Huli Huli Sauce (Hawaiian BBQ Sauce)

Huli Huli Sauce is a Hawaiian Barbecue Sauce that’s bursting with flavors! Use this sauce as a baste for chicken or ribs or even drizzled over pulled pork. This bright, tangy sauce can be used as a marinade or a basting sauce for grilled meats.

hawaiian barbecue sauce in pot with brush

What Is Huli Huli Sauce?

Huli Huli Sauce (aka Hawaiian Barbecue Sauce) is made from pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger with a base of ketchup. The sauce is sweet and tangy and brings a delicious, teriyaki-style flavor to chicken, steak or pork.

This flavorful sauce can be used as both a marinade or a basting sauce on grilled meats. “Huli” means to turn in Hawaiian, so it’s said that the name comes from the meat being turned on an open fire barbecue. Since many of us at home don’t have these large, open fire pits, a grill works, too.

Ingredients In Huli Huli Sauce

The base for this Hawaiian BBQ sauce traditionally stays the same, but you can certainly tweak it to your liking. Try using crushed red chili flakes to spice it up, or your favorite hot sauce.

  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Pineapple juice
  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Rice wine or sherry

How Do You Make Hawaiian Barbecue Sauce?

It couldn’t be easier to make this tangy and sweet barbecue sauce, so it’s really not worth buying it from the store. Of course, there are some good brands out there that work, but you’ll be done making this BBQ sauce in just about 10 minutes.

  1. Add Ingredients To A Pot: Add all of the ingredients (see recipe card below for measurements) to a small pot and whisk together to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes over low heat so that the sauce can thicken and reduce.
  2. Taste: Taste the sauce after it has simmered and adjust any flavors or seasonings if needed. You might like a little more brown sugar if the sauce if to tangy, or a little more heat from the garlic sauce.
  3. Ready To Use: The sauce is now ready to use as a marinade or a basting sauce for grilled meats. If using for a marinade, make sure to cool the sauce completely before adding raw meat.
huli huli bbq sauce in pot with spoon

How Long Does This Sauce Keep In The Fridge?

Homemade barbecue sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Make sure to let the sauce cool completely to room temperature before storing it in an air tight container or mason jar.

Because this sauce lasts for such a long time in the refrigerator, go ahead and make a double batch. We use this sauce on so many dishes, it’s always good to have on hand!

huli huli sauce with basting brush in pot

What Can I Use Huli Huli Sauce On?

Anything that you’d normally put barbecue sauce on. Grilled chicken, pork or beef dishes like BBQ Ribs are all good choices. Of course you can make a traditional Huli Huli Chicken with this sauce by marinating the chicken first before it hits the grill.

You can even use this sauce in slow cooker recipes like our Hawaiian Pulled Chicken! It’s so versatile, we love adding it to lots of our recipes.

Looking For More Sauce Recipes?

hawaiian barbecue sauce in pot with brush

Huli Huli Sauce (Hawaiian BBQ Sauce)

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup of sauce 1x

Huli Huli Sauce (AKA Hawaiian BBQ Sauce) is perfect for grilling! Use this tangy and sweet sauce as a marinade or a baste for grilled meats.



  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a small pot and whisk to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and then cook for 10 minutes to let the sauce reduce and thicken.
  3. If using this sauce as a marinade for meats, let the sauce cool completely before using. Or you can use this sauce as a basting sauce for grilled chicken, beef or pork.

Recipe Notes

Store: Let the sauce cool to room temperature and then store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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