Our Traeger Grilled Huli Huli Chicken thighs are perfect next to a fresh salad and a scoop of rice with all of the steamed or stir fried vegetables next to it. Our simple marinade has ingredients you probably have in your fridge or pantry already, so there’s nothing stopping you from making one of the best dinners you can make, TONIGHT!
Traeger Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
Fire up your grill and get it hot! We’re making some Huli Huli chicken and you’re going to love it! This flavorful play on teriyaki chicken is perfect for feeding a crowd, works with about any cut of chicken, and is something everyone can enjoy.
Where did Huli Huli Chicken come from?
Huli Huli Chicken originated in Hawaii, and is attributed to Ernest Morgado, a Hawaiian businessman, back in 1955. He originally made the dish using his mother’s teriyaki chicken recipe as a starting point, but putting his own spin on it. The result was a unique, sweet-and-tangy version of teriyaki chicken that quickly gained popularity.
The name “Huli Huli” comes from the Hawaiian word “huli”, which means “turn”. This was in direct relation to Morgado’s grilling method where the chicken was turned on a spit, evenly cooked on both sides over an open fire. As the story goes, when one side of the chickens was cooked, someone would shout, “huli!” and the chickens would be flipped to the other side. Over time, the Huli Huli Chicken has become synonymous with Hawaiian barbecue.
As it has evolved over the years, different variations of Huli Huli Chicken have emerged. While the original recipe used a simple marinade of brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, cooks today might add pineapple juice, ketchup, or sherry, among other ingredients, to put their own spin on the recipe.
Like all the recipes on our site, we encourage you to make this your own! Experiment and adjust to suit your own family’s tastes and make it your own!
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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken shopping list
Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
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How to make Traeger Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
Mix up all the marinade ingredients and put the boneless, skinless chicken thighs inside a big freezer baggie along with the marinade. Let them soak for 6-8 hours.
Hot and fast is the name of this game, so fire up the pellet grill and get it up to at least 400°F.
Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and place onto the grill. Cook for 6-8 minutes and then flip and cook for another 6-8 minutes, or until the internal temperature on the thickest part of the chicken thighs is at least 165°F.
Serve hot with some steamed rice and stir fried vegetables.
Try with some of our Creamy Mac Salad!
Huli Huli Chicken Recipe FAQ
Can another cut of chicken be used for this recipe?
Sure! You can use chicken breasts, bone-in chicken thighs, chicken legs (butterflied would be best), or even something like pork chops or pork tenderloin in this recipe. That’s what we’ll be doing next!
What’s the best way to store and reheat leftovers?
Store these in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave, or eat cold in a wrap or on a salad.
Are there any recommended additions or substitutions?
Like it spicy? Give it a squeeze or two of sriracha or your favorite hot sauce. LOVE a little more tang? Splash some black or white vinegar in the mix.
More great recipes using chicken thighs to love!
- Smoked Butter Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Traeger Jerk Chicken
- Smoked Green Chile Chicken Verde
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup catchup
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Combine the soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar together in a large freezer baggie. Put the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into the baggie and marinate for 6-8 hours.
- Preheat the grill to 400°F. Drain off the marinade and place the thighs onto the preheated grill.
- Grill for about 7-8 minutes and then flip. Cook for another 7-8 minutes, or until the internal temperature on the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.
- Remove from the grill and serve hot.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 184mgSodium: 1621mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 39g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.