Grilled Chicken Thighs with Quick Homemade Barbecue Sauce

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Chicken thighs are a great weeknight option when you want a fast and fool-proof meal.  It’s virtually impossible to over-cook them and they are very low maintenance.  In this recipe, I whip up the marinade and sauce the night before.  When I walk in the door from work the next day, all I have to do is light the grill, throw on the chicken and brush with sauce.  It doesn’t get much easier than that.


Grilled Chicken Thighs with Quick Homemade Barbeque Sauce

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4 – 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Appetizer, Entree


  • For the marinade:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • For the Barbeque Sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Place all marinade ingredients, except chicken thighs, in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
  2. Pour marinade into a re-sealable plastic bag and add chicken. Move chicken around to make sure marinade is evenly distributed.
  3. Refrigerate for at least four hours, turning bag over several times to make sure all pieces of chicken get an even coating of marinade.
  4. Meanwhile, combine barbeque sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Pre-heat grill to medium-low heat.
  6. Remove chicken from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  7. When the grill is ready, remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade.
  8. Grill, covered for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  9. After 20 minutes, brush chicken with barbeque sauce. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, brushing both sides of the chicken with sauce frequently.
  10. Remove from grill, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest minutes before serving.

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