These smoked chicken thighs are a no-fuss, easy, not to mention, rather quick way to get dinner on the table. Try them with some baked potatoes and/or Brussels sprouts and you've got the perfect meal!
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HOW TO SMOKE CHICKEN THIGHS ON THE SMOKER OR PELLET GRILL
This is a no-fuss recipe. Sometimes it seems like smoker recipes are overly long and complicated. This recipe is definitely not one of them. Grilling these chicken thighs is not an all day affair, but trust that they’re definitely NOT lacking in the flavor department with a few techniques.
You’ll need a handful of ingredients for this recipe:
- Chicken thighs (skin on, bone in!)
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
...and that’s it!
This recipe takes about 2 hours from start to finish. The full recipe is linked below but here’s a quick idea of how this process will go:
First - you’re going to brine your chicken. You want it to be flavorful and juicy. Cooking the chicken dries it to a degree, so you don’t want to skip this step as it will add some flavor and keep the hydration level high during cooking!
Second - you’ll place your chicken right onto the preheated grill and shut the lid.
Third - You’ll put together your sauce for basting. If you don’t wish to use the sauce below in the recipe card, feel free to use any sauce you like. My favorite store-bought BBQ sauce is Primal Kitchen
Fourth - Baste your chicken on both sides.
Finally - make a foil dish or use a store bought foil dish to add sauce, place the chicken onto the sauce, and allow it to finish cooking until the internal temperature is between 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit.
WHAT PELLET GRILL OR SMOKER IS BEST?
There are pros and cons to all, but ultimately you’ll need to find the one that suits your needs best. For me, that’s the electric pellet grill/smoker combo, and I like the Pit Boss.
WHAT FLAVOR PELLETS ARE BEST FOR CHICKEN THIGHS?
For this recipe I used the Apple Pellets and for chicken thighs they taste fantastic!
WHAT SHOULD THE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OF CHICKEN BE?
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, I think it’s essential that you get one and I’d recommend this one. Just stick it on the side of your fridge and grab it as you need it to check the temperature of your meat.
You shouldn’t remove your thighs from the grill until they’ve reached an internal temperature between 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit.
HOW TO GET CHICKEN SKIN CRISPY ON THE PELLET GRILL?
To get chicken skin crispy on the pellet grill simply keep the skin side up! This helps to get the skin crispy but also helps to keep the chicken nice and juicy because the fat from the skin will keep the meat from drying out!
Smoked Chicken Thighs
- Electric Smoker/Pellet Grill
- 4-5 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 12 oz bottle beer
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch salt + pepper
- In a large 2-gallon ziplock bag add the chicken beer, brown sugar, salt, apple cider vinegar, and chili powder. Allow it to marinate for 20 minute - overnight. (Overnight is best, the longer you soak, the better the flavor will be).
- In a bowl whisk together the dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
SMOKING THE CHICKEN THIGHS
- Preheat your smoker according to your brands instructions to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the marinated chicken right on the grill grate, skin side up, and close the lid.
- Every 30 minutes, generously baste the chicken with honey mustard sauce.
- After 2 hours, or once your chicken thighs have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, add the rest of your sauce to a foil pan and place the chicken onto the sauce. Close the lid for about ten minutes or until the sauce is simmering. Turn off your grill.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, uncovered, and serve!