Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is a five star recipe!  The marinade is quick and easy and full of such amazing flavor!  You will make this again and again!

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 This Huli Huli Chicken has been on my list of things to make for years now.  I am kicking myself for not making it until now.

We loved it so much we grilled it three nights in a row.

We have this amazing Hawaiian restaurant close by and it is called Mo’ Bettah’s.  It is one of our favorite places to go.  When my hubby took his first bite of this chicken he said it tastes exactly like our favorite restaurant.  It is honestly one of the best things that we have grilled to date.  The marinade is quick and easy with a few ingredients and the flavor will blow your mind.

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I marinaded the chicken overnight so that it could soak up all that delicious flavor.  You reserve some of the sauce to baste the chicken with while it grills.  The sauce it thick and delicious and coats the chicken perfectly as it grills.

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We love to grill at our house and this recipe needs to be at the top of your list!  It was incredible grilled with our favorite grilled pineapple recipe.  This recipe is easily a five star recipe that you will make again and again.  We already can’t wait to make it again!

4.6 from 21 reviews
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is a five star recipe! The marinade is quick and easy and full of such amazing flavor! You will make this again and again!
Author:
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken breasts also work
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • green onions, sliced for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chicken broth, ginger and garlic. Reserve 1 cup sauce for basting. Add the chicken thighs and sauce to a ziplock bag and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes. Garnish with green onions if desired
Notes
Recipe Adapted from Taste of Home

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Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. This was really good! Prep time was minimal. Recipe adjusted nicely for less than 4 pounds of chicken. Will make again!

  2. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew this is what I wanted to try for Mother’s Day. I knew my sister-in-law and I would love it, and, well, if our hubbies and my grown son and nephew didn’t, oh well! After all. It was for MOTHER’s Day! Well…… this is my new most favourite way to have chicken, and everyone was SOOO in love with it that my hubby declared that it was to be made for Father’s Day too! On a scale of 1-10, I’m fairly confident that this comes in at a solid 63! The taste from the marinade is ahhhhhh-mazing, and although the chicken is heavenly on its own, the grilled pineapple takes it to a whole other level. Neither my son nor my bro-in-law like pineapple, but after hearing the raves from the rest of us, they both decided to ‘give ‘er a go’ and then helped themselves to seconds and even THIRDS! Once again, I must thank you for sharing your talent with us, and please don’t ever stop!

  3. I have to say that I made this for dinner tonight with about 2#s of chicken. I wish now that I had made the full for because my six year old was asking to eat it again tomorrow night. Lol. It was great! Thank you!

    1. I bake Hawaiian chicken in the oven all the time. Buy bone in thighs skin on, but trim the excess fat off. Bake at 350 skin side down, turn chicken and cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce is good over rice if you use a blaster to get under the fat and since it’s been cooked it’s sake to eat now, unlike if you BBQ.

      1. To clarify…..are you saying, bake skin side down for 30 minutes, then turn chicken and back for another 30 minutes (total of an hour?)

    2. HI! MY NAME IS ELENI. I JUST READ YOUR QUESTION ,ABOUT GRILLING INDOORS. I HAVE AN INDOOR “SMOKELESS” (IT ISNT) GRILL THAT YOU PUT WATER IN A TRAY UNDER THE GRILL TO CATCH THE DRIPPING FAT.ALSO, WITH THIS RECIPE YOU ALSO HAVE TO WATCH OUT FOR SUGAR, WHICH COULD IGNITE. I ALMOST BURNED MY HOUSE DOWN WITH AN HIBACHI, ON THE WOODEN PORCH.EVEN THOUGH I HAD IT MOUNTED ONTOP OF 4 BRICKS ON EACH SIDE, THE RADIANT HEAT WAS ENOUGH TO IGNITE THE PITCH IN THE WOOD. MY NEIGHBOR BURNED THE FRONT OF HER HOUSE WITH AN HIBACHI .I DONT SEE WHY YOU COULDNT BAKE THEM ON A COOKIE SHEET COVERED WITH ALUMINUM FOIL.I ALWAYS USE A BIG PIECE. OF FOLDED WAX PAPER TO KEEP THE FOIL OFF MY FOOD. IT WORKS GREAT. PUNCH HOLES OR SLITS IN IT TO LET THE STEAM ESCAPE. AND BROIL UNCOVERED FOR 2 OR 3 MINUTES AT THE END. I CANT WAIT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE.!!!!!

  4. Has anyone tried an oven baked/broiled version of this? I miss out on so many recipes because, as sacrilegious as it is, I don’t have grill!

    1. They have little tinfoil disposable grills, with charcoal already in it, for like $4 at the grocery store. lol Splurge, have a grill night!

    2. I marinated it overnight then patted it dry & seared it in a pan with oil then baked it for 425 for maybe 15 minutes. I didn’t bother basting though. I just reduced the marinade in the pan I seared the chicken in. It turned out good but s little too salty. Maybe use reduced sodium soy sauce.

  5. My husband accidentally bought regular pineapple juice in these little cans. Do you think this recipe would work out with sweetened pineapple juice? I LOVE this recipe, by the way!!!! It’s always a hit at our bbq’s!! I just never made it with sweetened pineapple juice and am worried how it’ll turn out.

  6. Amazing! The perfect summer chicken recipe, although I plan to make it all year long. I made this for a dinner get together and my guests loved it. All those different flavors combine into one delicious, not to mention beautiful, chicken recipe. The grilled pineapple alongside it was awesome as well. Thank you so much for helping me be a wonderful hostess with your delicious recipe.

  7. I had huli huli in Maui and can’t wait to make this. But I would not make it with skinless and boneless thighs. I think it would be better with the skin and bone….more flavor.
    Has anyone made this using thighs with the skin still on??

  8. This recipe looks very good! However, it is not Huli Huli chicken. Huli Huli is a cooking method, not a recipe. It is very simply rotisserie half-chicken, cooked over a bed of kiawe wood coals for hours. It is wonderful to drive around the island on weekends and catch the scent & follow it to the parking lot source to a neighborhood fund raiser. Best chicken ever!

    1. True. huli huli is Hawaiin for “turn”. The chickens are placed on long rotisserie racks across a table with coals or gas. The chicken is constantly turned. There is a spe ific recipe used for this chicken.

      1. Exact translation is Turn Around. I lived on Oahu for 7 yrs. This is probably my most favorite way to have chicken. It is also cooked with indirect heat mostly and right at the end moved over the coals to sear the chicken. Fran O. is correct about the Kiawe wood coals. Any hardwood will work, but Kiawe gives it a particular taste that other hardwoods can’t. There used to be a spot along side the road to Wiame Bay that this local guy would set up his rotisserie and food truck. He served this with cooked rice and grilled pineapple. It’s was to die for.

  9. I gave this four stars on trust and the fact that it looks terrific… I have some thighs marinating right now! Pretty close to sweet & sour, but no vinegar except what’s in the kitchen. My only problem will be letting it marinate long enough before I cook it!!

  10. I thought it was unsanitary to baste with marinade that raw chicken had been soaking in? Any thoughts on this? It looks delicious though!!

    1. Read the recipe again. !t calls for reserving one cup of marinade for basting. Thus this one cup is not used to marinate the chicken and is safe to use to baste the chicken as it cooks for the last five minutes.

    2. Well, how about heating the marinade to simmer and hold it that way for 15 min. and that will kill any bacteria in it. That will also reduce the marinade and make it a little thicker. Beside if you are grilling the temp of the grill should kill any bacteria in it. The temp should be about 350° over the grill. It’ll be ok.

  11. This is a delicious recipe. I showed the video to my husband, “Instead of ketchup, use Sriracha!” I like the way he thinks:)

  12. Delicious!! We grilled it on charcoal and it was amazing! We can’t wait to grill for our family on Memorial Day weekend

  13. I apologized if this question was already asked BUT what are the cooking instructions for baking it in the oven instead of grilling??

  14. While I’m sure this is tasty, this is not Huli Huli chicken. Huli Huli chicken is actually just spatchcocked, brined, and rubbed rotisserie chicken cooked over kiawe wood or mesquite which is normally served with a sauce (never a glaze) made with soy, ketchup, garlic chili sauce, ginger, and pineapple – served on the side.

  15. I seriously make this every week or two for me and the hub. The only ingredient I sub out is soy sauce for coconut aminos (we’re watching our salt intake), but it takes amazing every time. Thank you so much for posting!

  16. Well here goes, I did not have brown sugar and did not want to get out to the market so I used spicy honey. Hopefully it all goes well. will let you know

  17. Amazing. This has become one of my family’s favorite summer meals. Especially good with fresh grilled pineapple.

  18. Girlfriend! This was TO DIE FOR!!! The sauce…mmmm. THE BEST ‘awesome sauce” for sure!! I seriously could have drank the sauce it was that good! The thighs are the way to go as they add more flavor to the overall dish. Will make again. My family loved it too! Thanks for an amazing recipe!!

  19. Love the Huli Huli chicken. I have mad it twice now.
    The next time I am adding some dried diced chili peppers to the marinade. I am also going to smoke it instead of cooking it on the grill. Has anyone tried the smoking method?
    Thanks, Jeff

  20. So many Mahalos girl friend!!
    I was born, raised, retired and left Hawaii a few years back
    and have yet to find a good Huli Chicken recipe,
    until now!!
    I gotta tell ya though, I did marinade the meat for three days
    rather than 3 hours; I used my cool little Smoker Box on my
    Gas Grill filled with faux Kiawe Wood aka Mesquite Chips,
    and last but certainly not least, I doubled the marinade.
    When I first put together the sauce, it just didn’t seem like enough.
    So I upped the quantities, put some aside to glaze at the end
    and CHEE HOO! That’s what I call ONO (that’s delicious in Hawaiian)

  21. Made this tonight and it was a hit! My son stood by the bbq to smell it cooking.

    You mention that the sauce is thick….I followed the recipe and my sauce was very thin. Do you reduce it down before basting?

    1. I didn’t reduce it down but it may not have thickened at the end. I am so glad that your son loved it so much. The smell gets me every time too! Thanks for sharing and following along with me!

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