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Best Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe (How to Grill Chicken Thighs)

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Learn how to grill chicken thighs so they turn out perfect and juicy each and every time! This grilled chicken thigh recipe starts with my grilled chicken thigh marinade (same as my grilled drumsticks) that’s made with basic ingredients and gives the chicken great flavor and color. Then it’s time to fire up the grill. Serve the bone in grilled chicken thighs with napa cabbage slaw or grilled vegetables.

The best grilled chicken thigh marinade recipe is the same as my grilled drumsticks recipe for good reason – it’s simple AND delicious! The soy sauce in the grilled chicken thigh marinade doesn’t really give it Asian flavors, but imparts a savory flavor and browns the chicken so well. One try and you’ll be hooked.

Grilled chicken thigh piece on a fork with napa salad

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

5 Grilling Secrets You Need to Know!

Get the quick-start guide so you can grill like a pro without going to culinary school.

Can You Grill Chicken Thighs?

Yes, you can grill chicken thighs and they are delicious! And I’m sharing my favorite chicken thigh marinade. Read below for all the info on how long to grill bone in chicken thighs and more!

What You’ll Love about Bone In Grilled Chicken Thighs

  • Savory, delicious marinade
  • Perfectly juicy every time
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Easy to prep ahead
Bowl with grilled chicken thighs in them

Grilled Chicken Thigh Marinade Ingredients

This easy marinade for grilled chicken thighs is made with just 5 basic ingredients:

  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Chicken thighs
Grilled chicken thigh marinade ingredients

How to Grill Chicken Thighs

It’s time to make the bone in grilled chicken thighs!

  • Mix chicken thigh marinade. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, olive oil, honey, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Grilled chicken thigh marinade in a bowl
  • Marinate chicken thighs. You can marinate the chicken thighs for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight. You don’t want to marinate longer than this or the meat will start to get mushy.
Chicken thighs in marinade
  • Prep grill. Take chicken thighs out of fridge to come to room temperature (or close) while preheating the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill chicken thighs. Sear on both sides (grill time below) then move to indirect heat to finish cooking.
Chicken thigh on grill grate
  • Rest meat. Let the grilled thighs rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to grill chicken thighs?

This is the #1 most common question when it comes to how to grill bone in chicken thighs. The grilling time will vary slightly based on chicken thigh size and grill temperature.

A rough estimate is about 20-25 minutes, but again, it will vary. The best way to ensure your bone in chicken thighs are grilled perfectly is to use an instant read meat thermometer. I wouldn’t grill without it, it’s the only way to cook meat properly.

What temperature do you grill chicken thighs?

We’re using a medium-high heat grill with two different temperature zones. With the lid closed, it’s about 375-400 degrees F.

Initially, we’ll cook the chicken thighs over direct heat to char both sides, but then we’ll move it to the side without flames so that it will continue to cook, but won’t burn the chicken. (This is a must!)

What temperature do you cook chicken thighs to?

So this is interesting and something I learned while researching grilled chicken thighs. While most chicken recipes are cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, we’re actually cooking thighs and dark meat to 185 degrees F. This allows the higher fat and collagen content in thighs get a chance to “baste” the white meat, which makes it super juicy and flavorful. I’m a convert and you will be too!

How many calories in grilled chicken thighs?

This is a really hard question as the chicken thighs vary so much in size! The USDA considers a large chicken thigh about 3.7 ounces, but mine were close to 8 ounces each.

So for this grilled thighs recipe, each thigh clocks in at about 569 calories, including the marinade. (All nutrition facts are estimates, but full nutrition stats can be found below.)

Per the USDA database, a large chicken thigh (3.7 ounces) has 255 calories.

Are grilled chicken thighs healthy?

As long as you aren’t a vegetarian! Because I like to keep food neutral, I don’t classify foods as heathy or not, I just call them what they are – CHICKEN THIGHS! You can learn more about this in my videos.

Grilled chicken thigh on a plate

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover chicken thighs in glass storage containers for 2-3 days.

Reheat thighs in the microwave or a hot skillet, just until heated through. They are also great served cold or at room temperature.

Can you freeze grilled chicken thighs?

Yes, grilled chicken actually freezes really well. Store in a stasher bag for 2-3 months. Let thaw overnight in the freezer before reheating.

Bowl of grilled chicken thighs bone in

What Goes with Grilled Chicken Thighs?

You can serve these quick grilled chicken thighs with some simple sides:

More Easy Grilling Recipes

If you like simple grilled chicken thigh recipes like this one, you may also like some of my other easy grilling recipes:

Helpful Tools to Make Best Grilled Chicken Thighs

  • Glass Bowls – Mix up the grilled chicken thigh marinade recipe in a large bowl and then marinate the chicken thighs in the same bowl!
  • Instant Read Meat Thermometer – This is the key to the best grilled chicken thigh recipe! Ensure your grilled thighs are perfectly cooked each and every time.
  • Glass Storage Containers – Store any leftover grilled chicken thighs in these containers. I’ve tried a ton of glass containers, these are the best,.


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Bowl with grilled chicken thighs in them

Best Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe (How to Grill Chicken Thighs)

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

Learn how to grill chicken thighs so they turn out perfect + juicy! This EASY grilled chicken thigh recipe is made with just 6 ingredients. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (~ 2 lbs.)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, and red pepper flakes. (You can also mix the marinade in a ziploc or stasher bag.)

  2. Add chicken to bowl and marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight. Stir chicken or flip bag to distribute marinade occasionally.

  3. Remove chicken from refrigerator to come to room temperature and preheat 2 burners on the grill to medium high, about 375 degrees F.

  4. Grill on direct heat, skin side down for 6 minutes, flip and grill for another 6 minutes, then move to indirect heat and cover. Let cook until chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 180-185 degrees F. Thighs usually take about 20-25 minutes total, but it will really depend on the size and heat of your grill. 

  5. Let rest for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. 



Notes

  • Use tamari for a gluten-free grilled chicken thigh marinade.

Keywords: grilled chicken thigh recipe, how to grill chicken thighs, grilled chicken thighs bone in, grilled chicken thigh marinade

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