Why you’ll love these smoked chicken thighs on the Traeger or Pellet Grill
- They’re covered in a simple (but flavorful) chicken dry rub and finished with a reverse sear for that deliciously crispy, charred skin everyone loves.
- This is a great beginner smoker recipe that’s quick to prep. The thighs only need to smoke for about an hour to get some great smoky flavor.
- If you love BBQ sauce, you can slather some on at the very end for some extra saucy chicken.
Related – >> 10 Healthy BBQ Sides
How to make juicy bone-in smoked chicken thighs
It’s really easy to get delicious smoked chicken thighs with crispy skin. Here’s how:
- First, heat up your smoker or pellet grill to 225° Fahrenheit. Then, get the chicken going by following the steps below.
Tips for smoking chicken thighs on a pellet grill
- Use an instant-read meat thermometer (or the probe on your Traeger) to ensure the thickest part of the thighs reach 185-190° before pulling them off. Bone-in chicken thighs taste best when cooked to this higher temperature because of the higher fat content.
- If you wish, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs. If so, you’ll only want to cook them to about 165°-170°.
- If you like to use a BBQ sauce, try our easy sugar-free homemade BBQ sauce (or any sauce you have on hand). Just brush it on the chicken thighs in the last few minutes of cooking.
- The reverse-sear is the key step to getting crispy skin. Follow the instructions carefully and flip the chicken frequently to prevent burning at the higher heat.
- Any wood (or pellets) will work for this recipe. I like a nice hickory or apple for smoking chicken.
Some other delicious smoked chicken recipes
What to serve with this chicken thigh recipe
Classic – Some classic options for a BBQ side dish are a creamy coleslaw or savory potato salad with bacon.
Unique – Another great option is some grilled cauliflower steaks. These are a great pairing for this recipe because you can cook them right along with the chicken at the end when you are searing the thighs.
Simple – All chicken goes well with rice or cauliflower rice, salad or any other simple veggies like broccoli, green beans or asparagus.
Fresh – Super fresh options are a crunchy cucumber and carrot salad or a creamy burrata caprese salad.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
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Smoked Chicken Thighs (Crispy Skin, Reverse Sear)
- 2 lbs bone-in skin on chicken thighs, (about 4 pieces)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil, (or oil of your choice)
For the chicken dry rub:
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- Remove chicken thighs from the fridge and allow them to warm up while you prepare the smoker or grill.
- Preheat smoker or pellet grill to 225° Fahrenheit.
- Make the chicken dry rub by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl or ramekin and mixing well.
- Place chicken thighs on a pan and drizzle them with the oil. Coat both sides of the chicken pieces with oil using a brush or your hands.
- Sprinkle the chicken seasoning all over both sides of the chicken thighs. You want the chicken completely coated with the seasoning.
- Place the chicken directly on the grill or smoker. Smoke for 1 – 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit. Smoking time will vary based on the size of your chicken thighs.
- After the internal temperature reaches 165°, turn the heat up on the grill to 450°. Flip the thighs and cook for another 15-30 minutes, flipping every 3-4 minutes when the grill gets hot. Flipping helps to cook the thighs evenly and prevent burning. Cook until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches 180°-190°. Note: See notes below for doing this step in a cast iron pan.
- If desired, brush some BBQ sauce on both sides of the chicken during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Once the chicken reaches temperature, remove it and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- You can perform the reverse sear (step #7) in a cast iron pan if desired. Simply heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and add 1-2 tbsp of cooking oil. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken in the pan to cook. Cook on both sides, flipping every 2 minutes to prevent burning. Cook for about 10 minutes total, until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches 185°-190°.
- Nutrition amounts noted are per serving and an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet. The amounts do not include the optional sauce for this recipe. See our full nutrition information disclosure here.