Chicken (skinless) is an excellent substitute for red meat, mainly because it’s lower in saturated fats. Three ounces of dark chicken meat (thighs and legs) provide nine grams of fat, only three grams of saturated fat, and 170 calories. Low amounts of fat, especially saturated fats, make chicken thighs a great source of lean protein. But how long should boneless chicken thighs be cooked so you can have a great taste and also prevent food-borne illness?
A word about Suitable Temperature for Grilling
It’s impossible to tell the time it takes to cook any food without mentioning the temperature you’re cooking. For this reason, the most suitable option is to know the safe minimum internal temperature of the food you’re cooking.
You should cook all foods to their safe minimum internal temperature to kill food poisoning bacteria. To check the safe minimum internal temperature, insert the food thermometer probe into the food’s thickest, innermost, or central part. Once the safe minimum internal temperature is reached, you can take your food out from the grill.
It would be best to allow your cooked food a rest time of around ten minutes before serving. The carryover heat continues to cook your food for some time, even after you’ve removed it from the grill. Allow the carryover heat to do its work, and it will cook your food to perfection.
When it comes to grilling boneless chicken thighs, as per USDA, FSIS, and FDA guidelines, the internal temperature of the thighs should register 165°F (74° C) at least once. However, you can cook your boneless chicken thighs further to achieve the level of doneness you love.
Ensure that your thermometer probe goes straight into pieces but doesn’t come out the other side and touch the grill grates.
Why should You Preheat Your Grill before Cooking Chicken Thighs?
First, you should preheat your grill to the recommended temperature if you’re using a charcoal grill or a pellet smoker. It’s always best to preheat your grill on high settings and gradually lower the temperature. Doing so will ensure that you get the right temperature from the start and that the cooking time remains the same as estimated. It is because charcoal grills and pellet smokers take longer to reach the desired temperature.
On the other hand, a gas grill doesn’t take much time to prepare. However, it would be best if you also preheated a gas grill with its lid close to the desired temperature for more accuracy.
If you don’t preheat your grill before putting your food onto the grill grates, the estimated cooking time can go irrelevant or altogether invalid. Consequently, you may end up undercooking your food and exposing yourself to food-borne illnesses.
What’s the Ideal Temperature to Grill Boneless Chicken Thighs?
It would help if you grilled boneless chicken thighs at a lower temperature than bone-in chicken thighs, and the former, in addition, takes less time to cook than the latter. You can cook your boneless chicken thighs at medium to medium-high heat based on your recipe.
The lower the grill temperature, the more time the chicken thighs need to cook.
How Long does it Take to Grill Chicken Thighs at 400 F?
Since boneless chicken thighs take less time and temperature to grill, 400 degrees Fahrenheit is a great grill temperature to start with. To cook them perfectly, you need to grill boneless chicken thighs for about eight minutes at 400 F.
The best way to grill boneless chicken thighs at 400 F is to put them skin-side down for about two minutes and then flip over. It’s best to keep the skin side up for the rest of the grilling time, i.e., six minutes. If you keep the skin-side down for longer than two minutes, you’ll get an over-cooked and crispier skin.
It’s always best if you preheat the grill with its lid closed so that you can have the right temperature, that is, 400 F, before you put your boneless chicken thighs on the grill grates.
After eight minutes, remove your chicken thighs from the grill grates and allow them a rest time of around ten minutes before eating or serving.
How Long Does it Take to Grill Boneless Chicken Thighs at 350 F?
It takes slightly longer to grill boneless chicken thighs at 350 F because you’re grilling over medium heat. Boneless chicken thighs should take around 25 minutes to grill over 350 F. However, it’s always advised to check the internal temperature of the meat before taking it out from the grates.
If the internal temperature taken from the innermost part of the boneless chicken thighs doesn’t register 17165 F, allow the thighs some more time to cook until they reach their safe minimum internal temperature.
Put your boneless chicken thighs skin-side down and cook them for at least 10 minutes. Now flip over the sides and grill them for an additional 15 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the boneless chicken thighs, take them out of the grill, and allow them a rest time of around 10 minutes.
The grilling time of boneless chicken thighs at 350 F may vary based on your recipe and the thickness of the chicken thighs. You can cook boneless chicken thighs for some more time to achieve your desired level of doneness.
How Long does it take to Grill Boneless Chicken Thighs on a Gas Grill?
The best way to grill boneless chicken thighs on a gas grill is over medium-high heat. Cooking boneless chicken thighs at a medium-high (375 to 450 degrees) grill temperature takes 10 minutes for each side.
Preheat your gas grill on high and then medium-high heat. Put your boneless chicken thighs skin side down on your gas grill. Allow the skin side of the thighs to cook for around four minutes. Flip over the sides and let the thighs cook for another six minutes. Take the thighs out, allow them a rest time of approximately ten minutes, and serve them.
You need only to get the internal temperature for your chicken thigh’s thickest part about 160 degrees F. When attained, you’re done grilling your chicken thighs. Any extra time spent will only cause dried-out meat.
How Long should you Grill Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs?
When the boneless chicken thighs have no skin, the above-mentioned higher temperature is more likely to cause a burn. As a rule of thumb, whether you cook them at 400 degrees by setting an indirect heat zone on your charcoal or gas grill or directly at 325-350 degrees F, aim at taking your meat’s internal temperature to 160 degrees.
You can check the chicken thighs’ internal temperature through an instant probe thermometer. It’ll take 10 minutes which will include flipping after every 2-3 minutes. This way, your chicken will also not lose moisture.