Smoked Chicken Thighs cooked on a pellet grill are very delicious with awesome flavor and very juicy. Add some of my brother, Joel’s famous BBQ sauce while smoking and you have the best smoked BBQ chicken thighs that you will ever have.
It only takes just about an hour to smoke crispy chicken thighs. The sweet smoke flavor is amazing, and this thigh recipe is perfectly cooked with a pellet smoker.
These Chicken Thighs can’t be beat! This recipe may be doubled or tripled, making them suitable for a large barbecue party!
The key to good smoked chicken thighs is to prepare them carefully with a great seasoning before putting into the smoker. This smoker recipe is very easy to make with a few simple tips.
You can use skinless chicken thighs with the same results. Delicious grilled chicken pieces prepared in a simple, flavorful way.
These delicious smoked chicken thighs on a pellet grill will be your new favorite chicken recipe. Smoked chicken thighs are the perfect way of enjoying tasty chicken grilled at home.
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Dry Spice Rub or Wet Rub on Pellet Grilled Chicken?
Many asked if they should use a dry spice rub or use a BBQ sauce when smoking chicken. I have not perfected the art of a dry spice rub when smoking meats.
But I have used wet rub – AKA – barbecue sauce many, many times. If you are looking for a dry spice rub then you will have to find a different recipe, but if you are looking for an awesome smoked chicken with BBQ sauce recipe then you have come to the right place.
Chef Sherry’s Online Cooking Classes
Skin or No Skin?
This is a personal preference. Many people love chicken thighs skin. I like smoked chicken thighs cooked both ways, but my choice would be to remove the skin so that I can smother the barbecue sauce all over the smoked chicken and caramelize the sauce onto the pieces.
I don’t eat chicken skin, so this makes since to me but several people in my family like the crispy skin, so I have cooked it that way also. Skin on chicken thighs produce great crispy chicken. Skinless, boneless chicken thighs are also another great option.
Smoker Pellets – Competition flavor is my preference.
Sheet of heavy-duty Aluminum Foil
I like that it is electric, a digital temperature setting that keeps a consistent temperature and the dual temperature probes that can be poked into the meat, and I can watch how hot the food is without opening the lid.
Pellet Smoker Flavors
When smoking poultry, you must pick a pellet with a high-quality taste that won’t overwhelm the chicken’s flavors. Fruit trees make good choices. Its sweetness gives chicken a sweet smokey flavor.
Competition blend pellets are what I like to use when smoking chicken thighs. When smoking poultry, applewood and cherry wood pellets are also a favorite. In our town, pellets are easily accessible at local stores, but online delivery is another option.
Smoked BBQ Chicken
Smoked chicken tastes great but smoked BBQ chicken tastes awesome!! Pair this pellet grilled best smoked chicken thighs with my brother, Joel’s famous BBQ sauce and you will have an amazing main dish that your friends and family will be raving about for years to come!!
Learn how to make Joel’s easy 5 ingredients BBQ sauce recipe. Barbecue Smoked chicken thighs are a crispy, tasty delight.
The taste level is off the charts with ease of preparation and it’s flavor profile! When you have chicken thighs that have skins, you’ll enjoy their crispy golden-brown outer layer!
Crispy smoked chicken thighs are the ideal choice for your next meal. This pellet smoked food taste amazing, and they are easy to use as well as a perfect dinner to prepare!
What Temperature Should I Smoke Chicken?
The question you want to ask yourself is “How much smoke flavor do I want my chicken thighs to have?” If you want a lot of smoky flavors to your chicken, then start at a lower griddle temperature such as 225°F – 300°F but you will have to cook the chicken longer.
Cooking at a lower temperature will result in a great smoky piece of chicken but the skin will not be crispy. I like crispy chicken with some smoky flavor.
Poultry needs to be heated completely to at least 165° F. If you smoke poultry, you must always have your digital meat thermometer.
It will keep you from under-cooking chicken and making you sick, and you will never overcook it and dry it out.
Some smokers have a handheld meat temperature probe, or some smokers come with a temperature probe that can be plugged into the unit and poked right into the meat so that you know the temperature of the cooking chicken without opening the smoker lid.
How to Smoke Chicken Thighs
Preheat your pellet smoker to 400°F. Fill the pellet bin with your desired pellets. I like to use competition blend pellets, but you can use whatever flavor you like best.
Gather all the supplies needed to make this smoked chicken recipe. Season the chicken pieces with your favorite seasonings. I like to use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and Morton’s Natural Seasonings.
Prepare a piece of aluminum foil (shiny side up) by folding in each side about one inch a couple of times and then form the corner to create a tray. Spray the foil tray with grill cooking spray or coat with olive oil.
Carefully place the foil tray onto the hot smoker grill so the piece of foil is lying flat on the grate. Place the chicken pieces onto the greased foil so the skin is down.
How Long to Smoke Chicken Thighs?
Smoked Chicken – How Long to cook it? When you smoke there is more to the cooking time than the heat. I recommend using a digital meat thermometer.
Close the lid and let cook until the chicken has an internal temperature of at least 165°F. I like to add at least two coats of the barbecue sauce to the cooking chicken and then letting the sauce caramelize onto the chicken.
How to Store Smoked Chicken
Store cooled leftover smoked BBQ chicken thighs in an airtight container for up to 6 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the air fryer, microwave, or in the smoker or serve cold.
If desired, freeze smoked chicken pieces in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
More Smoker Recipes
The Best Sides for Smoked Chicken?
More Chicken Recipes
- BBQ Chicken Wings
- Chicken Caprese Sandwich
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Best Chicken Wings
- Tempura Chicken Nuggets
- Chicken Kabob
- Easy Chicken Tempura Strips
- Chicken Quesadilla
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Crockpot Chicken Breast Recipes
Smoked Chicken Thighs – FAQ
Greasing the foil before you lay the chicken pieces on it to cook. Keep the skin on the chicken pieces. To cook, place the chicken thighs with the skin side down onto the hot greased foil piece. Let the chicken pieces get nice and crispy golden-brown before you flip it over. Do not constantly flip or play with the chicken pieces. You should only flip the chicken ONCE!! So be patient!!
DO NOT OVER-COOK THE CHICKEN!! Dry chicken results from overcooking. If you are preparing chicken, you should always have a digital meat thermometer. This helps you avoid undercooking or overcooking the chicken.
Constantly opening the smoker lid to check on the chicken lets the heat escape which results in not getting a crispy piece of chicken. Flipping the chicken pieces too much and not giving it time to brown properly.
Smoked Chicken Thighs Recipe
Get the full recipe and nutritional information below.
- Chicken Thighs 8 Pieces
- Lawry's Seasoned Salt. 2 teaspoons
- Mortons Natures Seasonings 1 teaspoon
- BBQ Sauce 1/2 cup
- Preheat your pellet smoker grill to 400°F. Fill the pellet bin with you desired smoker pellets. I like to use a competition blend pellets, but you can use the pellet flavor you like best.
- Gather all the ingredients needed to make this smoked chicken recipe. Season the chicken pieces with your favorite seasonings such as Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and Morton’s Natural
Seasonings. Prepare a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (shiny side up) by folding in each side about one inch a couple of times and then form the corner to create a tray. Grease the foil tray with grill cooking spray or coat with extra virgin olive oil. Carefully place the foil tray onto the preheated smoker grill so the piece of foil is lying flat on the grate. Place the chicken pieces onto the greased foil tray so the skin is down.
- Close the pellet smoker lid and let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes. Flip the chicken and spread some of the BBQ sauce over top the crispy chicken pieces.
- Close the smoker lid and let cook until the bbq smoked chicken has an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Add at least two coats of the barbecue sauce to the smoked chicken and then letting the BBQ sauce caramelize onto the chicken. Do not overcook the pellet smoked chicken or it will dry out and become tough. Serve the barbecue chicken hot.
- For crispy smoked chicken, cook at 400°F. For a really smoky piece of chicken thighs, start at a lower temperature (225°F to 300°F) for 30 minutes, flip and then turn the grill up to 400°F.
- Get my best BBQ sauce recipe.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This page contains affiliate links. Click on the highlighted text in a post to explore a product. If you purchase through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I ONLY EVER ENDORSE PRODUCTS THAT I TRULY LOVE. Thank you for your support!
Pit Boss 20 lb Competition Blend Hardwood Pellets
12" BBQ Sauce Basting Mops & Brushes for Roasting or Grilling - Pack of 3
Gorilla Grip Stainless Steel Silicone Tongs for Cooking, Set of 2, Includes 9 and 12 Inch Locking Kitchen Tong, Heat Resistant Tip, Strong Grip for Meat, Perfect for Nonstick Pans, BBQ, Turquoise
recteq RT-590 Wifi-Enabled Electric Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker with Pellet Bundle | 592 Square Inches of Cook Space
Mortons Natures Seasons No MSG Seasoning Blend 7.5oz Bottle (Pack of 3)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt, 16 oz
Amount Per Serving Calories 618Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 333mgSodium 1575mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 0gSugar 12gProtein 61g
Note: For exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information is simply a guideline.
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