Smoked Chicken Thighs

Smoked Chicken Thighs

If you love chicken while hosting a family dinner, there is nothing better than smoked chicken thighs. If you compare the meat quality of thighs with chicken breast, the thigh meat is much more tender and moist than that of the breast. Chicken thighs are comparatively less expensive than all other types of meat, and smoking chicken thighs will give you a mouth-watering flavor. Smoke the chicken thighs with some bbq sauce to enjoy the perfect blast of flavors. If some of your friends or family members do not like a chicken with the bone, you can try smoking boneless chicken thighs with the same recipe.

I recommend you use our chicken rub when you are planning to try the smoked chicken thighs recipe. These delicious smoked chicken thighs will blow up your taste buds when paired up and served with Smoked Baked Potatoes, Smoked Asparagus, or Smoked Sweet potatoes.

How to make Smoked Chicken Thighs

This chicken thighs recipe is the best and one of our favorites smoked recipes. Get your smoker ready with red hot charcoal and desired wood chips. I am a pro at pellet grill, so I will be using that instead of any other smoker. You can use an electric smoker or a gas smoker, whatever you are comfortable with.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 15 mins
  • Cook Temperature: 250ºF
  • Finished Temperature: 165ºF
  • Wood Flavor: Cherry wood or Hickory
  • Servings: 4 people

Required Tools

  • Your preference of smoker (I recommend a pellet smoker)
  • Commercial grade tinfoil
  • Meat thermometer
  • BBQ tongs


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 batch Chicken Dry Rub
  • Some spice rub
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Some cayenne pepper


  1. Start your smoker, grab your pellets, and get the temperature stable at 250ºF.
  2. Season your chicken thighs with olive oil, Chicken Rub, spice rub, and other ingredients.
  3. Place the thighs directly on the grill and smoke for 2 hours.
  4. Remove the grill and let rest for 20 minutes before enjoying.

Detailed Cooking Instructions

1) Preparing your smoker and maintaining the required temperature

After cleaning your smoker thoroughly, light it up and maintain the internal temperature at 180ºF with the lid closed.

2) Marinating the chicken legs with rub and other ingredients

Before you start seasoning your thighs, place them on a cutting board and trim all of the extra fat and excess skin. Do not pull all of the skin, only the excess skin and fat. After that, place the chicken on a cooking sheet or a cooking tray, whatever you are easy with. Apply olive oil and marinate the thighs with rub and other ingredients thoroughly.

Keep in mind while preparing the thighs for smoking, leave the skin on chicken thighs. It will make the outer crust crispier, serving you with the best-smoked chicken thighs.

3) Place them on the smoker

After the marination, places the thighs onto the grill grates and let them smoke for 1 ½ hour, brush them with butter to boost up the taste, and keep on turning the sides. Now increase the temperature and let it smoke for another 30 minutes.

After the required time is completed, check the internal temperature in the thickest part. Your meat is fully cooked if the internal temperature is at 165 degrees f.

Do you know why we increased the temperature? We do it to enjoy the crispy chicken skin.

You can also place the meat over a tin foil with small holes in it so that the smoke can flow through it.

4) Serving the thighs

After achieving the said internal temperature, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 20 minutes. We do it so the meat and redistribute its natural flavor along with the rub.

Sprinkle some smoked paprika over the crispy skin and some favorite barbecue sauce to enjoy a great flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you smoke chicken thighs at 225?

Smoke the chicken thighs for 2 hours a 225 degrees f. Consider your meat is done when the internal temp of the thighs reach 165 degrees f

What temp should you smoke chicken thighs?

On a smoker set at 250 degrees F to 275 degrees F, chicken thighs might take 1 hour to 2 hours to thoroughly cook. Keep an internal meat thermometer available and smoke the chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of 165-175 degrees F.

Should I smoke chicken thighs with or without skin?

I would say smoke the chicken thighs with skin. That skin helps to retain moisture in the piece while it cooks and also adds taste. This skin should not be removed during the cooking procedure in a thigh dish. You may remove it later if you wish to cut back on your calorie intake. The taste of thigh meat absorbs pretty nicely.

Do I need to flip chicken when smoking?

If you need grill marks on your meat, then you should flip the sides otherwise, there is no need to do it. There is no correct or incorrect method to prepare chicken. Whatever happens, the chicken will cook! Some people recommend starting with the flesh down, then flipping the chicken halfway through cooking to ensure equal cooking.

How do you smoke chicken and keep it moist?

Smoking the chicken can is already defined. The main question is how to keep it moist while smoking. To keep it moist, brining is necessary. It keeps the meat soft, tender and moist even when you smoke it.

Should you brine chicken thighs?

Yes, you should brine the chicken thighs. When it comes to cooking with chicken, brined chicken thighs are the way to go. Brining a chicken is not only simple, but it also helps to keep the flesh soft and moist, which is ideal for when it is exposed to heat for extended periods of time.

Great Smoked Turkey Options

If you’re looking to try other smoked turkey recipes, make sure to give our Smoked Turkey and Smoked Turkey Breast recipes a try as well. They are easy to make and also go well with any smoked sideline.