How can you tell that summer has arrived? Well, the simplest way of knowing so is when everyone seems to be in the mood for barbecue.
This is the time to satisfy all the cravings for some grilled chicken that you may have been holding back all year round due to several reasons.
One of the favorite parts of the chicken for people to grill is the thigh. This is probably due to the higher meat-to-bone ratio, which makes them get ready to eat faster than other parts.
Speaking of grilling, how you go about the process is more crucial than the recipe at hand. In this article, we are going to guide you on how to cook chicken thighs on a gas grill.
It is a straightforward process, and we are going to guide you from the set-up to the preparation of the tasty meal.
Why the Chicken Thighs?
We have already stated that the main reason we recommend the chicken thighs instead of the other body parts is due to the higher meat content.
Also, you find that the thighs are easier to prepare, plus the taste tends to be more amazing. On top of that, due to their dark color, the thighs are more capable of standing up to a broader range of flavors.
Things to keep in mind
Before we get to the guideline on grilling chicken thighs, there are a couple of things that you need to keep on your fingertips to help things go smoothly for you.
1. The Size
One thing you need to know is that the chicken thighs comprise of several muscles. Therefore, they have a more irregular shape and size, and this becomes more evident when the bone is removed.
The other factor to keep in mind is that the weight of the thighs varies depending on how the chicken was raised. In this case, you may notice that the free-range chicken tend to have weightier thighs than the modern bred ones.
Why is this important? Well, this is vital as it determines the amount of seasoning needed as well as the cook times i.e., the larger the piece, the more seasoning and time required.
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2. Trimming the excess fats
You need to carefully examine the thighs to ensure that it has the right amount of fat.
Although the extra fat helps in locking in the moisture as well as being responsible for the unique rich flavor, it can lead to flare-ups when on the grill.
3. Proper Seasoning
If you want the tastiest thighs, then you ought to season the meat with a host of spices. You may choose to go for simple flavors or even the complicated ones.
You can relax in knowing that the thighs can stand up to any spice, so open up your mind.
4. Resting Time
The other recommendation we are going to give you is that you should season the chicken 3-4 hours before cooking, after which you should give it some time to rest in the fridge.
Afterward, allow it to rest at room temperature some thirty minutes before you embark on the grilling process.
5. Temperature Check
Although thighs tend to cook quicker than breasts, they are more prone to be undercooked. This is because even after thorough cooking, they do not turn to white like the breasts.
Therefore, to be on the safe side, check the internal temperature of the chicken to be 165-degree F to know that it is ready for serving.
NB: To get accurate readings, insert the tip of the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken.
Cooking the Chicken Thighs on a Gas Grill
With all that in mind, we are going to give you a simple guide on how you could prepare the perfect grilled chicken thighs.
Gather the Ingredients
The first and obvious step is that you should have all the necessary ingredients in place. In our case, we have decided to use the following ingredients:
- 2lbs of boneless chicken thighs.
- Two tablespoons of seasoning blend.
- ½ Teaspoon of black pepper.
- ¼ Cup of olive oil.
With all these items ready, let us now go to the grilling part.
Cleaning and drying the Chicken
Now, place the thigh pieces under running water to make them fit for consumption. After that, use paper towels to pat the thighs dry.
Then, sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken and let it sit until the skin dries out entirely.
Set Up the Gas Grill
When it comes to the gas grill, it must be clean before you use it. The grates should be clean and rust-free while the residue from the previous grilling session should be removed entirely.
If you ignore these steps, then there may be unwanted consequences on your chicken thighs.
The Grill Temperature
The time you will use in grilling your chicken all depends on the temperature you will use for the process. Ensure that the temperature suits the temperature requirements of the chicken thighs.
In this case, we recommend that you set the gas grill at a medium-high flame, which translates to a temperature range of 350-400-degrees F.
Grilling the Chicken Thighs
As you preheat the grill, place the thighs and ensure that the skin side is facing down. Also, sprinkle some oil on the grates covering the lit side of the grill.
Then, cover the grill with the lid before allowing the thighs to grill for around six minutes, whereby the skin should turn crispy.
After the six minutes, remove the lid and move the crispy thighs from the lit side to the unlit side of the grill and flip them. Then close the lid to allow the grilling to proceed.
If you lack a grill thermometer for checking the thighs’ temperature, you could make a slit on the thigh, with the tenderness guiding you on how much more grilling is required.
If everything checks out, then the thighs are ready for removal from the grill.
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How you serve the thighs all depends on your preference. It could go as a side dish beside the main meal, with non-meat alternatives being the most ideal for giving you a balanced meal.
In the end, we hope we have touched on everything you need to know about how you could cook chicken thighs on a gas grill. Note that the recipe we have given above is quite basic, and there are more alternatives out there that you could try.
So, why don’t you surprise your loved ones this summer with your new-found knowledge on how you could make the tastiest chicken thighs on a gas grill.
If you get this right, everyone is going to be thinking of you as a professional chef, which may not even be in your plans.