One of our favourite easy chicken thigh recipes is Grilled Chicken Thighs. They always have the best seasoning and are tender and juicy!
We like to keep our meals simple in the summer. We alternate between our favourite Grilled Chicken Breast recipe and these grilled chicken thighs depending on what cut of chicken we have on hand.
While you enjoy a good grilled chicken breast, you prefer grilling chicken thighs because they are more forgiving. Even if you slightly overcook the chicken thighs, they will remain juicy and flavorful. Baked Chicken Thighs, Instant Pot Chicken Thighs, or Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are frequently on our menu when it’s not grilling season.
We like to serve these chicken thighs with sides like roasted zucchini, Greek salad, potato salad, or fruit salad, and for dessert, Peach Cobbler. I also frequently grill extra chicken. For lunch, the leftovers are ideal for tossing into salads or sandwiches.
How Long Should Chicken Thighs be Grilled?
Grill boneless, skinless chicken thighs for 7-10 minutes per side, or until the chicken reaches 165° F. The best way to tell if your chicken is done is to use an instant-read thermometer and ensure the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
Bone-in chicken thighs will take longer to cook through on the grill. Grill them for 9-15 minutes per side, or until they reach a temperature of at least 165° F.
Serve the chicken with my easy Homemade BBQ Sauce or Buffalo Sauce for added flavour. If desired, baste the chicken with BBQ sauce in the final few minutes of cooking.
How to Make the Best Grilled Chicken?
The seasoning blend I used on these grilled chicken thighs is a twist on my favourite Chicken Seasoning recipe. Brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper are the seasoning ingredients. The brown sugar caramelizes the outside of the chicken, making it extra juicy and delicious.
Rub the chicken thighs with olive oil after patting them dry. The oil aids in the adhesion of the seasonings. After that, rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken thighs. Allow the chicken thighs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours after rubbing on the seasonings for the best flavour. This marinating time enhances the flavour of the meat.
Grilled Chicken Thighs Marinade
If you prefer to use a marinade instead of a spice rub, marinate the chicken thighs in my Chicken Marinade recipe before grilling, or try my marinated Cilantro Lime Chicken. Combine the marinade ingredients and chicken thighs in a bowl or zip-top plastic bag. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours before grilling.
Thighs with or without Bone
It’s entirely up to you to grill boneless or bone-in chicken thighs. My family and I enjoy both, but we prefer to grill boneless chicken thighs because they cook faster and are easier to slice and serve.
The recipe card below includes instructions and cooking times for boneless and bone-in chicken thighs.
How to Grill Chicken Thighs?
After seasoning the chicken (and marinating it if desired), it’s time to fire up the grill! Grill the chicken on a gas or charcoal grill; starting with clean, oiled grill grates is ideal.
Preheat the grill to medium-high temperature. Reduce the heat to medium after adding the chicken to the grill. Using moderate heat prevents your chicken from burning on the outside before the inside is fully cooked. While cooking, cover the grill to keep the heat evenly around your meat.
Let’s Move to Our…
Best Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Preparation Time: 10 minutes
- Cooking Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 28 minutes
- Servings: 4
- Calories: 320kcal
Grilled Chicken Thighs are ideal for a quick summer meal. They always have the best seasoning and are tender and juicy! If you have leftover chicken thighs, use them in salads or sandwiches for lunch.
- One tablespoon of brown sugar
- Two teaspoons paprika
- Two teaspoons of dried oregano
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- One tablespoon of olive oil
Mix brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Dry the chicken thighs and rub them with one tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of the chicken and rub gently to coat all sides.
Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours before cooking for the best flavour. If you don’t have time to marinate the chicken, you can cook it immediately.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat when ready to grill the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and place the chicken on the hot grill. Grill boneless chicken thighs for 7-10 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165° F at the thickest part. The cooking time will vary according to the size of the chicken pieces. (See the note below for the cooking time for bone-in thighs.)
Allow 5 minutes for the chicken to rest before serving.
We can also use bone-in thighs, but they will take longer to cook. Grill bone-in thighs for 9-15 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat away from the bone reaches 165° F. This seasoning mixture will season 2-3 pounds of bone-in thighs.
Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 606mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
What can we do with Bone-in Chicken Pieces?
We can employ Indirect Heat.
Grilling is both a hobby and a profession for Bonom, who has contributed to several Weber Grill cookbooks throughout his culinary career. When it comes to grilling bone-in chicken legs, thighs, or quarters, there’s a winning formula to cook them over indirect medium heat (between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit). “The gentler heat and longer cooking time allow the skin to crisp up nicely while keeping the meat extra juicy,” explains Bonom.
And if he wants to add some smoke, hickory is his go-to wood. “It’s assertive enough to add flavour without overpowering the chicken,” he says.
What should we do with Boneless Chicken Thighs?
In this case, direct heat is preferable.
There’s no doubt that grilling boneless, skinless chicken thighs will be faster and more convenient for a busy weeknight dinner. If you’re used to only cooking bone-in thighs on the grill, Perry and Bonom stress that boneless thighs require a different approach.
While bone-in chicken parts should be cooked over indirect heat, “boneless thighs benefit from a quick cook over direct high heat for 8 to 10 minutes,” according to Perry. “Also, unlike bone-in thighs, boneless thighs have no skin to worry about burning over direct heat.”
How to Select the Best Chicken?
Use bone-in chicken thighs for a crisper skin. The bone acts as insulation, preventing the meat from drying out on the grill and requiring more time to cook the meat thoroughly.
You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and they quickly infuse the flavour of the marinade and cook faster on the grill. Before marinating, remove any excess skin and fat from the pieces.
When Grilling Chicken Thighs, do you Flip them?
Yes! Flip the chicken thighs to ensure even cooking. Form a good crust for about 5 minutes on each side, then cover and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Can I Make a Sauce Out of the Marinade?
I recommend simmering the sauce for about 5 minutes over medium heat to soften the garlic flavour. Alternatively, we can substitute one teaspoon of garlic powder for the minced garlic, which will have a roasted flavour.
Should the Chicken be Allowed to Come to Room Temperature Before Grilling?
You don’t want the raw meat to sit at room temperature for too long. Bacteria multiply quickly, especially in the danger zone of 40 to 140°F (4.4 to 60oC). They can multiply in as little as 20 minutes, so be cautious on hot summer days! Food spoilage or illness can occur if food is left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. However, it’s fine to let it sit at room temperature for no more than 15 minutes while preheating the grill to remove the chill from the chicken and allow it to cook even more thoroughly.
How to Know When Chicken is Done?
When the chicken is done cooking, it should not be dark red or appear raw on the inside. Color, on the other hand, does not indicate completion. According to the USDA, even fully cooked poultry can have a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.
Checking the internal temperature of your chicken with a meat thermometer is recommended.
It’s the simplest and most reliable method for determining whether or not your chicken is done (and is safe to consume). A meat thermometer can also help you avoid overcooking your dish, resulting in tough, flavourless chicken.
Chicken should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to eat, so you will know when it is done.
Why Might you Enjoy these Grilled Chicken Thighs?
We’ve been spending days at the pool recently, and nothing beats coming home to a dinner that’s already prepared.
These chicken thighs are ideal because we can quickly marinate them before leaving, and they’ll be ready to grill when we get home.
We served these with grilled asparagus and tater tots the last time we made them, but they would also be delicious with some vegetable pasta salad or this hearty wheat berry salad.
Do you Wash the Marinade off the Chicken Before Cooking it?
Before cooking the chicken, discard the marinade but do not rinse it. Before cooking, remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.
How Long should I Cook Boneless Chicken Thighs on the Grill?
Grilling boneless skinless chicken thighs over medium-high heat takes about 12 – 15 minutes on average, but this time can vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
What do the Grilled Chicken Thighs Taste Like?
Consider smoky, spicy, and sweet all at the same time. The smoky and spicy flavour will come from the dry rub, and the sweetness will come from the barbecue sauce. You’re very welcome.
Should I Use a Charcoal or Gas Grill?
This recipe for grilled chicken thighs works on both types of grills. We used a gas grill because it allows us to be more precise with the temperature, but a charcoal grill would also give these amazing flavours.
How do you Grill Chicken Thighs without Overcooking them?
We discovered that 400oF is the ideal grilling temperature for chicken thighs to avoid drying. It’s hot enough to sear them on the outside while remaining low enough to cook them on the inside perfectly.
These are the best-grilled chicken thighs because the skin crisps up on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. Bone-in and boneless chicken thighs are suitable, and it all comes down to personal preference. We prefer bone-in thighs because the bone adds flavour to the meat, but it’s entirely up to you.
That’s how long we should grill our chicken thighs. We hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe.