There's nothing like the smell of grilled food in the air to make your mouth water and stomach grumble. Since grilled chicken is a national favorite as the barbecue season ramps up, we're covering How to Grill Chicken Thighs - American Made Grilling Tips! We will help you prep chicken every time that tastes fantastic, looks terrific, and retains its moistness and flavor to the last bite!

Grilled chicken is a mainstay of home-cooked menus across the country because it's relatively inexpensive and can be dressed up with a wide variety of flavor combinations. While many often opt for using the breast because it is leaner, the more robust flavor is in the thigh. The darker color of thighs is due to the extra skin covering the area, and their flavor is more intense thanks to the higher fat content.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs: Bone-In or Boneless

Your first decision when grilling chicken is whether to use bone-in or boneless skinless thighs. Both are great and have different advantages depending on the recipe and preference. Bone-in thighs are delightful for barbecue chicken because of their crispy skin and easier to eat with your hands. Boneless skinless chicken thighs will grill faster and are better suited for tacos and dishes using sliced chicken.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs: Style and Seasoning

How to Grill Chicken Thighs - American Made Grilling Tips!

Part of what makes chicken such a popular grilling choice is its versatility. Used in almost every nation, chicken can be marinated, rubbed, basted, brined, or lightly seasoned in various combinations and traditions. A comparatively lean protein to beef and pork, chicken thighs have the perfect fat content for a moist texture that takes on all the seasonings' characteristics.

One tip is to pat the chicken with paper towels once it has been removed from the marinade since marinades often have a lot of sugar, like brown sugar, which can easily char and burn too quickly. A favorite option is to use a spice rub before grilling and then add your favorite barbecue sauce at the end for a little gorgeous color and caramelization.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs: Preparation

Once the chicken has marinated for at least 30 minutes, it's time to prepare it for the grill. One essential step to grilling the perfect chicken is letting it rise to room temperature.

When chicken is marinating, it should continually be refrigerated so it doesn't spoil. That cold chicken needs to be laid out flat, patted down with paper towels, and allowed to rise to room temperature. This will help the different pieces cook more uniformly and quickly on the grill.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs: Temperature

When the chicken is ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium heat. If you're using boneless skinless chicken thighs, your target temperature is 400 degrees. Increase the heat to 450 degrees for bone-in thighs. Ensure the grill grates are clean to prevent the chicken from being contaminated with old, charred food debris.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs: Time

With the grill hot and ready and the chicken seasoned and prepped, grill the thighs over direct medium heat. Boneless chicken thighs take about 8 minutes to cook, while bone-in thighs take 10-14 minutes. Use a meat thermometer by placing it in the thickest part of your thigh to test doneness. Once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for five minutes before serving.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs: Skin

How to Grill Chicken Thighs - American Made Grilling Tips!

Grilling is all about balancing the perfect texture and crunch with tenderness. For addictive, crispy skin, start grilling the thighs skin-side down first for 3-5 minutes. Then, flip them over so they can cook evenly without burning or overcooking. The skin crisps up nicely when grilled first, but you'll find that it will become overly crispy and tough to eat if it's on the grill too long.

Do You Need a Meat Thermometer?

If you are grilling chicken thighs or breasts, we highly recommend having a meat thermometer on hand. You will know that the chicken is cooked through if its juices run clear once you remove it from the grill and let it rest for a minute. If your chicken isn't entirely done, return it to the grill for 3-4 more minutes.

If you don't have one, you should get one. It is the best way to ensure the chicken is cooked through without overcooking so you can provide the best grilling experience to your family and friends. 

Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes to Try

Chicken thighs are a versatile and flavorful cut that truly shines when grilled. Their higher fat content, as compared to chicken breasts, ensures they stay juicy and tender, making them a favorite among grilling enthusiasts. Whether you're looking for a quick weeknight meal or a show-stopper for your next barbecue, we've got you covered with various delicious grilled chicken thigh recipes. Here's a collection of our best recipes to help you master the art of grilling chicken thighs and impress your guests with mouth-watering dishes.

  1. Herb and Lime Marinated Chicken
  2. Chicken Inasal
  3. Char Siu Chicken
  4. Chile-and-Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken
  5. Hoisin-Maple Glazed Grilled Chicken
  6. Spicy Grilled Chicken with Crunchy Fennel Salad
  7. BBQ Chicken with Sweet Chili–Peach Glaze
  8. Easy-to-Love Chicken Thighs and Couscous
  9. Chicken Grillcicles with Rum Butter Sauce
  10. Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken with Foil Packet Green Beans

By following these recipes, you'll enhance your grilling skills and delight your taste buds with a variety of flavors. Each recipe offers something unique, ensuring there's always something new and exciting to try on your grill.

American Made Grilling Tips

How to Grill Chicken Thighs - American Made Grilling Tips!

Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled chicken thighs are perfect for small dinners, events, or celebrations. With these grilling tips from American Made Grills, your family, and friends will want to make perfectly grilled chicken thighs a staple of your weeknight menu plans. Be the hero you are, and never go wrong again when it comes to grilling up some delicious food.

June 16, 2024 — Jason Klein