Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe
Today I am going to share the best grilled chicken thighs recipe with you that calls for only three ingredients: chicken thighs (bone in), homemade dry rub and liquid smoke.
Yes, it’s that easy and the end results are absolutely delicious…the juiciest grilled chicken you will ever make. I guarantee you, just like my juicy and tender grilled steak.
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How to Grill Chicken Thighs?
How to make the juiciest grilled chicken thighs on a gas grill? I am sure many of you have had dry, overcooked and burned thighs that taste pretty much like a piece of charcoal.
To get the chicken perfectly cooked, with charred and crispy skin while retaining the juice inside the chicken, you need to know how long to cook, grill time and at what temperature.
Here are the tips and techniques for the best grill and BBQ every time!
- Grill the chicken thighs on direct heat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, about 2 minutes on each side, with the skin side down first. Turn the chicken thighs a couple of times to avoid burning.
- Move the chicken thighs to the side without direct heat.
- Cover the lid of the gas grill and continue to barbeque the chicken thighs for about 6-8 minutes. The hot air in the grill will BBQ and cook the chicken and retain the juice.
- The grilling time depends on the size of the thighs, but the internal temperature should be 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius) when it’s completely cooked through.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, check doneness by cutting a slit to see the inside of the chicken.
Dry Rub Marinade
For this recipe, I used my homemade dry rub as a marinade for the chicken thighs. The dry rub consists of the following ingredients:
- Salt and sugar/brown sugar
- Chili powder
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Steak seasoning (McCormick brand)
- Cayenne pepper
I also used liquid smoke to bring out extra smokiness and aromas in the grilled chicken. The end result is legendary, to say the least!
Frequently Asked Questions
Difference between Bbq and Grilling?
BBQ is done when you cook with the lid closed, cooking with the circumventing hot air inside the grill.
Grilling is when you cook with the lid open, with direct heat searing the meat. In my recipe, I used both BBQ and grilling techniques to keep my chicken moist and extremely juicy.
How Many Calories per Serving?
These grilled chicken thighs are only calories 418 per serving (about 2 pieces).
What to Serve with This Recipe?
Serve the chicken with summer side dishes. For a healthy summer meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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Juicy Grilled Chicken Thighs
The best and juiciest grilled chicken thighs you'll ever make, with a marinade of homemade dry rub and liquid smoke. The chicken thighs are so moist and delicious!
- 1 1/2 lbs bone in chicken thighs (5 small thighs)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons homemade dry rub
- 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for grilling
Score the bottom part of the chicken thighs lengthwise with a few slits. This will make sure that the marinade ingredients get inside the chicken meat.
Marinate the chicken thighs with homemade dry rub and liquid smoke. Stir to combine well.
Grill the chicken thighs on direct heat at 300°F (150°C), about 2 minutes on each side, with the skin side down first. Turn the chicken thighs a couple of times to avoid burning. Baste the chicken with olive oil while grilling.
Move the chicken thighs to the side of the grill without direct heat and barbeque the chicken. Cover the gas grill and continue to barbeque the chicken thighs for about 6-8 minutes. The hot air in the grill will BBQ and cook the chicken and will retain the juice.
The grilling time depends on the size of the thighs, but the internal temperature should be 165°F (75°C) when it's completely cooked through. Serve hot with your favorite hot sauce.
I haven’t tasted the good yet because it’s still cooking. Rasa’s recipes are all tasty, but her cooking temperatures vs. cooking times are usually way off.
Tonight I used a gas grill and 300° is way too low to sear the thighs so that they could be cooked indirect for 6 -8 minutes and reach 165° internal temp.
Hi Larry – thanks for pointing out. My cooking time and temperature are according to my oven, but I do have a convection oven. So that may explainwhy it takes longer for others to cook things through. I don’t have a normal oven so I can’t test for sure. I write my recipes according to what I have experienced in my kitchen. But anyway, for cooking or baking, it’s really the best to just use your eyes to check doneness and if you need to, just check the doneness by the most primitive way, using a knife to cut through the deepest part and see if it’s cooked through. If not, bake or cook longer.
I’ve used this recipe a few times since my original comments and the thighs are absolutely delicious. The dry rub is perfect for cooking on a gas grill.
Just found you on Instagram. Tried your grilled chicken thighs recipe and loved it. I see you are originally from Penang and so I trust your taste buds when you say it’s good. I’m originally from KL. Been here for about 33 years now in Sacramento California. Thanks for the recipe. Gonna try your other recipes soon.
Hi Mohan, awesome. Please try more recipes on my site: https://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-index-gallery/
I meant ‘bake’ the thighs.
Hi Stacey, you can bake at 425F for 35 minutes or until the skin turns crispy and brown and the inside is cooked through. You can also refer to this baked chicken thighs recipe: https://rasamalaysia.com/baked-chicken-thighs/
Because of the weather I won’t be able to grill the chicken. At what temperature, and for how long, should I grill the thighs?
Great tasting, but when I added liquid smoke it turned the dry rub to paste I did check that I used the correct measurements. Do you apply them separately?
These chicken thighs were yummy. However, mine took 40 minutes ti cook!
Right, they are so good. Some grill takes longer than others. :)
Oh wow, these chicken thighs are so juicy looking. Going to try your recipe this weekend. Your recipes are the best!
Thanks Tonya I appreciate your comment, yes, the best grilled chicken thighs ever! :)