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Grilled Chicken Thighs - To marinade or not?

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    Grilled Chicken Thighs - To marinade or not?

    Plan to grill some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs this weekend on a Weber propane grill low and slow. Struggling with whether I should marinade beforehand of simply apply dry seasoning and oil prior to grilling. Any advice?

    #2
    We like using Italian dressing as a marinade. I've never done chicken low n slow before. Would think it would dry out. Usually hot indirect with a little sear at the end for crisping up the skin. Let us know how it goes. Did you check out the chicken recipes on the free side?

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    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, we like to let our dark meat go a little higher internal temp then the breast. Up to 175*.

    • DreamOn
      DreamOn commented
      Editing a comment
      Me too...

    #3
    ^^^^Italian or Diana's southwest marinade works here

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      #4
      I'm not a big fan of marinading chicken thighs anymore. I started using Meathead's Simon and Garfunkel rub and never looked back.

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      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        S&G is great!

      #5
      Marinade away, but I agree that you'd be better off not going low and slow. Stay away from the direct heat so you can get the inside done before the outside burns, but do it relatively quickly. If you are using a marinade with sugar it's going to be tough to sear without burning some of the sugars.

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        #6
        Marinade or not, either works for me.Also like to dry brine. I do find that putting them on the smoker folded rather than flat or spread makes a huge difference. Rolled or folded keeps them moist and juicy on the inside. When I lay them out, they tend to get dry.

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          #7
          I also have a pack of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs to cook this weekend, as it was literally the ONLY chicken at Sam's Club when I went on Tuesday for our weekly grocery run during COVID-19.

          Having tried all techniques over 35 years of grilling/smoking/cooking stuff outside, I am not a fan of marinading chicken if you want the skin to crisp up while its cooking. I feel like the skin absorbs liquid, and makes it harder to not have soggy skin in the cook. You want to dry brine with kosher salt the night before cooking, and then put on a rub before hitting the grill. If your rub has plenty of salt in it, just drop the thighs in a zip lock bag, pour some rub in there, seal the bag up, and massage things around to get the rub spread evenly, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

          Chicken thighs are a meat better cooked hot at temperatures of 350 or so, rather than slow smoked. Slow smoked chicken tends to have rubbery skin. Chicken is best smoked indirect at 325-350, or better yet, just grilled hot and fast. I would estimate to get the thighs to an internal temperature of 175ish, with crispy skin, will take 45 minutes, with your gas grill preheated to high, then dropped to medium after loading it with the chicken. On medium heat, your Weber dome thermometer should hover around 350ish, and if you turn the chicken, rotating if you have hot spots, about every 10 minutes, you should have some great results in about 40-45 minutes, give or take.
          Last edited by jfmorris; May 1, 2020, 07:52 AM.

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            #8
            I stopped marinating skin on chicken. I found that too often I had rubbery skin. Also, burning of any with sugar was a problem as noted above. I just hit them hard with a rub and throw them on.

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              #9
              My favorite marinade is Teriyaki. I then take them out of the frig, dry them off and let them air dry so the skin will be dry before going on the grill. I then set my DigiQ for 375-400 and indirect cook the thighs to 180 degrees. I get a nice crisp skin this way.

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                #10
                Try this:

                https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...w-slow-chicken

                Comment


                  #11
                  I sometimes marinade. I sometimes dry brine. I sometimes season right before putting the chicken on the grill. Depends on my mood.

                  I sometimes cook over indirect heat. And sometimes I cook over direct heat, turning often.

                  What I have found, regardless of how I season and cook the chicken, is I want the cooking temps to be high enough for a reasonably fast cook. The meat stays a lot more juicy that way.

                  I also think the higher temps get the skin hot enough to render some of the fat out and improve the texture of the skin. It might not be crispy if you used a marinade, but it won't be rubbery either.

                  If you cook at truly low and slow temps -- 225-250F -- the meat dries out and the skin isn't as nice to eat. Don't ask me how I figured that one out.

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                    #12
                    I think with thighs either is fine. Very forgiving and by far my favorite part of the chicken. When I marinate, I drop in Wish Bone italian dressing for 3 or 4 hours. But again it is a preference. I am like others, I would surely keep that temp above 300 and would cook to IT of 175. Good Luck!

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                      #13
                      Either way is good. Lately I've been applying jerk paste by either Walkerswood or Grace brand and tossing in a ziplock, then overnight in the fridge.

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