posted January 19, 2022
Hawaiian BBQ Sauce
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!
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 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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!
Hawaiian BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅔ 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.
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