These smoked chicken thighs are coated in a homemade spice rub then cooked in a smoker to tender and flavorful perfection. Serve these chicken thighs your favorite barbecue sauce for your next outdoor gathering!
Chicken thighs are an inexpensive and flavor filled cut of meat. They’re the perfect candidate for the smoker and are great for feeding a crowd. Serve your smoked chicken thighs with coleslaw and pasta salad for a complete meal.
We just got an electric smoker and we are having so much fun with it! The first thing we made was these smoked chicken thighs, and let me tell you, they’re super delicious. This is a simple yet satisfying recipe, and it’s the perfect way to learn the basics of smoking meat.
How do you make smoked chicken thighs?
These chicken thighs are coated in a homemade BBQ rub, then go into the smoker until they’re cooked to tender perfection. Be sure to rub the spices both on top of and under the skin of the chicken for the maximum amount of flavor. Brush on a little barbecue sauce and dinner is ready! I like to use my own homemade BBQ sauce, but your favorite store bought brand will also work just fine.
How do you cook chicken in a smoker?
The chicken needs to smoke until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F. This takes approximately 2 1/2 – 3 hours depending on the size of your thighs. The recipe calls for a smoker temperature of 250 degrees F.
Tips for smoked chicken thighs
- You can really serve these smoked chicken thighs with just the rub as seasoning, but I do add a little barbecue sauce for added flavor and moisture. The barbecue sauce gets brushed onto the chicken during the last 10 minutes of the smoking process.
- Make sure to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. You can also use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts if you prefer white meat.
- I often make a double batch of this chicken because the leftovers are great to use in other dinners during the week. I make pulled chicken sandwiches, chicken salads, and this chicken is even great served on a pizza or in a pasta dish.
- I prefer to use an electric probe thermometer with a remote so that I can monitor the progress of the chicken from inside the house.
What type of wood is best for smoking chicken?
I use apple wood to smoke chicken, which imparts a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Other great options are maple wood, cherry wood, or hickory.
What sides go with smoked chicken?
I like to serve a starch and a veggie alongside my smoked chicken. Some of my favorite options are
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Homemade Rice-A-Roni
- Baked Potato Wedges
- Roasted Broccoli
- Foil Packet Asparagus
- Honey Cornbread
- Candied Carrots
This smoked chicken thighs recipe can be easily doubled or tripled, which makes it great for a crowd at a barbecue. So go ahead and load up that smoker to enjoy some restaurant quality smoked chicken in the comfort of your own home!
Smoked Chicken Thighs
- Preheat an electric smoker to 250 degrees F. Add apple wood chips to the smoker.
- Coat the chicken thighs with the rub, making sure to get the spices both on top of and underneath the skin.
- Place the chicken in the smoker. Cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thighs. Be sure to check the smoker occasionally to see if the wood chips need to be refilled.
- Brush the barbecue sauce over the chicken, then cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately.