This recipe for Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs is so easy with a sticky caramelized BBQ sauce on the outside, juicy and oh so tender on the inside. Sometimes chicken thighs are overlooked but serving them up like this, well, the taste is unbelievably fabulous!
In my opinion, the thighs are the best part of the chicken. All those non-believers are going to be converted into believers after they taste this off-the-chart treat, trust me!!
I love to cook chicken thighs, they are usually a little cheaper than chicken breasts, but the taste is what I really love. The dark meat of the thighs is so tender and juicy. I think they are great!
How to prepare Grilled Bbq Chicken Thighs.
Grilled BBQ Chicken thighs are really quite easy to prepare. Some people like the boneless, skinless thighs. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. But when I’m going to make grill chicken thighs, I prefer the skin on and bone-in thighs. I find they cook better, and they are more flavorful! As I mentioned, I love the taste of the dark meat of the thighs and, oh, that crispy glazed skin!
- Bone-in chicken thighs
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Smoked paprika
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Barbecue sauce
Grilling BBQ chicken thighs
Using a paper towel, dab the chicken thighs dry then place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, Kosher salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, making sure that all the thighs are coated with the dry rub of spices.
You can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for up to two hours. If you are in a rush, you can get them on the grill right away.
I like to oil the grill grates before I preheat my grill to avoid the meat sticking to the grill. Heat the grill to medium-hot. When the grill is ready, place the chicken thighs on the grill, skin side down. Leave them on the grill for 6-7 minutes. You are looking for nice grill marks but you have to watch them. The skin will cause flare-ups. You can move the chicken thighs around the grill to keep them from burning.
Flip the thighs over and continue to cook them for about 3 minutes. Brush the side facing up with BBQ sauce.
Flip the Chicken thighs again and brush the top with more BBQ sauce. Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes. Flip the thighs one last time, brush with BBQ sauce. The skin side should be up at this point.
Continue to cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches a minimum of 165 degrees F using a meat thermometer. I use the Thermoworks Thermapen instant-read thermometer; it works great every time!!
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How long does it take to cook chicken thighs on a BBQ Grill?
As I always say, you never cook meat to a specific time; you cook it to a specific temperature. When you are cooking chicken, be it thighs, a chicken breast, chicken pieces, or even whole chicken, you must make sure that the meat is cooked.
For all chicken, the internal temperature must be at least 165 degrees F. You or your guest can become very sick from eating chicken that is undercooked. Chicken is not like beef; you cannot eat it medium-rare.
Do you put BBQ sauce on the chicken before grilling?
The short answer is no, you don’t want to put your BBQ sauce on your chicken before you put it on the grill. The chicken needs to cook, and the BBQ sauce is usually high in sugars like brown sugar, molasses, or honey.
These sugars in the BBQ sauce contribute to making your grilled BBQ chicken thighs so tasty. The problem is that they will burn. So if you put the BBQ sauce on at the beginning, before your chicken has a chance to cook, you will have a problem. By the time your chicken is fully cooked, your barbecued chicken will be completely charred black and burnt.
Chicken is so versatile, that’s what so great about it, besides the fact that it tastes great! From wings to breasts to whole rotisserie chicken, there are so many options when you are looking at serving chicken. You can grill it, roast it, BBQ it, or smoke chicken. Chicken tends to pick up the flavors of anything you add to it, making it one of the best proteins to work with barbecuing, grilling, or smoking!
Obviously, I love chicken with a rich BBQ sauce, but there are so many other ways to serve it. Who doesn’t love chicken with a little Asian flair, with a nice teriyaki sauce, perhaps? When you mix up a marinade for your chicken, you can add so much flavor, and it’s so easy!
Cooking chicken is quick too. You can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less, depending upon how you are cooking it.
How long does it take to cook chicken thighs on a gas grill?
Whether you cook on a gas grill or a charcoal grill, it pretty much takes the same amount of time to fully cook your chicken thighs. Remember you want an internal temp of at least 165 degrees F. Also, keep in mind that you want to cook chicken over medium heat (or less). If you try to cook it over a very hot grill, you will end up charring the outside and not properly cooking the inside.
One more thing to keep in mind is that boneless chicken will cook quicker than bone-in chicken. Although grilling bone-in chicken may take a little more time, it is more forgiving. Plus, it is generally juicier and more flavorful. The boneless chicken will dry out more rapidly, so it must be cooked with a little more care and attention.
Don’t you just want to take a bite of that juicy BBQ sauce-covered glorious piece of grilled BBQ chicken thigh! I know you do!
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 6 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce
1. Place the chicken thighs into a large bowl. Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper over the thighs. Toss to coat the chicken in the spices. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours or use immediately.
2. Preheat the grill to medium heat and oil the grates. Once the grill is hot, place the chicken thighs, skin side down. Grill for about 7 minutes, make sure you watch them as the skin will cause flare-ups. You can move them around the grill to keep them from burning.
3. Flip the thighs over and let cook for 3 minutes. Brush the chicken on the side facing up lightly with bbq sauce, cook an additional 3 minutes.
4. Flip the chicken again, and brush lightly with more bbq sauce on this side. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip one last time, and brush again with bbq sauce. The skin side should be up at this point.
5. Continue to cook until an internal temperature reaches 165°F. About 20 total minutes on the grill. Serve immediately.
Cook times may vary on the size of the thighs.
Marinating the chicken in the spices makes them more flavorful, but it is not absolutely necessary.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Cooked chicken lasts in the fridge for 3-4 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 573mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 31g