Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

4 reviews

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Hawaiian BBQ sauce is tangy and sweet, with an iconic red color that promises big flavor in every bite. It’s perfect for basting on chicken, but equally awesome as a wing sauce or drizzled over pork!

Bowl of Hawaiian BBQ sauce next to a whole pineapple with text overlay - Hawaiian BBQ Sauce.

What is Hawaiian BBQ Sauce?

Hawaiian BBQ sauce is a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce that gives you a classic “taste of the islands.” It’s made from a ketchup base with the addition of pineapple, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar. It’s similar to a Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce with a distinctive Hawaiian twist.

Other ingredients in this sauce may vary, but the sauce is often bright red in color and tastes similar to a teriyaki BBQ sauce. It shouldn’t be too thick or too thin, rather that classic BBQ sauce texture. This sauce comes straight from my recipe for Huli Huli Chicken. and I highly recommend trying that recipe if you’re wondering the best way to use this sauce.

Ingredients for Hawaiian BBQ sauce in a large pot on the stove.

Ingredients for Sweet Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Hawaiian BBQ sauce. Most of these ingredients you’ll find in your fridge and pantry, though a couple might require a special trip to the store (like for some fresh ginger!)

  • Ketchup. 
  • Brown sugar. Dark or light will work fine for this recipe. If you want a richer molasses taste, opt for dark brown sugar.
  • Soy sauce. I recommend using a low-sodium soy sauce so this BBQ sauce doesn’t get too salty.
  • Pineapple juice. 
  • Garlic. 
  • Freshly grated ginger. 
  • Rice wine vinegar. 
  • Sesame oil. 
  • Sriracha sauce. 
  • Salt. Check the flavor as you’re finishing up (Just be careful! This sauce will be hot!) and more salt as needed to get that flavor balanced out just right.

Hawaiian BBQ sauce in a large pot at a boil.

How to Make Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

Don’t feel intimidated by making your own BBQ sauce. It is BEYOND easy. All you need is a saucepan with a lid and a wooden spoon, and you’re set!

  1. Make the sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the Hawaiian BBQ sauce in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan, and simmer the sauce for 25 minutes.
  2. Check for consistency. As you near the 20-minute mark, check your BBQ sauce for consistency. You want this sauce you be just the right sauce-like thickness. Continue to simmer the sauce until it thickens up to your likeness (without being a big globby mess).
  3. Use. Once your sauce is done, you can use it immediately. Try this out on anything you like. It’s great on chicken, ribs, pork, and more.
  4. Store. If you have any sauce leftover, let it cool then transfer it to a lidded jar. I like to use good old mason jars for my sauce. Seal tightly and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Spoon drizzling Hawaiian BBQ sauce into a decorative bowl.

More BBQ Sauce Recipes

Your homemade BBQ sauce adventures don’t need to end here! Try out these other delicious BBQ sauce recipes from Hey Grill Hey below.

Hawaiian BBQ Sauce Recipe

Here’s hoping you loved this Hawaiian BBQ sauce recipe and got a lot of delicious use out of it. How did you enjoy using this sauce? Leave us a comment in the section below! We’d love to get some BBQ inspiration from you!

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Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

By: Susie Bulloch
4.75 from 4 votes
Hawaiian BBQ sauce is tangy and sweet, with an iconic red color that promises big flavor in every bite. It’s perfect for basting on chicken, but equally awesome as a wing sauce or drizzled over pork!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings6 people


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • salt to taste


  • Make the BBQ sauce. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cool. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before using.
  • Store. Transfer any unused BBQ sauce to a lidded jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1354mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

9 Reviews

  1. Travis Fagan says:

    I put mine in blender and added 1 table spoon of corn starch to thicken it up turned out great for pulled pork sandwiches

  2. JoAnna says:

    I can’t wait to make this but I would really like to can it in mason jars to be shelf stable. Is this possible?

  3. Andrew says:

    Great recipe. For added heat I substituted 1 jalapeño pepper for the sriracha sauce and blended it up with the garlic & ginger. I also used Japanese BBQ sauce instead of ketchup.

  4. Kayla says:

    I really love this recipe fool proof for me!

  5. Sam A. says:

    It has a good favor profile even with a strong ginger influence. The only problem I had was after 25 mins it did not thicken. I let it simmer another 9 mins uncovered to thicken it

  6. George S says:

    Should garlic be whole chopped or minced.

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:


  7. JP Dywelska says:

    How long will this keep in the fridge after making it ?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Up to 2 weeks.