Smoked Chicken Thighs

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Smoked Chicken Thighs

This recipe will walk you through the step-by-step process of how you can make the absolute best smoked chicken thighs right in your own backyard.

You don’t need very many ingredients, and only a few minutes of hands-on time in order to make this tasty dinner.

Check out the step-by-step instructions as well as the walk-through video of how you can make this amazing meal! 

smoked chicken thigh on the grill

Best Smoked Chicken Thighs

We are so excited to share our delicious recipe for smoked chicken thighs with you. Making smoked chicken thighs doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, it’s quite easy to do.

We think that this recipe can compete with any restaurant chicken, and is just plain all-around delicious. We are excited for you to give this recipe a try in hopes that it is your new favorite smoked chicken thigh recipe! 

Reasons We Love These Thighs

There are so many reasons to love this smoked chicken thigh recipe. To begin with, it’s easy to make, anyone can do it. Second, it tastes amazing. And third, this recipe makes chicken that is so good it tastes as if it can melt in your mouth. 

Why Smoke Chicken Thighs?

Smoking chicken thighs is a very easy way to make a delicious chicken dinner. Smoking the chicken adds a hint of smoky flavor to your chicken, that is otherwise hard to obtain. Smoked chicken is all-around delicious. 

Now, let’s look at what you need in order to make this tasty recipe, followed by steps that you can take to make this delicious smoked chicken thigh recipe yourself. 

Smoked Chicken Thighs Ingredients 

4 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Brine

Water

Garlic Salt

Rub

Olive oil

Paprika

Seasoning salt

Garlic and Herb seasoning

How to Brine Chicken Thighs

To begin, brine your chicken thighs. To do this you will prepare your chicken thighs by removing any extra skin or fat from your chicken thighs and then add them to a large bowl. Cover in water and add garlic salt. Refrigerate for one hour. 

smoked chicken thigh close up

Rub for Smoked Chicken Thighs

When you remove your chicken thighs from the fridge, after they have sat in your brine for an hour, you can begin preparing them to smoke.

To do this, remove them from the water, and gently cover them in olive oil. Be sure to pull the skin away from the edges of it that will get slightly underneath the skin as well as on top.

Sprinkle your chicken thighs with paprika, seasoning salt, and garlic and herb seasoning, working it under the skin and on top. Roll the skin securely around your thighs, now they are ready to smoke. 

How to Smoke Chicken Thighs

Preheat your smoker to 275°F

Once preheated, gently place your prepared chicken thighs on your smoker skin side down. Insert a meat probe into the biggest chicken thigh and close your smoker. Smoke for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F. 

Please note that we recommend the internal temperature reaches 175°F for best results, however, the internal temperature must reach at least 165°F for your chicken to be safe to eat.

Then, when the internal temperature is reached, you can flip the chicken thighs over and smoke for an additional 10 or 15 minutes on the remaining side. Then remove from your grill and allow it to rest then serve, enjoy! 

How Long to Smoke Chicken Thighs

The amount of time it takes for your chicken thighs to smoke may vary. You can count on at least 45 minutes of cook time, however, it is likely to take longer to reach the specified internal temperature. 

What is the internal temperature of chicken thighs?

Smoked chicken thighs must reach an internal temperature of 165°F before you can eat them. However, for best results, we recommend smoking your chicken thighs until they reach the internal temperature of 175°F. 

Other Tips + Tricks

Wood Pellets. The type of wood pellets that you use can impact the taste of your smoked chicken thighs. For best results, it’s a good idea to use mild wood, such as Cherry, Apple or Maple. You can experiment with different types and see which you prefer the best. 

Internal Temp. The internal temperature of your smoked chicken thighs must reach 165°F before you remove them from the grill. We recommend smoking chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of 175°F for the best overall flavor.

Skin Side Down. Smoking your chicken thighs skin side down for the majority of your smoke time allows your thighs to turn out juicier than they otherwise would. The skin acts as a protector to keep the juices inside rather than all of them dripping out.

What to serve with smoked chicken thighs

Storage

Room Temp. Smoked chicken thighs may not remain at room temperature any longer than two hours. If your temperature is between 40°F and 90°F your chicken needs to be refrigerated within two hours, however, if your room temperature is 90°F or above, your chicken needs to be refrigerated within one hour. 

Fridge. Once your chicken thighs have been smoked; any leftovers may be refrigerated. To refrigerate, transfer them to an airtight container then place them in your fridge at 40°F or below and store them for up to three days

Freezer. Any leftovers that you wish to keep for a longer amount of time may be frozen. Transfer your smoked chicken thighs into a freezer plastic bag, seal it securely, and place it into the freezer at 0°F or below. Smoked chicken thighs will last up to two months when stored in the freezer. 

smoked chicken thigh side view

Variations

BBQ Glazed Smoked Chicken Thighs

The most common variation for smoked chicken thighs is to make them into a barbecue glazed smoked chicken thigh. To do this, you will simply want to follow the above instructions, then during the last 10 to 15 minutes of smoking, you can add a delightful barbecue sauce to the skin side of your chicken thighs, whether homemade or store-bought . 

Continue smoking for a few more minutes so that the barbecue starts to caramelize. Then, remove the smoked chicken thighs with barbecue sauce from the smoker, and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Helpful Items For This Recipe

Tools You Need

Smoker

Thermometer

Grilling Tongs

Pellets or Woodchips

Serving Platter

The smoker I use

The smoker that I use is an electric pellet smoker, Weber name brand. So far, I have been very happy using the smoker, and have made some amazingly delicious meals with it. 

smoked chicken thigh close up on plate

FAQs

How long does it take to smoke chicken thighs?

Typically, it takes at least 45 minutes to smoke chicken thighs, but may take longer depending on the size of your chicken thighs, the kind of smoker you are using, and even the outside temperature at your location. Do you want to smoke your chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of approximately 175°F. 

How to get crispy skin on smoked chicken thighs?

To get crispy skin on smoked chicken thighs, be sure that you smoke your chicken thighs skin side down for the majority of the time, also drizzle the skin with a light coating of olive oil to help make it crispy. Then, simply smoke your chicken thighs low and slow. 

What type of wood to use for smoking chicken?

You can use your favorite type of wood for smoking chicken, however, the best options are usually mild woods such as cherry, oak, or apple.

Should I remove skin from chicken thighs before smoking?

No, for our smoked chicken thighs recipe you’ll want to leave the skin intact during smoking. If there is an excessive amount of skin you can trim some of the back, but the skin helps provide a layer of protection that keeps the moisture in your chicken and makes it turn out amazing. 

Do I need to flip chicken thighs when smoking?

We recommend flipping your chicken thighs only once while they are smoking. You don’t want to turn them too much, as that tends to dry them out.

How do you keep chicken moist when smoking?

A recipe for smoked chicken thighs is naturally more moist than normal recipes. Brining your chicken before you smoke it allows it to soak up extra moisture. Then, smoking them the skin side down also helps protect your chicken thighs from drying out. 

How long to smoke chicken thighs at 225 degrees?

Typically, it takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes to smoke chicken thighs at 225°F. However, it’s a good idea to allow extra time, as the cook time may vary. You will want to be sure the internal temperature of your chicken reaches at least 175°F before you remove it from the smoker. 

What temperature are smoked chicken thighs done?

Smoked chicken thighs must reach 165°F internal temperature before they are safe to eat. For best results, we recommend smoking chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of 175°F. 

Can I use boneless chicken thighs?

Boneless chicken thighs may be used for this recipe, however, we recommend using thighs with bone-in and skin-on for the best smoked chicken thighs. 

smoked chicken thigh plated

Delicious Smoked Chicken Thighs

Smoked chicken thighs are an easy and extremely delicious dinner recipe. Give this tasty yet economical recipe a try today! It’s so good you do not want to miss out on this one!

Time to eat these Smoked Chicken Thighs!

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