How to Smoke Chicken Thighs

If you’ve ever wondered how to smoke chicken thighs, this article is for you. If you’re not sure how to smoke chicken thighs, read on to learn how to get the most flavor from your smoked chicken. Here are some tips to get you started. Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be able to cook up a delicious and healthy dinner. Try smoking your chicken thighs today!

The secret to great smoked chicken thighs lies in seasoned chicken thighs. Make sure to season your chicken thoroughly before placing it in the smoker. Smoked chicken thighs will be tender, juicy, and have the perfect smokiness. You can eat them hot or cold, on sandwiches, salads, or flatbreads. Smoked chicken thighs also make an excellent meal prep item.

How to Smoke Chicken Thighs

Once the thighs are thick and have reached the desired temperature, you’ll need an instant digital read how-to thermometer to check the meat’s internal temperature. It would help place the thermometer on the thickest part of the chicken, ensuring it’s far away from the bone. Close the smoker’s lid when the chicken reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then, allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before brushing with your favorite BBQ sauce. When you go to the store, your chicken thighs will likely have their skin on. While many people like to peel off the skin before cooking, it is best to keep it on when cooking. The skin will not only impart a delicious flavor but will also keep the chicken moist. If you’re unsure how to smoke chicken thighs, check the USDA’s Food Safety and Quality Assurance website. After you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have a delicious and juicy dinner!

How to Smoke Chicken Thighs

Here’s how to smoke some perfectly juicy chicken thighs.

Fire Up Your Smoker-  Preheat, your smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t recommend smoking skin-on chicken at lower temperatures since the skin will get rubbery.

Prep Your Chicken- Remove any surplus skin or overly thin chicken from the bone’s edges. Form the chicken into uniform pieces by rolling it tightly. Drizzle olive oil on all sides, and this aids in keeping the skin wet when smoking and aids in the next phase…

Season- Get your hands on some sweet rub and start seasoning! You may buy my Signature Sweet Rub online or make it yourself using this recipe. Season the chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper.

Smoke- Place the chicken skin side up on the smoker. Replace the cover. Cook the thighs until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (use a good meat thermometer). It can take anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes to attain this temperature, depending on the size of your chicken thighs.

Baste-  Brush with Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce (similar to my Sweet Rub, this can be purchased pre-made from Patio Provisions or prepared from scratch using this recipe). You can also experiment with different flavors by using your favorite BBQ sauce.

Finish Smoking- Continue to smoke the chicken until the thighs reach a temperature of 170-175 degrees F

Remove, Rest, Serve, and Enjoy- Remove the chicken from the smoker once it has reached the desired temperature and appearance. Allow the thighs to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving hot (with extra BBQ sauce and napkins).


  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Signature Sweet Rub
  • ½ cup Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce


  1. Preheat. Preheat the grill to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the chicken thighs as directed. Remove any surplus skin or overly thin chicken from the bone’s edges. Form the chicken into uniform pieces by rolling it tightly.
  3. Season. Season the chicken on both sides with the sweet rub (you don’t need to use the entire 2 Tablespoons, just enough to cover the chicken).
  4. Smoke. Place the chicken skin side up on the smoker. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F with the lid closed. Depending on the size of your chicken thighs, this could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  5. Sauce. Baste with Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce) until an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F is reached using a meat thermometer.
  6. Relax and enjoy yourself. Remove from the grill and set aside for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Smoke Chicken Thighs Recipe

How Long to Smoke Chicken Thighs?

On a smoker set to 275 degrees F, chicken thighs can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes to thoroughly cook. Continue to smoke until your chicken thighs achieve an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F, using an internal meat thermometer if necessary. The amount of time it takes for your chicken thighs to cook thoroughly will be determined by the consistency of your smoker’s heat and the thickness of your chicken legs. Be patient, and cook to temperature rather than time.

What’s the Best Temperature for Smoking Chicken Thighs?

Because smokers take a long time to heat up, especially if they’re charcoal, it’s a good idea to preheat your smoker while your meat is brining. Two hundred twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit (107 degrees Celsius) is the best temperature for chicken thighs, and this is the average smoking temperature for various meats, including chicken thighs.

Once the smoker is ready, put the chicken thighs on the grill grate and smoke them for about 90 minutes. Ensure the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees F. Then, eat the chicken with the BBQ sauce and serve! This delicious dish will become your new favorite! So go ahead, smoked chicken thighs, and let them impress your friends! You will be so glad you did. And remember, chicken thighs are great for leftovers too!

Best Bbq Rub for Chicken Thighs?

  • We’re going to use my favorite BBQ chicken rub recipe to give some more flavor to the meat.
  • A baking tray is the best way to achieve this. Place the tray on the counter and arrange the chicken thighs, leaving a little space between them. If you run out of room, use a second tray.
  • If you have a pre-packaged or store-bought massage, generously apply it to the thighs.
  • If you’ve prepared your own (and haven’t, check out our suggestions for the most delicate BBQ rubs), but all ingredients are in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Then give the meat a good shake.
  • Rub the meat rub in with your hands. Rubber gloves can help keep the rub sticking to your fingertips and make the job a little easier. It’s also more sanitary, which can’t be all terrible!
  • Rub the meat on both sides, making it careful to coat the entire piece. Also, as much as possible, rub under the skin.

Why is my Smoked Chicken Skin Rubbery?

One of the most common complaints is that the skin becomes rubbery, challenging, and chewy when smoking chicken. This is not an accident, and it results from the fat and moisture in the chicken skin slowly frying. The optimal temperature for cooking chicken is between 275°F and 320°F (135°C and 160°C), and the skin will become stretchy as you lower the temperature below this threshold. The chicken fat must be cooked into the flesh, which cannot be done at such a low temperature.

Should you Take the Skin Off Chicken Thighs?

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be a fantastic substitute for breast meat, but we don’t want that here. Keeping the skin on your chicken thighs prevents drying out during cooking and adds a textural pleasure of crispy, precisely seasoned skin. Although bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are frequently the cheapest, chicken skin contains a lot of fat and calories. Cook the chicken thighs with the skin on for more taste without the fat. Remove the skin before serving. Cooking time for bone-in thighs is also longer.


When smoking your chicken thighs, use an instant-read meat thermometer. This way, you won’t risk overcooking it, which can make you sick! Using a Bluetooth instant-read meat thermometer allows you to view the internal temperature of the chicken with the tap of your phone. Chicken thighs can be smoked for a couple of hours at 225 degrees, and you can also smoke bone-in chicken thighs. After brushing on the bbq rub, you can add the chicken thighs to the smoker. This will help them retain moisture while smoking. In addition, bringing will help you control the temperature, which will reduce the risk of drying out the meat.

The brine solution comprises one cup of coarse salt and a gallon of water. Once the salt is dissolved, place the chicken thighs in the smoker for at least an hour before cooking. Applewood is a reliable option when deciding on the wood to use for smoking chicken thighs. This wood has a fruity, subtle flavor that compliments chicken and other meats. Hickory is widely available, but it’s essential not to use too much or an unpleasant meal. Just don’t use hickory for chicken thighs. If you’re looking for an authentic smoked chicken flavor, try using cherrywood or pecan.