Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken and a Giveaway!

The sauce for this Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken comes together quickly, only requiring 2-4 ingredients! For extra dynamic flavor, add a couple of Smokin-O’s to the grill along with the chicken, then brush the sauce on the chicken the last 10-12 minutes of grilling. Chicken never had it so good.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken
Have I got an exciting post for YOU! All. All of you. All ya’ll. Individually and collectively. (By the way, when I lived in Texas I was told that “ya’ll” is singular and “all ya’ll” is plural. I grew up in South Carolina and “ya’ll” was both singular and plural. Just FYI.)

Several weeks ago I was contacted by Shelley at Smokin-O’s to test their product and then possibly blog about it. I love trying products that are new to me, particularly anything that has to do with food or kitchenware. Make-up and fingernail polish do it for some gals, but for me I get all twitterpated over the prospects of a new seasoning salt or potato peeler.

As I read about Smokin-O’s, I got really excited about the prospects of easily adding a smoky flavor to foods cooked on an outdoor gas grill. We love smoked foods and my husband has dabbled over the years with smoking various meats on our barbecue grill. No, we do not own a smoker, so a gas grill, and now an infrared grill, have been our mainstays. If you’ve ever smoked meat you know it is a bit of a process. You are going to be hanging out babysitting a grill or smoker for A LONG TIME. Long time.

That’s where Smokin-O’s comes in for the rescue. They provide a lovely sweet, light smoky flavor to meats and vegetables during the normal grilling process. Smokin-O’s are all about flavor without fuss.

And what a beautiful flavor they bring to chicken, pork and even steak. They do their best work with chicken and pork, but the folks at Smokin-O’s tell me that an “O” for beef is in development. I am totally looking forward to that one!

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

We have been grilling fools at my house for the past few weeks as I’ve put the Smokin-O’s through their paces. Mostly I have worked with skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs and legs, but have also tried boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bratwurst and pork chops. I have to tell you, the pork chops were UNBELIEVEABLE! All I did was salt and pepper them and plop them on the grill with the “O’s”. They came out tender and juicy with the most wonderful sweet, smoky flavor.

Over the weekend my husband wanted to test the “O’s” with some steaks. Can you say ‘inhale’? Even the beef came out with a lovely smoky flavor.

The Smokin-O 411:

What they are: Smokin-O’s measure about 1-inch thick and 2 1/4 inches wide. They are made of solid, tightly compressed rings of ground fruit woods and spices. That’s it – just two ingredients: fruit wood and spices. No added binders or fillers.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

Each package contains 6 rings, which come in a heavy duty zip-style plastic bag. Take out what you need, then seal the remainder in the bag where they are protected from moisture and flavor loss.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

What they do: Smokin-O’s are designed to add a ‘kiss’ of smoky flavor to grilled foods. Once smoldering, they fill a covered outdoor gas grill with plentiful amounts of beautiful sweet smelling smoke. Doesn’t that sound intoxicating?

The “O’s” do not leave a smoke ring on meats, as does traditional smoking. They are meant to be used during normal grilling times for meats or vegetables. If grilling times are long, more “O’s” can be added to the grill. Simply place a new “O” on top of one that is already smoldering. It will ignite without any other intervention.

They can be used with minimally pre-seasoned meats, adding a light, but complicated blend of flavors to the finished product. Salt + pepper + Smokin-O’s = an unbelievably delicious combo.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

How to use them: Smokin-O’s must first be ignited. This can easily be done in 5-10 minutes by placing the “O’s” on a gas grill with the flame on high. They also work on an infrared grill, but will take longer to start smoldering. The grill must be at least 400°-450° F in order for the rings to start smoldering; they will ignite at 500° F. They can also be placed over a lit side burner in order to start the smoldering process. When you see embers and some smoke, the rings are ready. If the ring(s) catch on fire, it’s not a problem; just blow out the flames. It’s as simple as blowing out candles on a birthday cake. As soon as the flames go out, the wood starts smoking.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

Place the “O’s” on the grates of a gas or infrared grill, add the prepared meat to the grill and close the lid. Turn down the grill to a medium heat, around 325° F – 350° F and cook your food of choice for the same amount of time as you normally would. Just remember, though, that the lid should stay down in order to retain the smoke. Of course, lifting the lid is necessary for turning the meat or vegetables, but be sure to lower it again right away.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

As the Smokin-O’s smolder, they turn to a fine white ash. Clean up of the “O’s” is practically non-existent. A puff of wind will do the job for you. Umm, clean-up from the meat is a different story, however.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

The Recipe

All on its own, with minimal seasoning, chicken and pork taste outstanding when grilled with Smokin-O’s. One day, though, I got the idea to use a variation of my favorite Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze for ham on some chicken along with using the “O’s”. Oh my – it was WOUNDROUS!

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

I’ve added a couple of options to the recipe which will offer flexibility in the flavors. Just in case you don’t have any Smokin-O’s on hand (what?!), I’ve included an option for adding liquid smoke to the sauce. Also, some folks like things spicy, so there is also an option for adding either chipotle chile powder or cayenne. Za-zing!

The Brown Sugar and Mustard Sauce makes the chicken sweet with a light undercurrent of tangy mustard. Grilling alone brings out amazingly delicious flavors. Grilling with the Smokin-O’s will give you sunshine in your soul.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken

Print green and blue-2Grilled Chicken with Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Sauce

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.

A Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.

Because I am really sold on this product, I am doing a giveaway to share the joys of 2 6-ring packages of Smokin-O’s with one of you. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling us your favorite thing to cook on an outdoor barbecue grill. Although the Smokin-O’s are definitely *THE STAR* of the show, since Father’s Day is next month, I am also including a Weber 3-Piece Barbecue Tool Set. It makes a nice package deal, don’t you think?

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken
Photo credit for the Weber 3-Piece Barbecue Tool Set: http://store.weber.com/accessories/category/cook/tools-and-grillware/1428

This giveaway will run for one week and will end at 11:59 PM (23:59) on Tuesday, May 12, 2016. Only one entry per person, please. The winner will be chosen using random.org and will be announced on Wednesday, May 13, 2016.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken Smokin-O’s was very generous in supplying me with multiple samples of their product and even sent me some chicken breasts to get me started. I spent several weeks using the “O’s” for various grilling adventures and am genuinely enthusiastic about them. It is fun to be able to offer support for a product I am enjoying so much!

Read more about Smokin-O’s at these websites:

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  1. Mary Adair says

    I like smoked trout, steaks, burgers, and salmon. I’d like to learn how to cook chicken without burning it!

  2. Eri says

    I like to grill burgers, I know I am boring but burgers always taste better cooked on a grill.

  3. Maxine R. says

    Oh boy, I do hope I win (of course everyone else hopes they win too)! But I’m going to buy some of these whether I win or not. They look terrific.

  4. says

    What a nifty product. I’ve never heard of them before. We have a gas grill too and my husband cook steak and burgers about 99% of the time. I get to sneak in a cob or two of corn every now and then.

  5. Chris Isom says

    This looks so good, I love the idea of the smokey O’s I will have to try them. I Can always trust your opinion. I am ready for some good ole bbq.

  6. Mary H says

    Love your recipes on this site! I think my favorite thing to grill is steak and also pork chops! Have never heard of this product before — sounds pretty interesting — think my husband would especially enjoy trying them while grilling!

  7. kris hendrickson says

    I love to grill asparagus and salmon. ..would love to try the smokin o’s on that!

  8. Jan R says

    I would love to give these to my son who is a great son and father who makes awesome bbq chicken.

  9. BARBARA says

    Our favorite “cook on the grill foods” are vegetables that become almost sugary & oh so good.
    I am surviving 2 different cancers & we are limited to grilling.
    By the way, I so enjoy your site & look forward to reading it while resting. Thank you for helping pass the time. I wonder how many great bloggers realize how much they help others who are not in the best of health? You do a wonderful job.

  10. says

    Oh My!!! That chicken is beyond stunning. I know my family would enjoy this recipe. 🙂 PS… it’s a lovely giveaway, but I don’t have an outdoor grill, so I forfeit my right to win. 😉

  11. Dandi D says

    My husband does all the grilling, but his favorites are lemon pepper pork chops and steaks.

  12. Cathy Janish says

    COOL Product ! We love, of course, steaks, burgers, sausage etc.. but we have now included TURKEY on the grill. Yum !!

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