Master the Grill: Perfectly Cooked Chicken Thighs in Minutes

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Juicy chicken grilling on a metal grill with smoke rising


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Outdoor Cooking


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Are you ready to fire up the BBQ and cook some delicious chicken thighs? If so, you’re in luck! We have all the information you need to know about how long to cook chicken thighs on a BBQ grill.

Keep reading for an easy-to-follow guide on cooking times and temperature settings for perfectly cooked chicken every time.

Juicy chicken grilling on a metal grill with smoke rising

Quick Intro to Chicken Thighs and Grilling

Welcome to the world of grilling chicken thighs ! Grilling is an excellent way to cook chicken, as it adds a smoky flavor that can’t be achieved in any other cooking method.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about grilling chicken thighs, from preparing your grill to serving your finished dish.

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We’ll also give you some tips on how to calculate the cooking time for your thighs and how to assess doneness. So if you’re ready, let’s get started!

Preparing the Grill

Before grilling your chicken thighs, it is important to prepare your BBQ or gas grill. Heat the grill to medium-hot.

This should be done over direct heat and will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and thoroughly. Make sure that the grates are clean and lightly oiled before placing the chicken thighs on them.

Additionally, it is important to consider the size of your chicken thighs as this will affect how long it takes for them to cook.

To ensure that your chicken does not burn, keep an eye on the temperature of the grill and adjust accordingly.

Calculating Cooking Time

Calculating the cooking time when grilling chicken thighs can vary depending on the size of the chicken, the efficiency of your grill, and the temperature of your BBQ.

Generally, boneless chicken thighs will cook in 7-8 minutes, while bone-in chicken thighs will need around 10-15 minutes.

If you’re grilling a whole 6-pound chicken, expect it to take between 105 minutes to 150 minutes.

Before grilling, be sure to prepare your BBQ as outlined in the “Preparing the Grill” section above and create a two-zone cooking area if necessary.

After the grill reaches the desired temperature, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, then grill each side for 3 to 4 minutes.

Be sure to check the internal temperature of your chicken with a food thermometer so that it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF before taking it off the grill.

Resting is also important so that all of the juices are kept inside and your chicken thigh is as juicy and tender as possible.

Finally, serve your delicious grilled chicken thighs hot, and enjoy!

Grilling Over Direct Heat

Once the grill is prepped and ready to go, grilling chicken thighs over direct heat is the fastest way to cook them.

To cook chicken thighs this way, start by applying a light coat of olive oil and seasonings to the chicken.

Next, place each thigh directly over the grill flames, skin side down (which means they have the bone side up), for 5 minutes with the lid closed.

Flip the thighs over and grill for an additional 4-5 minutes. This should be enough time to cook the chicken through and give it that signature barbecued flavor.

When they’re finished cooking, move them to a clean plate to rest before serving.

Using Two-Zone Cooking

Using two-zone cooking is an effective way to cook chicken thighs on a BBQ. This method of cooking involves creating two heat zones on the grill, a direct and an indirect zone.

The indirect zone is used to slowly cook the chicken, while the direct zone is used to char the skin and get some color onto the chicken.

To set up the two-zone configuration, start by preheating your grill to 425˚F. Once preheated, place your chicken thighs over indirect heat and cook for 25 minutes.

Then, move them to direct heat and quickly sear each side for 3 to 4 minutes.

Finally, move them back over to indirect heat and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F, usually around 30-40 minutes.

It’s important not to rush through this process as it will ensure that your chicken is cooked thoroughly and evenly!

Grilling With Indirect Heat

Once your grill is preheated to medium-high heat (400F), you can begin cooking your bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with indirect heat.

Set up your grill for two-zone cooking and place the chicken thighs on the cooler side. Close the lid and cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 150F.

Be sure to check the temperature often to avoid overcooking! To keep the chicken juicy and moist, do not flip or move the chicken during grilling with indirect heat.

Once the chicken has reached its desired temperature, take it off the grill and let it rest before serving.

Temperature Check

Once the chicken thighs have been cooking for the calculated amount of time, it is important to check the internal temperature of the meat.

The FDA recommends chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74°C).

To ensure that your chicken is cooked through, use a food thermometer to check that the thickest part of the thigh has reached this temperature.

It is important to note that if you are cooking bone-in thighs, you may want to take them off a bit sooner than 165 degrees as the bones can conduct heat and continue to cook the meat even after it’s been taken off the grill.

To be sure that your bone-in thighs are cooked through and tender, you may want to aim for an internal temperature of 185°F (85°C) to 195°F (90°C).

Resting the Chicken

Once the chicken thighs are cooked through, it’s important to let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

This process allows the juices to redistribute and settle, resulting in more tender and flavorful meat.

Resting also helps to keep the chicken from becoming dry. After grilling over direct heat, two-zone cooking, or indirect heat, remove the chicken thighs from the grill and place them on a plate.

Cover them with aluminum foil and let them sit for five minutes before serving. This will give your guests the best possible flavor experience when they enjoy your delicious grilled chicken thighs.

Serving the Chicken Thighs

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring maximum flavor and juiciness.

To make sure you’ve cooked your chicken thighs properly, check that the internal temperature has reached 165ºF before serving.

Once your chicken is cooked to perfection, serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy! With a few simple steps and a bit of patience, you can now create juicy and flavorful grilled chicken thighs that everyone will love.

Can I Use the Same Grilling Techniques for Perfectly Cooked Chicken Thighs in Minutes as I Would for Grilling Like a Pro?

Yes, you can use the same grilling techniques for perfectly cooked chicken thighs in minutes as you would for grilling like a pro. By following the proper method and using the right seasoning, you can achieve foolproof grilled chicken thighs that are juicy and flavorful every time.


Grilling chicken thighs can be tricky, as they are often thicker than other cuts of meat and can dry out if cooked for too long.

To ensure juicy, flavorful chicken, it is important to take into account the size of the thighs, the efficiency of your BBQ, ambient temperature (the weather), and starting temperature of the grill.

For best results, aim for a grill temperature between 350-450°F and preheat the grill for 10-15 minutes before adding the chicken.

Use direct heat to sear the chicken and then transfer to indirect heat. A good rule of thumb is to cook bone-in chicken thighs for 25 minutes and boneless thighs for 20 minutes.

To make sure they are cooked through, use a thermometer and check that they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Finally, let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. With these tips, you’ll be sure to make delicious chicken thighs every time!