Grilled chicken thighs are slathered in a tangy and sweet homemade BBQ sauce! These chicken thighs are saucy, juicy, and so easy to make!
What makes these grilled BBQ chicken thighs so good
- The BBQ sauce is homemade! This BBQ sauce is made with condiments you probably already have in your fridge and pantry, so it’s perfect for this low-maintenance grilled chicken recipe. Brown sugar, chili sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and a few other ingredients are simmered until it’s a finger-lickin’ good BBQ sauce.
- It yields tender, juicy, flavorful chicken. Grilled chicken thighs are always so delicious because the charcoal chars the outside of the chicken while the center is tender and juicy. I’ve included how to bake BBQ chicken thighs to juicy perfection, as well!
- It’s the perfect 30 minute meal! These boneless BBQ chicken thighs are grilled in under 20 minutes which is why this is the perfect go-to summer staple!
Key ingredients for grilled BBQ chicken thighs
Smart Chicken Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs– These chicken thighs are boneless and skinless, which helps the chicken cook faster, and they are still juicy and tender because they have white and dark meat! You can also use Smart Chicken Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts for this recipe if you prefer white meat.
Brown sugar– The chicken thighs are sweet and tangy because they are dry-rubbed with brown sugar and slathered with a brown sugar BBQ sauce. You can use dark or light brown sugar, but I prefer dark because it contains more molasses, which gives it a deeper, more robust flavor.
Ketchup– This BBQ sauce is made with a few staples you have in your fridge, like ketchup! Opt for a healthier version of ketchup that uses real sugar rather than corn syrup.
Chili sauce– I love adding chili sauce to my BBQ sauce cause it adds a little zing and tang. You can find chili sauce in the condiment aisle of your grocery store.
Apple cider vinegar– This BBQ sauce is sweet, tangy, and perfectly flavorful because the apple cider vinegar helps balance the brown sugar. It’s finger lickin’, lip smackin’ good!
- Bring the grill to temperature before cooking these BBQ chicken thighs. If the grill is not hot enough, the chicken will have to cook longer and can become dry. To ensure the chicken thighs stay extra juicy and tender, preheat the grill about 10-15 minutes before you grill the chicken thighs.
- Let them rest after they come off the grill. I know it will be sooo tempting to dig in, but allowing grilled BBQ chicken thighs to rest for 5-10 minutes allows the juices to redistribute so every bite is tender and flavorful. Trust me, this step is a must!
- Serve with more BBQ sauce! This BBQ sauce is ridiculously deeelicious, you’ll definitely want more to dunk your chicken in! This recipe makes a little extra BBQ sauce so you have enough to slather and dunk!
How to make grilled BBQ chicken thighs
- Make the BBQ sauce. Combine the ketchup, chili sauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, onion, garlic, and cayenne powder in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a light boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Dive the BBQ sauce in half in two separate bowls.
- Dry rub the chicken thighs. Combine the paprika, cumin, brown sugar, mustard, garlic, onion, and salt in a small bowl, then sprinkle and pat it on the chicken thighs on both sides.
- Grill the chicken thighs. Preheat the grill to at least 350 degrees. Place the chicken thighs on the grill and sear on each side for 2 minutes. Brush the BBQ sauce on the chicken thighs and continue to flip and brush with more BBQ sauce every two minutes. Begin to test the chicken at 12 minutes for doneness. The chicken is done cooking when it has reached the internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve with the leftover BBQ sauce. Mangia!
How to store and reheat
You can store the grilled chicken thighs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. If there is left over BBQ sauce, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
You can reheat the BBQ chicken in the microwave for a 1 minute and 30 seconds, or you can place it in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes until it is warmed through.
What to serve with grilled chicken thighs
Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs
- 8 organic boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup chili sauce
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- Combine the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, chili sauce, chopped onion, garlic, lemon juice, and ground mustard in a medium sized pot and place it over medium heat. Bring the BBQ sauce to a light boil, then reduce it to a simmer and allow it to reduce by half (about 40 minutes). Divide the BBQ sauce in half into two separate bowls.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat (you want it to hover over 350 degrees). Place the chicken thighs on a large plate, making sure to spread the chicken thighs out. Combine the paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken thighs on both sides, then message it into the meat.
- Place the chicken thighs on the grill and sear on each side for 2 minutes. Brush the chicken thighs with the BBQ sauce and cook for two minutes, then flip and brush again. Continue to brush and build the BBQ sauce onto the chicken thighs. Cook the chicken thighs for 12 minutes, then check for doneness. Chicken is fully cooked when it has reached the internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the grill, brush with more BBQ sauce and serve. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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