Grilled Chicken Thighs: How to Grill Chicken Thighs in 4 Steps

Grilled Chicken Thighs: How to Grill Chicken Thighs in 4 Easy Steps

Perfect Grilled chicken thighs
Perfect Grilled chicken thighs

There’s nothing wrong with boneless, skinless breasts, but chicken thighs are the real deal. Juicy, moist, and delicious, Perfect Grilled Chicken Thighs!

These flavorful chicken thighs are simple to cook and come with the greatest marinade!

They’re quite difficult to goof up, and they go with everything.

Grilling chicken thighs is, nevertheless, our preferred method of preparation. It’s easy to make, requires little cleaning (not even a dirty sheet pan!), and packs a punch of smoky flavor.

Thankfully, learning how to grill chicken thighs is straightforward: it all boils down to prepping the grill, cooking at the correct temperature, and knowing when the thighs are done.

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Here’s how to do it correctly.

Grilled Chicken Thighs: How to Grill Chicken Thighs in 4 Easy Steps

A brief note: We recommend using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because they have the most taste and won’t dry out on the grill.

Step 1: Season the Chicken Thighs with Salt and Pepper.

The seasoning you use varies depending on the flavor you want, but you’ll want to use kosher salt and freshly ground pepper at the very least.

You can also use a spice blend (like jerk seasoning) or a marinade (soy sauce and ginger, perhaps?) to flavor the chicken, but salt is required.

Barbecue sauce is also tasty, but you’ll need to baste it on frequently during the cooking process to keep it from drying out.

Step 2: Preheat your grill on one side for direct heat and indirect heat on the other.

Basically, you want to make one warmer (direct heat) and one colder (indirect heat) zone (indirect).

On a gas grill, this entails turning the burners up to high on one side only and covering the grill for 10 minutes.

On a charcoal grill, light a chimney full of charcoal and wait until it’s all lighted and covered in ash before dumping it onto one side of the grill, covering it, and preheating it for 5 minutes.

Clean and lightly oil the grill grate after it has been preheated.

Step 3: Preheat the grill for the chicken thighs over indirect heat.

Place the chicken skin-side up on the cooler side of the grill and cook for 5 minutes, or until the fat begins to render.

Cook for another 20 minutes after flipping the chicken.

Step 4: Using tongs, move the skin-side-down chicken thighs to direct heat.

Cook until the skin is crispy and an instant-read thermometer reads 190 to 195°F for the chicken.

Before slicing or serving, remove the chicken thighs from the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes.

How do you cook skinless, boneless chicken thighs on the grill?

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs will grill up in almost no time – about 4 minutes each side over direct heat – because there is no skin to crisp and no bone to check for in the cooking time.

They won’t be as soft as bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs cooked over moderate heat, so keep that in mind.

How long do chicken thighs take to grill on a gas grill? Grilled Chicken Thighs

Cooking isn’t so much about minutes as it is about visual cues, and how long it takes to grill chicken thighs on a gas grill (or a charcoal grill) depends on a few aspects, including the size of the chicken pieces, whether they’re bone-in, and whether you’re cooking on high or low heat.

There is no exact duration, however it can take up to 45 minutes when cooked over indirect heat. Although that is a long time to wait for chicken, the low and slow method produces more tender results.

Aside from the interior temperature, there are a few more factors to consider (more on that in a sec), When the chicken’s juices run clear and the meat is completely opaque, it’s done.

When cooking chicken thighs, do you cover the grill?

It all depends, once again! You can close the grill to trap heat if you’re cooking chicken thighs over indirect or low heat.

You generally won’t need to close the grill if you’re cooking boneless, skinless chicken thighs over high or direct heat for less than ten minutes.

How do you keep chicken thighs from burning on the grill?

Cooking chicken thighs gently over indirect heat is the easiest technique to avoid burning them on the grill since the fat won’t generate large flare-ups and the flames won’t have a chance to burn the meat.

Also, to prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill grate, coat it with neutral oil or grilling spray before cooking.

When the chicken is done, how do you know it’s done?

Using an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the grilled chicken thighs is the best and most accurate way to determine when they’re done.

The USDA recommends that all poultry be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption, although chicken thighs taste better when cooked to a higher temperature-between 175 and 195°F.

According to pro chefs at America’s Test Kitchen, this allows the excess collagen and fat to melt and render, resulting in juicier, more tender outcomes.

With grilled chicken thighs, what can you serve?

Because grilled chicken thighs are so adaptable, you can serve them with practically any side dish you desire.

Classics like jollof rice, grilled or roasted veggies, and a refreshing, crisp Nigerian salad are favorites of ours.

Why not try sweet-and-salty watermelon skewers or a batch of savory caramelized onions to mix things up?

Enjoy

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