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Take the guesswork out of getting perfectly cooked chicken thighs on the grill. We’re sharing how long to grill chicken thighs (bone-in and boneless), as well as tips, and the best grilled chicken thigh recipe.

Grilling chicken thighs is the best way to make tender, juicy chicken with amazing flavor in no time. We’ll cover the prep work, grill temperature, and how long to grill chicken thighs.

Looking for tips on grilling other meats? Check out how to grill ribeye, the best temperature to grill steak, and how long to cook pork chops on the grill.

grilled chicken thighs on a plate
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If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve the best results for juicy grilled chicken thighs with amazing flavor, this post is for you. Gas grill or charcoal grill, skin-on thighs or skin-off, boneless or bone-in, we’ve got you covered.

We’re always on the hunt for an easy recipe on a busy weeknight and chicken thighs are a go-to if you couldn’t tell by our cilantro lime chicken or one pot Hawaiian chicken. I’m always a fan of chicken breasts, but chicken thighs have so much flavor.

Read on to learn more and get one step closer to grilling the very best chicken thighs.

All About Grilled Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are a popular and versatile cut of meat known for their rich flavor, tender, dark meat, and moist texture. While they’re a good source of protein, they have a slightly higher fat content than chicken breasts.

The extra fat makes them slightly juicier and more tender than white meat, as well as less prone to drying out.

The combination of the added fat and smoky, grilled flavor makes grilled chicken thighs one of our favorite cuts of meat to sear in the summer. Although we love Baked BBQ chicken thighs, the grill marks you get are unmatched in flavor. Pair them with potato salad, a fresh green salad, or Italian pasta salad for the perfect summer meal.

Bone-in or Boneless Chicken thighs? Both are similar in texture and flavor but have a few key differences and a slightly different cook time. Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs often have more flavor, while boneless thighs are quicker to cook.

Looking to fire up the grill with another protein? Learn how to grill ribeye at the best temperature to grill steak.

raw chicken thighs on a cutting board

Should I Marinate Chicken Before Grilling?

Always save time to marinate chicken before grilling whenever possible to add flavor and tenderize the meat. The basic marinade in these honey mustard chicken thighs is delicious baked or grilled.

A marinade is a liquid mixture of oil, acid, herbs, and spices to add flavor and tenderize the meat before cooking. It’s a great way to add a ton of flavor and tenderize the chicken at the same time. If you’re wondering why my chicken is rubbery or why it turns out dry, it could be because you need a marinade.

This post on how to marinate chicken takes you step-by-step through the best way to marinate and get flavorful chicken. It also includes our 6 favorite chicken marinades of all time!

Hint: One of our favorites is greek lemon chicken with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and Greek spices and spices.

If you’re in a pinch and want something even easier, season your chicken with a dry rub. Use one of the spice blends already in your cabinet.

Or quickly mix together some staples that are usually in the pantry: garlic powder, onion powder black pepper, and kosher salt. Then brush some barbecue sauce right at the end of grilling. It will taste just like our BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs!

chicken thighs marinating in a bowl

Internal Temperature of Chicken Thighs

Always use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness. The size of the thighs can vary and so can everyone’s grill, so using a thermometer is ideal.

The target temperature for chicken thighs is 165°F (74°C). Because of this, we like to remove our thighs when the thermometer registers approximately 160°F to allow for 5-10 minutes of rest time, which results in 5 degrees of carryover cooking.

For an accurate reading, insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of a chicken thigh, being careful to avoid the bone.

How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs

We’re sharing specific grill temperatures and times for both bone-in and boneless chicken thighs. Jump down to the recipe card below for the best-grilled chicken thighs recipe.

How Long to Grill Boneless Chicken Thighs

Boneless skinless chicken thighs take 12-15 minutes to grill (6-7 minutes per side). This is similar to how long it takes to grill pork chops.  

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400-450°F). 
  2. Place chicken thighs on the grill grates, and grill them for approximately 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F. The easiest way to tell is with an instant-read thermometer.
  3. Remove from the heat, tent them with foil and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes as the temperature rises to 165°F.

How Long to Grill Bone-in Chicken Thighs

Bone-in thighs have a slightly longer cooking time than boneless chicken thighs and can take anywhere from 20-25 minutes to grill.  The bone acts as a heat conductor, which can slow down the cooking process, but the crispy chicken skin makes it all worth it.  Just look at the skin on these crispy cast iron skillet chicken thighs!

  • Preheat your grill for two-zone cooking. This means that one side of the grill is hot (burner set to high, or charcoal stacked to one side) and the other side is cool (burners off or no charcoal). You want the overall temperature of the grill to be around 400-450°F.
  • Close the grill lid and cook for about 8-10 minutes per side, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Flip the thighs using tongs, being careful not to tear the skin.
  • After searing, move them to an area of the grill with indirect heat. This means turning off the burners directly beneath the thighs or moving them to a cooler side of the grill. This allows the chicken to continue cooking without the skin burning.
  • Close the lid and let the thighs cook on indirect heat skin side up for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat reads just below 165°F.
boneless chicken thighs on the grill

Expert Tips

  1. Marinate the chicken:  This can help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with additional flavor. You can use a store-bought marinade or make your own at home
  2. Preheat the grill: Doing this ensures that the grill grates are hot enough to sear the chicken and prevent sticking.
  3. Oil the grill grates: This helps prevent sticking and ensures crispy skin.
  4. Use indirect heat for bone-in thighs: Do this to avoid burning on the outside before the inside is cooked through. 
  5. Close the lid: Close the lid and cook for about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on their thickness. You can brush additional marinade or sauce for added flavor.
  6. Use a meat thermometer: The chicken thigh meat should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before it’s considered done. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.
  7. Let the chicken rest: let them rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This will help the juices redistribute throughout the meat and keep it moist and flavorful.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to grill chicken thighs?

The cooking time for grilled chicken thighs can vary depending on the thickness of the meat and the temperature of the grill. Boneless chicken thighs typically take 6-7 minutes per side. As a general rule, bone-in chicken thighs should be grilled for 8-10 minutes per side over high heat (400-450°F) until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F measured with a meat thermometer. 

How long to grill chicken thighs on gas grill?

Remember that these cooking times are approximate and can vary depending on various factors. It’s always recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked to the appropriate internal temperature (165°F) for safe consumption.

How long to grill chicken thighs on gas grill at 350?

Cook the chicken thighs for approximately 6-8 minutes per side. The exact cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the thighs, so always grill chicken thigh to an internal temp of 165°F. Although you can grill chicken thighs at 350, we recommend high-heat grilling for a quick sear to get perfect grill marks and lock in the juices. 

Do you flip chicken thighs on the grill?

Yes, you need to flip chicken thighs on the grill but try and do so only once. And you want to grill skin-side down first to give it a nice crispy coating.

grilled chicken thighs on top of orzo pasta salad

Storage and Leftovers 

Place leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the oven at 350°F until heated through or place a wet paper towel over top and microwave until warm. Or just leave it cold!

One of our favorite things to do with leftover chicken is add it to cold salads. Add the leftover chicken thighs grilled peach salad, grilled zucchini salad, or this roasted sweet potato kale salad.

More Ways to Cook Chicken Thighs

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Best Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Marinade Time: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Grilling chicken thighs is the best way to make tender, juicy chicken with amazing flavor in no time. Here's our favorite grilled chicken thigh recipe, complete with the best chicken marinade.

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Servings: 6 people


  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (Note 1 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs)

Marinade (Note 2)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (Juice from ½ a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: dried oregano, dried basil, kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Add all of the ingredients, except the chicken, to a glass bowl with a lid or a gallon freezer bag or reusable silicone bag. Whisk or mix everything together then add the chicken and turn to coat it well if using a bowl or dish. Close the lid and shake well to coat if you’re using a bag.
  • Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours. Do not exceed 24 hours. Turn the chicken occasionally to ensure each piece and each side of the chicken are evenly coated.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400-450°F).
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade , shaking off any excess marinade, garlic, or herbs. Place the chicken thighs directly on the grill with the smooth side down. Close the lid and grill for 6-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reach just below 165°F. This allows for up to 5 degrees of carryover cooking while it rests.
  • Remove the chicken thighs to a clean plate or cutting board, cover lightly with foil, and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to finish cooking and lock in the juices.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!


Note 1. Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs. These will take longer to cook so you’ll need to utilize two-zone grilling. Preheat one side of the grill to medium-high heat, leaving one side off. Close the lid and bring the overall temperature of the grill up to 400-450°F. Grill the chicken thighs, skin-side-down first, for 8-10 minutes on each side. Move the thighs over to indirect heat, close the lid, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches approximately 165°F.
Note 2. Marinade. We love this Greek Lemon Chicken Marinade. However, you can choose from a basic marinade of soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, garlic, and salt, or try one of these 6 best chicken marinades.


  • Gas grill or Charcoal Grill


Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.9g | Protein: 44.7g | Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 213.1mg | Sodium: 216.6mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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