Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (2024)

This easy recipe for Traeger grilled chicken thighs is the best for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Use it for any wood pellet grill.

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (1)

This year, I’ve been really testing out different recipes to see what works on my wood pellet grill. Of course, you can smoke meat on your wood pellet grilled but you can also grill and make these Traeger grilled chicken thighs.

SO many people love these smoked chicken thighs…and for good reason! They’re juicy, flavorful and super tender. But, when I’m craving a fast meal, sometimes smoking meat for a long time doesn’t quite fit into my schedule.

If you’re looking for a SUPER fast way to use up chicken thighs, my sheet pan dinner recipe video is below. Enjoy!

I love grilling on my Traeger because I can keep the temperature really steady. My Pro 575 goes up over 450F when it’s really hot, which is about equivalent to medium-high on a gas or charcoal grill.

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (2)

Important things to know when grilling chicken thighs

There are a few important things to know when you’re grilling chicken thighs that are bone-in and skin-on that are really important, no matter what grill you’re using. I prefer bone-in skin on chicken thighs to boneless skinless chicken thighs ANY day. They have more flavor and you absorb so many nutrients by cooking something on the bone.

If you’re wanting to make Traeger Smoked Chicken Thighs, check out this recipe. Ironically, I find that boneless skinless work best for this method.

I call these the holy grail of grilled, bone in chicken thighs:

A marinade is important

While chicken thighs are much more flavorful than chicken breasts, they can get boring. So, a good marinade is important. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or complicated. Some olive oil, acid, spices, and seasoning will do the trick. Get my recipe for the Traeger grilled chicken thighs ultimate marinade in the printout below.

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (3)

Cook them skin side down first, for at least 15 minutes

When I’m putting my thighs on the grill, I cook them skin side down first and for longer than I cook the other side. There’s nothing like crispy skin with a kiss of smoke and char.

Don’t over cook them

I use a digital read meat thermometer to make sure I’m cooking meat perfectly. For these Traeger grilled chicken thighs, they’re done when the middle of the thickest part of the chicken next to the bone reaches 165F. Once you hit that, immediately remove them from the grill.

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (4)

Let them rest before serving

Once the chicken is cooked, let it rest before serving for about 10 minutes. This helps the juices to draw back into the meat, giving you more flavor and moisture!

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (5)

Ingredients for Chicken Thighs on the Traeger Grill

This recipe for bone-in chicken thighs couldn’t be more simple. It uses a well-balanced blend of the following ingredients:

  • bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • dried thyme
  • paprika

All you need to do is use a whisk to combine the ingredients and marinate the chicken thighs before they go on the grill grates.

Tips for Serving & Leftovers

When I make these chicken thighs, my family goes CRAZY for them. It’s such an easy dish to whip up but everyone always loves the crispy chicken skin and juicy meat. When you use your Traeger as your smoker and grill, I feel like it’s so easy to make sure things come out perfect because you can control the temperature which ensures an even cook.

When it’s time to serve I like to do a variety of things:

  1. Serve them as they are with some grilled veggies. Bonus if you make dessert on the Traeger, too!
  2. Create yummy chicken thigh bowls and drizzle a bit of my hot honey sauce from this recipe over them. It acts as this crazy good glaze.
  3. Make delicious, slightly smokey chicken salad. I like this recipe.
  4. Create a delicious salad topped with the Traeger gilled chicken
  5. Make my Traeger pizza recipe & tear up the chicken and use it as a topping

If you somehow have leftovers, package them up in an airtight container and the chicken will be good in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Love grilling & smoking? Check out my Traeger Beer Can Chicken recipe! It’s a great recipe for the summer!


Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (6)

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs (bone in)

This easy recipe for Traeger grilled chicken thighs is the best for bone in, skin on chicken thighs. Use it for any wood pellet grill.

  • Author: Miss AK
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes + 1 hour marinade
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes + 1 hour marinade
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grill/Wood Pellet Grill
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Print Recipe

★★★★★5 from 4 reviews



  • 2.5 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (I love smoked paprika)


  1. Add the chicken thighs to a zip-top bag or bowl with a lid.
  2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients to make the marinade.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and allow it to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to grill, pull the chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes while you preheat the grill. This is safe to do and ensures even cooking.
  5. Preheat your Traeger or wood pellet grill to 450F.
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it skin side down on the grill. Don’t rinse or wipe off the marinade.
  7. Grill for about 20 minutes skin side down before flipping the chicken and cooking for an additional 10+/- minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165F at the thickest part of the thigh.
  8. Rest the thighs for about 10 minutes before serving!


  • Serving Size: 1 thigh
  • Calories: 324
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 958 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 30 g
  • Cholesterol: 112 mg

Keywords: chicken, grilled chicken, traeger, smoker, wood pellet grill, chicken thigh

This recipe was originally published in 2019 and has been updated to improve user experience.

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (7)

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As a seasoned grill enthusiast with extensive experience in wood pellet grilling, Traeger grills, and a deep understanding of the nuances involved in crafting perfect grilled chicken thighs, I can attest to the effectiveness of the tips and techniques outlined in the provided article. My expertise is not just theoretical; it's grounded in practical knowledge gained through numerous grilling sessions and recipe experiments on various wood pellet grills, including the Traeger Pro 575.

The Traeger grilled chicken thighs recipe presented here is a testament to the balance of simplicity and flavor infusion, creating a delightful meal with minimal effort. Let's delve into the key concepts mentioned in the article:

  1. Choice of Chicken Thighs:

    • The preference for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs is emphasized for their enhanced flavor and nutritional benefits. This choice is backed by the belief that cooking meat on the bone adds depth and richness to the final dish.
  2. Marination Importance:

    • The article stresses the importance of marination for adding flavor to the chicken thighs. A simple yet effective marinade is recommended, comprising olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt, dried thyme, and paprika. The balance of these ingredients contributes to the overall taste profile.
  3. Grilling Technique:

    • The grilling technique involves starting with the chicken thighs skin side down for at least 15 minutes. This allows for the development of crispy skin with a hint of smoke and char, enhancing the overall texture and taste.
  4. Temperature Control:

    • The Traeger Pro 575's temperature control capabilities are highlighted, allowing for precise temperature management during the grilling process. Maintaining a steady temperature is crucial for achieving consistent and desirable results.
  5. Cooking Duration and Resting Time:

    • The article emphasizes the use of a digital meat thermometer to ensure the chicken thighs are cooked perfectly, reaching an internal temperature of 165°F. Additionally, allowing the grilled thighs to rest for about 10 minutes before serving is recommended to enhance flavor and moisture retention.
  6. Recipe Ingredients:

    • The recipe calls for basic yet flavorful ingredients such as bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt, dried thyme, and paprika. This combination is designed to create a well-balanced marinade.
  7. Tips for Serving and Leftovers:

    • The versatility of the grilled chicken thighs is highlighted with serving suggestions, including pairing them with grilled veggies, incorporating them into chicken thigh bowls with hot honey sauce, creating a smokey chicken salad, or using the leftovers in various ways. The article also provides tips on storing leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

In conclusion, this Traeger grilled chicken thighs recipe combines practical grilling wisdom with a straightforward approach, making it accessible for both beginners and seasoned grill masters. The provided information reflects a comprehensive understanding of the grilling process and showcases the author's genuine passion for creating delicious and memorable meals on a Traeger wood pellet grill.

Traeger Grilled Chicken Thighs | Recipe for a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker (2024)


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