I have been smoking all sorts of meats for years. But for some reason, chicken thighs never made it onto my list of things to smoke. I was jonesin’ for a BBQ chicken sandwich.
Now normally, I’d smoke a boneless chicken breast that I had brined (to keep it moist and tender) and shred or chop it. But since I’ve been on a chicken thigh kick lately, and had a freezer full of thighs from the last time they went on sale, I decided on smoked chicken thighs. And boy I could not have been happier.
After just a few hours these smoked chicken thighs were done. Super juicy and tender, I knew I was in for a treat. It didn’t take long to remove the skin and separate the meat from the bones. Smoked thigh meat is perfect on BBQ sandwiches or nachos or pizzas.
Smoked Chicken Thighs
Prep Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
- 5 pound bone in skin on chicken thighs
For the brine
- 1/2 gallon water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
For the rub
- Prepared yellow mustard
- Your favorite BBQ rub I used my basic BBQ rub
Trim any excess fat from the thighs. Place them in a large (large enough to hold the chicken and brine) resealable container.
Add the brine. Stir gently to make sure the chicken is all exposed to the brine. Seal and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine (discard) and rinse with cold water. Return the chicken to the (now dry) container.
Squirt the thighs with the mustard, turning to get all sides. Rub the mustard around and cover the thicken.
Sprinkle the chicken with the rub, making you sure you get it on all sides.
Fire up your smoker for cooking at 230 F. Use a nice fruit wood such as hickory. For a stronger smoke flavor use hickory.
Add the chicken to the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 170 F, 2 to 2 1/12 hours.
Remove the chicken. Discard the skin. Pull the meat from the bones and chop or shred as desired.
We’re big fans of chicken salad sandwiches. And whenever chicken goes on sale I’ll load up and either roast the chicken on my Big Easy or toss it on my Weber Smoky Mountain smoker. We make a traditional chicken salad sandwich and sometimes, a Creole chicken salad sandwich. I recently ran across this creamy smoked chicken salad sandwich recipe.
It’s a variation on the traditional approach, adding a bit of mustard and chopped pickles. The mustard and pickles really make a big difference in the salad. A little crunch from the veggies and pickle, and a little zing from the mustard. Perfect!
I used smoked chicken breasts in our creamy smoked chicken salad sandwiches, but smoked thighs are also fantastic!
Also try my chicken salad crescents.
Creamy Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 -8
For the chicken salad
- 2 cups cooked smoked, roasted, rotisserie, etc chicken, cubed
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
- 3 minced dill pickles
- 1 tablespoon of Creole or Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the sandwiches
- Sandwich buns or French bread
- Chicken salad
- Lettuce and sliced tomato optional
A big Cobb salad makes for a great side dish. Or main dish for that matter. I had some smoked chicken left over and decided to make it the center of this smoked chicken Cobb salad. Of course you can go crazy with a Cobb with whatever meats and veggies or fruits you want. That’s the beauty of a Cobb. No rules. No judgement.
I was feeling particularly artsy, so I waffle cut some radish and cucumbers for this salad. It’s nice to always do something a little different. It doesn’t have to be big, it can be something as subtle as a waffle cut. People will remember it and it really didn’t take any extra effort.
Smoked Chicken Cobb Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
- Green and red leaf lettuce chopped
- Smoked chicken cubed (any cooked chicken will do)
- Bacon cooked, drained, chopped
- Eggs hard boiled and rough chopped
- Avocado rough chopped
- Cucumber sliced thin
- Radishes sliced thin
- Extra sharp cheddar shredded
- Cherry tomatoes halved
- Red onion soaked in water for 10 minutes, finely chopped
- Feta or crumbled Blue Cheese
- Black beans rinsed and drained
- Sweet corn drained