This is one of the best recipes for Slow cooker Hawaiian bbq pulled chicken with a tangy and sweet pineapple sauce. This is seriously one of the easiest meals I have made, it really just takes three ingredients dumped into a crock pot and shredded it an hour or so later. What is Hawaiian pulled chicken? Well, to put it frankly, it is shredded chicken with pineapples and bbq sauce. Yeah, that is it. I like to add brown sugar, but you really do not have to. I am not even a huge pineapple fan, unless it is a piña colada, but it is amazing on chicken! So, even if you are not a pineapple fan, you have to try it out.
If you are looking for one of the best BBQ pulled chicken recipes, you are in the right place. I love how the bbq sauce in this recipe gives such a rich and tangy flavor, then the pineapple and juice gives it a sweet, mellow flavor. Then, add in some brown sugar if you like it sweet and this really makes the best Hawaiian BBQ chicken sauce.
I made this Hawaiian pulled chicken in a slow cooker; however, there are many ways to make it. Whatever cooking instrument you have, I know you can make this.
What You Need for Pulled Hawaiian Chicken
First things first is a crock pot or slow cooker of course. I use the original crock pot brand and I love using the liners for easy clean up; however, you do not have to. Make sure you grab a meat thermometer too, that can stay in a closed crock. If you do not have a crock pot, I will go over alternative cooking methods later on, stay tuned.
For this recipe, you basically need three ingredient, but I like to throw in some extra sugar too.
- Chicken breast
- BBQ sauce
- Brown sugar
- Garlic salt
This specific recipe works really great with chicken breast as they are amazing in the slow cooker. I used two chicken breasts that were 8 ounces each, for a pound total. You can substitute another cut of chicken or another type of meat if you want. I use chicken cutlets when I make this in the pressure cooker but I also use pork butt when I make this in the crock pot.
For the BBQ sauce, you know me, I am using sugar free. You are more than welcome to use any BBQ sauce that you want, just be mindful of the brown sugar that you put into it. For reference, I use G Hughes sugar free BBQ sauce in the original, it is the best! This is one of the best BBQ pulled chicken recipes you could try so we are going to need a good BBQ sauce.
Pulled Hawaiian chicken needs some pineapple! The specific pineapple kind of matters, but also does not matter. Really, it is more of a personal preference. I prefer pineapple tidbits because they are very small, they come in a can in the canned fruit aisle at the store. Any canned pineapple that you want to use will work out fine. I have made this with crushed pineapple and pineapple chunks but I really do prefer the tidbits. Now, another thing to be cautious about is what is in the canned pineapple. Use a canned pineapple that is in 100% juice, we do not want any additives. Especially if you are on WW, added sugar will start to add points. But again, personal preference.
Finally, this recipe calls for brown sugar replacement as I use sugar free BBQ sauce. I make other versions of this recipe without brown sugar; however, the extra sugar with pulled meat is just so good. Hawaiian pulled chicken is sweet, that is just how it is. But, you can use regular sugar or just skip the sugar if you want to.
Now, do you really need broth? No. Do I like using it? Yes. I feel like it kind of helps keep the moisture in the chicken; however, you can honestly skip it or just use water. I use low sodium chicken broth but others work too, whatever you have.
How to Make Hawaiian Pulled Chicken
First things first is a crock pot or slow cooker of course. I use the original crock pot brand and I love using the liners for easy clean up; however, you do not have to. Make sure you grab a meat thermometer too, that can stay in a closed crock. Line the crock pot with the crock pot liner, if using that.
Pour the broth at the bottom of the crock pot. Place the chicken breasts at the bottom of the crock pot and sprinkle with the garlic salt. Pour on the pineapples, with the juice, the BBQ sauce and the brown sugar. Swirl the sauce together then place the lid on the crock pot. If using a meat thermometer, place that into the biggest part of the biggest piece of chicken before putting the lid on the crock pot.
Cook on low for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the chicken has reached an internal temperate of 165 degrees and is fully cooked. Remove the chicken to a bowl, as not to ruin the crock pot. Shred the chicken, it is easy with a hand mixer, then place back into the crock pot with all the juices, tossing to absorb all of the juices. This Hawaiian BBQ chicken sauce is amazing, you do not want to waste any of it.
Serve by itself, over rice or as a sandwich. This is one of the best BBQ pulled chicken recipes and it is amazing however you want to eat it!
This recipe is for 1 pound of chicken, two 8 ounce chicken breasts. Typically, this takes anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours, cooking times vary a lot so just be mindful of that. If you want to double this recipe, which I have, you will need to double the cooking time.
Alternatives Way to Cook
What if I want to make Hawaiian pulled chicken but do not have a slow cooker? Well, do not worry, let's go over some alternative ways to cook this Hawaiian pulled chicken.
Do you prefer baked chicken? Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a greased baking tray, sprinkling with the garlic salt. Bake for about 40 minutes, flipping halfway, until fully cooked. These were big chicken breasts and would take a while to cook. You can also butterfly them in half to speed up the cooking time. When there is about 10 minutes left, heat a medium sized pan on the stove over medium heat. Use one with tall sides as to not let the sauce splash around. Add the brown sugar, BBQ sauce and pineapple, bringing to a simmer, stirring occassionaly. When the chicken is done, shred using a hand mixture then add to the pan with the sauce. Toss everything around to absorb all the juices.
I love making this in the pressure cooker. I will link the Instant Pot that I use here and also the non-stick bowl insert here that I love, it helps to keep your food from sticking while cooking and also makes clean up easy.
Start by greasing the bottom of the Instant Pot with some cooking spray. Sprinkle the chicken cutlets with a little bit of garlic salt. Place the chicken cutlets at the bottom of the bowl. Add in the same ingredients, broth, bbq sauce, sugar and pineapples, giving it all a little swirl. Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the pressure cook button to 15 minutes and start it. Once completely cooked, let set for 5 minutes, then vent and de-pressurize the instapot then open the lid. Remove the chicken, shredding it with a hand mixer, then place back in the bowl and toss to absorb all of the juices.
Now do I really see a difference between making this Hawaiian pulled chicken in the slower cooker versus the pressure cooker? I feel like the debate is still out.
Cook the chicken on the stove top, over medium high heat, sprinkled with the garlic salt. Cook until it is almost fully cooked. Mix together the BBQ sauce and pineapple, then pour over the almost cooked chicken. Put a lid on your pan and steam/cook until the chicken is fully cooked and the pineapple/bbq is heated up. This is difficult with a large chicken breast and works better with thinner cutlets or tenderloins.
Remove the chicken, shredding it with a hand mixer, then place back in the pan and toss to absorb all of the juices.
Are you loving this Hawaiian BBQ chicken sauce? Well, I have a couple other ones that you have to try!
Still on island time but want something other than pineapple?
If you want some more crock pot recipes, but are not in the mood for more Hawaiian flavor, try these recipes out:
All of these would be amazing and delicious!
Are you more of a visual learner and need a video tutorial? Watch it and then come back here for more detailed instructions and ingredients!
Hawaiian Pulled Chicken
This is one of the best recipes for Slow cooker Hawaiian bbq pulled chicken with a tangy and sweet pineapple sauce. This is seriously one of the easiest meals I have made, it really just takes three ingredients dumped into a crock pot and shredded it an hour or so later.
Pulled Hawaiian Chicken
- ⅛ cup chicken broth low-sodium
- 1 pound chicken breast two pieces
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ⅓ cup sugar free BBQ sauce
- 1 can pineapple tidbits 8 ounces
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar replacement
- Pour the broth at the bottom of the crock pot. Place the chicken breasts at the bottom of the crock pot and sprinkle with the garlic salt.
- Pour on the pineapples, with the juice, the BBQ sauce and the brown sugar. Swirl the sauce together then place the lid on the crock pot.
- Cook on low for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the chicken has reached an internal temperate of 165 degrees and is fully cooked.
- Remove the chicken to a bowl. Shred the chicken, it is easy with a hand mixer, then place back into the crock pot with all the juices. Mix the chicken around in the juices until all the liquid is absorbed.
Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken is one of my most popular recipes! Check it out below.
Here are some other similar recipes or recipes I know you will love!
Here are some more classic All American dishes!
Are you on WW and looking for a points value? Click this link and your points will automatically calculate for you. It is two points for me, because of the pineapple.