How long smoke chicken thighs? Chicken thighs recipe

Have you ever been intrigued by the delicious aroma of smokey chicken thighs sizzling on the grill? If you have a craving for succulent, smoky-flavored poultry yet are unsure how to cook it properly – stick with us. In this post, we will delve into how long smoke chicken thighs and give you some tips for achieving perfectly cooked poultry. With our tried-and-tested method, you’ll be sure to delight your family and friends with your culinary skills.

Smoke chicken thighs

Smoking chicken thighs is a popular cooking method where the chicken is cooked slowly over indirect heat, often using wood chips or chunks to impart a smoky flavor. This process results in tender and flavorful meat that can be used in various dishes such as sandwiches, salads, or served on its own with your favorite side dishes. It is also a great way to use up leftover chicken and add a new twist to your meals.

Smoke chicken thighs
Smoke chicken thighs

What is the best temperature to smoke chicken thighs?

Chicken thighs are best smoked at a temperature of 275 degrees F until they reach an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F. This low and slow cooking method allows the meat to cook evenly without drying out or becoming tough. It also gives the smoke enough time to penetrate the meat, adding that signature smoky flavor.

How long smoke chicken thighs?

The length of time needed to smoke chicken thighs depends on the size and thickness of the meat. As a general rule, plan for about 1.5-2 hours of smoking time for bone-in chicken thighs and 30-45 minutes for boneless chicken thighs. However, the most accurate way to determine if your chicken is ready is by using a meat thermometer.

Smoked chicken thighs recipe ingredients

Smoked chicken thighs

  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in or boneless
  • Your choice of dry rub or seasoning (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper)

Dry rub

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

 BBQ tools

  • Smoker
  • Wood chips (hickory, mesquite, applewood)
  • Meat thermometer

How to smoke chicken thighs

Air dry the chicken thighs (optional)

Many people like to air dry their chicken thighs before smoking them as it helps create a crispy skin. To do this, place the chicken thighs on a wire rack and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. This step is optional but recommended if you have time.

Preheat the smoker

Preheat your smoker to 225°F-250°F. Add wood chips of your choice (hickory, mesquite, applewood) to the firebox or smoking tray.

Make the rub

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to create your dry rub.

Prep the chicken

Remove the chicken thighs from the refrigerator and pat them dry with a paper towel. This helps the rub stick to the meat better. Then, generously coat both sides of each thigh with the dry rub.

Smoke the chicken thighs

Place the chicken thighs on the smoker rack, making sure they are not touching each other. Close the lid and let them smoke for 1.5-2 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Rest the smoked chicken thighs

Once the chicken thighs are done, remove them from the smoker and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more flavorful and tender.

Serve the smoked chicken thighs

Serve the smoked chicken thighs with your favorite BBQ sauce or enjoy them as is. They make a great protein for salads, sandwiches, tacos and more.

Smoked chicken thighs recipe tips

  • Experiment with different wood chips to find your favorite flavor.
  • If using bone-in chicken thighs, make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone when checking for doneness.
  • For added moisture and flavor, you can brine the chicken thighs before smoking them.
  • If you’re in a rush, you can increase the temperature to 275°F-300°F and smoke the chicken thighs for about an hour.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is fully cooked before consuming.

How can I get crispier skin on smoked chicken thighs?

If you prefer a crispy skin on your smoked chicken thighs, there are a few things you can do. You can either start by air drying the chicken as mentioned above, or you can finish off the chicken thighs on a grill over direct heat for a few minutes after they have been smoked. This will help crisp up the skin without overcooking the meat. Just make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

How do I store leftover smoked chicken thighs?

Store leftover smoked chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, loosely cover the chicken thighs with foil and warm in a 350 degree F oven until warmed through. Alternatively, you can warm them carefully in the microwave.

FAQs: smoking time chicken thighs

What type of wood should i use for smoking chicken thighs?

Hickory and oak are ideal for achieving robust flavors when smoking chicken thighs. Maple is also a great option, providing enchantingly sweet notes. Additionally, applewood, peachwood, and cherrywood offer desirable sweet and fruity undertones.

Can I use boneless chicken thighs instead of bone-in?

While boneless chicken thighs can be used as a substitute when fat content is a concern, keep in mind that the final product may differ slightly in terms of flavor and texture.

Can I smoke frozen chicken thighs?

It is not recommended to smoke frozen chicken thighs, as they will not cook evenly and may take longer to reach the safe temperature of 165°F. It is best to thaw the chicken thighs in the refrigerator overnight before smoking.

How long does it take to smoke chicken thighs at 225?

It typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to smoke chicken thighs at a temperature of 225°F.

How do I know when chicken thighs are done?

To determine if chicken thighs are done, you can follow these visual cues. Use a small, sharp knife to cut a small incision in the thickest part of the thigh. The juices that come out should run clear. If the juices are red or pink, it indicates that the meat hasn’t finished cooking.

8 thoughts on “How long smoke chicken thighs? Chicken thighs recipe”

    • It says literally in the first step that I don’t recommend smoking skin-on chicken thighs because the skin will turn out rubbery. The problem with using higher temperatures is the potential to burn the sugars in the rub/sauce.

  1. How long do you rest the chicken to get it to 170-180? Tent it? You say in the recipe to bring to 170-175 then rest. Please clarify. It looks delish and I am going to smoke 20lbs tomorrow. Thank you

  2. Absolutely delicious! I made this for the first time for a party we were having. Everyone cleaned their chicken down to the bones and were heartily licking their fingers. It was a super success! Thanks for another delicious recipe!


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