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Kamado Joe Smoked Chicken Thighs

Today, I’ve got a finger-lickin’ good recipe for you, and it’s all about turning those chicken thighs into smoky sensations on the Kamado Joe. If you’re a grill master in the making or just looking to up your backyard barbecue game, stick around because we’re diving headfirst into the world of Kamado Joe Smoked Chicken Thighs. Trust me, your taste buds are in for a wild ride!

kamado joe smoked chicken thighs

How to Make Smoked Chicken Thighs on Kamado Joe

Step 1: Prepping the Bird

First things first, grab some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. You know, the ones that are plump and juicy. It’s time to get up close and personal with your meat, folks! Give those thighs a good rinse and pat them dry.

Step 2: Rub-a-Dub-Dub

Now, for the fun part – the rub! I’ve got a secret rub recipe that’ll have your taste buds doing the cha-cha. Sprinkle on some paprika, a pinch of cayenne for a little kick, a dash of garlic powder, and a smidge of brown sugar for that sweet, caramelized crust. Slap it on the chicken thighs, and don’t be shy – get your hands in there, and give ’em a good massage.

Step 3: Fired Up and Ready to Roll

Fire up that Kamado Joe to about 225°F, and make sure you’ve got some hickory or applewood chunks on the coals for that smoky goodness. Place the chicken thighs on the grill, skin side up. Let ’em smoke away for around 1.5 to 2 hours. Keep that lid shut as much as possible; we don’t want the smoke to escape!

Step 4: That Perfect Finish

Once those chicken thighs are smoky and golden, it’s time to give ’em a little love. Crank up the heat to 375°F and let the skin crisp up for about 5-10 minutes. You want that skin to be as crispy as a bag of potato chips, trust me.

Step 5: Safety Dance

Safety first, people! Use a meat thermometer to ensure those thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F. That’s the magic number for perfectly cooked chicken. Safety dance your way to deliciousness!

smoking chicken on kamado joe


Now, let’s talk about that secret rub. It’s like a treasure map to flavor town! I’ve been using this rub for ages, and it never lets me down. The combination of paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and brown sugar is like a flavor explosion in your mouth. It’s sweet, spicy, and smoky all at once. If you want to add a little extra zing, toss in some chili powder or even a bit of lemon zest. Make it your own!

What to Serve

So, what’s the scoop on side dishes? Well, I’ve got a few suggestions for ya. Coleslaw is a classic choice – it’s creamy, crunchy, and the perfect partner for smoky chicken. If you’re feeling fancy, whip up some mac ‘n’ cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping. It’s like comfort food on steroids. And let’s not forget about some cornbread to soak up all those tasty juices. You can’t go wrong with these options, folks!

Recipe Tips

Now, for some tips to take your Kamado Joe Smoked Chicken Thighs to the next level:

  • Brine ’em: Soaking your chicken thighs in a simple saltwater brine for a few hours before cooking can make ’em even juicier.
  • Keep it low and slow: Smoking is all about patience. Low and slow cooking ensures that smoky flavor penetrates deep into the meat.
  • Experiment with wood: Different types of wood impart unique flavors. Try cherry, oak, or even a mix for exciting twists on your chicken.
  • Baste with butter: During the crisping phase, baste those thighs with melted butter for an extra layer of deliciousness.
  • Get creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different rubs and seasonings. Sometimes, a little creativity goes a long way.

smoked chicken thighs kamado joe

Alright, my friends, we’ve covered the basics of making Kamado Joe Smoked Chicken Thighs – from the secret rub to what sides to serve with it. Remember, it’s all about that smoky, crispy, juicy goodness that’ll have your taste buds dancing a jig of delight. So, get out there, fire up that grill, and give it a go. Your friends and family will thank you, and your taste buds will throw a flavor fiesta! Thanks for joining me on this culinary adventure, and as always, keep smokin’ and lovin’ the good food. Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Kamado Joe Smoked Chicken Thighs

Delicious Kamado Joe smoked chicken thighs recipe - juicy, tender, and full of flavor. Discover the secret to perfect BBQ every time!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 9 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • Wood chunks for smoking hickory or applewood recommended

For the Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preparing the Chicken Thighs

  1. Start by rinsing the chicken thighs under cold running water. Pat them dry with paper towels, removing excess moisture. Place them on a clean plate.

Creating the Rub

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Give it a good mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

Firing Up the Grill

  1. Open the bottom vent of your Kamado Joe and light the charcoal using a fire starter or chimney starter. Wait for the coals to ash over.
  2. Place the wood chunks directly on the hot coals. This will create that mouthwatering smoky flavor.
  3. Set up the grill for indirect cooking by placing a heat deflector on the grill grates. Preheat the grill to around 225°F.

Applying the Rub and Smoking

  1. Take the dry chicken thighs and generously sprinkle the rub mixture on both sides. Get your hands in there and massage the rub into the meat; make sure to coat it evenly.
  2. Place the seasoned chicken thighs on the grill grates, skin side up. Keep the lid closed as much as possible to retain the smoky goodness.
  3. Smoke the chicken at 225°F for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Monitor the grill temperature using a grill thermometer.
  4. Check the wood chunks every now and then to ensure a steady supply of smoke. Add more wood if needed.

Crisping Up the Skin

  1. After the initial smoking period, open the bottom vent to allow more air in, increasing the grill temperature to 375°F.
  2. Let the chicken thighs cook at the higher temperature for an additional 5-10 minutes to crisp up the skin. Keep a close eye on them to avoid burning. Flip them if needed to ensure even crisping.

Checking for Doneness

  1. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. They should reach 165°F for safe consumption.
  2. Once the chicken thighs have reached the desired temperature, remove them from the grill and tent them with aluminum foil. Let them rest for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  3. Serve your homemade Kamado Joe Smoked Chicken Thighs hot with your favorite sides. Coleslaw, mac 'n' cheese, or cornbread are excellent choices to complement the smoky goodness.
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