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How Long To Grill Chicken Thighs

Grilled chicken is a great summer staple for dinner. Chicken thighs tend to be fatty which is what makes them juicy and tender off the grill.

You want to know the temperature at which your grill is cooking, how long it’s been cooking, and the internal temperature of the chicken itself to determine how long it will take to grill chicken thighs.

Grilled chicken thighs will take about 7-10 minutes to cook whereas bone-in thighs will take about 10-12 minutes. The key is to make sure that they are cooked to 165°F.

Five grilled chicken thighs on a round plate with sprigs of rosemary

Tips for grilling chicken thighs

Knowing how to grill chicken thighs to perfection will leave you with mouth-watering juicy chicken and a nice char for flavor and texture.

The length of time that it takes to cook chicken thighs is going to vary depending on a few factors.

For starters, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are going to cook a little longer than boneless. Regardless, it is important to keep a close eye on your chicken thighs when you are grilling.

What type of grill you are cooking on and what temperature will also be important when determining how long it will take to grill chicken thighs.

Smokers will take hours whereas a charcoal grill or gas grill will take about 10-15 minutes.

Timing grilled chicken thighs

You don’t want to depend on time alone when grilling chicken thighs. It isn’t recommended to set a timer and expect them to be cooked perfectly when the buzzer goes off.

Boneless chicken thighs will cook faster than bone-in chicken so stick around and keep an eye on them when you grill.

You want to grill boneless chicken thighs for about 3-5 minutes at 400°F with the grill lid closed. Then flip them over and continue to cook them for another 3-5 minutes.

In total it will take about 10 minutes to grill boneless chicken thighs.

When grilling bone-in chicken thighs you want to grill them a little hotter at 450°F for 5-7 minutes on each side.

About 10-15 minutes in total. If you have skin-on thighs, be sure to grill them skin side down first to get a nice crisp on the skin.

The most important thing to look for when determining if your chicken thighs are done grilling is by checking the internal temperature.

Be sure to cook them to at least 160°F and then allow for them to rest for about 5 minutes and come up to 165°F.

What temperature to grill chicken thighs

Bone-in and boneless chicken thighs should be cooked at different temperatures. Bone-in chicken thighs are best grilled at 450°F whereas boneless thighs should be cooked at 400°F.

Preheating your grill beforehand is imperative. You do not want to put raw chicken on cold grill grates.

It’s important to note what type of grill you are using also. Charcoal grills tend to cook hotter. If you are using a charcoal grill reduce the temperature by about 25°F.

You want to make sure that your grill isn’t too hot otherwise your chicken thighs will burn up on the outside before they cook all the way through.

Cooking your chicken to 165°F is the most important factor when cooking raw chicken.

If you like spicy check out my mouthwatering grilled buffalo chicken thighs recipe!

How to grill chicken thighs

When grilling anything, you want to preheat your grill first and foremost. Let it get all the way up to temperature before adding meat.

Not only will this save you from your chicken sticking to the grates, but it will also give you nice char marks on your chicken and give you crispy skin if you are cooking skin-on thighs.

You also want to stand by so that they don’t burn up as they don’t take too long to cook. Be sure to leave the lid closed so that the heat stays consistent and the chicken can cook evenly.

If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers I have a post on how to reheat grilled chicken that might be helpful!

Grilled boneless thighs

Preheat your grill to 400°F. Add your thighs and allow them to cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip them over and continue to cook them for another 5-7 minutes.

Check the internal temperature and when you reach 160°F you can remove them from the grill.

At this point, you want to allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes to absorb all of their juices and also get up to the 165°F mark.

If you are wanting to know how to tell when grilled chicken is done you can find out all the tips in my post!

Summary

  • Preheat grill to 400°F.
  • Cook thighs for 5-7 minutes and then flip them over.
  • Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes and check the internal temperature.
  • Once you reach 165°F remove them and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • Serve and Enjoy!

Grilled bone-in thighs

As I mentioned before, a bone-in chicken thigh will take a little bit longer to cook and do so at a little higher temperature.

Preheat your grill to 450°F and then add your thighs. If you are grilling skin-on chicken thighs you want to place them skin side down on the grates to start.

Cook with the lid closed for about 5-7 and then flip them over and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes or until you reach 165°F internally.

Once you reach 165°F remove them from the grill and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. With bone-in chicken thighs, it is best to get up closer to 175°F.

Summary

  • Preheat grill to 450°F.
  • Add chicken thighs to the heated grill (skin-side down).
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes and then flip.
  • Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes or until you get up to 165°F.
  • Rest the chicken for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

FAQ

What temp to grill chicken thighs?

The temperature will differ between bone-in and boneless chicken thighs. Typically bone-in chicken thighs you want to grill at 450°F. Whereas boneless chicken thighs should be grilled closer to 400°F.

How to keep chicken thighs from drying out on the grill?

The best way to keep your chicken from drying out on the grill is by salting it. Not only will it add great flavor, salt seals in moisture making for moist mouthwatering grilled thighs.

Do you grill chicken with the lid open or closed?

It is best to grill chicken with the lid closed. This will give you a more consistent temperature within your grill and cook your chicken evenly. Peek in every few minutes but keep the lid closed in between.

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