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Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs recipe is so tender and loaded with flavor. From the BBQ sauce to the smoky grill flavor, this recipe does not disappoint.

Grilled BBQ chicken thighs stacked on a plate.
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I love cooking chicken thighs on the grill because they are so easy to cook, never seem to dry out and take minutes to prepare. This is a family favorite grilling recipe.

The dry seasoning combined with the barbecue sauce result in the absolute best grilled thigh recipe. Each bite from the inside all the way to the outer skin is loaded with flavor. If you prefer, you can make Crockpot BBQ Chicken Thighs for a delicious indoor recipe.

For even more chicken thigh recipes, check out these 35 Easy Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes. This Mojo Chicken Recipe is another family favorite.

Why This Recipe Works

With only a few ingredients, this recipe comes together fast for a flavor packed meal. The dry rub gives the meat so much flavor and the BBQ sauce brings it all together.

It is an amazing combination without much work. For a complete meal idea, add a side of German Potato Salad or The BEST Coleslaw recipe.

Ingredients

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

  • Spices – Smoked paprika can be substituted for regular paprika. It will give the spice rub even more smoky flavor. You can even add in onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce or ketchup for added flavor. We usually start with about ¼ of cup.
  • BBQ Sauce – You can use store bought barbecue sauce or Homemade BBQ Sauce. Either works fine in this recipe. I actually use homemade because it takes just minutes to make.
  • Chicken – We usually use bone-in chicken thighs to make this recipe. But you can also use boneless skinless chicken breast or boneless skinless chicken thighs.

How to Grill BBQ Chicken Thighs

  • Step 1 – Mix together the dry seasonings. Use a small bowl and stir together all the seasonings. Rub this seasoning mixture onto the chicken thighs.
Combining seasoning in a bowl
  • Step 2 – Preheat the grill. Fire up the grill and preheat to 350 degrees F. Rub the grill grates with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  • Step 3 – Put the chicken on the grill. Once the grill is hot, place the chicken on the side of the grill, skin side down.
Seasoned chicken thighs on the grill grates
  • Step 4 – Cook the chicken. It needs to cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
  • Step 5 – Brush the chicken with the BBQ sauce. Flip the chicken and brush the opposite side with the BBQ sauce as well. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken again, brush with more BBQ sauce.
Brushing the chicken thighs on the grill grates with BBQ Sauce
  • Step 6 – Cook the opposite side for 3-4 more minutes. The chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Place the thermometer into the thickest portion of the chicken thigh to ensure accuracy.

Recipe Tips

  • Cooking time will vary based on the size of the chicken. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked to the correct temperature. The internal temperature needs to be 165 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Start grilling the chicken thighs skin side down using direct heat. After a few minutes, flip the thighs and move the chicken to indirect heat. Continue to cook.
  • Don’t skip the dry rub on the chicken. This gives the chicken amazing flavor when combined with BBQ sauce. The meat will be loaded with flavor in each bite.
  • Generously coat each chicken thigh with the dry rub. I like to really rub it into each one to ensure they are well coated.
  • Feel free to cook this chicken thighs on a gas grill or charcoal grill. If you are needing a new gas grill, check out the 5 Best Gas Grills Under $500 of 2024.
Grilled BBQ chicken thighs stacked on a plate.

How Long do I BBQ Chicken Thighs on the Grill?

Each side takes about 5 to 7 minutes to cool on the grill. This will vary base on the side of chicken thighs used.

It is important to use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is fully cooked. Always insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.

The internal temperature should be 165 degrees when fully cooked. I have an instant read digital meat thermometer and it is so handy and easy to use.

Overcooking will result in dry chicken on the inside and excessively crispy skin on the outside. It is not difficult to cook chicken thighs. However, you need to keep a close eye on them to prevent overcooking.

Serving Suggestions

I love to cook the entire meal on the grill. You can cook these side dishes of the grill and still have plenty of room for everything.

Grilled BBQ chicken thighs stacked on a plate.

How Do You Keep from Drying out on the Grill?

  • Allow the chicken thighs to rest at room temperature before grilling. I usually let them sit for about 20 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel before adding the dry seasoning.
  • Use an instant read thermometer during cooking to make sure they are not overcooked.
  • Place the skin side down first. Then for the remaining cooking time, make sure the skin is facing up. This will help to prevent the outer skin from drying out and becoming too crispy.

Frequently Asked Question

How to Store Leftover BBQ Chicken Thighs

Store any leftover barbecued chicken in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.

How to Reheat Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs reheat great in the microwave or the oven. They make a delicious lunch or dinner later in the week. In fact, we often grill extra chicken just to have leftovers.
It still tastes amazing and makes for a quick lunch or dinner idea without any extra effort. You might want to make extra as well because chicken thighs are amazing. Everyone will fight over the leftovers!

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

We love to hear from you. If you make this Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.

Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs

5 from 2 votes
Grilled BBQ chicken thighs recipe is so tender and loaded with flavor. From the BBQ sauce to the smoky grill flavor, this recipe does not disappoint.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 359

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Stir together all the seasonings in a small bowl. Then rub this seasoning mixture onto the chicken thighs.
  • Preheat the grill to 350 degrees F. Brush the grill grates with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  • Once the grill is hot, place the chicken on the grill, skin side down.
  • Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • Brush the chicken with the BBQ sauce. Flip the chicken and brush the opposite side with the BBQ sauce has well. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken again, brush with more BBQ sauce and cook the opposite side for 3-4 more minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Recipe Notes

The cook times will vary based on the size of the chicken. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked to the correct temperature.
Store any leftover chicken in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 359kcal, Carbohydrates 10g, Protein 24g, Fat 24g, Saturated Fat 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 142mg, Sodium 550mg, Potassium 359mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 8g, Vitamin A 249IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 20mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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