Go Back
+ servings
Huli huli chicken on a white plate next to grilled pineapple spears.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Huli Huli Chicken

Get an authentic taste of the islands with this charcoal-grilled Huli Huli Chicken. Basted with a teriyaki-style BBQ sauce, Huli Huli chicken is perfect for family dinners or weekend BBQs. 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Brine Time12 hours
Total Time13 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Hawaiian
Keyword: Huli Huli Chicken
Servings: 4 people
Author: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)


  • 1 whole chicken spatchcocked

Huli Huli Chicken Brine

  • 7 cups warm water
  • ½ cup salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups ice

Huli Huli BBQ Sauce

  • 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


  • Brine the chicken. Dissolve the salt and sugar for the brine in the 7 cups of warm water. Whisking seems to help this process go quickly. Add your spatchcocked chicken to the brine and top with the 2 cups of ice. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
  • Preheat. Preheat your grill for 2 zone cooking. Mesquite charcoal, or mesquite smoking chips will add a flavor that mimics traditional Hawaiian kiawe wood. You want the overall temperature on the grill to be running ar about 350 degrees F.
  • Grill the chicken. Remove your chicken from the brine and pat dry. Place the chicken, bone side down, on the indirect side of the grill, and close the lid. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reads 155 degrees, this will take about 45-55 minutes.
  • Make the BBQ sauce. While the chicken cooks, prepare the huli huli 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. Remove the sauce from the heat and divide into 2 bowls. One for basting the chicken and one for serving on the side.
  • Sauce and finish cooking. When your chicken reaches 155 degrees F, it is time to sauce and flip! Baste the chicken with half of the BBQ sauce and move it over to the direct heat side of the grill, skin side down. Leave the lid open and baste the backside of the chicken while it sears. The sauce will sizzle and pop and caramelize in about 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken bone side down over direct heat and baste the top again with sauce. Close the lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees F.
  • Serve. Remove the chicken and serve with a bowl of additional sauce for drizzling and basting.



Calories: 768kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 721mg | Potassium: 673mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 69g | Vitamin A: 576IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 3mg