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Perfectly Grilled Chicken Thighs (How Long to Grill)

Perfectly Grilled Chicken Thighs are easy to do when you know the best way to grill them, and the simple steps to ensure juicy, tender chicken!

If you love boneless chicken thighs on the gas grill, charcoal grill, or pellet grill, you will love this recipe!

However, if you struggle with grilling chicken thighs, and wonder how long to grill them so their perfectly cooked through to the correct internal temperature, this post is for you!

Juicy chicken thighs are easy to achieve with the right grilling tips, and a few easy cooking methods.

This post is about using a gas grill, not charcoal. If you’re into charcoal grilling this post will give you some great grilling tips and recipes, but grilling over hot coals is much different than a controlled temperature of the grill that uses gas.

How to Grill Perfect Chicken Thighs

First, let’s chat for a minute about chicken thighs. 

They’re the dark meat lot of people LOVE. Whether you like boneless thighs or bone-in chicken thighs, you can make the most delicious chicken recipe with these tips and tricks! 

Plus, you’ll get a few chicken thigh marinade recipes that are a great way to ensure the flavor is packed all the way through!

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Mike's Hot Honey

For this recipe, I’m using boneless skinless chicken thighs, but you can follow these same cooking methods with bone-in chicken thighs, skin-on chicken thighs, and even boneless skinless chicken breasts! 

When cooking chicken, most of the methods are pretty transferable. Bone-in anything takes longer since it’s dense in size.

Cooking time varies for each chicken thigh. When your testing the temperature, always check the thickest part of the chicken thigh, that way, you’ll get an accurate reading! 

Lemon and Garlic Chicken Thighs with Sour Cream

When you set your grill to 350 degrees, and it will take about 15-20 minutes, depending on what kind of chicken thigh you’re using.

Perfect Grilled Chicken Thigh – with the Skin On

When you’re grilling skin-on chicken thighs, you might think you want to start grilling with the skin side down. That’s what most recipes will tell you about how to get crispy skin! For me, this leaves lots of room for error and burning the skin.

Start with your chicken thighs skin-side up, and the fat will render as the other side is cooking. Then, when you flip them over, you can crisp up the skin over indirect medium heat, creating delicious chicken thighs!

Cooking time takes about 18 minutes, flipping halfway.

smokehouse maple seasoning

For a smoky flavor on your chicken, try using McCormick Grillmates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning. It’s got everything you want in a backyard bbq in one seasoning blend. It’s a simple dry rub you can massage onto your chicken, and let it marinate while you preheat your grill. Your taste buds will thank you for this amazing flavor combo!

If you love bone-in thighs that have a simple BBQ flavor, this is the recipe for you. 

Let’s chat about grill grates and skin-on chicken.

You might have experienced your chicken getting stuck on the grill grates, whether it’s bone-in, skin-on, skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, etc.

Balsamic Glazed Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs

One simple trick you can try is if your chicken isn’t releasing quickly and easily from your grill, leave it alone. Let it sit for more minutes! Close the grill and let it cook for one minute, then check to see if it will release easily. 

Now, you could also use a cold-start process. Oil up your grill grates (the grill is OFF), and then place your chicken skin side down onto the grates. 

Turn the grill on to 350, and let the skin render while the grill preheats. You definitely want to keep visual cues in mind and make sure nothing is burning too quickly.

Cooking Chicken Thighs without Skin or Bones

My favorite type of chicken to grill up is boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

chicken pulling from grill

They are juicy and tender, every single time.

The chicken cooks to perfection without a lot of fuss. You can also grill this kind of chicken at a higher temperature knowing it won’t dry out due to its excess fat. 

The cooking time for this chicken is about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.

When your chicken is marinated and ready, place chicken thighs on the hot grill. Leaving the grill lid open for a few minutes, while those grill marks do their thing! The cooking process for boneless, skinless chicken thighs is simple.

Over a medium-high heat grill, you’ll let your chicken grill out until it releases easily from the grates.

grilling chicken thighs

Flip it over and cook another 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickest part of a chicken thigh, and the internal temperature.

Be sure to use a digital meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh so you get an accurate reading.

The juicy dark meat pairs with so many dishes, too! 

Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes You’ve Got to Try:

These perfectly grilled chicken thighs will have you adding them to the menu rotation! They’re easy, packed full of flavor, and just what you want.

Sloppy Joe Sauce from Scratch on grilled chicken

Grilled Sloppy Joe Chicken Thighs — Using a Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce, this chicken is marinaded to perfection! Then once the chicken is off the grill, you’ll drizzle over a little Mike’s Hot Honey, if you’re needing a little spice in your life. If you like BBQ chicken thighs, you will love this recipe!

vidalia pickle chicken

Grilled Vidalia Pickle Chicken — this super fast chicken marinade is one you can’t not try! In a zip-top bag, you’ll pour in the pickle juice, soy sauce, and some slice green onions. Place your chicken inside the bag, and let it sit in the marinade while your grill preheats. Yep, you read that right! It only needs 15-20 minutes of marinating!

buffalo ranch chicken thighs
Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Thighs — another fast and easy chicken recipe! Mix equal parts ranch dressing and buffalo sauce. Let your chicken sit in it while you prepare your grill. You’ve got chicken that is ready for meals all throughout the week now!

low carb meal prep chicken recipe

Ranch Grilled Meal Prep Chicken — having chicken ready to go in your fridge is so helpful for prepping dinner fast! Grill up chicken thighs with Ranch seasoning on them, and use it in this Bruschetta Chicken recipe, too! This is one of the easiest and best chicken marinades that everyone loves.

Tools for Successful Grilling:

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Instant-Read Thermometer. If you’re grilling or cooking chicken, using a thermometer will give you the best results. And the safest! How many times have you heard someone say “I like my chicken well done.” Every time someone says that I roll my eyes. No one is out here intentionally serving undercooked chicken! Having a meat thermometer is an easy way to keep tabs on a safe temperature.

Meater Bluetooth Thermometer. If you’re super nervous about over-cooking your chicken, use this Bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer. You’ll insert the prob BEFORE you start cooking, and leave it in until the app tells you it’s done! It’s one of my favorite things in my kitchen to get the right temperature and still have juicy meat.

Grill Cleaning Kit. This is a great, SAFE, grill cleaner! Nothing harmful for you, and the brush doesn’t have metal bristles that can break off and get stuck in your food.

Grill Tools. This set is super handy, just to have! It’s nice to have a pair of extra long-handled tongs for when you’re grilling over high heat. Plus, the carrying case makes it nice to tote back and forth if you need to.

Brizzle. A what?! This is a new-to-me type of basting brush! It has a little cup that holds a tablespoon of liquid, that slowly dispenses from the tiny holes into the brush. You don’t have to dip back and forth over and over with this one! It’s definitely my go-to gift for the person who loves to grill, BBQ, or smoke things!

Save this to your favorite Grilling Board on Pinterest!

perfectly grilled chicken thighs

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