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grilled cornish game hen on a dark surface

Grilled Cornish game Hens

These Cornish Game Hens are marinated in a blend of apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, and other spices, then grilled until they are perfectly juicy and tender. It's the perfect quick and easy grilling recipe!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinade 1 day
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 1040kcal



  • Remove the spine from the hens using a pair of sharp kitchen shears. Watch this video on How to Spatchcock a Cornish Hen
  • Place the hens in a resealable zip lock bag. 
  • Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour the contents into the zip lock bag with the hens and close tightly. Shake the bag to ensure the marinade is distributed evenly and let sit overnight (18-24 hours) in the fridge.
  • Heat the grill to about 450 degrees and cook the birds for about 12 minutes on each side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.


  1. Use a digital thermometer when testing to see if the hens are done. They should be at 165 degrees when done. 
  2. Marinade the hens for at least 18-24 hours for the best results. The less you marinade, the less flavorful the meat will be. 
  3. Save the removed backbone in a zip lock bag to make broth in the future. I collect all poultry and veggie scraps in a bag until I have enough to make a broth. Learn how to make Chicken Bone Broth


Serving: 1hen | Calories: 1040kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 78g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 454mg | Sodium: 1328mg | Potassium: 1335mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1700IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 5mg