posted April 07, 2022
Smoked Chicken Thighs
These smoked chicken thighs are a great way to enjoy delicious chicken smoked in your own backyard. Seasoned with my signature sweet rub, smoked to perfection, then slathered in whiskey peach BBQ sauce, these chicken thighs can’t be beat!
Best Smoked Chicken Thighs
Maybe I’m partial, but I kinda think these are some of the best-smoked chicken thighs you can make in your own backyard. They’re easy to smoke, have great flavor, and make the perfect weekday dinner.
A quick note to my expert smokers: These are not competition-style chicken thighs. This is a simple recipe you can make at home on your preferred smoker. It has an awesome home-style flavor, and best of all, these chicken thighs are easy to make.
If you’re feeling ambitious and are ready for more of a challenge when smoking your chicken, you can learn more about smoking competition-style chicken thighs from a good friend of mine. She used my Chicken Rub during a competition smoke and WON! You can buy this same seasoning from the Hey Grill Hey Store and make your own crazy-good chicken thighs anytime, anywhere.
Rub for Smoked Chicken Thighs
When deciding what rub to use on these smoked chicken thighs, it really wasn’t much of a competition. Chicken thighs taste completely amazing when seasoned with sweet rub prior to smoking. If you’ve been around here for a while, you probably know all about my Sweet Rub. It’s the perfect combination of sweet from the brown sugar, savory from the 6 other spices (including smoked paprika), with just a subtle kick from the cayenne pepper.
Many pitmasters take their signature rubs to their grave, but I’m more than willing to share my recipe for sweet rub. It’s too good to keep to myself; I want everyone to be able to use it to feel like a backyard BBQ hero and smoke the best food of their life. To read more about my sweet rub and make your own, head on over to my post here. If you’d like your own shaker bottle delivered to your door, order from the Hey Grill Hey Store.
How to Smoke Chicken Thighs
Here’s how to smoke some perfectly juicy chicken thighs.
- Fire up your smoker. Preheat your favorite smoker to 275 degrees F. I don’t recommend smoking skin-on chicken at a lower temperature or you can end up with rubbery skin.
- Prep your chicken. Trim off any excess skin or extra thin chicken around the edges of the bone. Roll the chicken tightly into uniform pieces. Drizzle on all sides with olive oil. This helps keep the skin moist during smoking and also helps with the next step…
- Season. Grab some sweet rub and get seasoning! You can either purchase my Sweet Rub online, or make it from scratch using this recipe. Season the chicken on all sides to completely cover the thighs.
- Smoke! Place the chicken on your smoker skin side up. Close the lid. Cook the thighs until the internal temperature (make sure you’re using a reliable meat thermometer) reads 165 degrees F. Depending on how big your chicken thighs are, it can take anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes to reach this target temperature.
- Baste. Baste with Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce (much like my Sweet Rub, you can buy this pre-made from the Hey Grill Hey Store, or you can make your own using this recipe. You can also use your favorite BBQ sauce and play around with different flavors.
- Finish smoking. Continue to smoke the chicken until the thighs reach a temperature of 170-175 degrees F.
- Remove, rest, serve, and enjoy! Once your chicken is looking good and at the right temp, remove them from the smoker. Rest the thighs for 5-10 minutes, then serve hot (with extra BBQ sauce and napkins), and enjoy!
How Long to Smoke Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes to fully cook on a smoker set to 275 degrees F. Keep an internal meat thermometer handy and continue to smoke until your chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F.
The length of time it takes for your chicken thighs to fully cook will likely depend on how consistent the heat of your smoker is and how thick your chicken legs are. Be patient, and remember to cook to temperature, not to time.
More Smoked Chicken Recipes
I LOVE smoking chicken. Aside from chicken thighs, Hey Grill Hey has a handful of smoked chicken recipes for you to make and enjoy:
Smoked Chicken Thighs Recipe
Follow the recipe below and let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a BBQ hero. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind the scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!
Smoked Chicken Thighs
- Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F.
- Prep the chicken thighs. Trim off any excess skin or extra thin chicken around the edges of the bone. Roll the chicken tightly into uniform pieces.
- Season. Season on all sides with the sweet rub (you don't need to use the entire 2 Tablespoons as specified in the ingredients, simply use enough to completely cover the chicken).
- Smoke. Place the chicken on the smoker skin side up. Close the lid, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. This will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes depending on how big your chicken thighs are.
- Sauce. Baste with the Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce) until the internal temperature measured with a meat thermometer reaches 170-175 degrees F.
- Rest and enjoy. Remove from the grill, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, serve, and dig in!
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