How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs + Marinade!

Juicy Flavorful Chicken Thighs on the Grill!

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! Oh, and if you are looking for a good BBQ sauce, we got you!! But that is not all…check out our BLOG POST for over 50 great side dishes to take to a cookout! From pasta salad to layered salads, to mac n cheese and MORE! We have the RECIPE from some of our favorite food bloggers for you!

100+ Great Side Dishes to Take to a Cookout!

The Best Potato Salad!
This red-skinned potato salad is made with hard boiled eggs, bacon & pickles. With a spicy mixture of mayo, dijon and seasonings, this will make everyone at the BBQ happy!
Check out this recipe
potato salad with bacon and eggs and chives in a glass bowl with a blue napkin
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.

Comments

  1. Pingback:Smoked Bacon Candy - The Perks of Being Us

  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

      Elaine,

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

      Dina and Bruce

  3. Shadi Hasanzade Reply

    Grilling season is here and I needed this! Thank you!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Shadi,

      We are so ready for it! And these smoky chicken thighs are gonna be on high rotation!

      Thank you,

      Dina and Bruce

  4. Ali Reply

    Such a useful guide now that it is almost barbecue season! Going to make some grilled chicken thigh wraps on the next nice day!

  5. Casey Reply

    I really loved this marinade! I can’t wait to use it on other things, too!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Casey,

      So glad you like this marinade! It is a great way to flavor meat!!

      Happy Grilling!

      Dina and Bruce

  6. Chenee Reply

    This was so informative, and so many great tips and tricks! Thank you!

  7. Kim Reply

    Thanks for writing such an informative post! I’m excited to try that marinade, too!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Kim,

      Thank you so much! This is a great marinade! We think you will love it!

  8. Kechi Reply

    This is a very informative post especially with Spring here and summer on it’s way. Also, this post is making me hungry. The grilled chicken looked so tasty!

  9. Amanda Reply

    The timing was perfect, and I LOVE that marinade! The buttermilk really tenderized the chicken. Will use that marinade again for sure.

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Amanda,

      So glad you love the marinade. It is our go to for all of our grilled chicken recipes!

      Thank you,
      Dina and Bruce

  10. Suja md Reply

    This was a such a delicious and easy recipe! I went perfect with my dinner meal. So good!

  11. Erik Reply

    So helpful! I never know how long things like this should take.

  12. Tara Reply

    Oooh, these chicken thighs look perfect! Such great tips for the upcoming grilling season. Yum!

  13. Marie Reply

    I’ve recently been making more chicken thighs and I’m so happy to have all this info now!

  14. Sara Welch Reply

    Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Turned out perfectly tender and juicy; easily, the best way to enjoy chicken thighs!

  15. imsen Reply

    These grilled chicken thighs look so amazing! I love the marinade, thanks for sharing

  16. Sharon Reply

    I love this comprehensive guide on grilling chicken thighs that came just when the grilling season starting up!

  17. Tayler Reply

    I used this recipe for dinner last night and I’ll never make chicken thighs another way! Perfectly cooked and juicy!

  18. Anjali Reply

    This was such a helpful guide to making chicken thighs perfectly!! I can’t wait to try all of your tips soon!

  19. Dana Reply

    Great tips here! Chicken thighs always scare me because the meat near the bone tends to always be pinkish and then I get all paranoid. Haha. Bookmarking this!

  20. Pingback:Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough - The Perks of Being Us

  21. Liza Reply

    I’ve never been able to grill chicken thighs evenly until now! Thank you for your great directions and tips.

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Liza,

      Thank you! We have been making more chicken thigh recipes, and have gotten this down!!

      Dina and Bruce

  22. Nikki Reply

    Great flavor on these versatile and fantastic chicken thighs. Appreciate all the information on grilling.

  23. Beth Reply

    This is such a great resource! I love the recipe, and I love all the information on how to grill the chicken itself. I had no idea you could get wood chips for a gas grill.

  24. Kerri Reply

    These chicken thighs look amazing!! Love the tips you included for this recipe!

  25. Marley Reply

    This post is super helpful for all things grilled chicken. Thanks for the tips!

  26. Andrea Reply

    Fantastic information especially with grilling season starting. Can’t wait to make these amazing chicken thighs.

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Andrea,

      We have made these a few times in the last few weeks. So good for weekend meal prep!

      Enjoy the Summer!

      Dina and Bruce

  27. Kushigalu Reply

    Very useful post on how to grill chicken thighs. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Tayler Ross Reply

    I made these chicken thighs over the weekend and they were PERFECT! Now that the weather is nicer and I’ll be grilling more, I can’t wait to make this chicken again!

  29. Angela Reply

    So much great info here! And I’m definitely making that buttermilk marinade!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Angela,

      Yes! The buttermilk is magical with chicken!

      Thank you,

      Dina and Bruce

  30. Shadi Hasanzadenemati Reply

    Thank you so much! The flavors are perfect and I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  31. Dana Reply

    Grilled chicken thighs flawlessly last night, thanks to your tips and tricks here. Great resource!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Dana,

      Nice! We are gonna be grilling up a bunch this weekend! Happy July 4th week!

      Dina and Bruce

  32. Shelby Reply

    This post was so helpful and the marinade is perfection!

  33. Traci Reply

    Perfect marinade for these chicken thighs! Love all the helpful grilling tips too! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Elisa Reply

    Very useful information on How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs, because usually chicken can be tricky and be dry at the end, but will take this post in my mind for the next time I cook chicken thighs. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  35. Anjali Reply

    This was such a helpful guide to making chicken thighs perfectly!! I’m bookmarking this and saving this for the next time we make chicken thighs on the grill!

  36. Janie Reply

    This totally helps! I never knew how to grill chicken with bones in especially this BBQ season.

  37. Dana Reply

    Been using these tips since uncovering the grill for the summer. Such a useful post! Thank you!

  38. Ned Reply

    Such great advice! I love making these fool proof chicken thighs. It was a game changer for me.

  39. DANNII Reply

    So many helpful tips here and that marinade was incredible.

  40. Stephanie Reply

    I promised myself I would up my grilling techniques this summer. The tips in the article were quite helpful grilling chicken thighs and I was pleased with the results. Thanks for the info!

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