How To Grill Chicken Thighs

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Juicy, flavorful grilled chicken thighs are perfect for a quick dinner or as a potluck main dish for a crowd.

Much like the way we enjoy Last Minute Chicken, grilled chicken is a staple on our menu plans. I typically plan to grill on Sunday afternoon and that gives us plenty of leftovers for a couple more days as well.

Grilled Chicken Thighs

Serve the chicken as simple or as fancy as you like. With a bag of chips and some ranch dip and fresh vegetables, you can have a meal on the table in less than 20 minutes most of the time.

When I plan ahead, I like to make a potato salad or pasta salad to serve with the grilled chicken, along with some watermelon in the summer time.

How To Season Grilled Chicken

While you can always use a marinade, (and I do have several that I love) my go-to method of seasoning grilled chicken is with a generous sprinkling of spices.

Cajun Seasoning and Taco Seasoning are the two spice blends I reach for most often. However a combination of Crazy Salt and Italian Seasoning is also delicious.

My friend Deborah’s Jerk Seasoning Mix looks like another great option too!

Don’t have a spice blend ready to use? Just sprinkle each piece of chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika for an easy and very tasty option.

Seasoned chicken thighs ready for the grill

I’m not including spice amounts here, because it’s subject to a number of factors – size of the chicken pieces, amount of meat you’re cooking, how spicy you like to make things etc.

You just want to sprinkle the spices generously enough to cover each piece without coating it completely and causing it to become salty.

Once you’ve made this a few times, you won’t even need to think about it.

Best tips for juicy, grilled chicken thighs

Chicken For A Crowd

This isn’t a recipe where you need to worry about overcrowding. The chicken will cook beautifully whether it’s just a few pieces or when the grill is filled to capacity.

We typically grill at least 10 pounds of chicken each time we grill. Any leftover chicken can be eaten as is for lunches or broken down for other chicken recipes.

I grilled extra chicken last week for a giant pan of Chicken Tetrazzini. Grilled chicken is also great in Green Chile Enchiladas, BBQ Chicken Stuffed Potatoes, and Baked Potato, Chicken and Broccoli Casserole.

How To Know When Chicken Is Done

How To Know When Chicken Is Done

Chicken should not be dark red or look raw inside when it is done cooking. However, color does not indicate doneness. The USDA has said that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.

I highly recommend using a meat thermometer for checking the internal temperature of your chicken.

It’s the easiest and most foolproof way to determine whether or not your chicken is done (and is safe to consume). A meat thermometer can also prevent overcooking your dish resulting in tough, flavorless chicken.

Chicken should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to eat, so you will know without a doubt when the chicken is done.

Perfectly Grilled Chicken Thighs

Cook’s Note : I like to remove the skin from chicken thighs prior to grilling. It is not a requirement though, the chicken will cook just great with the skin on.

However, the spices absorb so nicely throughout the chicken without the skin and I prefer it that way.

It’s a well-established fact that I love crispy pan fried chicken or oven baked chicken complete with the skin, but when it comes to grilling chicken? Skinless is my favorite.

How To Grill Chicken Thighs

  1. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat, about 350°F – 375°F.
  2. Cook the chicken over the heat for 4 minutes per side, until the pieces turn golden and grill marks appear. The lid should be closed throughout the cooking process.
  3. Flip the pieces once more and turn heat to medium-low, about 300°F, for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through and the internal temp is 165°F.
  4. Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

How To Grill Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Cook the meat 6 minutes on each side. Check for doneness. Cook an additional 2-4 minutes, only as needed.

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Perfectly Grilled Chicken Thighs

How To Grill Chicken Thighs

5 from 1 vote
Perfectly juicy grilled chicken thighs are a year-round favorite. Recipe can easily be multiplied to feed a crowd.
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 6-8 bone-in chicken thighs about 3 pounds (skin removed if desired)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • additional seasonings of your choice see above

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill for medium-high heat, about 350°F – 375°F. Sprinkle the chicken generously with spices on both sides of each piece.
  • Cook the chicken over the heat for 4 minutes per side, until the pieces turn golden and grill marks appear. The lid should be closed throughout the cooking process.
  • Flip the pieces once more and turn heat to medium-low, about 300°F, for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through and the internal temp is 165°F.
  • Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

For boneless, skinless chicken thighs: Cook the meat 6 minutes on each side. Check for doneness. Cook an additional 2-4 minutes, only as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcal · Protein: 29g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 145mg · Sodium: 136mg · Potassium: 375mg · Vitamin A: 37IU · Calcium: 14mg · Iron: 1mg
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How To Grill Juicy Chicken Thighs

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. dave Laird says

    big fan of chicken thighs.

    today -chicken breast strips – soaked over night in buttermilk ( it hurts me b/c i so like to drink buttermilk). strips were seasoned with garlic powder and Slap your mama seasoning.
    will be put in a gluten free flour then air fried and stove to fried.