Honey Ginger Barbecue Chicken

A chicken lays flat on the grill after being marinaded, not being smoked until cooked through.

This honey ginger barbecue chicken is heavily influenced by Vietnamese flavors. It is nestled in a sweet marinade before being smoked and then grilled. The marinade has ginger, garlic, honey, fish sauce, and a bit of heat from red pepper flakes. 

Very sweet marinade preparations like this work well with the low temperatures that come with indirect cooking, such as smoking. If the barbecue is too hot or you try to grill it then the sugars will caramelize quickly and go very dark or even burn.

This barbecued chicken goes well with a simple cooked white rice and Asian-style green vegetables. Try grilling baby bok choy or cabbage alongside the chicken. Or keep it fresh and serve it with slaw. 

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A mahogany colored smoked chicken is on the barbecue cooked and ready to be taken off and served.
This chicken is marinated before being smoked and grilled. The honey and ginger marinade create an Asian flavor to this delicate dish.
A smoked and grilled quarter of chicken is serve on a green platter with a side of rice.
After marinading, smoking, then grilling this honey and ginger chicken is finally served with a side of rice.
A whole chicken is marinading in a honey and ginger marinade.
Honey and ginger are the main flavors in this marinade but also include garlic, fish sauce, and chili.
A chicken lays flat on the grill after being marinaded, not being smoked until cooked through.
Honey and ginger are the prominent flavors in this chicken recipe that is both smoked and grilled.

Honey Ginger Barbecue Chicken Recipe

A chicken lays flat on the grill after being marinaded, not being smoked until cooked through.
This Honey Ginger Barbecue Chicken is heavily influenced by Vietnamese flavors in a sweet marinade before being smoked and then grilled.
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 2 hours 25 minutes
Ready in 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
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  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger cut into matchsticks
  • 4 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan rock salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 extra large whole chickens spatchcocked (butterflied)


  • smoker or barbecue set-up for indirect heating
  • applewood (chunk, chip or pellet depending on you grill/smoker)


  • In a saucepan over mild heat add the canola oil, then add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Add to the oil the honey, water, salt, pepper, fish sauce, and chili flakes. Stir well over the heat until the marinade is well combined, but do not boil. Put aside to cool.
  • Place each spatchcocked chicken in a large ziplock bag. Add one-third of the cooked marinade into each bag, and put the remaining third aside to use later. Seal the bag and gently massage the marinade into the chicken then chill for 2 to 24 hours.
  • Set up your barbecue (grill or smoker) for indirect cooking at a temperature of 225 degrees F (107 degrees C). Add smoke to the barbecue with applewood.
  • Remove the chickens from the marinade and place skin side up on the pre-heated barbecue. After 1 hour check your chicken and rotate 180 degrees if needed.
  • At the 2-hour mark, the chicken will be about 150 degrees F (66 degrees C). At this point in time place the chicken over direct heat for about 1 minute for the top and the bottom. Return to the indirect heat and glaze with the remaining third of the marinade. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • When done rest the chicken for 5 minutes, then serve in large joint pieces.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 36gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 784mgPotassium: 419mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 343IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg

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Ben Arnot the voice of Smoking Hot Confections is a contributor to Bush Cooking, visit BushCooking.com to see his amazing recipes. #bushcooking #smokinghotconfessions

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Ben might just be the biggest BBQ nerd that you’d ever meet. He’s an internationally competitive BBQ pitmaster and internationally awarded BBQ media personality.

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