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Spicy Smoked Chicken Thighs

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Jenna
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 3 to 4 hrs
  • Total Time: 3 to 4 hrs
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Smoker
  • Cuisine: American


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.


  • 6 chicken thighs with the skin on
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon of Salt and Pepper (to taste)


  1. Light your smoker and allow it to come up to a temperature of 225 degrees.
  2. Mix all dry rub seasoning ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Rub olive oil to fully coat the chicken thighs.
  4. Sprinkle the mixed seasonings all over the chicken thighs to ensure they are fully coated with rub.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


  • Serving Size: 1 thigh
  • Calories: 127
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 554mg
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 14g