Competition-Style Chicken Thighs

6:00 - Prep 4:00 / Cook 2:00
Beginner

Discover the competition method for deliciously smoked and seasoned chicken thighs.

6-8 Servings

Ingredients

Chicken Thighs
  • 4 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in
  • 1 bottle ConAgra Parkay Squeeze Margarine
  • 2-3 tablespoons BBQ rub
  • 3 cups BBQ sauce
Brine
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
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Preparation

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Step 1 Of 8
1. Brine chicken thighs for up to three hours to enhance moisture. When finished, remove thighs and rinse.
2. Trim each chicken thighs to the same size for even-cooking. Next, use your hands to square-up each thigh, using the bone as the center point. Once trimmed, use a sharp knife to peel back the skin and remove the fatty layer beneath it.
3. Lightly season each chicken thigh without the skin and let sit for 15 minutes before placing back the skin and applying a heavy layer of seasoning on top. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Hot TipLetting your seasoned thighs sit for 30 minutes allows the rub to set into meat before reapplying the skin.
4. Place chicken thighs into a disposable half-pan, leaving space between each thigh. Squeeze the margarine around the thighs without pouring directly on chicken.
Hot TipDon't skimp on the margarine. You don’t want your chicken thighs to stick to the pan.
5. Place a bed of unlit coals in your Oklahoma Joe’s Highland firebox. Fill chimney with lump charcoal and light with fire starters. Once engulfed in flames, pour lit charcoal over unlit bed of coals, adding wood chunks for flavor.
Hot TipUse pecan wood to avoid over-smoking the meat.
6. Once your smoker reaches 275°F, place half-pan on the smoker and leave uncovered for 1 hour. Then, cover the pan with foil for 45 minutes, or until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 185°F.
7. To thin your BBQ sauce, heat in a saucepan at 150°F. Once hot, dip thighs in sauce and place on cooling rack. Next, place cooling rack back on the smoker for 10-15 minutes to tack-up the sauce.
8. Enjoy!
Up Your Game: How to Add Moisture Before and During Cooking
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