Perfect Grilled Chicken Thighs are so juicy, moist, and tender!  These flavor packed chicken thighs are so easy to grill and have the best simple marinade!

grilled chicken thighs on a plate

Grilled Chicken Thighs:

We are dead in the heat of summer, and we’ve been firing up the grill every single night!  I don’t mind things like burgers and hot dogs, but nothing beats a piece of fall off the bone chicken!  We do chicken quite a bit around here and I know most of you have already tried and love my Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs and my Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs too!  When it came to the perfect grilled chicken thigh recipe, I knew I wanted to keep it simple just like those.  I want a nice crispy grilled skin, and very tender and flavorful chicken with the easiest marinade.  For this simple recipe, we will be giving you directions on how to grill chicken thighs on a gas, or charcoal grill!

How to Grill Chicken Thighs:

To start, grab a medium sized bowl and whisk together your marinade.  This consists of olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, mustard, soy sauce, dijon mustard, and brown sugar.  Pantry staples!  Trim any fat from your chicken thighs if necessary, and place in a large bowl or a large zip-top plastic bag.  Pour the marinade over the chicken.

chicken thighs in a bag with marinade

This recipe calls for 2-2.5 pounds of chicken thighs, or about 8 total.  As you can see from the photos, you will want to use bone-in and skin on chicken thighs for best results with this recipe.  After you have poured your marinade over the chicken, seal the bag, getting out as much air as you can.  Now, massage the meat inside the bag to make sure all of the chicken is well coated.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and up to 12 hours.  For best flavor, I prefer marinating for at least 2 hours, but a shorter time will work in a pinch.  Once the chicken has marinated, allow it to sit, covered in the bag at room temperature for 15-20 minutes while your grill heats up.  Grill the chicken as directed in the recipe card below for charcoal or gas!

grilled chicken thighs on a white plate



4.99 from 279 votes

Perfect Grilled Chicken Thighs

Perfect Grilled Chicken Thighs are so juicy, moist, and tender!  These flavor packed chicken thighs are so easy to grill and have the best simple marinade!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Servings 8 Thighs



  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, mustard, soy sauce, and brown sugar.
  • Trim fat from the chicken as necessary. Add the chicken thighs to a large zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meat for a few seconds to make sure the meat is coated.
  • Refrigerate the chicken in the marinade for at least 30 min. For best flavor, allow the meat to marinate for 2-12 hours before grilling. After marinating, allow the chicken to sit, covered in the bag of marinade for 15-20 minutes while the grill preheats.
  • Preheat the grill to settings for medium-high heat on one side, or if using charcoal, arrange pieces into a two-zone fire with briquettes underneath half of the grill grate.
  • Sear chicken thighs over lit side of grill 2-3 minutes per side until skin turns golden brown, taking care not to char.
  • Move chicken pieces to unlit side of grill and cook, covered, until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Let chicken rest 5-10 minutes before serving.


NOTE:  This chicken is best when marinated for at least 2 hours minimum before grilling!

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!

Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh yum! Thanks for sharing this delicious marinade recipe, Nichole! I only had Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, and marinated them for about 7 hours, Served them for a friend’s Birthday Dinner and everyone loved them, had seconds, and said I could make this again anytime! I’m sure it would be great with a Pork Tenderloin or Turkey Tenderloin, too. A definite keeper!

  2. I love these and have made them multiple times in the last 2 yrs…Thank you for teaching me the indirect method of grilling. The chicken Is so juicy and not dry… I’ve been grilling for a couple decades, and never tried indirect heat cooking on the grill. Thanks, you rock..

  3. 5 stars
    So good! We have made these marinated chicken thighs many, many times since first discovering your recipe. Definitely a family favorite!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve been making using this recipe regularly for 2 years. It’s reliably delicious! I use boneless chicken thighs and marinate over night and it comes out perfectly every time. I also have to use a grill pan on the stove because that’s all I have. I grill 7 minutes on each side.
    Actually, one time I put them in the air fryer and again, delish! Basically, the marinade is amazing.

  5. 5 stars
    This marinade was excellent and I didn’t have onion powder…even without I couldn’t fault it. I was so pleased that the 30 +15 minute marinade time actually produced any flavour with skinless, boneless thighs. Will try it with other cuts of chicken. Maybe even pork!