This Grilled Huli Huli Chicken recipe includes an easy marinade and a very fast grill. Cooked over direct heat, the marinade will caramelize and become absolutely delish!
When we lived in San Pedro, CA years ago, we became addicted to eating at this Hawaiian-fusion chicken restaurant called Maui Chicken. It was so yummy and hands-down one of our favorite places to eat!
Step One: Combine all of the marinade ingredients together and stir well. Reserve 1/3 of a cup in a bowl. You’ll use that to baste the chicken later.
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.
🔥 Grilling Instructions
Step One: Preheat the grill to 350 degrees using direct heat.
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.
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.
💡 Recipe Tips
We have learned a few tips while grilling Huli Huli Chicken.
- Make sure you cook this on direct heat. You will want the marinade and chicken to sear. Not only will it leave pretty grill marks on the chicken, 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 marinade near the end. It adds a last bit of wet and delicious flavoring before it is removed.
When this comes in off of the grill, Jason has a landing spot on the kitchen island where all the grilled meat rests as he is running back and forth. Within seconds of this meat hitting the counter, Spencer mysteriously appears with his fork and knife in hand. Every. Single. Time. It’s hilarious!
The most common question I get is do you have to use chicken thighs and the answer is “no” – but you do lose some of the tenderness and flavor. I have tried this recipe with chicken breasts and it’s just not the same.
Grilling the Chicken on a Kamado Grill definitely helps to keep the meat juicy. We have used this recipe with gas grills, but the results are not as good.
In a rush? 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.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes – While the grill is hot, throw on some sweet potatoes to turn this into an entire grilled dinner.
Grilled Sweet Onions – Slice some thick chunks of your favorite sweet onion and grill them up for an amazing side dish!
Grilled Green Bean Bundles – This is a fun and fast side dish that is perfectly portion controlled. And…well…Bacon!
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken on the Big Green Egg
- 12 Chicken Thighs
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 cup Ketchup
- 3/4 cup Soy Sauce we use low sodium
- 1/3 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 1/3 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 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!