Smoked Chicken Thighs

Rate this post

These smoked chicken thighs are easy to make yet full of smokey flavor.

Thighs are a better option for grilling than chicken breasts since they are fatter and more tasty. Furthermore, they are inexpensive enough that you can feed a large group without breaking the budget!

I like bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, but boneless, skinless thighs work just as well. The crispy skin really takes these thighs to the next level.

Why choose thighs?

Smoked Chicken Thighs

In the poultry aisle, chicken thighs are typically overlooked and dominated by chicken breasts, which I’ve never understood.

Thighs are less expensive than chicken breasts and have more of that dark meat chicken taste.

Thighs contain more fat and are practically difficult to overcook. Even if you miss 165F internal, they won’t dry out until they reach 180F, giving you some flexibility on the grill, which is always useful when feeding a crowd.

How to make smoked chicken thighs

Smoked chicken thighs are one of the simplest dishes I’ve ever shared, but that doesn’t mean they’re not savory and wonderful!

One critical step is to increase the heat on the smoker towards the conclusion of the cooking time to give the skin a good, crispy finish. You may skip this step if you’re smoking skinless thighs!

1. Marinate the chicken thighs

The marinade is the first step to delicious chicken. This is also where you may experiment with different tastes.

There are hundreds of store-bought marinades oriented for chicken on the market, or you can just make your own at home.

I used Goya’s Mojo Criollo for this recipe. It’s one of my top favorite chicken marinades on the market, and it’s available at almost any grocery shop.

If you don’t notice it among the standard marinades, look in the Hispanic Foods area of the shop; they often keep it there.

If you wish to make your own, the trick is to start with one part oil, one part acid (such as vinegar, citrus juice, or wine), and one part flavor or spice.

Fresh herbs and vegetables may also be used in a marinade to enhance the taste of your chicken.

Place your chicken thighs in a food-safe container and trim away any extra fat and skin. If you just have a Ziploc bag, that will suffice. Pour the marinade over the chicken thighs, making sure they are well soaked, then cover and refrigerate until ready to smoke.

You may marinate chicken for as little as 2 to 3 hours, but I like to marinate it overnight to get the most flavor out of it.

You don’t want to keep it in the marinade for more than 48 hours, depending on the acidity of the marinade, or the acid will start breaking down the muscle and result in mushy flesh (YUCK!).

Once the thighs have been removed from the marinade, season them.

2. Season with chicken thigh rub

The next step is to season the chicken thighs. Again, feel free to be creative and really personalize the food.

You may use your favorite store-bought chicken rub, or you can create your own smoked chicken rub. I used my own spice combination of salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to add some heat to this meal.

When dealing with skin-on chicken, the secret to taste is to raise the skin and season the flesh below before adding a little more spice on top of the skin. Nobody loves bland chicken, so this will guarantee that your chicken is well-seasoned.

Once the chicken is well-seasoned, wrap the thighs up and pull the skin tight. Then place the thighs on a wire rack or jerky tray to cool.

3. Fire up the smoker

It is now time to smoke your chicken! Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. I used Bear Mountain Oak Pellets to smoke them on my Camp Chef Woodwind 24.

I prefer to use oak with chicken because it adds a nice balance of smokey taste and goes well with almost everything.

If you’re new to pellet smoking, you should read this article on the best wood pellets for smoking.

Once your smoker is ready, just lay your chicken thighs on it and let them to smoke.

4. Crisp up the skin

The thighs will smoke for approximately an hour before reaching an internal temperature of around 155F.

When they reach that temperature, I raise the temperature in the smoker to 375°F for another 15 to 20 minutes to give the skin an extra-crispy texture.

I also like to baste them with a little barbeque sauce at this stage. This is completely optional, so leave it out if you don’t like sauce.

Most chicken recipes ask for a final internal temperature of 165F, but I prefer to go a bit higher when smoking chicken thighs, generally around 170F to 175F.

I find that dark meat retains moisture even at higher temperatures, and I like the texture and taste of thighs cooked to 170°F.

How to serve smoked chicken thighs

Smoked chicken thighs are very adaptable and may be served with almost anything. You may shred the meat and use it in tacos, sandwiches, or even on top of a salad. They’re also delicious on their own with some fantastic barbeque sides:

  • Smoked Beer Mustard Potatoes
  • Smoked Baked Beans
  • Easy Smoked Mac & Cheese
  • Mexican Grilled Corn
  • Creamy Southern Coleslaw

More smoked chicken recipes

  • Easy Smoked Chicken Breast
  • Smoked Chicken With Alabama White Sauce
  • Smoked Chicken Maryland
  • Smoked and Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs


How long do you smoke chicken thighs at 225?

Approximately 2 hours, depending on the size of the bird. There’s no need to wait until they’ve all reached 165°F; just remove each chicken thigh as it cooks.Place the chicken thighs in the smoker and cook at 225°F for 1-1 12 hours, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F in the thickest section of the thigh.

How long to smoke chicken thighs at 300?

It takes roughly 1 – 1.5 hours (60 – 90 minutes) to smoke chicken thighs at 300 degrees. Faster cook periods will result in less smoke flavor in your meat and a texture more comparable to baking or roasting.

How long to smoke chicken pieces at 225?

Smoke the chicken for 12 to 2 hours at 225 degrees F, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Brush the chicken with a mop combination of apple cider vinegar, apple cider, and dry rub if preferred to tenderize and keep it moist. What exactly is this?

Do you smoke chicken thighs skin on or off?

Boneless and skin-on smoked chicken thighs are the finest. They simply cook quicker and stay wet because the skin on top protects them while adding flavor and moisture.

Should I smoke chicken at 225 or 250?

The ideal temperature for smoking chicken is about 225 degrees. To ensure uniform cooking, preheat your smoker.

Is it safe to smoke chicken at 250?

Place the chicken on the smoker to smoke. Close the pellet grill cover and cook the chicken at 250°F for approximately 3 hours, or until it reaches 165°F. Rest for 5-10 minutes and then enjoy!

Can you smoke chicken thighs at 275?

2 hours, or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.Place the chicken thighs, skin side up, on the smoker. Place the temperature probe into the thickest section of the chicken thigh. Close the pellet grill lid and smoke at 275 degrees for 1 hour to 1 and 12 hours.

What is the best temp to smoke thighs?

On a smoker set at 275 degrees F, chicken thighs might take 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes to thoroughly cook. Keep an internal meat thermometer available and smoke the chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F.

Can you smoke chicken to 200?

Rub the chicken with the oil and then with the dry rub, covering well on both sides. Preheat the smoker to 200-225 degrees. Cover the grate with the chicken. Smoke for 75 minutes, or until the chicken achieves an internal temperature of 165 degrees on a digital thermometer in the thickest portion (see note 2).

Can you smoke chicken thighs at 250?

Rinse the thighs with cold water, removing extra fat and skin, and pat dry. Set aside after heavily coating both sides with Lawry’s seasoning. Preheat the smoker to 225-250°F. For 3 hours, smoke the thighs.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *