BBQ Beer Brined Hawaiian Chicken

In the beginning of June, my coworkers (James and Paul) and I created a BBQ Club called the South Bay Backyard BBQ Crew.  The purpose of the club is to bring BBQ enthusiasts together to eat good BBQ, share BBQ recipes and grilling tips/tricks, and show off the delicious BBQ the crew makes.  To help promote BBQ’ing more regularly, we created a calendar with Weekly BBQ Themes to encourage members to grill weekly and share their BBQ experience with the rest of the crew.

This week, the Weekly BBQ Theme is Poultry. I decided to make a classic barbecued chicken with a homemade Hawaiian BBQ sauce and focused on two techniques to make the chicken super moist, ultra tender, and mad juicy: indirect grilling and beer brining.

First, in the indirect grilling method,  a two-zone fire is created by adding coals to only one side of the grill. When the lid is covered, the grill turns into an oven and roasts large pieces of meat via reflective heat circulating inside the grill.  This method is perfect for larger pieces of meat, like tri-tip, whole chicken, chicken pieces, and whole fish.

Second, brining the chicken before grilling infuses additional flavor into the chicken without drying out during grilling process making the chicken even more moist and juicy.

5 Pounds Chicken, Bone-In, cleaned and trimmed
3 Light Beer Cans
3 Cups Water
1/3 Cup Hawaiian Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon peppercorns
4 Bay Leaves
Olive oil
Hawaiian BBQ sauce or your favorite BBQ Sauce


Brine Chicken: In a large bowl, add beer, water, Hawaiian Sea Salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves.  With a whisk or fork, mix until sugars and salt dissolve. Add Chicken.  Wrap bowl with plastic wrap or foil and let it brine for at least 3 hours.  About 1-2 hours before you’re ready to grill the chicken, remove chicken from the brine and pat dry.

Season Chicken: Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle your favorite BBQ Rub on both sides of the chicken pieces.  With your hands, gently rub the seasoning into each chicken piece.  Season the chicken for at least 1 hour before grilling.

Grill Chicken: Set up two-zone fire on the grill for indirect grilling.  Clean grate and then oil the grate.  Sear chicken on both sides on the direct heat 2/minutes side.  Transfer chicken pieces to indirect heat.  Cover grill with the lid with vent holes fully opened and over chicken. Cook on indirect heat for an hour.  After an hour, open lid, brush BBQ sauce on the chicken pieces, and cover lid and continue cooking for 10 minutes.  Repeat the brushing step for about half hour or until the internal temperature of the chicken pieces reach 175 degrees for thighs/legs and 165 degrees for breast.


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