The craze and love for barbecues take over everyone during summers. Suburbs all over the country celebrate the arrival of the summer season by holding cookouts and feasting with friends and family.
Everyone wants to prepare the best meals for their cookouts and grilling is one of the preferred methods of doing so. When it comes to grilling, the method is more important than the recipe. The outcome of a recipe directly depends on the steps one takes while preparing for grilling.
Everyone wants the recipe that will make their dish stand out in terms of taste and presentation. When it comes to grilling chicken, this means the meat is juicy and the skin is crispy yet neat. The method we are sharing with you here will give you the grilled chicken that people expect at a cookout.
The low and slow cooking method makes the meat tender and juicer while letting the flavors soak in properly. Preparing grilled chicken thighs is no different; mixing and marinating with different flavors is very easy. Chicken thighs are more forgiving than other chicken items such as breasts and wings since they are easy to marinate.
Easy preparation and great taste are two reasons why we recommend cooking chicken thighs for your next summer cookout. It is not necessary for all chicken recipes to be complicated; chicken thighs are the perfect example of a recipe that proves this. Therefore, to help you out, here is a step-by-step guide for making the best-grilled chicken thighs.
Before you go about grilling the chicken thighs, you need to gather all the necessary ingredients.
- 2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Two tablespoons seasoning blend
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, you can begin the grilling process. An essential part of this process is managing the pre-grilling rituals. This includes setting up the gas grill and setting the preheat temperature.
Patting the Chicken Dry
The first step is to wash the chicken. Place the thigh pieces under running water until you are sure that the chicken is clean and fit for consumption. Once you are done with cleaning, pat the thighs dry using paper towels. Keep the skin side up when placing the thighs on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and let it sit until the skin completely dries out. This may take longer than usual 8 to 12 hours on average.
Setting up the Gas Grill
If you are going to use the gas grill this summer and have stored the appliance somewhere far, it is imperative to clean it before use. Ensure that the cooking grates are clean because rust in the grates and residue of previous grilling adventures can affect the food you are about to cook.
An essential aspect of grilling all foods is the temperature you grill the food at. The time the meal takes to grill invariably depends on the temperature you have set for heating it.
Like all other barbecue items, it is crucial to adjust the temperatures according to the needs of the chicken thighs. To make the perfect grilled chicken thighs, make sure that you have set the gas grill at medium-high flame; this will give you a temperature within the 350 to 400 °F range.
Some grills are more comfortable to control than others, with outdoor temperatures playing a role as well. However, keep in mind that the average temperature required for pre-heating the gas grill is 350-400 °F; this is regardless of grill type and the ease of use.
Grilling Chicken Thighs
Now that you have prepared the grill and the chicken thighs, it is time to cook. To get the perfectly grilled chicken thighs with the tasty, crispy skin, you need to set the right temperatures and then heat the grill accordingly.
As you prepare the grill at the right temperature, place the chicken thighs with its skin side facing down. Before doing this, sprinkle oil on the grates that cover the grill’s lit side. Place the lid on the grill and let the chicken thighs grill for 5-6 minutes until the skin is well-marked and crispy.
At first, place the thighs on the lit side of the grill. Remove the lid after 6 minutes; you’ll find the perfectly crisp chicken thighs. Once this happens, move them to the unlit side. Moving the thighs to the unlit side of the grill and flip them.
Close the lid and let the grilling continue. Insert a grill thermometer to the thickest part of the chicken until it registers a temperature of 165 °F.
The hot air inside the closed lid cooks the chicken thighs while retaining its juices.
If you don’t have a grill thermometer, make a slit inside the chicken thigh. The tenderness of the meat will tell you how much more grilling is required.
The grilling time depends on both the grill’s temperature and the size of the thighs. If the chicken thighs weigh more and are larger than average, you need more grilling time.
During the grilling process, the color of chicken thighs transforms from the initial light pink to brown while the chicken gets tender and easier to cut. Once you notice the change in the skin tone, start removing the thigh pieces from the grill. After a rest of 5 to 10 minutes, serve the delicious grilled chicken thighs.
You can serve grilled chicken thighs as a side dish alongside the main meal for the evening. If tasty, mouth-watering chicken thighs are your idea of a perfect evening barbecue, look for options to serve as a side dish.
Given the summer heat, serving cold lemonade distilled in coconut water is not a bad idea. In addition to being sweet, the drink balances the mass intake of calories in a barbecue with healthy nutritious content.
Some kebabs with green vegetables sprinkled on top are not a bad option either. Ideal for a healthy summer weeknight, the kebabs complement the main meal very well and add great variety to the offerings.
An option preferred by many, honey butter corn makes a great combination with grilled chicken thighs. People prefer going with non-meat options as a side dish during barbecues because they balance the meal.
Like all other dishes, you can experiment with grilled chicken thighs too. Add flavor to the meal by mixing the food with different sauces; this gives the chicken thighs a new taste and a different look.
Marinating the freshly cleaned barbecue with sauces, depending on the kind of taste you want your meal to present, will help in adding a layer to the chicken thighs and a much-needed texture to the meal.
The best part of chicken thighs is that the meat is both succulent and full of flavors. Seasoning them with the simplest of marinades or the spiciest of spice rubs will not affect the meat in any way because the juicy content of the meat can withstand all kinds of robust spices and sauces.
Therefore, the important part is not being afraid of experimenting with the meal. The only limitations while grilling chicken thighs are the lack of ingredients and imagination.
You can try and experiment with different recipes that involve cooking on your gas grill; the process is not complicated since all chicken thigh recipes are very similar. The addition of flavors and the ingredients, however, differs with each recipe.
Here are a few chicken thigh recipes that you can try this summer:
Rusty Chicken Thighs
Cook chicken thighs smooth side down until marks appear. Flip the chicken thigh and grill until the same marks appear on the other side. Keep cooking for 10 to 12 minutes and keep flipping after every 2 minutes.
Delectable Marinated Chicken
Grill the boneless, skinless thighs on a pre-heated grill until the chicken is firm and brown.
Grill the marinated chicken thighs on a pre-heated grill over medium heat for 15 minutes.
With all these recipes available to you, preparing the best grilled chicken thighs on a gas grill is up to you, your creativity, and your love for food.