How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs on Gas Grill: Perfect Timing for Juicy Results

Learn the perfect grilling times to achieve juicy, flavorful chicken thighs on your gas grill.

Key takeaways:

  • Preheat grill to 400°F for 10-15 min.
  • Season thighs generously, oil lightly for crispy skin.
  • Grill for 6-7 min per side, reach 165°F.
  • Direct grilling for crispy skin, indirect for juicy meat.
  • Ensure doneness with thermometer or firmness test.

Preheat and Prepare the Grill

preheat and prepare the grill

Crank up your gas grill to a toasty 400°F. Let it preheat for about 10-15 minutes, enough time to grab a cold drink and start dreaming about crispy skin. Make sure those grates are clean—you’re not looking for flavor from last week’s burgers.

Oil those grates up, but don’t go crazy. A light coating to prevent sticking will do the trick. Grab a paper towel, dip it in a little vegetable oil, and use tongs to brush the grates. You’ll thank yourself when it’s time to flip those thighs.

Check your propane tank. No one likes a mid-grill gas run. A full tank means uninterrupted cooking bliss. Happy grilling!

Season and Oil the Chicken Thighs

Rub-a-dub-dub, it’s seasoning time! First, pat those chicken thighs dry. Why? To ensure the seasonings cling and not slip-slide away. Dry chicken = flavor-packed chicken. Now, grab your favorite rub. Whether you lean towards smoky paprika, zesty lemon pepper, or simple salt and pepper, liberally coat the thighs. Don’t be shy—the chicken can handle it.

Next up, oiling. A light coating of olive oil or any cooking oil with a high smoke point does the trick. This helps prevent sticking and gives that oh-so-satisfying char we all crave. Bonus: It helps the skin crisp up beautifully.

Remember, season both sides and get under the skin if you can. More flavor in every bite. Who wants bland chicken? Not you.

Time and Temperature Settings

For perfectly grilled chicken thighs, aim for a grill temperature around 400°F. This is the sweet spot, a Goldilocks zone where the thighs will cook evenly without charring to a crisp. Preheat your gas grill for about 10-15 minutes to reach this temp. Patience, young grasshopper.

Chicken thighs need roughly 6-7 minutes per side, give or take a minute. The goal? A nice sear that locks in all those juicy flavors. No one likes dry chicken, unless you’re feeding the dog.

Use a meat thermometer to reach an internal temp of 165°F. Stick it into the thickest part of the thigh, but avoid the bone – bones are bad at giving accurate readings.

Remember, we’re in the 21st century. Eyeballing is so last millennium.

Direct Vs. Indirect Grilling

Alright, let’s break it down. Direct grilling is like sending your chicken thighs to a rock concert—close to the action, high energy, and quick results. Place the thighs directly over the burners. You’ll get that mouth-watering, crispy skin in no time. But beware, too much time here and you might end up with a burnt offering to the grill gods.

Now, indirect grilling is more like a day at the spa. It’s slower, more relaxed, and ensures a tender, juicy outcome. Turn on one side of the burner, but place the chicken thighs on the opposite side. This method cooks them evenly, avoiding the fiery end that might come with direct heat.

For a flawless finish, create a mix. Start with a sear over direct heat for those lovely grill marks, then move them over to indirect heat to cook through. It’s the best of both worlds.

Testing for Doneness

Never trust a chicken thigh just by its char marks and tantalizing aroma. The real test for doneness requires some science (and a bit of poking).

A meat thermometer is your trusty sidekick. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone. Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F. Any lower, and you’re risking a raw deal. Any higher, and you’re heading into dry, territory.

Not a gadget person? No worries. Give the thigh a poke with your finger. If it feels firm but not rock hard, it’s good to go.

Another old-school trick: cut into the thickest part and check the juices. They should run clear, not pink.

Got any grill marks? Fabulous. Got clear juices and a thermometer reading of 165°F? Even better. You’ve just nailed the perfect chicken thigh.