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Dave BenjmanGuest Chef Dave Benjamin from Hot Box Grills USA
Grilled Cornish Game Hens on Hot Box Grills

Born and raised in Northern Illinois and a passionte grillmaster that loves grilling and roasting almost everything over an open fire. A life long master carpenter and designer and the creator and owner of Hot Box Grills USA. An American made  portable grill and smoker with features that make this grill the most versatile charcoal grill on the market today. Dave is also a big supporter of American made products and plans on continuing manufacturing the Hot Box Grill right here in the USA!

Cornish Game Hens
Hot Box Grill

Cornish game hens split, marinated, grilled and basted, they were delicious. The easiest way to prepare them after you’ve rinsed them in cold water is to “split” them down the middle. Quit easy, just take a good, sharp knife and literally “split” them down the back bone to form two pieces. We had 4 people to feed, I purchased 4 game hens, which gave me 8 pieces when split and I had an entire game hen (2 pieces) left over. A big eater will handle an entire game hen, but usually one half a game hen per person with side dishes should do the trick.

Of course these are not Cornish game hens, they are whole chickens. This is just to show you how to go about splitting whole birds in half for baking or grilling. 

Cornish Game Hens Hot Box GrillsCornish Game Hens Split

Cornish Game Hens
Hot Box Grill

The marinade: Combine all ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
  • 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.
  • 3 garlic cloves minced.
Place your hens in zip lock bags, pour in the marinade and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Hens in Zip Lock Bags With the Marinade

Cornish Game Hens
Hot Box Grill

For the basting sauce, heat the following in large frying pan:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • 1 large onion diced and sauteed till soft.
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic.
  • 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.
  • A splash of good white wine and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat all ingredients over a medium heat then simmer for 15 minutes then transfer to a container for basting your birds.


When you’re ready to grill, heat your grill to high and place your hens skin side down over direct heat to get a good sear on the skin sides. You will also need to prepare a place on your grill that is cool. (No coals, indirect heat) because you will be moving your hens from direct heat to indirect heat after the searing process is finished.

Once you’re hens are in place over the hot coals for searing, put your grill hood on right away to control the flare ups. This searing process should only take a few minutes and since every grill is a little different, you’ll need to keep an eye on your hens so they don’t burn. After you get that perfect sear on the skin side, flip your hens over, skin side up and sear the other side of your hens for a couple of minutes before moving them to the cool, or indirect side of the grill, SKIN SIDE UP NOW.

BASTING: Brush on the basting sauce 2 or 3 times while waiting for the internal temperature of the birds to reach 165 degrees in the thickest part of the birds. When you reach that 165 degree internal temperature, remove the hens from the grill, let rest for 10 minutes and serve. If you have additional basting sauce left, reheat in a sauce pan and serve on the side.

Cornish Game Hens
Hot Box Grill


Cornish Game Hens Hot Box GrillsBON APPETIT!

Guest Chef Dave Benjamin from Hot Box Grills USA
Grilled Cornish Game Hens on Hot Box Grills

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