If you’re looking for an easy and delicious main dish, knowing how long to grill chicken thighs at 350 degrees is the way to go. It’s super simple, and you’ll have a fantastic meal in no time.
Have you ever experienced the joy of biting into a perfectly cooked chicken thigh? You know, the kind that’s incredibly juicy and bursting with flavor. It’s such a delightful experience. There’s something magical about the crispy skin and smoky taste that just hits the spot.
But, achieving that perfection each time can be a bit tricky. However, don’t worry, with a little know-how, you can become a pro at grilling delicious chicken thighs.
When grilling chicken thighs, the magic happens at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature helps you get that crispy skin and juicy meat we all love. However, one important question remains: how long should you cook them for? Nobody wants overcooked, dry chicken or undercooked, raw chicken. So, knowing the right cooking time and temperature is crucial for fantastic results.
In this article, we’ll be your guide and answer all your questions about grilling chicken thighs. We’ll cover how long to grill them at 350 degrees, the perfect temperature to use, and the best way to grill them.
I’ll also share some handy tips and tricks for preparing and grilling chicken thighs, along with some mouthwatering chicken thigh recipes you can easily try at home. Get ready to impress your friends and family with some finger-licking goodness.
How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs at 350 Degrees
Grilling chicken thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit is just perfect. This temperature ensures your chicken cooks thoroughly without getting burnt or dried out. Now, let’s talk about how long to grill them, which actually depends on whether you’re using bone-in or boneless chicken thighs.
These grilling tips work whether you are using a gas grill or a charcoal grill.
Grilling Bone-In Chicken Thighs
For bone-in chicken thighs, the trick is to grill them for approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remember to flip them every 5 to 7 minutes to get that even cooking on all sides.
The ultimate goal is to have them perfectly cooked through to the center. To be sure, you use a digital meat thermometer, and when the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you know they’re good to go.
Grilling Boneless Chicken Thighs
When it comes to boneless chicken thighs, the cooking time is a bit shorter, but just as delicious. While chicken thighs are dark meat and are already have more flavor and retain their juice more than white meat, it is important to not overcook boneless. Plan to grill them for around 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t forget to flip them over halfway through to ensure even cooking on both sides.
And just like before, check that the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit using a instant-read thermometer. That way, you’ll have tender and perfectly cooked boneless chicken thighs for a delightful meal.
Tips for Perfectly Grilled Chicken Thighs Every Time
Grilling chicken thighs can be a delightful and flavorful experience when done right. Here are some tips and techniques to help you achieve delicious results:
Marinate for Flavor
Before grilling, consider marinating your chicken thighs. Marinades infuse the meat with delicious flavors and help keep it moist during grilling. You can use a pre-made marinade or create your own with a mix of oil, herbs, spices, and your favorite seasonings.
Preheat and Oil the Grill
Make sure to preheat your grill before placing the chicken thighs on it. This helps to prevent sticking and ensures even cooking. Oil the grill grates lightly to further prevent sticking.
As mentioned earlier, a grilling temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for chicken thighs. This temperature allows the chicken to cook through without becoming overly dry.
Bone-In vs. Boneless
Adjust your grilling time based on whether you’re using bone-in or boneless chicken thighs. Bone-in thighs will take longer to cook through, while boneless thighs cook relatively quicker.
Grill with Skin Side Down
When grilling skin-on chicken thighs, it is generally recommended to start grilling with the skin side down. The skin acts as a natural barrier between the meat and the direct heat of the grill, which helps to protect the meat from drying out too quickly.
Additionally, grilling with the skin side down allows the fat under the skin to render and baste the meat, resulting in juicier and more flavorful chicken thighs.
Grilling the chicken thighs with the skin side down also helps to achieve that sought-after crispy and charred exterior. As the skin cooks, it becomes crispy and delicious, adding a wonderful texture and flavor to the chicken.
However, towards the end of grilling, you can flip the chicken thighs to briefly cook the other side and achieve even cooking. This will also ensure that the chicken reaches the recommended internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit throughout.
So, start with the skin side down to get that crispy and juicy result, but remember to flip them halfway through to finish the cooking process.
Keep an Eye on Flare-Ups
Chicken thighs have some fat, which can cause flare-ups on the grill. Be cautious and have a spray bottle of water nearby to control any sudden flames.
Use a Meat Thermometer
To ensure your chicken thighs are perfectly cooked and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The thickest part of the meat should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid Constantly Flipping
While it’s essential to flip the chicken thighs for even cooking, try not to flip them too frequently, as this may cause them to lose their juices and become dry.
Let Them Rest
After grilling, allow the chicken thighs to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.
Experiment with Seasonings
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your seasonings and spices. From simple salt and pepper to elaborate spice rubs, different flavors can take your grilled chicken thighs to a whole new level.
Practice Makes Perfect
Grilling chicken thighs can be an art, so don’t get discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect. With practice and a bit of experimentation, you’ll soon become a grilling pro!
Remember, grilling is all about having fun and enjoying the process. So, grab your tongs, fire up the grill, and savor the joy of grilling delicious chicken thighs.
Grilling Skinless Chicken Thighs
Grilling skinless chicken thighs is absolutely possible and can still result in delicious and juicy chicken. Since there is no skin to protect the meat from direct heat, you’ll want to take some additional steps to keep the chicken moist and prevent it from drying out.
Here are some tips for grilling skinless chicken thighs:
Marinating is Key: Marinate the chicken thighs before grilling to add flavor and moisture. A good marinade can infuse the meat with delicious tastes and help keep it juicy during grilling. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably a few hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
Preheat and Oil the Grill: Make sure to preheat your grill before adding the chicken thighs. Also, oil the grill grates lightly to prevent sticking and aid in creating those beautiful grill marks.
Medium Heat: Grill the skinless chicken thighs over medium heat instead of high heat. This helps to cook the meat evenly and prevents it from drying out too quickly.
Use Indirect Heat: Consider using a two-zone grilling method. Place the chicken thighs on the cooler side of the grill (indirect heat) initially to cook them more gently. Once they are mostly cooked through, you can move them to the hotter side of the grill (direct heat) to get some char and color on the surface.
Watch the Cooking Time: Since skinless chicken thighs cook faster than their skin-on counterparts, keep a close eye on them. They typically take around 12 to 15 minutes to cook through at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and ensure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Baste or Brush with Sauce: To add extra moisture and flavor, you can baste or brush the chicken thighs with your favorite barbecue sauce or marinade during the last few minutes of grilling.
Keep the Juices in the Meat
Rest Before Serving: Allow the grilled skinless chicken thighs to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps to lock in the juices and ensures a more tender and flavorful result.
Grilling skinless chicken thighs may require a bit more attention to avoid overcooking, but with the right techniques, you can still enjoy a fantastic grilled dish that’s tender and tasty.
Other Cooking Techniques for the Perfect Chicken Thigh
Chicken thighs are incredibly versatile and can be cooked in various delicious ways. Here are some popular methods to cook chicken thighs:
Baking or Roasting
Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs or roasting them in the oven is a simple and hands-off method. You can season the thighs with your favorite spices and herbs, arrange them on a baking sheet, and cook them until they are tender and cooked through. This method allows you to achieve crispy skin and juicy meat without the need for constant attention.
Pan-frying chicken thighs in a skillet with a little oil creates a crispy exterior while keeping the inside moist and flavorful. You can also make a delicious pan sauce by deglazing the pan with broth, wine, or citrus juice after cooking.
Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and stir-fry them with vegetables and sauces in a hot wok or skillet. This quick and flavorful method is perfect for making delicious stir-fry dishes like teriyaki chicken or cashew chicken.
We’ve already discussed grilling, but it’s worth mentioning again as it imparts a unique smoky flavor to the chicken thighs. Whether you use skin-on or skinless, bone-in or boneless, grilling is a great way to enjoy juicy and charred chicken.
Air frying chicken thighs is a fantastic and healthier alternative to traditional frying. The air fryer uses hot air to circulate and cook the chicken thighs, resulting in crispy and flavorful skin without the need for excessive oil.
Preheat the Air Fryer. Set your air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to preheat for a few minutes.
Prepare the Chicken Thighs. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This will help the skin get crispier during cooking. Season the chicken thighs with olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and any other preferred herbs or spices. Dry Rub the seasoning evenly on all sides of the chicken.
Arrange in the Air Fryer. Place the seasoned chicken thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may need to cook them in batches if they don’t fit in a single layer.
Air Fry the Chicken Thighs. Cook the chicken thighs in the preheated air fryer for about 20 to 25 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, flip the chicken thighs to ensure even cooking on both sides. The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature; it should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure they are fully cooked.
Using a Crock-Pot or slow cooker is an excellent method for tender, fall-off-the-bone meat. Add your favorite seasonings and let the chicken cook low and slow for several hours until it’s incredibly tender and flavorful.
Braising involves cooking chicken thighs in liquid (such as broth, wine, or sauce) over low heat in a covered pot. This method results in tender and succulent chicken, and the cooking liquid can be turned into a delicious sauce.
For a crispy and indulgent treat, you can deep-fry chicken thighs. Coat the thighs in seasoned flour or batter and fry them until they are golden and cooked through.
Grinding for Ground Chicken
If you have boneless and skinless chicken thighs, you can grind them using a food processor to make your own ground chicken. It’s perfect for recipes like meatballs, burgers, and dumplings.
Each cooking method offers a unique flavor and texture, so feel free to experiment and find your favorite way to cook chicken thighs.
How to Store Leftovers
To store leftover grilled chicken thighs properly and ensure they remain safe to eat, follow these guidelines:
Cooling Down. Allow the grilled chicken thighs to cool down to room temperature before storing them. Leaving them out for more than 2 hours at room temperature is not safe, as bacteria can grow rapidly.
Refrigeration. Transfer the cooled chicken thighs to an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can use resealable plastic bags. Make sure there is no excess air in the container or bag as it can promote spoilage.
Consider labeling them with the date of storage. This helps you keep track of how long the leftovers have been in the refrigerator.
Grilled chicken thighs can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Beyond this period, the quality and safety of the leftovers may decline, so it’s best to consume them within this timeframe.
Freezing. Wrap the chicken thighs in freezer-safe wrapping or store them in freezer-safe containers. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Again, make sure to label and date the package.
Thawing Frozen Leftovers. When you’re ready to eat the frozen grilled chicken thighs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave. Avoid thawing them at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth.
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken?
Grilled chicken is a versatile and delicious main dish that pairs well with a wide range of side dishes. Here are some popular options to serve with grilled chicken:
Grilled Vegetables. Consider grilling some colorful vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, onions, eggplant, or asparagus. The smoky flavors from the grill will complement the chicken nicely.
Rice or Quinoa. Serve your grilled chicken with fluffy white or brown rice or a flavorful quinoa pilaf. You can add some chopped herbs or toasted nuts for extra texture and taste.
Corn on the Cob. Grilled corn on the cob is a classic and delicious side dish that complements the flavors of grilled chicken.
Coleslaw. Creamy coleslaw adds a refreshing and crunchy element to your meal.
Baked Beans. Sweet and savory baked beans go well with grilled chicken and add a touch of comfort to the meal.
Garlic Bread. A side of garlic bread or warm rolls is perfect for sopping up any delicious sauces or juices from the chicken.
Dips and Sauces. Serve the grilled chicken with an assortment of dips and sauces, such as barbecue sauce, tzatziki, or chimichurri, to enhance the flavors.
Salads. Fresh and vibrant salads are a great accompaniment to grilled chicken. Try a garden salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette, or go for a Mediterranean-style salad with feta cheese, olives, and a lemon-herb dressing.
Potato Salad. A creamy potato salad with herbs and a hint of mustard is a comforting and satisfying side dish for grilled chicken.
Fruit Salad. A refreshing fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits adds a burst of sweetness to balance the savory flavors of the grilled chicken.
Grain or Legume Salads. Try serving a hearty grain salad or a chickpea salad with herbs and a light dressing alongside the chicken.
Grilled Chicken Thighs
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- 8 Chicken Thighs Bone-in, skin-on (about 2 pounds)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme or any other herbs you prefer
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, dried thyme, paprika, salt, and black pepper to make the marinade.2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 2 Cloves Garlic, 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice, 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest, 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme, 1 Teaspoon Paprika, 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- If you have the time, place the chicken thighs in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Toss the chicken thighs to coat them evenly with the marinade. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours to allow the flavors to infuse the meat. If you’re short on time, you can skip the marinating step and move on to the next one.8 Chicken Thighs
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Take the marinated chicken thighs out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- Once the grill is hot, place the chicken thighs on the grill, skin-side down. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning them over once, until they are fully cooked. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the grilled chicken thighs from the grill and let them rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
- Serve the juicy and flavorful grilled chicken thighs with your favorite side dishes and enjoy.
- This recipe makes 4 servings, but you can easily adjust the quantities to fit your needs. Whether you’re grilling for a small family dinner or a barbecue with friends, these grilled chicken thighs are sure to be a hit.