Grill something different this season with this Grilled Game Hens with Asian BBQ Sauce recipe. They’re so succulent and covered with an easy barbecue sauce.

Grilled game hens on a white platter.

Disclosure: This recipe for Grilled Game Hens with Asian BBQ Sauce has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

I love preparing game hens for my family, especially during the fall. They’re some serious comfort food and they can be prepared in so many different ways: roasted, baked, stuffed, and grilled! Grilled is my new favorite way to prepare game hens, they’re SO delicious!

Today I’m sharing my recipe for a special weeknight meal: Grilled Game Hens with Asian BBQ Sauce using Cornish Hens and Low Sodium Soy Sauce.

Game hens on a white platter sprinkled with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

I love cooking with Tyson Cornish Hens because they are all natural, and include no artificial ingredients, preservatives, hormones, or steroids. I also love Kikkoman® Soy Sauces because they’re a fabulous flavor enhancer for not just Asian dishes. I like using soy sauce in rich dishes like Chicken Pot Pie to enhance the flavor.

Cook’s Note – Grilled Game Hens:

  • The secret to these succulent hens is the brine! Kikkoman soy sauce makes a fabulous brine that makes these birds so juicy!
  • You can brine these game hens for up to 3 hours. I do not recommend going beyond that, because the meat becomes tenderized too much. 

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. 

Cook’s Tools – Grilled Game Hens:

  • Basting Brush
  • Poultry/Kitchen Shears
  • Grilling Tools Set

More Grilling Recipes:

Grilling season is one of my favorites! I love whipping up my Loaded Italian Sausage Burgers and Grilled Steak Marsala for company. For busy weeknights, I like to make my Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs and super easy grilled Carne Asada Street Tacos. Lastly, For an easy side dish, I love making these Baked Potatoes on the Grill

Close up picture of grilled hens on a white platter.

Grilled Cornish Game Hens with Asian BBQ Sauce: these hens are so succulent and covered with an easy, flavorful sauce.
5 from 14 votes

Grilled Game Hens with Asian BBQ Sauce

Author Jillian - a Food, Folks and Fun original!
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
6 people
Grilled Game Hens with Asian BBQ Sauce: these hens are so succulent and covered with an easy, flavorful sauce.


  • Tyson® Premium Cornish Game Hen Twin Pack 48 oz, thawed


  • ¼ cup table salt
  • ¼ cup Kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce
  • water


  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander


  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger


  • sesame seeds
  • green onion sliced



  • Place salt, soy sauce, and 2 quarts of water in a large container. Stir until dissolved. Add the hens. If needed, add more water so the hens are completely submerged. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.


  • While the chicken is brining, make the rub. In a small bowl combine the sugar, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, pepper, and coriander. Set aside.


  • In a small bowl combine the barbecue sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and grated ginger. Chill until ready to use.


  • Remove the hens from the brine and rinse them under cold, running water. Place on a cutting board and pat dry. Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears cut through the bones on both sides of the backbone; discard backbone. Flatten the hen by lightly pressing on the ribs. Flip the hen over and tuck the wings behind the hen. Rub half of the dry rub over the hen. Repeat with the other hen.


  • Turn all burners to HIGH, cover, and preheat for 15 minutes. Using a grill brush scrape the grill clean. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and use tongs to rub the grates with the oiled paper towel. Reduce all burners to MEDIUM.
  • Put the hens, skin-side down, onto the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the skin turns deep brown and it shows grill marks, about 12-16 minutes. Flip the hens, cover the grill, and continue to cook until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160-165 degrees F; about 12-16 minutes more.
  • Using a basting brush, brush half of the BBQ sauce over the hens that are facing up. Flip the hens and cook 3-4 minutes. Brush the rest of the BBQ sauce over the other half of the hens, flip and cook 3-4 more minutes.
  • Rest the hens on a cutting board for 15 minutes. Cut in half through the breastbone, then again at the thigh. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve.


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 5502mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.8mg

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Picture collage of grilled Cornish game hens.

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Recipe Rating


  1. KC the Kitchen Chopper says:

    Brining game hens is a great idea. I bet it really is a flavor enhancer. I too use Kikkoman’s. And you’re right, it’s not just for Asian dishes.

  2. Janette@culinaryginger says:

    I love game hens, they cook up much faster than chickens and these look so tasty.

  3. Linda (Meal Planning Maven) says:

    We love game hens and your recipe sounds amazing! A must-try for sure!

  4. I totally forgot about game hens!! I love how cute they are! These look amazing!

  5. This brined cornish gamed hen looks delicious! We haven’t had that in a long while. The kikkoman sauce is one of our favorites! I’ll have to give this recipe a try!

  6. My cousin used to bring me game to cook when he was hunting! I love your hens they look absolutely delicious!

  7. Debi @ Life Currents says:

    My husband would love this. So would his family. I need to make this for them the next time they come over.

  8. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says:

    This is right up my rather carnivorous OH’s street. Will forward to him.

  9. Diana Rambles says:

    Those look so tasty!

  10. Catherine says:

    My mouth is watering at the sight…these sound so flavorful and delicious. A wonderful meal! xo, Catherine

  11. peter @feedyoursoultoo says:

    Great recipe. Gorgeous looking.

  12. Rebecca B. says:

    Your game hens look and sound amazing!! I think that they would be perfect for a Labor Day weekend BBQ!!

  13. I have not had a little cornish game hen forever and they are so good. Yours look fantastic!

    1. They are so good, thanks Tara!

  14. justine @ Full Belly SIsters says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous dish! Sounds delicious.

  15. Del's cooking twist says:

    Looks delicious and very crispy!

  16. Suzy | The Mediterranean Dish says:

    Wow! My mouth is watering just looking at this chicken! And that sauce…divine!

  17. christine says:

    We love Asian flavors so this could be added to our monthly menu w/ no problem! I’ve never used game hens but I’m interested to try!

  18. Jessica (Savory Experiments) says:

    I love cornish hens! I always forget about making them, but my family loves them. Maybe tomorrow.

  19. Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry says:

    Oh my gosh, now this would be great for the next boys night we host.

  20. Joanne/WineLady Cooks says:

    This is a delicious recipe, I love using the Asian style sauce on the game hens or other poultry.