Smoked Chicken Thighs are flavorful and juicy inside, with perfectly crispy skin. Use our recipe for cooking chicken thighs on any type of smoker!
Are you enjoying your smoker as much as I am? There are just so many different things that you can make in a smoker.
I’ll be sharing a few of my favorites with you to try.
Have you had a chance to try my other smoker recipes?
Smoked baked potato is so delicious! This recipe is a must-make; you’ll love the flavor of smoked potatoes!
Or, make some smoked baked beans! These tender beans with bacon are the perfect side dish!
Tips for Making Smoked Chicken Thighs
This recipe is one of the simplest ways to make smoked chicken thighs at home.
And, it uses one of my favorite homemade rubs, containing New Mexico chili powder and smoked paprika.
One of the reasons I use thigh meat is because it is such an inexpensive cut.
If you are feeding a crowd, or you’re watching your grocery budget, cooking chicken thighs in the smoker is a great choice.
It’s important to prep the meat before smoking it. You will need to trim the excess skin and fat around the edges first.
When preparing the thighs, make sure that you rub the spices into both the top and the bottom of the piece of meat.
Work a little bit underneath the skin if you can as well.
And, always let the meat rest for five minutes before serving.This allows the juices to redistribute as it cools so that your chicken will be moist and juicy.
How long to smoke chicken thighs
The smoking time depends on the size and the type of smoker you’re using. It’s really best to smoke the thighs based on the internal temperature reading using a meat thermometer.
This recipe calls for a temperature of 275F. At that temperature, you will need to cook them for about one hour and 35 minutes.
This is the time and temperature if you are using bone-in chicken thighs.
If you are cooking boneless chicken thighs, you will need to cook them for slightly less time.
To smoke boneless chicken thighs, preheat your smoker to 225F and cook them for about 55 minutes.
Remember, they are done when your meat thermometer shows an internal temperature of 165°F.
Don’t rely on just the time to determine when your meat is cooked.
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Frequently asked questions
What is the best type of BBQ sauce to use?
One of the last steps in this recipe is to brush the meat with BBQ sauce. I love the taste of my KC Style Barbecue Sauce, but you can use your own homemade version.
Or, you can use a bottled BBQ sauce if you are pressed for time.
How to prevent dry rub from burning on the chicken
One of the challenges of cooking with a dry rub in the smoker is preventing it from burning.
When you make this recipe, you will brush BBQ sauce onto the chicken during the last 10 minutes of the cooking time. This will help prevent the sauce from burning.
But, it will still allow the delicious rub to flavor the thighs during the smoking process.
Can I make a double batch?
Yes, you can double this recipe. I love making a big batch because there are so many different ways to use it during the week.
What should I serve with smoked chicken thighs?
There are many different types of summer side dishes you can serve with the meal, but here are a few of my favorites.
Or, you can always just serve a side garden salad or sliced fresh vegetables from the garden.
- Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Garlic
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Ranch Mashed Potato Salad
- Cucumber Onion Salad with Vinegar
- Grilled Zucchini
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
Smoked Chicken Thighs + Video
- 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce
- Preheat the smoker to 275°F. Choose your favorite wood, I am using my favorite blend of oak, maple and hickory on my pellet smoker.
- Trim any excess skin off of the chicken thighs, set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, chile powder, and brown sugar. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken, set aside.
- Once the smoker is to temperature, place the chicken thighs directly on to the grates, skin side up. Close the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until the thighs reach an internal temperature of about 140°F. Turn the thighs over and baste it with the bbq sauce. Turn them back over, skin side up, and brush with bbq sauce. Close the lid and cook for an additional 45 minutes or until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published August 2020
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