BBQ Chicken Thighs
BBQ chicken thighs are the perfect dish for any BBQ lover! With their juicy and flavorful meat, crispy skin, and easy cooking process, they are always a hit. Whether you are grilling, smoking, or roasting, there are plenty of ways to prepare these delicious chicken thighs. The BBQ sauce adds the perfect amount of saucy flavor. Great for the whole family!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These BBQ chicken thighs are tender and juicy.
- This recipe is quick and easy to prepare.
- The meat is hearty and savory.
- This chicken is versatile. Use the leftovers in tacos, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, soups and stews.
- Both boneless and skin on chicken thighs work well.
- Chicken thighs can be grilled, roasted, baked, pan seared or slow cooked.
- Great for family parties, backyard cookouts, easy weeknight dinners, meal prep and leftovers.
- This recipe is Whole30 friendly, Paleo friendly, Keto friendly, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and can be made sugar free.
- Check out these Baked Chicken Thighs are another easy recipe!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.
Both boneless skinless and bone in chicken thighs work. Boneless take slightly less time to cook. If using bone-in, add 5 to 10 minutes. Use fresh chicken thighs if possible. If using frozen, thaw completely beforehand.
Sea salt and pepper add a subtle flavor.
Garlic powder and onion powder add even more flavor! Feel free to increase seasonings for a highly flavorful result.
Any type of BBQ sauce can be used. For Whole30, Paleo and Keto, use sugar free BBQ sauce.
What are Chicken Thighs?
Chicken thighs are the meaty part of the chicken leg that sits between the drumstick and the chicken breast.
They are dark meat and generally more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts.
They are much more difficult to overcook than chicken breasts. For this reason, chicken thighs are very popular.
Chicken thighs are an excellent source of protein and are rich in vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, iron, and zinc.
They are high in protein and contain no carbohydrates.
Boneless vs Bone In Chicken Thighs
Bone-in chicken thighs are more flavorful because the bone adds moisture and flavor to the meat while cooking. In addition, the skin adds flavor and texture.
Bone-in thighs take longer to cook.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs cook faster. They are also easier to eat.
Both options are great for this baked BBQ chicken thighs recipe.
Taste & Texture
Chicken thighs have a rich, juicy flavor.
The BBQ sauce adds a subtle sweetness and loads of flavor.
They have a tender, moist texture that makes them perfect for grilling, roasting, or smoking.
The dark meat is also more forgiving than chicken breasts, which tend to dry out quickly when overcooked.
How to Make
First, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Brush chicken with ½ cup BBQ sauce on both sides. Place chicken in dish.
Bake for 20 minutes. Then, remove pan from oven. Brush chicken with remaining ½ cup BBQ sauce. Return pan to oven to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Use meat thermometer to check internal temperature of chicken. Chicken is done when it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finally, remove BBQ chicken thighs from oven.
Expert Tips & Tricks
Season the chicken liberally with seasonings.
Preheat oven or grill prior to cooking.
Do not overcrowd the pan. Do not overlap chicken thighs.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute.
Add 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time for bone in thighs.
Any BBQ sauce can be used.
Alternative Cooking Methods
- Grilling: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Season the chicken with your favorite BBQ rub or marinade. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Smoking: Preheat the smoker to 225°F (107°C). Season the chicken with your favorite BBQ rub or marinade. Place the chicken in the smoker and cook for 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Roasting: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Season the chicken with your favorite BBQ rub or marinade. Place the chicken in a baking dish and roast for 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Slow Cooking: Season the chicken with your favorite BBQ rub or marinade. Place the chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. Cook BBQ chicken thighs until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
How to Serve & Store
Serve BBQ chicken thighs in a variety of ways.
Or, shred the meat and use it in sandwiches, wraps, or salads.
Use this leftover chicken in a pasta dish. Try this creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta.
Add the chicken to a Creamy Chicken Soup or stew.
If you have leftovers, store the BBQ chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze, place the cooled chicken thighs in a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months.
When ready to reheat, thaw the chicken thighs overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
Reheat the chicken in the oven, microwave, or on the grill until warmed through.
Always make sure the BBQ chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
It takes about 40 minutes to bake BBQ chicken thighs.
It is better to cook chicken thighs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This cooks them through and helps the skin get crispy.
This is personal preference. Both have great qualities.
Use sugar free BBQ sauce to keep this recipe Keto.
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups: These measuring cups are great for measuring out ingredients.
Spatula: Use a spatula to remove chicken thighs from the baking pan.
Staub Baking Dishes: These dishes are great for roasting and baking.
Meat Thermometer: Use a meat thermometer to accurately measure the temperature of the BBQ chicken thighs.
You May Also Like
- Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
- Mexican Chicken Marinade
- Chinese Garlic Chicken
- Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- Sous Vide Chicken Thighs
If you make this BBQ chicken thighs recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, check out these Dinner Recipes.
Get the Recipe: BBQ Chicken Thighs
- First, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Brush chicken with ½ cup BBQ sauce on both sides. Place chicken in dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then, remove pan from oven. Brush chicken with remaining ½ cup BBQ sauce. Return pan to oven to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use meat thermometer to check internal temperature of chicken. Chicken is done when it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Finally, remove BBQ chicken thighs from oven. Serve!
- This recipe uses boneless skinless chicken thighs. For bone-in, skin-on, add at least 5 minutes of baking time.
- Feel free to adjust amounts of seasonings.
- Do not overcrowd baking dish. Chicken should not be overlapping.
- Any BBQ sauce can be used.
- Bake until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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