Seared perfectly, these Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs are tender and flavorful. Our chicken marinade brings the right balance of sweet and savory in every bite.
The chicken marinade is easy to make and best of all you can have the thighs marinate overnight to just a few hours before grilling. I bet you have the brown sugar and soy sauce in the house right now. Let’s get grilling!
- Light brown sugar, packed
- Garlic powder
- Celery seed
- Ground black pepper
- Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- Soy sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
See straightforward ingredients. Just scroll down to the recipe card for quantities.
These grilled chicken thighs were great served over rice, but also with pasta and as a main dish with a salad. We love the BBQ options we get from chicken thighs. The boneless, skinless chicken thighs pick up the rub or marinade well and they cook fast. Bone-in and skin-on are great for searing and a bigger meal. If you’re in the mood for kabobs they are a great option as well and don’t forget them for a teriyaki recipe.
How did you prepare the chicken marinade in the bag?
Easy just roll the top of the zip-top bag down on itself so it stays open. I like putting it in a bowl just to be safe and give it some support. It is a trick I learned from a friend years ago. Then you use a pair of tongs to place the thighs in the chicken marinade and close the bag.
How do you make sure the thighs are cooked equally?
The key here is to know your BBQ or Hibachi grill hot areas. I place the bigger/thicker chicken thighs on the hotter areas of the grill grate. Now the trick is to watch them during this first part of the cook with the lid open. You’ll see the chicken change color from the direct heat below. This is a great way to know when to flip. I do it once the color has changed halfway up on the thigh. Now flip and grill the other side. Once I have the crispiness I want I arrange the grilled chicken thighs so the smaller/thinner thighs are in the cooler areas of the grill grate. Now just close the lid until the thighs reach 175 degrees F.
Pay attention to the time it took the thighs to change color on the first placement on the grill. Once you flip it the first time is a good guideline for the other side. Then just close the lid to finish the cook.
- The garlic powder can be substituted with onion powder.
- The Dijon mustard can be substituted with another mustard.
- No boneless chicken thighs, no problem. You can use bone-in, just adjust the cooking time.
- It is great with chicken breast as well. Just watch the timing and final temperature.
- BBQ or Hibachi grill
- Zip-top bag
The BBQ Chicken Thighs go great with …
Smoked Baked Potatoes They come out fluffy and buttery with the classic smoke flavor of mesquite. Put them on while the chicken is marinating.
Garlic Knots in the Air Fryer They are so quick and easy to make in the Ninja Foodi. Made entirely from scratch and packed with flavor from garlic and fresh grated Parmigiano cheese.
Ninja Foodi Chocolate Muffins Dessert that is simple and easy to make with plenty of Chocolate Chips Too! It is done entirely in under an hour.
Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon celery seed (I have learned that the celery seed allows all the flavors to combine.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard (You can use any mustard you prefer. We have found that the Dijon has a bit higher vinegar content for the marinating and we like the flavor.)
- 3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs (Sean trims them up, so we don’t get any flare-ups.)
- Add light brown sugar, garlic powder, celery seed, salt, and ground pepper in a reusable bag or zip-top bag. Close the bag and mix the spices.Optional: Mix the spices then add the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl, if you prefer.
- Add the olive oil, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard to the spice mixture and combine to form the chicken marinade.
- Unpack the chicken thighs and trim off any extra fat and small pieces. This will help prevent flare-ups.
- Place each piece into your marinade and coat them.NOTE: Keep a hand securely on the closure. You don’t want to lose all that marinade and chicken on the floor or counter. With your free hand massage the thighs to aid the marinating.If you did the bowl method, just use a fork to coat the thighs. To increase the marinade’s flavor poke some holes in the chicken.
- Ensure the bag is closed and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.Bowl option, cover with plastic wrap.
BBQ or Hibachi grill time
- Clean the grill grate and coat it with olive oil (or vegetable oil).
- Preheat the BBQ to 400 degrees F.
- Bring the thighs right out of the fridge to the BBQ once the temperature is at 400 degrees F. and stable.
- Place the thighs on the grill.
- This is a fast cook for just 3 minutes on each side before you close the lid to get the internal temperature of the thighs to 175 degrees F.NOTE: If you have thicker thighs you may need a minute or two more to get the desired crispiness.
- Close the lid and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes depending on the thickness or until the internal temperature has reached 175 degrees F. It’s ok to peek.NOTE: The chicken thighs we had were on the small side. So if you luck out with larger ones this part of the cook will be on the longer side of the time range.
- Remove from the BBQ.
- Rest for about 5 minutes.
- Now it is time to Enjoy your BBQ Chicken Thighs!
Storage and Reheating
Make sure they have cooled completely before refrigerating them in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheating is a breeze in the air fryer on manual setting at 350 degrees F. for around 3- 4 minutes. Oh, don’t forget to add one of our Air Fryer Recipes with them. Yum!
This is a chicken recipe. So take the proper safety steps like washing your hands after handling the chicken. Also, make sure the raw chicken is refrigerated quickly after it is coated with the marinade. If you use the zip-top bag method, I suggest using a plate or bowl in case the bag leaks. Finally, more food safety information is available via, USDA guidelines.