Tender, juicy and delicious Smoked Chicken Thighs start with a homemade rub, are smoked and then finished off with BBQ sauce. They make an easy dinner on your pellet grill that can’t be beat!
We love making dinner on our smoker, but sometimes those recipes seem to take so long. That’s why we love these Smoked Chicken Thighs that only take about a hour and half which is perfect for the weeknight.
Can we talk about that rub? We use our favorite BBQ Chicken Rub on them and it gives them so much flavor. Just like our Smoked Whole Chicken! I highly recommend mixing up a batch of that and using it on all your grilled, baked or smoked chicken. It’s my go-to!
Finish these chicken thighs off with a brush of BBQ sauce that makes them perfectly sweet, sticky and mouthwatering. The BBQ sauce finish is optional so you can skip it if you want.
Why You’ll Love Smoked Chicken Thighs!
- It’s kid friendly! That’s right, the kids will love these because they can eat them with their hands.
- Sooooo easy to make and smoke. All you need is chicken thighs, oil, BBQ sauce and our delicious BBQ Rub!
- Quick enough for an easy dinner. They only take about a hour and half on the smoker and are hands off.
Ingredients for Smoked Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Thighs – Use skin-on, bone-in for best results. You could use boneless but they won’t be quite as juicy. They must have the skin-on.
- Olive Oil – Any oil will work!
- BBQ Chicken Rub – We use our favorite homemade rub, but you can use another if you prefer.
- BBQ Sauce – Any BBQ sauce will work, mix it up with different flavors!
How to Make Smoked Chicken Thighs
- Prep Smoker – Preheat pellet grill to 275 degrees. We used competition blend pellets in the pellet grill.
- Prep Chicken Thighs – Trim off any excess skin on chicken thighs. Rub olive all over chicken thigh then sprinkle BBQ Chicken rub so it coats the chicken.
- Smoke – Place chicken thighs on smoker skin side up. Insert temperature probe into thickest part of chicken thigh. Close pellet grill lid and cook at 275 degrees for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.- Place chicken thighs on smoker skin side up. Insert temperature probe into thickest part of chicken thigh. Close pellet grill lid and cook at 275 degrees for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Baste chicken with BBQ sauce and smoke for 10 minutes.
- Rest – Remove from smoker and let rest for 5 minutes. Then serve!
What kind of pellets is best to smoke chicken?
Our go to pellet is the competition blend which blends nicely with anything you smoke. If you want to get specific we prefer a pecan, mesquite, cherry or apple pellets which will give you a nice mellow taste without overpowering the chicken. Hickory is another great options that has a sweet to strong taste.
How long does it take to smoke chicken thighs?
This will vary depending on how big of a chicken thigh you have and how thick it is. It will take from one hour to one hour and 30 minutes with your smoker set to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
How do I know when a chicken thigh is done?
The chicken thigh needs to be 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of a thigh. Make sure you have a digital meat thermometer or your smoker has a probe with built in thermometer to monitor this.
We actually cook them to 175-180 degrees F. They are still super tender and juicy, but it they don’t have some of those bloody spots around the bone that way.
Do I need to use BBQ Sauce?
No, you don’t need the BBQ sauce. The rub will give them enough flavor, but we love that sticky, sweet finish on them.
How to Store Leftover Chicken Thighs
Store any cooled leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Thighs
You can microwave them to reheat them, but the skin will be rubbery and they might dry out.
Another option is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place thicken thighs on a wire rack with baking sheet under it. Bake for about 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Another option is to preheat an Air Fryer to 400 degrees then bake the chicken thighs for around 5 minutes or until heated through.
- It doesn’t get easier than these quick and delicious Grilled Foil Packet Potatoes with Onions! It’s the perfect side dish on the grill for an easy weeknight dinner.
- If you are grilling this summer you need to try these BBQ Baked Beans On the Grill for a quick and easy side dish recipe. With three different types of beans, seasonings and BBQ Sauce they are delicious.
- Grilled Corn Salad recipe is a summer salad that is packed with flavor from grilled corn, fresh tomatoes, avocados, lime juice, red onion and cilantro. This salad has a delicious homemade lime vinaigrette that brings out the flavors of the fresh vegetables.
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- 2 pounds bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
- 2 Tablespoons BBQ Chicken Rub
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup Barbecue sauce
- Preheat pellet grill to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. We used competition blend pellets in the pellet grill.
- Trim off any excess skin on chicken thighs. Rub olive all over chicken thigh then sprinkle BBQ Chicken rub so it coats the chicken.
- Place chicken thighs on smoker skin side up. Insert temperature probe into thickest part of chicken thigh. Close pellet grill lid and smoke at 275 degrees for about 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Baste chicken with BBQ sauce and smoke for 10 minutes.
- Remove from smoker and let rest for 5 minutes. Then serve!