How to Make Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

This tangy grilled honey mustard chicken is one of our favorite summer recipes. We make it with a whole, cut up chicken, but you could swap in chicken breasts if you like.

We’ve kind of fallen in love with the tropical flavor of this honey mustard marinade, which turns into a sweet-and-tangy glaze as the chicken cooks. It’s the perfect combination of sweet pineapple juice, savory mustard and spicy ginger. Serve the chicken as-is with your favorite vegetable side, on a bun for chicken burgers or chopped up to create the perfect filling for pita sandwiches and chicken tacos.

Wondering if you should buy organic, air-chilled or antibiotic-free chickens? Read up about chicken labels to buy the best chicken for your barbecue.

How to Cook Chicken Breast on the Grill

We use a whole chicken in this recipe for a few reasons. You not only get a variety of dark and light meat, but it’s also an economical way to prepare dinner. A whole chicken is less expensive per pound than boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and you can make chicken stock with the leftover bones.

If you’re only interested in grilling chicken breasts, you can still use this recipe. Since the breasts are the leanest part of the chicken, they have little to no fat to protect the meat from drying out over the grill’s heat. You’ll only need to cook the breasts about 5 minutes a side, until the thickest part reaches 165° F.

Firing Up the Grill

Trying to decide between a charcoal and gas grill? They both have pros and cons, but gas grills are certainly easier to fire up. Simply turn on the propane and set the knobs to the desired heat level. Charcoal grills do require more time to heat up, so make sure you plan accordingly. This grilled honey mustard chicken is done in less than an hour, but it may take 20 minutes to prep the charcoal.

How to Make Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds), cut up

Here’s our guide on how to cup up a whole chicken.

Instructions

Step 1: Make the marinade

In a small saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, honey, mustard and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Once the honey mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened.

Set 3/4 cup of the marinade aside to serve with the finished dish and baste the chicken with the remaining glaze. There will be some left over to brush onto the chicken as it cooks.

Step 2: Grill ’em up

Whether you’re cooking on gas or charcoal, make sure you preheat the grill. For a gas grill, turn all the burners to the medium-low setting and close the lid for 10 minutes. For a charcoal grill, heat half a chimney of coals.

Once the grill is ready, place the chicken directly onto the grates and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Turn the chicken and brush each piece with the remaining glaze. Continue to grill, uncovered, for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the thickest part of the thigh reads 175° F and the breasts read 165° F.

Step 3: Enjoy!

Plate the chicken with the reserved marinade on the side. If your grill is large enough, whip up a side of grilled vegetables to serve with your chicken!

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.