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Mustard & Brown Sugar Chicken Marinade

It’s the most wonderful time of the year,

With the kids outside yelling, 

and ever’one’s yard smelling, 

like grilled meat and beeeeeeeer…

It’s the most wonderful time of the the yeeeeaaarrrr!

Here is how warm weather cooking typically works for me.

Step 1: Buy a tons of meats. 

Step 2: Separate them into ziploc gallon bags, dump marinade on them, throw in the fridge. 

Step 3: Blindly reach into the fridge each day for a bag of meat and grill it. 

It’s easy, cost effective, and if I get to the point where I’m just done cooking for the week, I transfer them to the freezer and order take out. 

One of my favorite summer dishes is grilled mustard and brown sugar chicken, and the marinade could not be easier. 

Grilled chicken with mustard powder, lemons, garlic, brown sugar, and olive oil.

Aside from grabbing a fresh lemon or two when I’m out, this is all stuff I keep in my cabinet full time: apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, and salt and pepper. 

Smashed garlic on a wooden cutting board.

Like all marinades, consider this recipe a suggestion. 

I like things so full of garlic and spice, nobody wants to kiss me for days after I eat. 

*dumps more garlic in the bag*

Juiced lemons into a white bowl.

You need the juice of one big lemon, or two small ones. 

To change the flavor up, you can also try making this with a lemon and a lime. 

Brown sugar, dry mustard, and garlic in a mixing bowl.

Brown sugar not only makes this chicken tangy and sweet, it also helps it to caramelize on the grill and give you all those yummy burnt parts. 

I never used to like burnt food until recently, maybe when we get old, out taste buds are like, what the hell, let’s just eat everything. 

Ground mustard marinade in a mixing bowl with a whisk.

Add the liquids, mix it together, and don’t forget the salt and pepper. 

This marinade only gets better the longer it sits, so if you can get a day or two out of it sitting in the fridge, awesome. 

Chicken marinating in a ziploc bag.

But if you’re in a hurry, reserve a small amount of marinade before you dump it on the chicken and after you are done grilling, coat the chicken once more in the reserve to make it extra juicy and flavorful. 

Chicken breasts on the grill.

So how do I grill this?

Well, my life isn’t together enough to own a meat thermometer, so depending on the thickness of the chicken, I do about 6-8 minutes on this side. 

And for the love of God, don’t cut it open to check doneness. That let’s all the juice run out and you get dry chicken. 

Instead, give it a little push with your finger. Done chicken should feel solid, like the pad on your hand below your thumb. 

Chicken breasts with mustard and brown sugar marinade on a white plate.


It’s perfect.

Chicken breasts with mustard and brown sugar marinade on a white plate.

Mustard & Brown Sugar Chicken Marinade

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

The perfect sweet and tangy summer time marinade for both chicken and seafood.


  • 4-6 boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Juice from 1 Large or 2 Small Lemons
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Ground Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Combine lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, ground mustard, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl, and mix.
  2. Reserve 1/2 cup of marinade to use to baste chicken during and after grilling.
  3. Pour marinade over chicken or seafood, and refrigerate a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4. Grill over high heat, 6-8 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.

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