Marinated Boneless, Skinless Smoked Chicken Thighs

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Smoky and slightly spicy chicken thighs with a tender and moist interior. The type of hot honey used will have a big impact on how spicy your thighs are; the extra-hot honey has a kick to it. The chicken thighs have a thin smoke ring with a deep mahogany color on the surface of the thighs thanks to the marinade and smoke. Great on a biscuit with extra-hot honey or on a buttered and toasted brioche bun.


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • cup 1/4 cup hot honey (such as Mike’s Hot Honey®)
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper


Whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, hot honey, shallot, garlic, and chili powder in a medium bowl. Combine hot honey mixture and chicken thighs in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and gently massage to work marinade into thighs. Chill in a refrigerator, at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.

Prepare a smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions, bringing internal temperature to 225 to 250 degrees F (107 to 120 degrees C); maintain temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken thighs from marinade, and pat dry with paper towels; do not discard marinade.

Stir together cornstarch and water in a small metal bowl until combined.

Strain marinade through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan; whisk in cornstarch mixture. Bring marinade mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Set sauce aside to cool at room temperature.

Sprinkle chicken thighs evenly with salt and pepper.

Smoke chicken thighs, maintaining temperature inside smoker, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours, brushing chicken thighs with reserved sauce every 15 minutes after the first hour of smoking. Transfer chicken thighs to a plate or platter and serve immediately.

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hr 55 mins
Total time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 – Yield: 8 chicken thighs



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