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cooked chicken thighs on plank resting
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5 from 8 votes

Smoked Chicken Thighs Recipe

Treat yourself to juicy, mildly smoky BBQ chicken with this smoked chicken thighs recipe. No need for a smoker, wood chips or long cooking times. Just a simple wood plank to infuse the smoke flavor and make the grilling easy. And don't be intimidated by plank grilling - it's surprisingly simple! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
soak plank and rest time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 2
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pound (567g) bone-in, skin on chicken thigh meat, Note 1 about 4 thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • kosher or sea salt for sprinkling at the end

Dry rub for chicken, Note 2

  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional

BBQ sauce glaze

  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce mixed with 1 tbsp water, Note 3

Instructions

  • BRINE CHICKEN (Optional): Note 4. Or buy kosher chicken which is already brined.
  • SOAK PLANK: Immerse a thin wood plank under water for 30 minutes (or 60 minutes if using a 1/2 inch/1.2 cm thick plank). Weigh it down with a pot or can to keep it under water. Feel free to add apple juice, white wine or beer to the water to enhance the flavors.
  • MAKE DRY RUB: Combine all dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl or container. You may not need all of it.
  • PREPARE CHICKEN AND GRILL: Heat grill to high (500F/260C). Remove plank from water, pat dry and spray one side with oil. For chicken, rub oil on chicken thighs, then coat with dry rub on all sides. Place chicken pieces, skin side up, on oiled side of plank.
  • GRILL CHICKEN:
    Step 1: Place plank with the chicken on the grill and cook for 5 minutes on high heat. Keep a spray bottle or water handy in case the planks catch fire.
    Step 2: Turn heat down under plank to lowest setting and lower other burners so that chicken is cooking at about 400F/204C. Cook another 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F/71C using an instant read thermometer. Note 5.
    Step 3: In final step, brush on BBQ sauce/glaze and cook another minute or two. Remove from grill. Add more glaze if you like. Let chicken rest, loosely covered to keep warm, for 10 minutes.
  • SERVE: Serve chicken right on plank (placed on a baking pan or tray) for a beautiful presentation. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes

  1. Chicken: Instead of bone-in thigh meat, you can use bone-in skin on white meat (breasts). I would not use boneless chicken as it cooks more quickly and won't pick up much smoke flavor. If possible, buy kosher chicken thighs as they are already brined. 
  2. Dry Rub: Instead of this rub recipe, use 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite chicken rub. 
  3. BBQ Sauce/Glaze: Use your favorite BBQ sauce or another type of sauce like teriyaki or spicy Thai sweet chili sauce. If you want to make your own, try this easy no-cook BBQ sauce from one of our rib recipes. 
  4. How to brine chicken: Place 2 cups water, 2 tbsp kosher salt and 1 tsp sugar (plus a tsp of dried rosemary or thyme if you like) into a ziploc or airtight container. Swish around to dissolve the salt. Add chicken and marinate for 2-6 hours in the fridge. Discard water, rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. 
  5. How to tell when chicken is cooked: A meat thermometer is best, but if you don't have one, pierce the chicken. If juices are clear and the meat is not pink or red, the chicken is cooked. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates. You may not need all the rub and glaze. Using less will lower values for salt and sugar.
Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 278mg | Sodium: 1754mg | Potassium: 737mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 847IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3mg