of the chicken over high heat, then move it over indirect heat and slow cook it. You still get all the grill flavor, but none of the tough dryness so common with grilled chicken. I’m always over-grilling chicken. This recipe turns out the most tender, moist, juicy grilled chicken I’ve ever had. It’s a total game-changer!

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Instead of grilling chicken hot and fast, this easy dinner recipe calls for a quick sear and then cooking it low and slow. Some of the most flavorful, tender, and juicy chicken I've ever had, and you still get that amazing grill flavor! 


  • 2-3 pounds chicken, thighs, breasts, drumsticks, preferably bone-in
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons light-flavored molasses


  • Pat chicken dry and trim any extra fat.
  • In a large ziplock bag, add mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Add the chicken, zip, and mix it up.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours, or up to 24. (Or a half hour if you're in a time pinch, but you didn't hear it from me.) Drain the chicken, but do not discard the marinade.
  • Preheat your grill to high heat. If you are using wood or coals, make sure you leave an area of the grill with fewer coals. After the initial sear you will be cooking the chicken over indirect heat.
  • When it's hot, place the chicken pieces over direct heat. Close the lid and grill for 3-5 minutes, or until the outside is as crisp as you want it.
  • Use tongs to flip the chicken and place over the low-heat part of the grill. I have a gas grill, so I just turn off one of the burners. (The chicken should over the half of the grill that is turned off). Reduce the heat on the other half of the grill to medium-low heat, between 250-275 degrees F.
  • Cover and cook for 30-50 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Brush with marinade 2-3 times while cooking.
  • The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer, or you can cut it to see if the juices run clear (not pink).
  • If you want, you can quickly sear the other side of the chicken over direct high heat before serving.
  • Meanwhile, add the remaining marinade to a small pot. Add 2 tablespoons molasses. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low until ready to serve.
  • Serve the sauce with the grilled chicken. A little bit goes a long way.
  • I like to serve this with grilled corn, grilled peppers, watermelon, oven roasted potatoes, or a big salad.


Source: Better Homes and Gardens, with some additional barbecue tips from Simply Recipes


Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 332
Keyword: chicken, grilled, mustard
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!


More recipes for the grill this summer!

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Bacon Glaze: (reader favorite!)

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Bacon Glaze


Blackberry-Balsamic Glazed Chicken:

Blackberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken from The Food Charlatan


Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Lime Sauce:

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut-Lime Sauce from The Food Charlatan


More chicken on the grill!

Barbecued Chicken on the Grill From Simply Recipes
Fiesta Lime Grilled Chicken from Plain Chicken
Grilled Chicken Bruschetta from SkinnyTaste

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  1. This chicken looks wonderful.  Thanks so much for another great recipe.  Do you leave the skin on your chicken when grilling?  We never eat the skin so I am wondering if I will lose all the mustard flavor.

    1. Hey Paula! You can make this recipe either way. In the photos, the skin is on, but I just made this over the weekend with skinless boneless and it tasted amazing. You can’t go wrong! Enjoy!

    1. I’m so glad you are enjoying them Jamie! Have you signed up to receive emails every time I have a new post? Let me know if not and I can add you to my list!

    1. Sure Rick! Just be sure to use a meat thermometer so you don’t over cook it. Enjoy!

  2. Everytime I go to make this recipe I cannot remember which BH&G cookbook it’s in, so then I spend roughly 10-15 minutes digging around for it. You’d think I’d just copy it or put it somewhere that I can find it in a pinch, right? Well, thanks to you Karen, all I have to do is look it up on “THE” (there are no others to compare) blog! Thank you! (kind of like “THE” store, right? Is there any other place to shop?)

  3. Oh my!! All your meats have some MAJOR flavor!! The next time we grill chicken, I’m totally using this method… I have the problem of over grilling chicken too!!

  4. Wow! That is some delicious looking chicken! My grilling skills aren’t that great, but I think this is going to tempt me to try again! :)

  5. This is like the most moist grilled chicken ever! Who cares if you forget proper clothing for your kids – you’re a chicken master! :)

  6. Oh girl, you outdid yourself with this recipe. So. Much. Drool. Look at those cute little heads. They may have been cold, but they look like they had a great time. Pinned!

  7. looks like your chicken came out great! I’ve used a similar method with success, seems to work well for bone-in chicken (the sear then low heat).

  8. I love this!! By cooking it slow and over indirect heat you probably don’t have any flare ups and thus no overly charred chicken! Genius!!! Loved your story, and it’s true when I think of CA beaches in the summer I think hot and sunny. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Yes, beaches are always so coooold here! Sometimes I get lucky at Santa Cruz and it’s actually warm. But usually it’s cloudy, cold and windy. I rarely even get in the water, haha! This chicken sure sounds good! I’ve got to try this slow grilled technique.

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