How Long Smoke Chicken Thighs

How Long Smoke Chicken Thighs? | Delicious Way To Enjoy

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Smoked chicken thighs make a delicious dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family. From the rich and smoky flavor to its moist and succulent texture, smoked chicken thighs have become a favorite of backyard barbecues or camping trips alike. The question still remains though, how long smoke chicken thighs? In this blog post, we’ll provide insight into why smoke time matters along with some tips on choosing your type of smoker for your own attempt at perfect smoked chicken thighs. For deliciously easy smoked chicken thighs, read on for my foolproof method.

Sweet Rub for Smoked Chicken Thighs

Sweet Rub for Smoked Chicken Thighs

The key to amazing smoking chicken thighs is my signature Sweet Rub. With a sweet and smoky flavor profile, it forms a flavorful, caramelized bark on the skin while thoroughly seasoning the meat.

You can either purchase my Sweet Rub through my online store or make it yourself using my recipe below:

Sweet Rub for Chicken

  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Thoroughly mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Makes about 3⁄4 cup.

Preparing the Chicken

  • Take 4-6 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs (~2 lbs) and trim off any loose skin/fat
  • Roll thighs tightly and tuck in edges for uniform thickness
  • Drizzle both sides with olive oil and rub all over skin and meat
  • This helps the rub adhere and keeps the meat moist during smoking

Smoking Process

Follow these simple steps for smoking chicken thigh perfection:

Preheat Smoker

Bring your smoker up to 275°F. Chicken thighs do best athigher temperatures to crisp the skin.

Generously Season

Coat both sides of thighs with a heavy layer of Sweet Rub, pressing into the skin and meat.

Smoke for 1-1.5 Hours

Place thighs skin-side up on the smoker grates. Close lid and smoke for 45-75 minutes until chicken registers 165°F internal temperature.

Baste and Finish

During last 10-15 minutes, brush with my Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce or your favorite sauce. Continue smoking until 170-175°F for tender, juicy meat.

Rest and Serve

Remove chicken from smoker and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve hot with extra BBQ sauce for dipping (have napkins ready).

Additional Smoking Tips

  • Cook times vary based on smoker, chicken size, etc. Rely on a meat thermometer for doneness, not time.
  • Chicken is safe at 165°F internal temp. Don’t rely on appearance alone.
  • For help with troubleshooting issues like dry meat or uneven smoking, see my Smoking Tips post.
  • Favorite side dishes include mac and cheese, cornbread, coleslaw, beans, and potato salad.

Complete Your Meal

Smoke up a batch of juicy chicken thighs and round out your plate with these flavorful sides:

Side Dish Prep Time Total Time
Coleslaw 10 min 1 hr 10 min
Skillet Cornbread 15 min 45 min
Baked Beans 10 min 1 hr 20 min

With tender smoked chicken thighs and classic sides like these, you have an easy, comforting meal the whole family will love. Fire up the smoker and enjoy.


For the juiciest, most flavorful chicken thighs, try this simple smoking method using my signature Sweet Rub. With just a bit of prep, you can make this tasty weeknight meal. The smoky, tender chicken thighs and classic sides like coleslaw, cornbread, and baked beans will satisfy the whole family. Smoking chicken thighs takes the flavor to new heights while keeping the process laidback and fun. Fire up your smoker and enjoy these mouthwatering smoked chicken thighs soon.

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