How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs

How long to grill chicken thighs

Are you wondering how long to grill chicken thighs? I have to admit, grilling chicken thighs seemed a little daunting to me. Bruce has always been the chicken griller at our house. We are big smoked chicken fans, and often are smoking a whole chicken on the weekends. However, for a quicker week night meal, grilled smoked chicken thighs are perfect! With this step by step how-to guide of the cooking process, you will get the best results. For added flavor, we are using Western Wood BBQ Cherry wood chunks. The smoke from these chunks imparts amazing flavor!

This post is sponsored by Western Premium BBQ

How long will the chicken thighs take to grill?

Cooking time will vary, depending on the size of the chicken thighs, and if they are bone in or boneless. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs cook quickly, in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size. Bone-in thighs, however, take a bit more time, between 25 and 30 minutes. Use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thighs. They’re finished cooking when the temperature reads 165°F

Should I use bone-in chicken thighs, or boneless thighs?

Knowing these are being smoked for a salad, we are using skinless chicken thighs that are also boneless. If you are looking for crispy skin, you will want to use skin-on thighs. It is comepletly up to your preference. You can grill these up on a weekend, keep them in an airtight container to eat for lunch or dinners during the week. I love using them in quesidillas, sandwiches, and salads!

Can I get a smoky flavor on a gas grill?

You absolutely can! The nice thing about Western Premium BBQ products is they have both chips and chunks. Wood chips for the gas grill, and wood chunks for the charcoal grill. Both impart flavor into whatever you are grilling. We like using the cherry wood for the slightly sweet, smoky flavor it gives the dark meat of the chicken thighs.

Step 1: Prepare the chicken for grilling

Marinating your chicken is the easiest, and best way to get a tasty, juicy result. We start our marinade with buttermilk.To get the best flavor spice blends are a good addition, but watch for the sodium content to avoid it ending up making the chicken too salty. We like to use onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika for our seasonings. Simply add the chicken thighs to a glass container or a bag, add in the buttermilk, spices, and a spoon of dijon mustard. Then a few dashes of sriracha, and Worchestershire sauce. You can marinade them for 30 minutes, or all day. You can even leave them overnight. Soaking chicken pieces or other meats in buttermilk make the meat tender. While harsher acids like lemon juice or vinegar can tenderize, they can also dry out the meat. You will get the most flavorful chicken by using a marinade.

Dina’s Favorite Chicken Marinade

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

Step 2: Prepare the grill

We fire up our Big Green Egg with lump charcoal. Once the fire dies down, and the hot coals are ready, we place 1 or 2 pieces of Western Premium BBQ cherry wood chunks in the center of the glowing charcoal. You are looking for a medium-high heat. At this point place if you have a plate setter, place it over the heat and add the grill. Using a paper towel with a little olive oil, brush the grill grates so the chicken does not stick.

Step 3: Grill the chicken thighs

Place boneless chicken thighs on grill grates, and grill them for approximately 6-7 minutes with the grill lid on. Flip and grill for another 6-7 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F. They will continue to cook to the safe temprature of 165°F while resting, covered with foil. You will want to let them rest for 5 minutes, before you slice and serve.

How do I grill skin-on chicken bone-in chicken thighs?

Place chicken thighs, skin side down, on oiled grates over lit side of the grill. Grill, covered, until skin is well marked and crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn thighs over.  Grill, covered, until a thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into thickest part of a chicken thigh, 20 to 25 minutes, turning halfway through grilling. Remove from grill, cover in foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

What can I use grilled smoked chicken thighs for?

One of our favorite things to use chicken thighs in, is a salad. Simply slice and place chicken thighs over a bed of lettuce with cucumbers and tomatoes. We added roasted pecans and smoked bacon candy. Another great way to use the chicken is for lettuce wraps. Simpy add barbecue sauce, or any other sauce that you like, along with some sliced up veggies. They make the perfect low calorie dinner or lunch. If you cut them up, you can add them to a low carb wrap, along with your favorite add ins.

How do I Reheat chicken thighs?

Reheating chicken thighs in the microwave is certainly an option, but the method diminishes the quality of the chicken. Reheating in the oven is an excellent method. Simply place in an oven safe dish, add a few drops of water, cover with foil and re-heat for about 10 minutes at 350 F. You can also do the same on a stove top, by placing in a pan, covered.

What side dishes go with grilled chicken thighs?

Of course they go great with or on salads. Potato Salad makes a great side dish. If you want to totally make this for a BBQ, add Baked Beans too! Buttermilk biscuits, and Cast iron Cornbread are 2 great sides to make this a more substantial meal! We hope you give a few of these recipes a try!

Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.


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  2. Elaine Reply

    Very informative blog post! Move over Z, I’m taking over the grill next time we have thighs! 🔥💨

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      Look out Z! Elaine is gonna be the grill master!! Thank you for your kind words!

      Dina and Bruce

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