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Easy Barbecue Recipe for German Schwenkbraten - Schnitzel Marinated and Grilled

User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


Easy German BBQ - Schwenker on the Grill - Pork Schnitzel Grilled over Fire

Easy German BBQ - Schwenker on the Grill - Pork Schnitzel Grilled over Fire


Developed in Saarland (southwest Germany, borders France) and adopted all over Germany where regulations allow, the "Schwenker" is a pork steak marinated for at least 24 hours and grilled over a wood fire. The "Schwenker" is also the person who does the "schwenken" (swinging), as the grill swings gently over a wood fire using a metal tripod.

Makes 8 large pork steaks.

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Step by step guide here.

This takes 20 minutes to put together and an 8 to 24 hour marinade time, plus 20 minutes to grill.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 4.4 lb. (2 kilograms) pork shoulder
  • 1 c. oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 T. spicy mustard
  • 2 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 Juniper berries, crushed
  • 1-2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3-4 onions, sliced


If you cannot find pork steaks already cut, you will have to do what I do. Buy a whole pork shoulder roast (or similar roast), debone it, and cut the meat cross wise, 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick to make steaks. These steaks will consist of several muscles with connective tissue and fat holding them together. This helps keep them juicy when cooked. They are also fairly inexpensive, but not tough.

Mix the oil with the garlic, mustard and the rest of the spices in a large bowl, add the steaks and the onions and turn to coat. Layer all the meat and the onions in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 8-24 hours, mixing a few times to redistribute the oil.

Alternative American improvement: You may want to put it all in a plastic zip bag after mixing, expel all the air, and close it tight. To stir, just flip bag over. This also travels well to the grill site.

Remove meat from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before grilling (to take the chill off). Place schnitzel (without onions) in a single layer over direct heat, salt (a little) and grill for 8-10 minutes per side.

Traditionally, these are grilled over beech wood fires. You may also use charcoal or gas.

Note: The amounts of oil and spices (and meat) are relative. Use enough to cover the meat well and season to taste.

Serve with potato salad, dandelion salad, beer and grilled vegetables.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Schwenkbraten, Member AloisHingerl

Tried this out on a regular charcoal grill with excellent results. I just used pork picnic shoulder steaks (bone-in, which I think helped with flavor and moisture retention). I also cooked down the onions and marinade (in a skillet) to serve as a topping for the Schwenkbraten. Lecker!

3 out of 3 people found this helpful.

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