Huli-Huli Chicken on the Grill
Let’s make a traditional Hawaiian recipe, Huli-Huli chicken. Traditional Huli-Huli chicken is made by constantly turning the chicken and basting with the sauce, but you don’t have to constantly turn the chicken to get great Huli-Huli flavor. In today’s recipe, we will show you how to make great Huli-Huli chicken right on your backyard grill. For this cook I'm using the Gourmet Guru Kamado grill.
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup Kosher salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 whole chicken, approximately 3.5 lbs
Spice Rub Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried habanero pepper (optional)
Huli-Huli Sauce Ingredients
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup Ketchup
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
Pour the brine ingredients into a pot and mix until dissolved. There is no need to heat the brine, just stir well and everything will dissolve.
Cut the chicken in half, then rinse. Place the chicken in the brine and keep in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, remove from the brine and pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove any excess salt. Mix all of the spice ingredients in a bowl, then sprinkle on both sides of the chicken.
Set your grill for indirect heat and adjust the temperature to 250 degrees F. If using a kettle or gas grill, set it up for indirect, 2-zone heating. Add some apple wood or other mild wood for smoke. Because, I’m using the Gourmet Guru Grill, insert the plate setter for an indirect cook.
Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over.
While the chicken is cooking, place all of the Huli-Huli sauce ingredients in a pot over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes. The sauce will reduce by about half and thicken.
When the chicken reaches about 150 degrees F, remove from the grill. Now increase the temperature on the grill to high (500 degrees F+). For the Gourmet Guru Grill, remove the plate setter and open the vents. Place the chicken back on the grill and glaze with the Huli-Huli sauce. After 7 to 10 minutes, turn the chicken over and glaze the other side.
Watch carefully as the high temperature and sugar in the glaze can cause flare ups and burn the chicken. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You can turn the chicken and glaze again.
For the step-by-step recipe instructions watch our Huli-Huli Chicken video.