flipping and saucing chicken thigh in grill

Your Guide to Delicious BBQ Time Chicken Thighs

Welcome to the ultimate guide on BBQ time chicken thighs, a favorite that promises a mouthwatering experience at every cookout. In this article, we’ll walk you through the essentials of selecting, preparing, and grilling chicken thighs to perfection. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice in the kitchen, our straightforward tips and tricks will help you serve up succulent chicken thighs that will have everyone asking for seconds.

First, we’ll discuss how to pick the best chicken thighs for BBQ. Then, we’ll cover the basics of seasoning and marinating to infuse your chicken with robust flavors.

Finally, we’ll reveal the secrets to grilling chicken thighs to achieve that irresistible crispy exterior and tender, juicy interior.

So grab your apron, and let’s get started on this delicious journey!

BBQ Time Chicken Thighs
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Choosing the Right Chicken Thighs for BBQ Time Chicken Thighs

When it comes to BBQ, the cut of meat you choose is as important as how you cook it. Chicken thighs are a popular choice because they’re flavorful and tend to stay juicy when grilled. Here’s what you need to know to pick the best thighs for your BBQ.

Choosing the Right Chicken Thighs
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  • Quality Matters: Look for chicken thighs that appear plump and have a uniform size so they cook evenly. The skin should be a healthy color without any grayish tones, and the meat should feel firm to the touch.
  • Freshness Counts: Fresh chicken thighs are often the best choice for grilling. They should smell neutral, without any off-putting odors. If you opt for frozen thighs, ensure they’re completely thawed before cooking.
  • Organic and Free-Range Options: Consider organic or free-range chicken thighs if you’re looking for meat from birds that have been raised with access to the outdoors and without the use of antibiotics.

Preparing Your Chicken Thighs for the Grill

Once you’ve selected your chicken thighs, proper preparation is key to achieving BBQ perfection. Follow these steps to prepare your chicken thighs for the grill.

  • Cleaning: Start by rinsing the chicken thighs under cold water to remove any residual blood or bone fragments. Pat them dry with paper towels to ensure the seasonings stick and to help achieve crispy skin.
  • Trimming: Trim off any excess fat or skin. This helps to reduce flare-ups on the grill and ensures a more even cook.
  • Brining (Optional): For extra juicy chicken, consider brining the thighs in a mixture of water, salt, and your choice of seasonings for a few hours before grilling. This step is optional but can make a noticeable difference in the moisture content of the meat.
  • Seasoning: Apply your favorite BBQ rub generously to both sides of the chicken thighs. You can use a store-bought blend or make your own with ingredients like paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, and a touch of cayenne for heat.
  • Marinating: If you prefer marinating, immerse the chicken thighs in a mixture of BBQ sauce, vinegar, and oil. This not only adds flavor but also helps tenderize the meat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours in the refrigerator.
rinsing the chicken thighs under cold water before BBQ Time Chicken Thighs
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Trim off any excess fat or skin the chicken thighs
Credits to wikiHow
Apply your favorite BBQ rub generously to both sides of the chicken thighs
Credits to A Mind “Full” Mom

The Art of Seasoning

Seasoning your chicken thighs is not just about adding flavor; and it’s about creating a memorable taste that will linger on your palate. Here’s how to season your chicken thighs to bring out the best in your BBQ.

  • Dry Rubs: Begin with a base of salt and pepper, then build layers of flavor. Combine spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a hint of brown sugar for sweetness. Sprinkle the rub generously over the chicken thighs, ensuring they are evenly coated on all sides. The dry rub will create a delicious crust as the chicken grills.
  • Marinades: If you prefer a marinade, mix your favorite BBQ sauce with olive oil, vinegar, and a splash of citrus juice for acidity. Submerge the chicken thighs in the marinade and let them soak up the flavors for at least an hour in the refrigerator. The marinade will help tenderize the meat and infuse it with moisture.
  • Herbs and Spices: Don’t shy away from fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or cilantro. They can be finely chopped and added to your rub or marinade for a fresh, aromatic twist.

Grilling to Perfection

Grilling chicken thighs requires attention to detail and timing. Follow these steps to ensure your chicken thighs are grilled to perfection.

Preheat Your Grill:

Start by preheating your grill to a medium-high temperature. This will help sear the chicken and lock in the juices.

Preheat Your Grill in cooking BBQ Time Chicken Thighs
Credits to The Kitchn


Place the chicken thighs skin-side down on the grill. This allows the skin to crisp up nicely. Make sure there’s enough space between them to ensure even cooking.

Temperature and Timing:

Keep an eye on the internal temperature of the chicken. You’re aiming for 165°F (74°C) for perfectly cooked thighs. Depending on the size, this usually takes about 25-30 minutes.


Flip the chicken thighs occasionally to prevent burning. If flare-ups occur, move the thighs to a cooler part of the grill.


If you’re using a BBQ sauce, apply it during the last 10 minutes of grilling. This prevents the sauce from burning and allows it to caramelize beautifully on the meat.

Place the chicken thighs skin-side down on the grill.
Credits to The Spruce Eats
 internal temperature of the chicken
Credits to America’s Test Kitchen
flipping and saucing chicken thigh in grill
Credits to Grill Girl


Once off the grill, let the chicken thighs rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring each bite is as juicy as the last.

Saucing Your Chicken Thighs

A good BBQ isn’t complete without the right sauce to complement your chicken thighs. Here’s how to get it just right.

Saucing Your Chicken Thighs
Credits to Allrecipes
  • Choosing Your Sauce: Whether you prefer a classic smoky flavor, a tangy vinegar kick, or a sweet and spicy blend, the sauce you choose can define your BBQ chicken thighs. Opt for a high-quality BBQ sauce that matches your taste preference.
  • Application Timing: The timing of sauce application is crucial. Brush your sauce onto the chicken thighs in the last few minutes of grilling. This allows the sauce to thicken and caramelize without burning.
  • Homemade vs. Store-Bought: While store-bought sauces are convenient, a homemade BBQ sauce can be tailored to your liking and is often fresher. Combine ingredients like ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and your choice of spices to create a unique blend.
  • Sauce Tips: Keep the sauce warm and apply it with a brush in thin, even layers. If you’re looking for a bit of char, increase the grill’s heat in the final minutes of cooking.

Serving and Presentation

The final step in your BBQ journey is serving and presenting your chicken thighs in a way that’s as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate.

  • Resting: Before serving, let the chicken thighs rest for a few minutes. This helps the juices settle and keeps the meat moist.
  • Slicing: If you prefer, you can slice the chicken thighs into smaller pieces for easier eating. Arrange them on a platter for a family-style meal.
  • Accompaniments: Serve your BBQ chicken thighs with sides that complement the rich flavors. Coleslaw, cornbread, and grilled vegetables are classic choices.
  • Garnishing: A sprinkle of fresh herbs or a drizzle of extra sauce can add a final touch of flavor and color to your dish.
  • Plating: Use a clean, large platter for a rustic, inviting presentation. If you’re serving individually, consider a bed of greens or a ring of roasted potatoes as a base.

Final Analysis

Starting the journey of BBQ time chicken thighs is not just about following a recipe—it’s about embracing the process and making it your own. Remember, the best BBQ is the one that suits your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices, cooking times, and sauces until you find your perfect match. Trust your instincts, and let the natural flavors of the chicken be your guide.

With patience and practice, you’ll not only master the art of BBQ chicken thighs but also discover the joy of creating a dish that brings people together, igniting conversations and creating memories around the sizzling grill. So light up your BBQ, and let the adventure begin!

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