Grilled Chicken Thighs

5 from 1 vote

Perfectly seared Grilled Chicken Thighs will be the star of any meal. Whether they're bone-in or boneless, learn how to season them and cook them seamlessly every single time.

Grilled chicken thighs seasoned with herbs and spices, served with lemon wedges on a white plate, garnished with parsley, on a light background with a blue cloth.

Grilling Month continues with another delicious recipe! This time we're making one of my favorites: grilled chicken thighs.

When it's too hot or cold to grill outdoors, I make these lemon pepper chicken thighs, which have an incredible zesty flavor.

But when it's nice out? I'll be grilling!

Check out these grilling secrets for pefect food every time.

Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe

I honestly love to cook chicken thighs. They are so juicy in comparison to chicken breasts.

Chicken thighs are delicious on their own as a main dish or you can cut them up to serve in soups, on salads or atop pasta and grains.

You can grill either boneless or bone-in chicken thighs. My go-to recipe has a flavorful rub containing oregano, thyme, paprika, onion and garlic powders, plus salt and pepper.

Baked chicken thighs seasoned with herbs and spices, garnished with lemon wedges on parchment paper.

Essential grilling tools

If you’re willing to invest in a few tools, you’re setting yourself up for grilling success. Here’s what I recommend:

If you're planning any barbecues or cookouts this summer, you will need all of these!

Raw chicken thighs on a baking sheet, herbs in a bowl and fresh greens on the side, ready for cooking.

Ingredients

You can use either boneless or bone-in thighs. Plan to serve about two chicken thighs per person.

For boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 1.5 pounds will get you approximately six thighs. If you prefer to make bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, 2 pounds will yield about six thighs.

Bone-in chicken thighs usually have skin on them as well. The skin is wonderful when grilled, nice and crispy (like our pan-seared chicken thighs). I always use kitchen scissors to trim some of the edges of the extra skin or any bigger pieces of fat on the chicken.

Tip: If you don't have grill spray, you can also use half an onion to lubricate and season the grill grates so food doesn't stick.

Dry rub in a wooden bowl, with a metal spoon resting on top, placed on a light blue surface.

Rub for grilled chicken thighs

To make a perfect rub for grilled chicken thighs, you will need these herbs and spices:

  • dried oregano
  • dried thyme
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • smoked paprika (regular paprika works as a substitute)
  • ground black pepper
  • salt

Keep in mind you may need to double the rub if you are making more than 6-8 chicken thighs.

raw chicken thighs on a grill

How to make grilled chicken thighs

Grilling chicken thighs is so much easier than you'd think! Here's how I do it:

First, preheat grill to medium-high heat, around 375°F (190°C) to 400°F (20°C).

Raw chicken thigh coated in a dry rub.
Raw chicken thighs seasoned with herbs on a baking sheet, ready to be cooked.

Prepare chicken thighs by trimming extra skin or fat on them with sharp kitchen scissors.

Mix dry rub seasonings in a small bowl and liberally sprinkle over both sides of the thighs. Prioritize the skin side to imbue a more flavorful, crispier skin.

Raw chicken thighs seasoned with herbs and spices on a baking sheet.
Raw chicken thighs seasoned with herbs on a baking sheet, ready to be cooked.

Once grill is preheated, clean grill grates with your grill brush.

Prepare the grill grates by spraying with grill spray or using half an onion to naturally season the grates to prevent sticking.

raw chicken thighs on a grill
chicken thighs on a grill

Use grill tongs to place chicken thighs skin side down on the grill for 7-8 minutes.

Flip chicken and cook until internal temp reaches 165°F (74°C) with meat thermometer, about 20-25 minutes.

Keep in mind that bone-in chicken thighs take longer to cook than boneless.

Baked chicken thighs seasoned with herbs on a tray, garnished with lemon slices and parsley.

Tips for success

Here are my top tips for making the most delicious grilled chicken thighs.

1. Be aware of flare-ups.

Chicken thighs have a good amount of fat on them. Whether you grill thighs with the skin on or boneless and skinless thighs, grease from the fat can cause grill flare-ups.

Be sure to clean your grill grates once the grill is preheated and monitor the grill while cooking. (Keeping the lid closed but look for spikes on the grill thermometer if you have a wireless one.)

2. Placement matters.

If you have a three-burner grill, it's helpful to place smaller thighs on the outside of the grill, leaving the larger ones in the middle to help them cook evenly.

Be sure to check smaller pieces a few minutes early as they may cook faster.

3. Use a meat thermometer.

A good meat thermometer will change your cooking. It is very hard to tell if a piece of meat is cooked just by looking at the outside.

If you don’t have one, you’ll need to cut the meat to see if it’s cooked through, and then you’ll have a slice through your meat which will look odd for serving.

Check frequently so as to avoid overcooking and undercooking your meat.

When checking internal temperature of bone-in thighs, be sure to put the thermometer into the meat near the bone to get an accurate temperature.

Grilled chicken thighs seasoned with herbs on a plate, garnished with lime wedges and parsley, with a blue napkin in the background.

What to serve with chicken thighs

There are so many ways you can enjoy grilled chicken thighs. Let me count the ways...

For a veggie, serve them alongside green beans or prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

These shredded cheesy potatoes are always a hit at my family gatherings. You could also make mashed potatoes or any kind of potato dish.

Serve chicken thighs cut up over a salad like this strawberry spinach salad or mix it into a creamy chicken salad.

Shred or cut the thighs and stir them into taco soup or chicken noodle soup.

Use cut or shredded chicken thighs in tacos, burritos or lettuce wraps.

Serve them over top of pasta like this lemon orzo pasta or even over rice or risotto.

Grilled chicken thighs on a white plate garnished with lemon wedges and parsley, with a blue cloth in the background.

Grilled Chicken Thighs

Easy grilled chicken thighs are a delicious main dish and have so many uses.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 chicken thighs
Author: Susannah Brinkley

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs approximately 1.5 pounds for boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 2 pounds for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat, around 375°F (190°C) to 400°F (20°C) .
  • Prepare chicken thighs by trimming extra skin or fat on them with sharp kitchen scissors.
  • Mix dry rub seasonings in a small bowl and liberally sprinkle over both sides of the thighs. Prioritize the skin side to imbue a more flavorful, crispier skin.
  • Once grill is preheated, clean grill grates with your grill brush.
  • Prepare the grill grates by spraying with grill spray or using half an onion to naturally season the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Use grill tongs to place chicken thighs skin side down on the grill for 7-8 minutes.
  • Flip chicken and cook until internal temp reaches 165°F with meat thermometer, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Chicken thighs have a good amount of fat on them. Whether you grill thighs with the skin on or boneless and skinless thighs, grease from the fat can cause grill flare-ups.
Be sure to clean your grill grates once the grill is preheated and monitor the grill while cooking. (Keeping the lid closed but look for spikes on the grill thermometer if you have a wireless one.)
If you have a three-burner grill, it’s helpful to place smaller thighs on the outside of the grill, leaving the larger ones in the middle to help them cook evenly.
Be sure to check smaller pieces a few minutes early as they may cook faster.
When checking internal temperature of bone-in thighs, be sure to put the thermometer into the meat near the bone to get an accurate temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25lbs | Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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