Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

May: National Barbecue Month

Although we live in Texas and appreciate eating the smoky, saucy Southwestern-style barbecue ribs and briskets, Islander is understandably partial to the teriyaki-types of meats that her Daddy cooks for the ‘ohana (family). Hawaiian barbecue chicken is marinated with a soy sauce mix that is sweetened with sugar (Daddy also stirs in pineapple juice) and seasoned with ginger and garlic, then it is grilled over hot coals or on a hibachi.  Hawaiian barbecue chicken and also beef and seafood are so popular as a plate lunch item in local diners and drive-ins that many of these island-inspired restaurants, especially on the mainland, have “barbecue” or “grill” in its name.  For National Barbecue Month, we have changed our blog name to HI BBQ posted Daddy’s special marinade recipe for Hawaiian barbecue chicken. Aloha!


(Adapted from Daddy)

  • 2-3 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • ½ cup soy sauce (we used Aloha Shoyu grand, low sodium)
  • 1 small (8 ounces) can of pineapple rings (we used Dole brand)
  • ½ cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons oil (we used Oils of Aloha brand macadamia nut oil)
  • 1-2 stalks green onions, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sesame seeds


In a large container with a lid, make the marinade by mixing the soy sauce with the juice from the canned pineapple. Sprinkle in the sugar. Mix in the garlic, ginger and oil.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Soak the chicken in the marinade. Top with the pineapple rings. Scatter the green onions and sesame seeds over everything. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Barbecue over hot coals or grill the chicken, basting frequently with the marinade. Garnish with grilled pineapple rings or green onions (optional).

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken


  • Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) to Daddy for his ‘ono (delicious) marinade recipe and to Auntie Maria B. for the macadamia nut oil.
  • Plate lunches in Hawaii include a meat or seafood entrée, scoops of rice and a side of macaroni salad.