Grilled Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

This  Grilled Hawaiian Chicken BBQ is tender and juicy, with the right level of sweetness and heat.

BBQ Chicken By

Chicken BBQ reminds me of my Mom, it’s one of her favorite dish but it cannot be just any chicken BBQ. Not only that It has to be from a specific restaurant, it has to be from a specific location too. She’s that picky and a tough critic when it comes to restaurant food. She has the right to be tough because she used to manage our restaurant and everything will have to be perfect. She’s an amazing cook too, one trait that I inherited from her is my passion for cooking. 

But I’ll never get enough close to her cooking, not a tiny bit so I stopped trying. I made my own variations instead, add my own twist and call it my own creation, but still inspired by her cooking.  

Grilled Hawaiian BBQ Chicken with Pineapple By

Chicken BBQ is one thing that she also love to cook at home on a regular day. She used big leg quarters my favorite part of the chicken. She grilled the chicken over charcoal Which gave the chicken even more nice smokey charcoal taste. But if she cannot grill it, she cooked it on stove top using a pan. So there’s really no excuse for us not to have Chicken BBQ if we want to. 

Because it’s Summer , and I love grilled food, were grilling this nice chicken. I’m using gas grill just because we are not allowed to use charcoal here but it does the job so I was happy with it. The marinade is what makes this BBQ flavorful, so if you have time, marinade it overnight. But if you do not have time, no worries as the sauce will do the job of giving the chicken extra flavor. 

I strongly suggest to not replace the pineapple juice with water as it play a major role in giving the chicken a nice sweet and tangy flavor that you get from Hawaiian dish, besides its not Hawaiian without the pineapple. 

Grilled Hawaiin Chicken BBQ By

The Sauce

The sauce of the chicken will be the same ingredients as the marinade sauce. You can make a double batch and divide it into half, make the other as a sauce and use the other half to marinate the chicken.

Make-Ahead and Freeze:

This is also freezes well. Marinate the chicken in a ziplock bag, label and date the bag and freeze. The day before grilling it, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. According to, whole, uncooked poultry (chicken or turkey) is safe in the refrigerator for 1-2 days and safe in the freezer for up to 12 months. Poultry pieces are safe in the refrigerator for 1-2 days and safe in the freezer for up to nine months.


  • 2 boneless Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 3/4 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 cup Pineapple Tidbits
  • 5 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp red Chili Flakes
  • 1/8 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 slices of Pineapple – optional

Note: If You do not like it spicy, reduce or remove chili flakes and paprika


  1. Make the Marinade: In a small pan, add pineapple juice, water, brown sugar, salt, ketchup, paprika and cornstarch. Stir just to dissolve the cornstarch. Bring to a simmer in medium high heat for 10 minutes. Watch carefully and stir often to avoid forming lumps. I usually keeps on stirring the sauce until it gets thick and the cornstarch is fully cook. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Divide into 2 portion, leave all the tidbits of pineapple in the other 1/2 and let cool.  Pour 1/2 of the sauce (without the pineapple tidbits) over the chicken, cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight recommended for better flavor.
  2. Grill/Sear: Clean and pre-heat the grill. Grill the chicken until cook through. Brush chicken with the sauce when you flip it to keep it moist. At the same time, you can also grill the pineapple if you are using one.
    • Alternatively, You can also pan sear the chicken. Simply spray the pan with oil and sear the chicken about 3-5 minutes each side. Brush with sauce when you flip to cook the other side.
  3. Serve: Pour the some of the remaining sauce that we set aside earlier on the chicken. Serve with rice or steamed veggie.

Recipe Notes:

  • NEVER grill a frozen chicken. If you decide to freeze the chicken with the marinade, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator before grilling it.

Alternative Cooking Option: Stove Top

  1. In a heated pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil. Cook the chicken for about 3-5minutes. The length of time could vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, adjust as necessary. Flip once to cook the other side, you want to get a nice browning on each side. Check the side of the chicken for raw texture, if the color changes half way of the  side, you can do the flip and cook the other side until cook through. Remove from the pan and make the sauce as per instruction above.

Serves 2

Hawaiin BBQ Chicken By

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