BBQ Grilled Chicken Thighs (rub + bbq sauce)

These are the most delicious grilled chicken thighs because the skin gets nice and crispy on the outside while the inside is tender and juicy.

Did I mention the flavoring is unbelievable? This grilled chicken thigh recipe uses both a dry rub and a sauce!

grilled chicken thighs on plate.

Favorite BBQ Chicken Thighs on the Grill

Say hello to your new favorite grilled chicken recipe! We can’t wait for you to try these juicy bbq grilled chicken thighs. We’ve doubled up on flavor with both a dry rub and bbq sauce.

Serve these grilled chicken thighs next to a foil-packed baked potato or balsamic grilled Brussels sprouts and you’ve got yourself a meal.

What do these grilled chicken thighs taste like?

Think smoky + a little spicy + sweet all at the same time. The dry rub will get you the smoky and spicy flavor and then depending on the bbq sauce you use, that will get you the sweetness. You’re welcome.

what cut of meat should you buy for grilling chicken thighs

Bone-in and boneless chicken thighs both work. It’s really all about preference.

We’re all about bone-in chicken thighs because we love the added flavor the bone gives the meat, but it’s really your choice.

uncooked chicken thighs on plate.

How to Grill Chicken Thighs

Follow this easy 4-step process for how to grill chicken thighs perfectly every single time!

Remove Moisture

This may not seem like an important step, but let me tell you, it is! Make sure to blot your chicken thighs with a paper towel before doing anything else.

Removing moisture is going to allow for the skin to get nice and crispy, while letting the insides become tender and juicy.

Dry Rub

We are the queens of seasonings. If you’ve ever tried our dry rub for chicken, you know it’s the most delicious all-purpose rub out there! If you want to use that rub, go for it! If you want something a little but smokier and spicier, try this one:

  • chipotle powder
  • chili powder
  • smoked paprika
  • ground pepper
  • salt

pro tip

Let chicken thighs sit for at least 30 minutes before grilling. This will infuse them with so much flavor!

chicken thighs on grill.

Grill chicken thighs + Sauce

Now that your thighs are fully rubbed, it’s time to grill and sauce!

  1. Preheat your grill to 400ºF.
  2. Grill chicken thighs skin-side down over direct heat for 4-5 minutes. This is going to get you that nice, crispy skin!
  3. Then, flip the chicken thighs and cook them over direct heat for 4 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken thighs one last time and move them over indirect heat. Cook them for another 4 minutes.
  5. At this point, your thighs should be almost done! Rub on some of your favorite bbq sauce and cook them for a few more minutes to caramelize the sauce. You know your thighs are done when they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165ºF.

So, how long to grill chicken thighs?

The best way to grill chicken thighs is for about 15 minutes or until they have an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Be aware that the size of your chicken thighs matter, so if you have thicker thighs, they will take longer to cook.

meat thermometer.

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Let Rest

Remove chicken thighs from the grill and set them on a plate to rest for around 10 minutes. This will really get the juices flowing!

3 grilled chicken thighs on plate.

Should I use a gas grill or a charcoal grill?

This grilled chicken thighs recipe works with both kinds of grills. We personally used a gas grill because you can be more precise with temperature, but a charcoal grill would give these amazing flavor, too.

How do you grill chicken thighs without drying it out?

We found that 400ºF is the perfect grilling temperature for chicken thighs so that they don’t dry it. It’s hot enough to sear them on the outside and low enough to cook them perfectly on the inside.

Want to use a marinade instead?

Looking for grilled chicken thigh recipes that use a marinade instead? Check out our chicken marinade post where we share 6 different chicken marinades.

Marinate your chicken thighs for 30 minutes before following steps 5-11 in the recipe card below.

chicken thighs with corn cob on plate.

Serving Suggestions

What is a BBQ without some delicious grilled sides. Here are some of our favorite grilled veggies for you to try!

Grilled Red Potatoes: These foil pack grilled red potatoes are an easy side to add to any bbq. All you need to do to make these grilled potatoes in foil is toss them in olive oil, spices, and create foil pack!

Baked Potatoes in Foil:  Whether you’re hoping to make a grilled baked potato in foil or oven baked potatoes in foil, we’ll teach you how to make a perfect baked potato every time!

Easy Grilled Asparagus: Jump into asparagus season with the easiest and yummiest way to eat it. Make Grilled Asparagus in foil for a 20-minute side perfect for all types of eaters!

Balsamic Grilled Brussels Sprouts: This grilled Brussels sprout recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner side or meal-prep for the week!

Grilled Corn in Foil: Grilled corn on the cob is a summer staple! Get perfectly cooked corn every time with this easy Grilled Corn in Foil recipe. Enjoy!

What to Do with Leftover BBQ Grilled Chicken Thighs

Got leftovers? We are the queens of repurposing our recipes! Here are a few ideas so you don’t waste any food.

  • Make Chicken Salad: shred your chicken thighs and discard the bones. Then make our BBQ Chicken Salad recipe.
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza: everyone loves pizza! Buyg a store-bought crust and make a semi-homeamde BBQ Chicken Pizza.
  • BBQ Pulled Chicken: shred your chicken and toss the shredded chicken with a little more bbq sauce and serve on a bun like our BBQ Pulled Chicken.


First things first, let your chicken thighs cool completely. Then, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

grilled chicken thighs with corn on plate.
3 grilled chicken thighs on plate.

BBQ Grilled Chicken Thighs

These are truly the juciest grilled chicken thighs on the internet. They are made with double the flavor thanks to a dry rub and bbq sauce and have perfectly crispy skin with super juicy meat.

Prep:45 minutes

Cook:15 minutes

Total:1 hour

Fat 18

Carbs 4

Protein 25


  • Begin by taking out the chicken thighs and pat each one with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

  • Next, add the garlic powder, chipotle powder, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, and salt into a small bowl and mix all the spices together.

  • Pour the spices over the chicken thighs and massage the thighs with the spices and be sure that each chicken thigh is covered with spices.

  • Let the chicken thighs sit for at least 30 minutes in the spices (longer is always better). This will help get the juices get flowing and flavor the meat.

  • While the chicken is sitting, preheat the grill to 400ºF and make sure there is indirect and direct grilling space on the grill.

  • When the chicken is ready, place the chicken on the grill skin side-down over direct heat for 4-5 minutes to crisp up the chicken skin.

  • Flip the chicken and cook the chicken for another 4-5 minutes.

  • Lastly, flip the chicken one more time (skin up) and move it to indirect heat.

  • Add a tablespoon or so of BBQ sauce to each chicken thigh and spread out the sauce evenly over the thighs.

  • Close the grill and let the BBQ sauce caramelize for 2-3 more minutes and then remove the thighs from the grill.

  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then enjoy with more BBQ sauce.

Tips & Notes

  • BBQ sauce- the BBQ sauce is going to add a lot of flavor to your thighs. So, make sure you like your bbq sauce. If you like it sweet, use a sweeter sauce and if you like it spicy/smokey, us a spicy sauce.

Nutrition facts

Calories: 264kcal Carbohydrates: 4g Protein: 25g Fat: 18g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 2g

Photos by: The Wooden Skillet

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