Summer is perfect for smoking! And whether you’re a seasoned vet with smoke running through your veins, or a smoking noob looking for a great reason to fire up the smoker, this recipe is perfect for you. Try it out, let me know what you think on Twitter, @benvaughn.

Smoked Chicken Thighs –

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Serves: 4-6


6 chicken thighs with the skin on

1 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon dry mustard powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons cayenne

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoon black pepper

4 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar


Cooking/Smoking Directions:

Fire up the smoker and allow it to come up to a temperature of 200-250 degrees.

Mix all dry rub seasoning ingredients thoroughly. Rub olive oil and cider vinegar to fully coat the chicken thighs, allow to stand for 20 minutes until room temperature.

Add the mixed seasonings to cover the chicken thighs to ensure they are fully coated with the dry rub. Lay your chicken thighs on the smoker rack and add smoker wood chips at the same time you add the meat. Apple, pecan, or cherry wood is ideal for this application.

Smoke the chicken thighs for 3 to 4 hours total depending on a variety of factors such as size of the thighs and temperature of the cooker. Use a thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees.


Again, let me know what you think on Twitter.

imageAnd if you like this recipe, you’ll love my upcoming book!  You can pre-order “Southern Routes” – Secret Recipes from the Best Down-Home Joints in the South – on sale right now and releasing Sept. 15.  Click here.