With summer arriving, it’s time to start thinking about delicious BBQ recipes and nothing goes better on the grill than chicken! These grilled chicken thighs are right up there with classics like beer can chicken and they’re just as simple to cook. If you’re looking for an easy, tender, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ chicken recipe, you have to try these grilled chicken thighs.
How long does it take to grill chicken thighs?
Altogether, it only takes half an hour of hands-on cooking time to make grilled chicken thighs, which is a big reason it’s one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes. You spend five minutes making the marinade, and the chicken cooks for 25 minutes on the grill. But you’ll want to start your preparations the night before because the marinade needs to sit on the chicken for overnight to saturate the meat with flavor.
Should I use boneless or bone-in thighs?
This grilled chicken recipe calls for bone-in chicken thighs. As a general rule, bone-in chicken thighs are less expensive than boneless chicken breasts or thighs, and they’re just as flavorful when soaked in this delicious marinade.
If you choose to use boneless chicken thighs, make sure you adjust the cooking time. Depending on the size, boneless chicken thighs can cook in as little as 12-15 minutes. This is much faster than bone-in chicken thighs and can lead to dried-out meat if you cook them too long.
Bone-in chicken thighs keep the meat nice and moist while boneless skinless chicken thighs have a tendency to dry out on the grill.
What do I need for these grilled chicken thighs?
The best part of this grilled chicken thigh recipe is how few ingredients it requires! You’ll need:
- A BBQ—you can use a gas grill or charcoal grill
- Roughly three to four bone-in chicken thighs
- Soy sauce
- One lime—you’ll use both the juice and the zest from the lime in your marinade
- Garlic powder
Most chicken recipes will call for salt and pepper, but we skip it here. The soy sauce provides plenty of that salty flavor on its own!
How do I grill chicken thighs?
This is such a simple recipe! To make grilled chicken thighs:
- Mix the marinade ingredients in a large zip-top bag the night before.
- Add the chicken to the marinade, seal the bag, and squish it around until all the thighs have been covered.
- Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for 12-14 hours.
- Preheat your grill to 425°F—this is roughly medium to high heat if you don’t have a temperature gauge on your grill.
- Cook your chicken thighs, skin side down, on the grill for 15 minutes.
- Flip, and cook on the other side for 10 minutes.
- Allow your chicken to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
How do you keep chicken thighs from drying out on the grill?
There are several things you can do to keep your chicken thighs from drying out on the grill. The marinade you soak your chicken in not only provides added flavor but will also add moisture to the chicken, helping to prevent it from drying out. Choosing a bone-in chicken thigh over boneless will also help keep your meat nice and moist on the grill.
Cooking your chicken at the right temperature for the right amount of time is vital in preventing it from drying out. A grill that’s too hot will create char marks on your chicken that will most likely be dry underneath. Cooking your chicken for too long will have the same effect as all the moisture dries up.
The last step to keeping your grilled chicken thighs moist is to allow them to rest after cooking. Resting your meat not only prevents a burnt tongue, but it also allows moisture to be sucked back into the meat, resulting in a moist piece of chicken.
How do you know when the chicken is done?
The chicken thighs are ready when they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165°F. A quick way to check doneness if you don’t have a meat thermometer is to slice the thigh in its thickest part. The meat should be white on the inside and the juices that drip out should be clear, not pink.
What should I serve with my chicken thighs?
Since you’re already using your grill, why not choose some fresh or grilled sides to serve with your chicken thighs? Some great options include:
- Grilled potato wedges
- Grilled carrots
- Grilled garlic green beans
- Grilled corn on the cob
- Mexican street corn salad
- Grilled zucchini with Parmesan
- Chopped Greek salad
- Grilled tomato and herb bread
- Fresh corn and basil salad
- Cucumber onion salad