How to Grill Chicken Thighs

Grilled chicken can be part of a healthy meal.
Grilled chicken can be part of a healthy meal. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Grilled chicken thighs are a popular summertime entree. Because there are so many possibilities, choose a marinade or sauce that you are particularly fond of, and use seasoning that complements your choice. For example, if you like barbecue, use barbecue sauce accompanied by mesquite seasoning.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken thighs
  • Long tongs
  • Marinade or favorite sauce
  • Seasoning
  • Oil
  • Charcoal grill
  • Brush or meat injector
  • Meat thermometer
  • Large bowl or container

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Keep the skin on the thighs and between the skin and the meat create a small pocket with your finger. Use a brush or a tip-less meat injector to fill the pocket with marinade. This will keep the flavor in the meat, keeping it juicy.

Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl or container and add a tablespoon or two of the oil of your liking, such as olive or vegetable oil. Mix the chicken thighs to coat them completely.

Sprinkle the seasoning over the thighs. Mix again. The oil will help lock the seasoning onto the thighs.

Get the coals hot and put all of them on one side of the grill.

Place the thighs over the pile of hot coals. Flames will shoot up, searing the thighs. This will create those famous grill marks. Flip them to do the same on the other side.

Move the thighs to the other side of the rack, away from the coals. Cover the grill.

Let them cook for 25 minutes, then open the grill. If you are going to put sauce on them, this is the time. Coat them with your sauce, flip the thighs and coat the other side. If you are not using a sauce, simply flip the thighs. Cover the grill again.

Cook for another 25 minutes. Check the temperature of the thighs with a meat thermometer. They are done when they are at 165 degrees. If the internal temperature is not yet at that point, recover chicken and cook for an additional five to 10 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • BBQ sauce works like a dream with these thighs, but don't just stop there get as creative as you want.
  • Long tongs will help prevent burns when you are searing your chicken thighs
  • Make sure that chicken is cooked thoroughly to prevent Salmonella poisoning. Also be sure that all utensils and areas that were exposed to raw chicken are cleaned with warm soap and water.
  • Be careful when searing chicken as fat drippings will land on the hot coals and cause flames to shoot up.


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