These Grilled Chicken Thighs have a simple marinade that makes them extra juicy and flavorful! Perfect for summer grilling!
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
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Summer grilling season is here and we are so excited!
While we enjoy our share of burgers and hot dogs, we spend so much time cooking outside in the summer that we love to find new ways to mix it up.
I based this grilled chicken thigh recipe off of one of our favorite grilled chicken breast recipes — we love a sweet, salty and slightly tangy chicken marinade!
As always, I choose canola oil in all of my marinades because it’s inexpensive and has a neutral flavor that goes with anything!
It’s our go-to oil in the kitchen because it’s easy to use, has a high smoke point, and packs a nutritional punch that most culinary oils don’t.
With less saturated fat and more plant-based Omega-3 fat than any other common culinary oils (yep, I’m looking at you, olive oil), it’s an easy decision for our family!
Find even more grilled chicken recipes here.
What’s in this chicken thigh marinade?
- Canola oil: with a neutral flavor that makes for moist and juicy chicken thighs!
- Honey: opt for clear, liquid honey rather than creamed honey. You can swap this for another sweetener of choice, such as brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Balsamic Vinegar: a little balsamic vinegar adds a great touch of tang and depth of flavor to this chicken marinade! If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar can be subbed in.
- Soy sauce: I always choose low sodium soy sauce so I can adjust any seasonings to our taste. If you are using regular soy sauce, you may want to omit or reduce the salt in this marinade.
- Minced garlic: because we put garlic in everything! If you don’t have fresh minced garlic, you can use ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt: With a well-seasoned marinade, this chicken needs no extra sauce!
- Black pepper: a little spice to balance everything out! You can also use a big pinch of red pepper flakes if you like a little more heat.
How to grill chicken thighs: tips and tricks!
- The marinade: I like to marinade my chicken thighs for at least a couple of hours, but you can do up to 8.
- Grill over fairly high heat for a shorter cook time: I aim for 400 degrees F. At this temperature they will cook for 5-7 minutes per side.
- Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness: it should reach 165 degrees F in the thickest part.
- Remove from the grill, cover and rest for 10 minutes. Allowing the chicken to rest before serving ensures all the juices are redistributed through the meat and don’t run out when you cut into it!
Can I use bone in chicken thighs?
This marinade is great on bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, but any meat with a bone will cook significantly longer.
15-20 minutes should be about right, but this depends on the exact cooking temperature, how often the grill is opened, and the size of the chicken thighs.
The most important factor in doneness is the internal temperature, so be sure that it is 165 degrees F in the thickest part, with the thermometer not touching the bone.
What about other cuts of chicken?
Yes to this, too!
This marinade is great on chicken breasts, drumsticks, chicken legs or even pork tenderloin or turkey breast.
Exact cook times will vary, so be sure to use a meat thermometer to check for the correct temperature in any type of meat.
What can I serve with these Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs?
We love summer sides! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Easy Potato Salad (or Instant Pot Potato Salad if you have one!)
- Broccoli Salad – a family favorite!
- Creamy Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad
- Homemade Coleslaw – we eat this with almost every summer meal!
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Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Stir together honey, canola oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper with a whisk until smooth.
- Place chicken thighs in a glass container or zip top freezer bag (ideally one that will just fit the chicken and the marinade with not a lot of extra room, so they are evenly submerged). Pour the marinade over and place the lid on or seal.
- Refrigerate in marinade for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium-high or about 400 degrees F.
- Place chicken thighs on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes per side, just until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part comes out at 165 degrees F.
- Remove from the grill, cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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