BBQ Chicken Adobo

Back in 2015, I learned how to make Chicken Adobo and it’s been a dish we make pretty regularly at home.  The salty, sweet, and tart flavors of the dish is super addicting.  Flavor bomb in every bite!

On a hot summer night, the girls requested Chicken Adobo for dinner the following night.  I had all the ingredients handy and marinated the chicken and planned to cook it the next day when I got home from work.  The next day, it was super hot when I got home and I thought it would be an excellent idea to try to BBQ it instead. I started off by BBQing the bone-in chicken over indirect heat like I normally do, then heated the liquid and finished the braising process directly on the BBQ grill.

The hybrid BBQ and braised Chicken Adobo turned out amazing, packed with all the flavors we love, and enhanced with the amazing BBQ smokiness we enjoy.  Usually, the bbq chicken is salty and/or sweet.  This version adds a flavorful zing from the vinegar to make it super unique.  Like the original Chicken Adobo dish, we enjoyed the chicken with steamed rice.


5-6 lb Chicken, with skin and bone
12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 -2 tablespoons black peppercorns
8 Dried Bay Leaves
3/4 cup Aloha Shoyu (or Kikkoman Brand)
3/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 large yellow onion, sliced
green onions, chopped (for garnish)


Prepare Marinade – In a medium bowl, combine Aloha shoyu, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and fish sauce.  Mix ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.  Add smashed garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and dried bay leaves. Mix again.

Marinate Chicken – In a medium bowl or ziplock bag, add chicken pieces.  Pour marinade over chicken and mix well.  Cover and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator preferably overnight or for at least 3 hours.

Prepare Chicken – Place the chicken on a sheet pan and pat dry.  Add reserved liquid into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.

Prepare Grill – Fill a charcoal chimney 3/4 full of charcoal briquettes.  Light up the chimney until coals are fully burned.  Spread hot charcoal over one side of the grill to set up a two-zone fire on the grill for indirect grilling.

BBQ Chicken – Add chicken pieces skin side up to the indirect side of the BBQ grill.  BBQ the chicken with the lid closed at 325-350 degrees. After 30 minutes, open the lid and rotate chicken pieces to ensure even cooking.  Close the lid and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.


Braise Chicken After 45 minutes, open the lid.  Place the 12-inch cast-iron skillet with the reserved liquid over direct heat and bring it to a boil.  After braising liquid boils for a few minutes, add the chicken pieces to the braising liquid and move the cast-iron skillet over to the indirect heat side.  Close lid and cook for another 15 minutes to continue crisping up the skin. Chicken is ready when the internal temperature of chicken reaches 175 degrees.  Remove the cast-iron from the BBQ grill and garnish with green onions.


  • You can use any bone-in chicken pieces for this recipe.  For bone-in chicken breasts, make sure internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • If Aloha shoyu is not available, regular soy sauce is fine as well.
  • If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can add the liquid into a regular 12-inch skillet, add the chicken and simmer with the lid closed on the stovetop for 15 minutes.

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