Chicken thighs are the easiest part of the chicken to cook! Taking the time to create your own sauce will provide a unique flavor that most backyard cooks will not bring to the table when serving smoked chicken.


Recipe Summary test

45 mins
2 hrs 25 mins
7 hrs
9 hrs 70 mins
30 chicken thighs


Original recipe yields 30 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
BBQ Sauce:


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and jalapeno peppers in a bowl for a marinade. Allow to rest for at least 1 hour.

  • Place the chicken thighs in a large, shallow container and cover with the marinade. Chill and marinate for at least 6 hours, or up to overnight.

  • Combine ketchup, water, cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, and onion powder in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 25 minutes.

  • Remove the skin from each chicken thigh, one at a time. Trim excess fat from the edges of each thigh; if there are any veins on the bottom of the thigh, trim away as well. Scrape the fat off from the bottom side of the chicken's skin using a sharp knife until the skin is essentially transparent.

  • Re-wrap the trimmed thighs with the skin. Liberally coat with sea salt and pepper.

  • Place chicken thighs, unstacked, onto wire racks. Place the racks into the smoker. Add pecan wood chips according to manufacturer's directions and heat to 265 to 285 degrees F (129 to 140 degrees C).

  • Smoke until chicken thighs are no longer pink in the centers, about 2 hours. During the final 45 minutes of cooking, liberally apply the BBQ sauce 2 to 3 times. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone of a thigh should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Cook's Notes:

Though it is labor-intensive, thinning out the skin of the chicken will provide excellent results. The skin will never be rubbery when using this technique.

You can use any type of wood you prefer.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

356 calories; protein 19.7g; carbohydrates 8.6g; fat 26.9g; cholesterol 71mg; sodium 356.9mg. Full Nutrition