This Grilled Huli Huli Chicken recipe includes an easy marinade and a very fast grill in just 15 minutes! Cooked over direct heat, the marinade will caramelize and become absolutely delish!
After the first time we tried this chicken at a restaurant, we came home and researched how to make it on our grill. That was about 10 years ago now and we still make it the same way as it’s our son’s all time favorite meal. There will probably never be a recipe on this site that we have cooked more than this one. Hands down.
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
Easy – This is a simple marinade from ingredients you most likely have in your house and it comes together in just a couple minutes.
It’s Easy to Double/Triple the Recipe – We know this because we double it (at least) every time we make it.
Great for Entertaining – Marinate this early and it’s a real quick grill so you can mix and mingle with your friends at the cookout without worrying about missing out on anything. Plus, everyone will be visiting you to get seconds (look above, I warned you to double/triple the recipe!)
It’s Fast – Grilling time is only 15 minutes so you can make this one again and again. Have all your sides ready to go before you start grilling as this one goes fast.
Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you have them. These are fatty enough to leave the chicken unbelievably tender and flavorful.
Soy Sauce: This adds so much flavor to the marinade! The brown sugar, ketchup and ginger complement the flavor perfectly.
Step One: Combine all of the marinade ingredients together and stir well. Reserve ⅓ of a cup in a bowl before you add the chicken. You’ll use that to baste the chicken later. Don’t forget or you won’t have the sticky glaze.
Step Two: Add the chicken thighs and the marinade in a Ziploc bag. Put the bag in a bowl in the fridge for about six hours.
Note: I learned the hard way that Ziploc bags are not always drip proof. When I opened the refrigerator several hours later, the marinade dripped out and made a mess all over the place. So, definitely give yourself a second layer of protection and use a bowl.
🔥 Grilling Instructions
Step One: Preheat the grill to 350-375 degrees using direct heat. If you have a GrillGrate, this is the time to use it. It heats up quickly and leaves insanely gorgeous sear marks while cooking the chicken extremely fast. The GrillGrate retains so much heat which is why you don’t have to worry about needing a super high heat to get the sear marks.
Step Two: Remove the chicken from the marinade, place it on the grill and let it cook for 7-8 minutes.
Step Three: Turn the thighs over and let the other side grill for 7-8 minutes.
Note: If you are using the GrillGrate, it reduced the cooking time to about four minute per side. Monitor it closely to not burn it.
Step Four: In the last few minutes, brush the reserved marinade on the chicken. This will develop into a nice caramelized sauce and add a tremendous flavor.
Step Five: Remove the chicken and let it rest for about ten minutes before serving. Check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees. That is the key more so than the time.
💡 Expert Tips
We learned a few tips while grilling this over the years.
- Make sure you cook this on direct heat. You will want the chicken to sear. Not only will it leave pretty grill marks, but it adds a lot of flavor to the meat.
- Don’t rush it. Give the grill plenty of time to heat up before throwing these on. I was impatient once and the meat was thoroughly cooked before I was able to sear it.
- Make sure you brush on the reserved marinate near the end. It adds a last bit of wet/sticky and delicious flavoring before it is removed.
No, but you will lose some of the tenderness and flavor. I have tried it with breasts and it’s fine but it’s not the same. I think doing this on wings is fabulous though.
While the recipe calls for marinating the chicken for six hours, we have done it in as little as two hours. The resulting flavor wasn’t quite as robust, but it can work in a pinch. Don’t let last-minute dinner guests stop you from trying out this mouth-watering recipe.
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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken on the Big Green Egg
- 12 Chicken Thighs
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ¾ cup Ketchup
- ¾ cup Soy Sauce we use low sodium
- ⅓ cup Chicken Broth substitute water if you don’t have any
- 2 tsp Ginger ground
- 1-2 cloves Garlic minced
Prepare the Marinade
- Mix all ingredients in bowl except for chicken. Reserve out ⅓ cup of marinade to use later.
- Add marinade and chicken to Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Place the bag in a bowl just in case of leaks. Put in fridge for 6-8 hours.
Grill the Chicken
- Preheat your grill to 350-375 degrees. Set it up for direct heat.
- Discard the marinade in the bag and grill the chicken for 7-8 minutes
- Turn the chicken over and grill for another 7-8 minutes
- During last few minutes, brush the reserved marinade on the chicken. This will create a nice sauce that will caramelize over the flames.
- Cook the chicken until the internal temperature is 165 degrees
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for ten minutes. Protect the freshly cooked chicken from hungry children!