Bone-in chicken thighs are among the juiciest, most tender, and most flavorful cuts of chicken, and are a great way to save money on dinner. However, as easy as it might sound, getting the perfect grilled chicken thigh is harder than you think. In this guide, we share everything you need to know when using these chicken pieces with your gas grill, including how long to grill chicken thighs.
Table of Contents
Why Use Chicken Thighs for Grilling?
There are so many reasons why chicken thighs are the best — they are delicious, flavorful, and moist because of their higher fat content. You can enjoy them in various ways, such as boneless chicken thighs, bone-in thighs, skin-on thighs, and even boneless skinless chicken thighs. You can also use them in a wide range of chicken recipes, including oven-baked skin-on chicken thighs, grilled boneless thighs, and more!
Because they’re so versatile and won’t dry out when cooked properly, grilling chicken thighs has become a more popular alternative to using skinless chicken breasts. Cooking chicken thighs is also preferred over using a whole chicken when making BBQ chicken since juicy grilled chicken thighs produce such flavorful chicken once it absorbs the BBQ sauce used for basting.
The only problem that comes with using chicken thighs when grilling is that too much fat can cause flair-ups that may lead to your chicken getting burned. To solve this issue, be sure to trim as much excess fat as you can and use the “uneven grilling” technique, which is outlined below.
Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipe
If you want to grill chicken and come up with the best results, be sure to follow this quick and easy recipe. Here are simple steps to make the best chicken marinades using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs to ensure you have crispy skin
- The best seasoning can be made with a wide range of ingredients but you can create an all-purpose seasoning that consists of black powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt. However, you may also use other options such as dry rub, barbecue sauce, or spice blends with onion powder. You can also add other ingredients that complement your chicken thighs recipe such as lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, and more.
How to Grill Chicken Thighs
The cooking process for the best-grilled chicken thighs isn’t hard in a technical sense but you will need to give it a bit more attention than usual. Follow this simple recipe to serve up a juicy chicken with amazing flavor and delicious chicken skin for your weeknight dinner.
- Prepare your chicken by trimming any extra fat, then pat it dry before seasoning it according to your taste.
- Fire up your grill — be sure that you’re working with hot coals before adding wood chips. Wait until you reach medium-high heat of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a little olive oil onto a paper towel to brush your grill grates to stop the chicken from sticking to them and to ensure that your meat gets grill marks.
- Place chicken thighs on the grill; using direct heat, start the uneven grilling process with the skin side up for five to six minutes. Next, flip each thigh skin side down and grill for four minutes, and move around the grill to prevent flair-ups from fat. Repeat this method until they finish cooking.
- Cook the thickest part of the thigh until it reaches an internal temperature of around 185 degrees to 195 degrees Fahrenheit which is the correct temperature for grilling chicken. This should take around 25 to 30 minutes total cooking time but you should always follow the right temperature using a digital meat thermometer.
Internal Temperature for Chicken Thighs
One of the most important things to remember when cooking chicken thighs is to have the correct temperature. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that the minimum safe temperature for chicken to be eaten is 165° F but will still be stringy and tough due to connective tissue. At 175° F, the connective tissue will start to melt; check the internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat using a digital thermometer to be sure.
However, experts suggest taking this temperature higher at around 190° F to 195° F for chicken thighs and drumsticks. Take an instant-read thermometer to the thickest part of a chicken thigh to ensure that the meat is moist and thick. Just keep in mind that dark meat and white meat will have a different cook time from each other, so check the temperature often.
Serving and Storage
There are plenty of side dishes that you can serve with your delicious chicken thighs, such as potato salad, green vegetable salad, grilled vegetables, or cinnamon and brown sugar glazed grilled pineapple. When you want to preserve the texture and quality of your leftover chicken, be sure to store them inside an airtight container and refrigerate them for three to four days. Doing this will allow them to last up to 4 months while sealing in a ton of flavor.
When you want to reheat them, be sure to do so in an air fryer or an oven — using a microwave will only reduce their quality.
Can I Use Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs?
Yes, you can. While some people will prefer boneless chicken thighs, the meat will be the same — only the size of the thighs will be different. A boneless chicken thigh will cook a little bit faster since bones tend to absorb heat, but they will be thinner. The thickness of your meat will have a significant impact on your grilling time, so be sure to take this into account.
How to Grill Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs?
Place your chicken thighs skins side down on top of oiled grates by the side of the grill in indirect heat. Be sure to close the grill lid to ensure that you get crispy and marked skin and leave for five to six minutes. Turn your thighs over and cook until your thermometer registers 165°F when it’s inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh.
This should take between 20 to 25 minutes — be sure to turn your chicken thighs halfway through cooking. Remove it from the grill and cover it in foil. Allow it to rest for five to ten minutes before you serve it.
How to Reheat Chicken Thighs?
While using the microwave on medium heat is an option, this method will only give you subpar chicken at best. The best way to do this is by using the oven — simply put your chicken in an oven-safe dish and add a bit of water. Cover your chicken with foil and re-heat it for 10 minutes under 350°F.
If you’re a home chef eager to please your family and friends with scrumptious meals, then learning how to cook chicken thighs is the one thing you need to know aside from cooking your favorite things. Sure, everyone loves hotdogs but you can’t beat tender chicken that’s just bursting with juices. Now that you know the secret to cooking chicken thighs on the grill, get out there and share your love of food with everyone!
- Kitchen Accessory Buying Guides
- Kitchen Appliance Buying Guides
- Kitchen Cookbook Buying Guides
- Kitchen Cookware Buying Guides
- Kitchen Pantry Food Buying Guides
- Does Food Go Bad Articles
- Food Comparison Articles
- Foods That Start With Letter Articles
- How Long Can Food Sit Out Articles
- How To Defrost Food Articles
- How To Reheat Food Articles
- How To Soak Food Articles
- Popular Foods Articles
- What Does It Taste Like Articles