Luxurious recipes for chicken thighs prepared in a smokehouse 5 times differently. Get inspired!

Summer barbecue season is here.

Why not spice it up a bit this year?

If you have a smokehouse at home, you will definitely appreciate our delicious recipes for smoked chicken legs that all your guests will enjoy.

Put a load of grilled food and come and enjoy something different!

Smoked chicken thighs with bourbon and maple syrup glaze

Luxurious chicken thighs seared to perfection and glazed in a mixture of bourbon, maple syrup, ketchup and balsamic are perfectly juicy and incredibly tasty. You just have to try it!

What you will need

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of barbecue seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup barbecue seasoning of choice
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper


  • Combine glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Mix the barbecue seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Rub the mixture all over the meat.
  • Set your grill or electric smoker to smoke at 135°C using indirect heat.
  • Add the meat, skin side up, and smoke for 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 71°C.
  • Turn the chicken thighs over.
  • Brush the underside of the thighs with the bourbon and maple syrup mixture and smoke for a few minutes.
  • Turn again, brush with the bourbon and maple syrup mixture, and smoke for a few minutes.
  • Brush the chicken thighs with the skin again with the glaze and smoke for a few more minutes.
  • Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy it!
Chicken thighs seared to perfection and glazed in a mixture of bourbon, maple syrup, ketchup and balsamic.

Also try our 6 best recipes for chicken thighs that no one will be able to resist!

Smokehouse Chipotle Chicken Thighs

These Smoked Chicken Thighs are low carb, easy to make, and absolutely delicious! They are perfectly tender and juicy and have a luxurious crispy skin. Can’t resist!

What you will need

  • 12 top chicken thighs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 6 cloves of garlic, wiped
  • 1 tablespoon dried or fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle (or smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


  • Add oil, lemon juice and zest, orange juice, crushed garlic, rosemary, sea salt, black pepper, chipotle, and cayenne to a large bowl and toss to combine.
  • Dip the chicken thighs, one at a time, in the marinade and transfer them to a large bag.
  • Pour the remaining marinade into the bag.
  • Squeeze the air out of the bag, close it and put it in the fridge for at least a few hours to marinate the chicken.
  • Preheat the smoker grill to 95 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
  • Place the seasoned chicken thighs directly on the grill (skin side up) and smoke for 20 minutes.
  • Keep the remaining marinade for the final basting.
  • Then increase the temperature to 190 degrees Celsius and smoke the chicken for another 30 minutes.
  • Finally, increase the temperature to 200 degrees.
  • Brush the chicken skin with the remaining marinade and turn the thighs skin side down.
  • Cook for 5 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 74-82 degrees Celsius.
  • Bon apetite!
Seasoned seasoned chicken thighs on a tray.

Smoked chicken legs in marinade

You will love chicken thighs marinated in soy sauce, molasses and Worcestershire sauce and then smoked for 3 hours. You won’t even remember the delicacies from the grill!

What you will need

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of molasses
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of peeled and freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 7 liters of ice water
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • recommended smoking wood: apple, cherry, pecan or mesquite


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 cups water, molasses, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil until the salt dissolves.
  • Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ginger and garlic powder.
  • Set aside and let cool.
  • When the mixture has cooled, stir in 7 quarts of ice water and mix well.
  • Put the chicken thighs in a large pot, cover with the marinade and leave to cool for 6-8 hours (turn the meat once during this).
  • Preheat the smoker to 110°C.
  • Remove the thighs from the brine and rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining salt.
  • Dry with paper towels.
  • Then brush with olive oil.
  • Place the thighs on the middle rack of the smoker.
  • Cook for up to 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 74°C in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Remove the thighs from the smoker and enjoy them with your favorite BBQ sauce!
Seared chicken leg on a cutting board with cutlery and vegetables.

You may also appreciate our reviews of electric contact grills . Which one won in our review and why?

BBQ chicken legs from the smokehouse

These delicious smoked chicken drumsticks are perfectly juicy and tender, and the BBQ sauce gives them just the right gooey kick. A great choice for an easy smokehouse dinner!

What you will need

  • 1 kg of chicken lower legs
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ seasoning
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce


  • Preheat the smoker to 135 degrees Celsius according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil and then sprinkle with BBQ seasoning.
  • Massage the spices thoroughly into the chicken thighs.
  • Place the thighs in the preheated smoker, cover and smoke for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reaches 80 degrees Celsius.
  • This will vary depending on how big your thigh is and how much meat is on it.
  • Then coat the chicken legs with BBQ sauce.
  • Close the smokehouse and smoke for another ten minutes.
  • Remove from the smoker, let rest for 5-10 minutes and then enjoy!
Smoked chicken drumsticks.

Smoked spiced chicken legs in pickle

This recipe is absolutely TOP! You marinate the top chicken thighs in a marinade of apple juice and Sprite lemonade, then season with your own spice mix and smoke. Finally, coat them with your favorite BBQ sauce and the delicacy is on the table!

What you will need

For seasoning:

  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons of granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1.5 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

For the pickle:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 can of Sprite
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1 spoon of pepper

For meat:

  • 1 package of upper chicken thighs
  • spices see above
  • BBQ sauce
  • pickle see above


  • Mix all the spices in a bowl.
  • Remove the skin completely from the chicken thighs and place them in a marinade made by mixing water, apple juice, Sprite, sea salt and pepper.
  • Place the skin on a cutting board with the fat side up and scrape off all the fat with a sharp knife.
  • Leave the thighs in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, ideally several hours.
  • Rinse the meat with cold water and then rub with the spices.
  • Set aside and prepare the smokehouse.
  • Wrap the skin back around the thighs so that as much of the meat is covered by the skin and as little meat is exposed.
  • Secure the skin with a toothpick.
  • Sprinkle with spices again.
  • Place the thighs in the smoker as far away from the heat source as possible.
  • It will smoke for 2 hours at 110 degrees Celsius.
  • While the meat is smoking, take a small pot and heat up your favorite barbecue sauce.
  • If the sauce is thick, thin it with Coca Cola.
  • Soak the cooked thighs in the pot with the sauce and put them back in the smoker.
  • Sprinkle with a little cane sugar if desired.
  • After about 10-15 minutes, the sauce should caramelize and your thighs are done.
  • Let them rest for just a few minutes and serve.
Seared top chicken thighs on a tray.

If you also want to enjoy classic grilling, then take a look at our grilled chicken recipes !

Tips for smoking chicken thighs

  • Experiment with spices. Use your favorite spice blends or create your own. There are no limits to imagination. For the last 10 minutes of smoking, you can brush the thighs with any BBQ sauce for a better taste.
  • Use the right wood. Chicken is a tender protein that easily absorbs the taste of smoke. Whether you choose softer cherry, pecan, apple wood, smoker hickory or mesquite, hardwood is the best wood for smoking. Avoid soft wood that produces sap.
  • Fry the meat for extra crunch. To make the skin crispy, sear the chicken thighs after smoking. When their internal temperature reaches 76 degrees Celsius, remove the meat from the smoker and sear it in a pan on the stove or in the oven preheated to the grill function.
  • Let your thighs rest. While it may be tempting to dig into the hot chicken thighs right away, let the meat rest for five minutes before serving. The juices redistribute throughout the meat as it rests, resulting in moist and flavorful chicken.

And how did you like our recipes for smoked chicken legs today? Write to us in the comments!

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)

Did you like this article? Give a 5 stars. :)

Write a comment

The email address will not be published and will not be stored in any marketing database. Required fields are marked *.