If you’ve ever tasted the perfect grilled chicken thigh, you’ll know that it will come with juicy meat and crispy skin that’s simply irresistible. Moreover, it will have a subtle smokey flavor that will hit the spot in every bite. But how can you get the best results each time?
This can be tricky to achieve; luckily, with a bit of knowledge and a few simple steps to follow, you can enjoy amazing chicken thighs from the comfort of your own yard. In this article, we share how long to grill chicken thighs at 350°, along with other pro tips!
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How to Achieve Perfect Chicken Thighs?
Grilling chicken thighs may be the best way to give your barbecue menu a punch of flavor and texture. Whether you use a gas grill or a charcoal grill, there are some techniques that you can use to get juicy chicken thighs for every meal. To get started, make sure that you prepare them properly by trimming away excess skin or fat, then use a paper towel to pat them dry and remove excess moisture.
Doing this will help to prevent flare-ups while ensuring crispy skin on your chicken. Flare-ups are actually one of the more challenging aspects of grilling; to stop them from happening, use a grill brush to clean the grates before you cook. Use aluminum foil to place a barrier between the fire and your chicken — if a flare-up does occur, simply move your chicken to the cooler area of the grill and wait for the flames to die.
Experts agree that chicken should be cooked using medium-high heat, which should be between 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Always use an instant-read thermometer to make sure that the temperature of the grill is right. You can also check the internal temperature of the chicken by using a digital meat thermometer.
To do this, insert it into the thickest part of the thigh, but be careful not to let it touch the bone. Once the temperature reaches 165°F, the chicken should be cooked well enough and ready to serve. If you’re using a gas grill, preheat it on medium-high heat; place chicken thighs skin side down on your grill and cook it for 8-10 minutes.
You can then flip them over to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. But if you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure that the hot coals are arranged on one side of the grill, and place your boneless skinless chicken thighs on the other side. This will provide indirect heat that will thoroughly cook the chicken without burning its skin.
How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs at 350°
The ideal temperature to grill chicken thighs is at higher temperatures such as 350°F, which lets the chicken cook thoroughly without the risk of drying out or burning. But the next question is, how long do we need to grill them? The answer to this will depend on one thing; whether you’re working with boneless chicken thighs or bone-in chicken thighs.
If you’re using bone-in thighs, you need to cook them for 30-35 minutes, which should be turned once every five to seven minutes. Doing this will ensure that your chicken thighs will be cooked evenly on every side and cooked all the way through. Remember that the thickest part of the meat needs to be at 165°F on your digital thermometer.
On the other hand, if you opt for boneless thighs, it will have a shorter cooking time so you’ll need to grill these for around 15-20 minutes. You’ll need to flip them halfway through your cook. Once again, you’ll need to stick a thermometer on the thickest part of a chicken thigh to determine if you have the right temperature.
To make sure that you get a juicy result from your chicken thighs, here are a few pro tips you should probably remember. First, lightly brush your thighs with some olive oil to add some flavor and stop them from getting stuck to your grill grates. Infuse them with even more flavor by seasoning them with some dry rub or look for the best chicken marinades in grocery stores.
You’ll also want to let your chicken rest first before serving it to allow its juices to get distributed around the meat. When you follow these guidelines, you can be sure that you’ll have tender and tasty chicken thighs.
Tips and Tricks to Grill Chicken Thighs
Here, we’ll share additional tips and tricks for you to make sure that you get the most out of your cooking process.
- Remember that chicken thighs consist of dark meat — this means that they won’t dry out as quickly and carry more flavor compared to white meat.
- Be sure to put your chicken thighs skin first onto the grill to make sure that you get delicious and crispy skin.
- If you want to cook an entire chicken, be sure to spatchcock it first to allow it to cook evenly on your grill.
- Be sure to have more than one chicken thigh recipe on hand so you can quickly decide on ideas of what to cook if you’re in a hurry.
- If you want your skin-on chicken thighs to crisp up well, be sure to preheat the oven first.
- Leftover chicken thighs need to be stored inside an airtight container to help them last for 4 days inside the fridge.
- Consider the thickness of your chicken thighs when trying to decide the total cooking time, which means you’ll need to make the proper adjustments.
- If you’re looking for a healthier option, then choose boneless skinless chicken thighs which will need a shorter cook time and medium heat, compared to skin-on thighs.
- Use a baking dish when you want to cook a whole chicken to catch the juices that drip out of it and to stop it from getting too dry.
- Look into different ways of cooking chicken to figure out the best way to enjoy chicken thighs, whether it’s through frying, baking, or grilling.
Alternative Ways of Cooking Chicken Thighs
While using the grill is a good way to cook chicken thighs, there is so much more you can do with such a versatile piece of meat. Those who don’t own a grill or prefer another cooking method will benefit from these other ways of preparing chicken thighs.
Depending on the size of the chicken pieces, another way to cook them is by baking chicken thighs in your oven. To get started, place them on a baking sheet (it should be lined using aluminum foil) then bake them between 35-40 minutes. As usual, the chicken’s internal temperature needs to reach 165°F; a great way to get crispy skin minus the smoky taste from grilling is baking chicken.
Using an air fryer is another alternative to grilling, and is healthier compared to deep frying since it substitutes hot air for oil to cook the chicken thoroughly. To start air frying your chicken, preheat it to 375°F then place a single layer of the chicken thighs inside the basket. Cook your thighs for about 20 minutes; don’t forget to flip them over around the 10-minute mark.
Cooking your chicken thighs using a skillet or pan is another option you can look into; start by heating some olive oil over medium to high heat. Then place your chicken thighs skin-side first onto the pan and cook them between five to seven minutes before flipping them over to cook for another 7 minutes. Be sure that you check the temperature inside your chicken using a digital thermometer to confirm that your chicken is ready to eat.
There are various recipes for you to try when it comes to cooking chicken thighs; from using just salt and black pepper to even more flavorful combinations such as brown sugar, garlic powder, lemon juice, and BBQ sauce. Be sure to experiment with your favorite things like marinades, spices, and sauces to see which taste will best suit you.
Now that we’ve covered all the basics you need to know along with a few pro tips, you should be able to cook up great chicken thighs on the fly. No matter what you’re celebrating, you’ll be able to host a backyard BBQ and serve the best chicken thighs your friends and family have ever tasted! Just be mindful of the thickness of your chicken thighs since this will affect the time it takes to cook them thoroughly.
But as long as you follow the guidelines set here, you never need to worry about how to make grilled chicken thighs again.
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