Tonight we had some large skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs that needed cooking. Naturally, the BGE gets the call! I wanted a decent smoke flavor and a seasoning with some depth.
I lightly coated them with some olive oil, then seasoned both sides with Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning (Spicy Recipe). I purchased this a while back from a vendor at the Livingston Farmers’ Market, yet I had only used it a time or two. (Website for Mike’s – http://www.mikesseaonings.com ).
Egg set-up: In the past I have used both indirect & direct cooks for chicken. The indirect cook allows using a high temp, but it is difficult to get a crispy skin (elevated, indirect helps). With a hot, direct cook, one gets crispy skin, but at the risk of flare-ups that often give black, charred skin instead. The set-up from my pork chop cook yesterday gave me an idea for a new technique. Two Grill Grate panels were resting on the lower level of my Adjustable Rig (AR), about 4-5 inches below the top of the AR, on which the BGE grid was positioned. I thought this would give a pseudo, or false indirect cook since the Grill Grates would block most of the direct heat from the lump (they have multiple holes in them to let drippings fall through without flaring up), but they would emit considerable heat for cooking the thighs from underneath.
Adjustable Rig with Grill Grates on the lowest level and the BGE grid on top . (Buy Grill Grates on Amazon – Grill Grates ).
On the way home from work I heard an ad for a great BBQ restaurant saying they cook with a combination of hickory and pecan. I thought – why not? After I got a clean, 350* fire burning, I added 2 small chunks of hickory and 2 handfuls of pecan chips (all dry). After the heavy white, acrid smoke burned off, I placed the thighs, skin up, on the grid. I was amazed at the great color on them with the first check, when I was inserting a Maverick E-732 wireless, continuous-read thermometer. (Buy at Amazon – Maverick E-732 ).
When the internal temp reached about 145-150*, I removed the thighs and the grid. I then seared them on the Grill Grates for 2 minutes on each side. Final temp was 165-180*, depending on the size of the thigh.
They were juicy, had a great smoke flavor, and the Mike’s Seasoning really worked well. It met Jana’s approval and was served with black rice, pan-roasted broccoli florets, a salad and Asian dipping sauce.
Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Favorite rub or herbal seasoning
(1) Lightly coat both sides of the thighs with olive oil, then generously apply the rub or seasoning of choice.
(2) Prepare a fire at 350-400* and add hickory and pecan chunks or chips. When heavy white smoke clears one can begin the cook.
(3) Indirect technique – works better if one can create an elevated cooking surface, as the heat coming from the ceramic dome will help cook the chicken faster and crisp up the skin. With indirect, I will sometimes get the dome temp closer to 500*.
(4) Direct technique – build a smaller fire (less lump) and try to elevate the grid as far from the lump as possible. This will allow a hotter fire (400-500*), but less flare-ups since the distance to the lump is increased. Turn thighs frequently to prevent excessive charring of the skin.
(5) Combo technique – begin cook indirect and then use a direct sear when the internal temp reaches about 150*.