Pineapple BBQ Chicken



We have been grilling this whole weekend. We had hamburgers topped with blue cheese on Friday, pineapple BBQ chicken on Saturday and grilled shrimp with tzatziki, spinach, and feta on Sunday. Have you ever tried grilling the whole chicken? If not, I would really recommend to try! It’s easily the tastiest chicken I’ve ever made. It stayed completely moist and tender and had a smokey flavor from the grill. The Pineapple BBQ sauce was out of this world, sweet, tangy and just slightly spicy. We ate it with grilled corn and it was seriously just awesome. This list of the ingredients are quite long but it’s actually a very easy recipe. While the grill is getting hot, butterfly the chicken. Here’s the step-by-step instructions on how to butterfly the chicken. While the chicken is grilling, prepare the BBQ sauce. First, I grilled the pineapple for few minutes to add a smokey flavor to the sauce. Then I finished the sauce on the stove. You can use any leftovers of the BBQ sauce for BBQ wings or chicken quesadilla that I will be posting shortly.

Pineapple BBQ Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • One 5- to 7-pound roaster chicken, butterflied
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, for oiling grill grates

Pineapple BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple ( can use frozen, but I prefer fresh for this recipe), peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 chipotle chilies in Adobe sauce, chopped ( or adjust to your taste)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar ( this will depends how sweet the pineapple, adjust as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 orange, 1/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch cinnamon

For the chicken:

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rest on the counter for 2 hours to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat a grill to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil the grill grates.
  3. Grill the chicken over indirect heat, rotating occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, about 50 minutes. Note: read below about direct vs indirect heat.

BBQ Sauce:

  1. While the chicken is grilling, make the BBQ sauce. Grill the pineapple on high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from grill.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the grilled pineapple chunks and chipotle peppers and cook for 1 minute. Add the orange juice and cook until it caramelizes slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool and transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper .

When the chicken is nearly cooked through, brush on the BBQ sauce. Cover the grill and continue to cook until the glaze begins to color and the chicken is done. Cover the chicken loosely with foil and rest for 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Then cut into sections and serve. Enjoy!


Note: What is the difference between grilling over “direct” and “indirect” heat?

When using the direct grilling method, the food is cooked “directly” over an even heat source (gas or charcoal). This method is best for foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook, such as steaks, chops, boneless chicken breasts, burgers and hot dogs. The food must be turned halfway through the cooking time to expose both sides to the heat.

With the indirect grilling method, foods are not cooked directly over the heat. On a charcoal grill, the hot coals are moved or “banked” to opposite sides of the grill with a drip pan between the coals, then the food is placed in the center of the grill rack. On a gas grill, a side or center burner is turned off after the grill preheats, then the food is placed over the unlit burner.

Grilling over indirect heat is used for foods that need to be cooked for a longer time like roasts, whole poultry, ribs and other large cuts of meat. Because of the slower cooking, foods do not need to be turned.

Often a combination of both methods is used. For example, a 1-1/2-inch-thick steak can be seared or browned over direct heat for a short period of time and moved to the indirect heat area to continue cooking internally without excess browning.




This recipe is inspired by “Sweet Glazed Grilled Chicken” from “Food Network”

More on how to grill whole chicken from “Serious Eats”


25 thoughts on “Pineapple BBQ Chicken

  1. What a great post! Not only did you give some great tips on grilling (direct / indirect heat) but this BBQ sauce is out of this world! I’m printing and going to make it this weekend. I can see using indirect heat really browned the chicken nicely, rather than black & charred from direct heat. Looking forward to trying it.

  2. This looks INCREDIBLE, I can’t wait to try it! My husband and I LOVE to grill and are always on the lookout for different toppings and marinades, this sounds great and you’re right- even though the ingredient list looks long, it’s very easy- even better! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hello- this sounds positively stunning! I will be making it. I have a question- did you notice the BBQ sauce tasted better using it on the second day? Sauces are so short they can be made while preparing the dish, however, I find they taste better on day 2- unless it is a creamy sauce or used eggs. I guess it is common sense, but let me know what you thought of it on the follow up usage.

    • You absolutely right. I actually made it one day in advance to save some time. I also noticed that it was less spicy on the second day. I used 1 chipotle chili but then added another one later. It depends how spicy you like it as you might want to use more.

  4. Olga, your chicken looks phenomenal! Your grilling recipes are making me itch to get mine out. Except the weather was 100+ degrees this past week and all I wanted to do was stay inside and drink ice water. 😀

  5. Pingback: Pineapple BBQ Chicken | MBSIB: The Man With The Golden Tongs

  6. Pingback: Pineapple BBQ Quesadillas | Ocean View Kitchen

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