Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

Prep Time: 25 mins | Cook Time: 24 mins | Total Time: 49 mins

Grilled chicken is enhanced with a spicy sweet and lightly tangy sauce. The flavor can be further enriched by using Smokin-O's during the grilling process or adding liquid smoke to the sauce. Bone-in, skin-on chicken is recommended for best flavor and overall outcome. If using boneless, skinless chicken cook at a lower heat setting and watch carefully to avoid overcooking.


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional – do not use if using Smokin-O’s for grilling)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or chicken legs or a combination of chicken pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Smokin-O’s rings


  1. Preheat gas or infrared grill on high.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, thoroughly stir together the brown sugar and mustard. The mixture will be the texture of thick honey. Stir in the liquid smoke and the chipotle chile powder or cayenne, if using. Set aside.
  3. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Place on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Brush or rub chicken pieces with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place Smokin-O’s rings on grill grate, close lid and allow the rings to come to a smolder. If they catch on fire, simply lift the rings from the fire with tongs and blow them out, then place back on grill grate.
  5. Place chicken on grill, skin side down; close lid. Lower heat to medium (325° F - 350° F). Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken pieces. Using an appropriate grilling utensil, turn chicken over (skin side up) and grill for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  6. Using a spoon, spread some of the Brown Sugar and Mustard Sauce over each chicken piece. Since this sauce is thick, it is easier to spread with the back of a spoon than it is to try and spread it around with a basting brush. Turn chicken over on grill (skin side down) and spread with sauce on the skinless side. Close grill lid and cook chicken for 5 minutes. Lift lid, turn chicken over (skin side up). Close lid and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 170° F as measured on an accurate food thermometer. Serve right away with sides as desired.

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