BBQ Chicken Thighs

Barbecue chicken thighs on grill
Ian O'Leary/Getty Images
  • 4 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 4 hrs,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (75)

At barbecue competitions, the champions cook chicken thighs to win the chicken category. It takes a lot of time, patience and practice to master barbecue chicken on this level. This is not the recipe for those chicken thighs, but it is a lot easier and nearly as good.

What You'll Need

  • 3 pounds/1.5 kg chicken thighs
  • For Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup/120 mL
  • olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons/45 mL
  • white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL salt
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon/10 mL sea salt
  • For
  • BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 cup/240 mL ketchup
  • 1/4 cup/60 mL white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup/60 mL
  • brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL  sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL sea salt

How to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients for marinade and mix well. Place chicken thighs in a resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over top, seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2-6 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool for 10 minutes before using. After that amount of time, cover.  If making a day in advance, cook completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Rewarm sauce in the microwave or stove top. Do not boil or overheat, just bring back to room temperature.
  1. Remove chicken legs from marinade and discard marinade. Place chicken thighs on preheated grill over medium-low heat (around 300 degrees F. or 150 degrees C.) Grill for about 30 minutes with the lid down turning occasionally. As the chicken nears doneness begin brushing sauce over the surface every 5 minutes until chicken is done and the sauce has cooked down to a sticky consistency. Remember, chicken is done when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 175 degrees F. Make sure to test more than one piece for consistency.
  2. Once cooked through, remove from heat and place onto a large platter.  Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.  Serve with a creamy potato salad.