Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs are a delicious and easy-to-make meal that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you are hosting a backyard barbecue or simply looking for a quick and tasty dinner these chicken thighs are sure to satisfy.
The secret to making perfect Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs is all in the preparation. From choosing the right marinade to monitoring the internal temperature of the chicken, there are a few key steps that you must follow to ensure that your chicken turns out juicy, tender, and full of flavor.
Fortunately, with a little bit of know-how and some basic grilling skills, anyone can make delicious Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs at home.
In this article, we will explore some of the best recipes and techniques for grilling chicken thighs on a Traeger grill, so that you can impress your friends and family with your culinary prowess. So fire up your grill, grab some chicken thighs, and let’s get cooking!
Why are Chicken Thighs Great for the Grill?
When it comes to grilling chicken, chicken thighs are often the preferred cut. There are several reasons why chicken thighs are great for the grill:
- Moisture: Chicken thighs have a higher fat content than chicken breasts, which means they are less likely to dry out on the grill. This makes them a great choice for grilling, as they will stay juicy and flavorful.
- Flavor: The higher fat content in chicken thighs also means that they have a richer flavor than chicken breasts. This makes them a great choice for grilling, as they will absorb and hold onto marinades and seasonings, resulting in a more flavorful end product.
- Texture: Chicken thighs have a tender, juicy texture that is perfect for grilling. The meat is less likely to become tough or stringy, and the skin crisps up beautifully on the grill.
In addition to their flavor and texture, chicken thighs are also an affordable cut of meat. They are often less expensive than chicken breasts, making them a great option for those who are looking to grill on a budget. Whether you are grilling for a crowd or just for yourself, chicken thighs are a great choice for the grill.
- Bone-in Skin-on chicken thighs – You’ll need about 8 pieces for 4 servings. If you want to make less, 4 pieces will be great for 2 people.
- Soy sauce – I always use low sodium because the full sodium version is really salty.
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic – Freshly minced.
- Italian seasoning
- Ground black pepper
How to Make Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs
This is a super simple recipe. Just combine all the ingredients for the meat marinade in a bowl and whisk them together until they’re combined.
Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinade and reserve it in a separate container. I use that bit of marinade to baste the chicken as it grills. Be sure to remove it before you add the chicken, so the marinade doesn’t become contaminated.
Submerge the meat in the marinade, cover, and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill it.
If you’re just marinating for a few hours, you can do this in a bowl, like in the image above. If you’re marinating for longer – like 24 hours – I prefer to use a Ziplock bag. It allows the chicken to be moved around easier, so every piece gets submerged.
When you’re ready to cook it, just discard the remaining marinade. Place chicken thighs on grill grates and grill for approximately 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165° F.
What Smokers We Use
Did you know that Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill? The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking. You can use any type of wood pellets you like. See the Traeger Series 22 Grill on Amazon.
What Temp Should Chicken Thighs Be Grilled At?
When it comes to grilling chicken thighs, the temperature is crucial to get the perfect result. You want to make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through, but not overcooked and dry. The ideal temperature for grilling chicken thighs is between 165°F and 175°F.
When using a Traeger grill, the temperature can be easily controlled with the digital controller. For these chicken thighs set the grill to 400°F. Let the grill preheat for 10-15 minutes and then add the chicken thighs.
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How Long Does It Take to Grill Chicken Thighs?
For boneless and skinless chicken thighs, it usually takes about 20-25 minutes to cook them on a Traeger grill. The ideal temperature for cooking chicken thighs is between 165-175°F. You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken and ensure it’s cooked properly.
If you’re using bone-in chicken thighs, the cooking time may be slightly longer. It’s recommended to cook them for around 30-35 minutes on a Traeger grill. You can also use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken and make sure it’s safe to eat.
Cooking Temperature for Chicken
To ensure that chicken is cooked safely and properly, it should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Using a food thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone to accurately measure the internal temperature.
Chicken breasts, being leaner and containing less fat, cook relatively quickly and can become dry if overcooked, so you’d want to remove it from the grill when it reaches 160°F, then rest it so it reaches165°F.
On the other hand, chicken thighs have a higher fat content, which means they can be cooked longer without drying out and are often more forgiving in terms of cooking time.
To ensure meat at the bone is no longer pink, you’d want to cook bone-in pieces, like thighs and wings, to 165°F and let it rest to come up to 170°F.
Some Tips for Grilling Chicken Thighs
Grilling chicken thighs on a Traeger grill can be a delicious and easy way to prepare a meal. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Traeger grilled chicken thighs:
- Marinate the chicken thighs: Marinating the chicken thighs before grilling can add flavor and help keep them moist. Try marinating them in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and your favorite herbs and spices for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
- Don’t overcook the chicken: Overcooked chicken thighs can be tough and dry. Cook them until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, which should take around 20-25 minutes on a Traeger grill.
- Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that the chicken thighs are cooked to the proper temperature, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh, making sure not to touch the bone.
- Let the chicken rest: After removing the chicken thighs from the grill, let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and help keep the chicken moist.
By following these tips, you can create delicious and juicy Traeger grilled chicken thighs that are sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Experiment with different marinades and seasonings to find your favorite flavor combinations.
Don’t forget to let your chicken thighs rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute. This will ensure that your chicken is moist and tender.
How to Store Leftover Chicken Thighs
Grilled chicken thighs are a delicious and easy meal to make, but what do you do with the leftovers? Here are some tips for storing your leftover Traeger grilled chicken thighs so that they stay fresh and tasty:
- Allow the chicken to cool down to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. This will prevent the chicken from sweating and getting soggy.
- Divide the chicken into smaller portions before storing it. This will make it easier to reheat and prevent waste.
- Store the chicken in an airtight container or a plastic bag with all the air squeezed out. This will prevent the chicken from drying out and absorbing odors from other foods in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Label the container or bag with the date that the chicken was cooked and stored. This will help you keep track of how long the chicken has been in the refrigerator or freezer.
When stored properly, leftover Traeger grilled chicken thighs can last for up to four days in the refrigerator or up to six months in the freezer.
How to Reheat Chicken Thighs
Reheating chicken thighs is a great way to enjoy leftovers or meal prep. Here are some simple steps to help you reheat your Traeger grilled chicken thighs:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Place the chicken thighs in an oven-safe dish.
- Add a splash of chicken broth or water to the dish to help keep the chicken moist.
- Cover the dish with foil to prevent the chicken from drying out.
- Place the dish in the oven and heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.
Alternatively, you can reheat your chicken thighs on the Traeger grill. Here’s how:
- Preheat your Traeger grill to 350°F.
- Place the chicken thighs on the grill grates.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the chicken is heated through.
Remember to always use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. This will ensure that your chicken is safe to eat and free from harmful bacteria.
Once your Traeger grilled chicken thighs are cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve them up with some delicious sides. Here are a few serving suggestions to consider:
- Grilled Vegetables: Fire up your Traeger grill and cook some fresh vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, and zucchini alongside your chicken thighs. These veggies will complement the smoky flavor of the chicken and add some color to your plate. Try these easy smoked vegetables.
- Roasted Potatoes: Roast some baby potatoes in the oven while your chicken is cooking on the grill. Season them with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil for a tasty side dish.
- Coleslaw: A fresh and crunchy coleslaw is the perfect complement to Traeger grilled chicken thighs. Mix up a batch of this creamy and spicy chipotle coleslaw.
- Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn on the cob is a summertime classic that pairs well with Traeger grilled chicken. Brush the corn with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper before grilling for a delicious side dish.
With these serving suggestions, you’ll have a delicious and well-rounded meal that is sure to impress your guests. Enjoy!
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Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs 8 pieces
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a Ziplock bag or large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons for basting later on.
- Add the chicken thighs to the marinade. Refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to grill, discard the remaining marinade.
- Preheat the grill to 400° F. Place chicken thighs on grill grates and grill for approximately 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F.
- Reserve a little bit of marinade before adding the chicken. You can use that to baste the chicken as it cooks on the grill.
- Marinade cannot be reused.
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Angie is a dedicated grilling aficionado who has experimented with a wide variety of techniques, equipment, and ingredients, to discover the endless possibilities of flavors and textures that grilling can achieve.