Spicy smoked chicken thighs are a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for any occasion and smoking during the Summer. The chicken is first seasoned with a blend of spices such as cayenne, cumin, and chili powder to give it a kick of heat. It is then smoked for hours until it is tender and juicy, with a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the spices.
The end result is a dish that is both spicy and savory, with a depth of flavor that is sure to impress. Spicy smoked chicken thighs can be served on their own as a main dish, or paired with sides such as roasted vegetables or a fresh salad. This dish is a must-try for anyone who loves bold and flavorful food.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
The longer something smokes, the better it gets and you know it's really good when you can see the smoke line in the piece of meat.
This is a basic rub recipe for chicken thighs. If you wish to add BBQ sauce on top of the thighs feel free to do that. I have made this spice rub mixture quite a few times and the amount of cayenne pepper does not make it spicy at all. If you do not like a lot of cayenne pepper use less of it.
Tips for Spicy Smoked Chicken Thighs
If you think 2 tablespoons of cayenne is a lot reduce the amount to 2 teaspoons. I have made this recipe or spice rub plenty of times and it is not super spicy.
Feel free to glaze the chicken thighs with your favorite BBQ sauce recipe!
Season your chicken with how much salt and pepper you like. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of salt for 6 chicken thighs.
Chicken Thighs - With The Skin On
Olive Oil - Use a good organic olive oil blend. I really like The Simply Nature brand from Aldi. It's cheap and easily affordable.
Cayenne Pepper - This seasoning is added for some spice and heat. Use less cayenne if you don't like it super spicy.
Paprika - Paprika is known for adding a mild and fruity flavor. Can sub smoked paprika for an extra smoked layer.
Chili Powder - Is a blend of mixed red chilis that have been dried up and pulverized until it resembles powder. Sometimes other spices like cumin and paprika.
Garlic Powder is made from dehydrated garlic cloves and like the chili powder above it gets pulverized into a powder or flour consistency.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Note: To help balance the spiciness out add some brown sugar to the seasoning mix.
How to Make Spicy Smoked Chicken Thighs
Set your smoker to 225 degrees.
Step 1: Mix all dry rub seasoning ingredients thoroughly.
Step 2: Sprinkle the mixed seasonings all over the chicken thighs to ensure they are fully coated with rub. Rub olive oil to fully coat the chicken thighs.
Step 3: Lay your chicken thighs on the smoker rack and add smoker wood chips at the same time you add the meat. Apple, pecan, or cherry wood is ideal for this recipe. Smoke the chicken thighs for 2 hrs at 225 degrees.
Note: Total cooking time for chicken thighs is 1 to 2 hours total at 225 degrees. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Tips for Smoking
The smoker is so great for cooking simple basic food like smoked corn on the cob, smoked meatloaf, bbq ribs for beginners, and smoked salmon. The smoke gives the salmon an extra layer of flavor that you wouldn’t get from a grill.
What Smoker do I have? I have had my Traeger smoker for a very long time and I would recommend that brand to anyone wanting to learn how to smoke food. Traegers are kind of pricey but there are some very reasonably priced smokers for under $100.
Some smokers require a preheat before setting the actual temperature to the desired one. Read the instruction manual your smoker came with to make sure.
Tasty Summer Side Dishes
Looking for some tasty Summer side dishes to serve with smoked chicken thighs? Try these out.
Chicken thighs smoked at a temperature of 225 degrees can take anywhere from an 1 hr to an hour and 30 minutes long.
The best temperature to smoke chicken thighs at is 225 degrees.
My favorite chips to smoke with are applewood. That might have something to do with applewood smoked bacon. I've tried other wood chips and applewood is always what I end up going back to.
Smoker Recipes To Try:
If you tried this Spicy Smoked Chicken Thighs or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you! Follow along on Tiktok @jennarecipediariesPrint
This is a basic rub recipe for chicken. If you wish to add BBQ sauce on top of the thighs feel free to do that. I have made this spice rub mixture quite a few times and the amount of cayenne pepper does not make it spicy at all.
- Light your smoker and allow it to come up to a temperature of 225 degrees.
- Mix all dry rub seasoning ingredients thoroughly.
- Rub olive oil to fully coat the chicken thighs.
- Sprinkle the mixed seasonings all over the chicken thighs to ensure they are fully coated with rub.
- Lay your chicken thighs on the smoker rack and add smoker wood chips at the same time you add the meat. Apple, pecan, or cherry wood is ideal for this recipe.
- It is recommended to ensure there is enough wood every hour. Smoke your chicken thighs for 1 - 2 hours and rotate them to ensure they cook evenly.
- Total cooking time is 3 to 4 hours total depending on a variety of factors such as size of the thighs, temperature of the grill and outside, how windy it is, and how often you open the smoker lid which will let the heat out. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Smoker
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 thigh
- Calories: 127
- Sugar: 0g
- Sodium: 554mg
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 14g
Keywords: spicy smoked chicken thighs