Do you want to flavor your taste buds with some tender, juicy, and soft chicken thighs? In this article, I will give you two recipes of smoked chicken thighs served with great aroma, smoked flavor, and tenderness.
In the perfect cooking, only one thing matters, and that is the careful selection of spices and maintaining the temperature of your food. When these two things are right in their places, your food will give you the flavor that you want.
Now let’s get started with the recipes.
1. Smoked Chicken Thighs with Applewood
When you make chicken thighs with applewood instead of wood chips, you will get a different taste in your chicken thighs. For the easiness in your cooking, first, prepare all things for your recipe, make ready your all tools including smoker, mixing bowls, and spices. It will save you time and give you comfort to cook your meal more appropriately.
If you’re looking for budget electric smoker then check our article on best electric smoker under $200.
- Wood chips (Small bag)
- With skin chicken thighs (8)
- Kosher salt (2 tablespoons)
- Poultry seasoning (1 tablespoon)
- Chilli powder (⅔ cup)
- White sugar (¼ cup)
- Brown sugar (¼ cup)
- Salt (4 tablespoons)
- Onion powder (4 tablespoons)
- Garlic powder (4 tablespoons)
- Black paper (1 tablespoon)
- Paprika (1/4 teaspoon)
- Cayenne pepper (1 teaspoon use according to your heart preference level)
- Melted butter four tablespoons (use liquid butter spray)
- BBQ sauce (As required)
In this recipe, there are not any special tools required. You just need to keep some necessary tools with you for your comfort and effortless cooking. You require the following tools in this recipe
- Aluminum cooking tray
- Stainless steel cooking racks according to the size of your cooking tray
- Mixing bowl
- Gloves ( if you need)
- Oil brush
- Cooking pillars
Follow the below-mentioned steps to make perfect smoked chicken thighs.
1. Chicken brining
First, wash your chicken thighs and dry them to make them perfectly brine. Now take an airtight bowl or another plastic bag. First, apply the poultry seasoning and kosher salt properly on all sides of chicken thighs. Add an ample amount of water on the chicken so that it immerse completely in water. Now seal your container or bag properly. Shake the container well so that all sides will get enough salt and poultry seasoning. Now take the container into the refrigerator for a maximum of 45 minutes. If you give more time to set the brine that will give your chicken a crisper skin and make it a little bit harder.
2. Setting up smokers
Meanwhile, when the chicken is getting ready for its brine, get ready for your smoker. Whatever you are using, either a grill or a smoker set its temperature at 250-degree Fahrenheit. Moreover, if you are using the grill for your chicken thighs, then use only one burner grill. Besides this, put your chicken on the opposing side of your ignite burner. This is because the chicken does not require a high temperature and more time for cooking.
If you put your chicken directly on the ignite burner, it will burn from the outside quickly while remaining uncooked from the side. The opposite side of the burner will give your chicken a normal heat and smoke range as well as make it perfectly cook from both inside or outside. Make sure before igniting the burner of the grill, add some applewood chunks below the grill gates. You can also use some applewood chunks over the deflector plate.
Moreover, for your comfort, put the wood chunks just under the grill gates. Besides this, when your grill starts heating the wood chunks also start heating and start giving you a very milder smoke range. This slow smoke range will give your chicken thighs a complete deep smoked flavor. Also, these wood chunks will give you a long smoked time for your cooking.
3. Spice mixing
Next, mix your dry spices in a bowl. For this, take a small bowl to add chili powder, salt, onion powder, garlic powdered sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Make sure that you will add the spices according to their mentioned quantity. Thoroughly mix all these spices because they are the rubbing spices of your chicken thighs.
4. Chicken spices rubbing
Now take the chicken out from the refrigerator. Also, take it out from the brine and make it dry completely by using a towel or a paper. Take a sharp knife and trim the extra skin from the edges while giving them a proper shape. With the help of your thumb, rub the species entirely on all chicken sides. Make sure that the spices will apply properly on each side of the chicken. Also, take care of other things that do not take the skin utterly out from the thighs. Apply the spices with a soft thumb rubbing on above and below each side.
5. The cooking of chicken thighs
Take your aluminum cooking tray and place the stainless steel cooking rack in the tray. Now put your chicken thighs on the rack. Make sure that they have distance between them plus keep the skin side up on the rack. Take care of one thing that the rack must have some height in the tray so that the smoke will go properly into the chicken. If the rack and tray have no space between them, the smoke will not go properly into the chicken.
6. Temperatures setting
The temperature setting and heat of all smokers are different. Maintain your smoker temperature according to its specification and heating capacity. The total cooking time is just two hours, while it may take less time on your smokers or grill. Avoid opening the lid of the smoker frequently because this will cause the heat and smoke to escape. If you want to control your smoker temperature from outside, then use smoker dampers and fuel dials.
7. Butter spray
After every 15 minutes, take a look at your thighs. Turn their side down after the first 30 minutes. If you like a more crunchy, brown, and tight skin on your chicken thighs, then spray the butter after every 20 minutes. You can also spray the butter after one hour in order to avoid the heat escaping from the smoker. Make sure that the butter will reach on all sides of the thighs to give a proper crunchy skin from all sides.
8. BBQ Sauce glazing
When the internal temperatures reach 165-degree Fahrenheit, it means your chicken thighs are ready for BBQ sauce flavoring. At this temperature, the skin of the thighs become perfect brown and not burn as well as crispy too. Now take a cooking pan and heat it on normal temperature. Take a big bowl and add enough BBQ sauce in it so that you can easily dip the whole chicken thighs.
With the help of cooking pillars, carefully take one chicken thigh and dip it completely into the sauce. Take it out quickly and put it on a medium-hot pan. After 5 minutes, turn the side of the chicken and give another side for more than 5 minutes. This will give a complete glaze on the chicken thighs that will make your presentation more attractive.
One by one dip all thighs and give them proper time for glazing in the pan. If your pan becomes hotter, then reduce its temperature and allow it to set its temperature at a normal range. Another wise, the extremely hot pan will burn your sauce and does not give a proper glaze on your chicken thighs.
After the glazing, take the chicken on a platter and give it some rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. When you give the time for rest, the BBQ sauce flavor will also go inside the chicken while giving you a more tender flavor. You can serve these thighs with some grilled vegetables and with your favorite drink.
2. Boneless and Skinless Smoked Chicken Thighs
Now this recipe is quite quick and simple. You just need a little time in its preparation as well as in its cooking. Let’s get started with the recipe.
Note: For this recipe we suggest you to use pitboss smoker. You can read our detailed review on best pitboss smokers.
- Salt (1 teaspoon)
- Grounded black pepper (1 teaspoon)
- Red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon)
- Paprika (1 teaspoon)
- Garlic powder (1 teaspoon)
- Thyme (½ teaspoon)
- Oregano ( ½ teaspoon)
- Chicken thighs without bones and skin (8)
- Cherry wood chips (1 cup as needed)
In order to make these delicious chicken thighs, you just need to follow the below mentioned three easy steps.
1. Prepare your smoker
First of all, make ready your smoker. Preheat your smoker to give your chicken more proper and even heat temperature. It’s better to preheat the smoker at 200-degree Fahrenheit.
Take a mixing bowl, add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, and thyme. Mix the spices well and rub on all sides of chicken thigh evenly. Make sure that the spices will go on each side to give you a milder taste in every bite.
3. Cooking and presentation
Place the thighs on your smoker grill and let them cook for one hour by using cherry wood. Flip the side of thighs every 15 minutes to avoid burning. It will take a maximum of one hour for complete cooking. You can also check its internal temperature.
When the internal temperature reaches 165-degree Fahrenheit, it means your chicken thighs are ready to serve. You can serve these smoked chicken thighs with some homemade BBQ sauce, smoked vegetables, and with your favorite drink.
In winding up the article, I am sure that you will love both of the recipes. If you carefully read the article and follow the steps of each recipe completely, then I am giving you the surety of the best-smoked chicken thighs. Follow the instructions of each recipe and gives your taste buds a more tender and flavor juicy, soft chicken flavor.