Chicken thighs are marinated in a bright and citrusy Mojo marinade and the smoked to perfection on a wood pellet grill.
These smoked chicken thighs come out so juicy on our Traeger grill. Crispy skin, juicy inside, with citrusy smoky flavor!
If you're looking for an amazing juicy, flavorful, smoky and delicious chicken thigh recipe than you have come to the right place!
These couldn't be any easier!
They only need to marinade for about 2-4 hours to pick up all that fresh citrusy flavor. Then 35-45 minutes on the grill and you have the best chicken thighs!
This is my new favorite way to have chicken thighs and I can't wait to try other chicken marinades!
Why a wood pellet grill?
I mentioned last week, on my Teriyaki Smoked Chicken Legs post that this is the summer that I master my Traeger grill.
With each new recipe that I try on it, I am starting to see why everyone who has a wood pellet grill loves it so much!
What really flipped the switch for me was realizing that you could use it two ways. One - as a smoker, low and slow for ribs, briskets and whatever you wanted a deep, smoky flavor. Two - as basically a convection oven with bonus smoky flavor.
That has opened up a whole new door for me. You can cook really anything you want on your Traeger. Think...cast iron potatoes, sheet pan dinners, roasted chicken and the traditional typical slow smoked ribs and such.
What is a mojo marinade?
A mojo marinade is a citrusy garlicky marinade. Mojo can have different ingredients depending on the region that it is from.
This version is based on a Cuban version. It typically used sour orange juice. To replicate the flavor you can use regular orange juice with the addition of lemon, limes or both.
I'm not Cuban, so consider this a mojo inspired marinade, delicious nonetheless!
There are so many versions of this marinade, with different versions not including oregano or not including cilantro. So feel free to make this your own!
- Oranges - if you can find sour oranges, you can omit the limes.
- Cilantro - try to buy organic.
- Olive oil
- Optional: jalapeño peppers
Making the marinade.
I know you might be tempted to use orange juice from a container and lime juice from a jar, but I encourage you to make fresh squeezed!
While you're at it, squeeze a little extra lime juice and reward yourself with a Mango Margarita or how about Watermelon, Lime and Tequila Granita for dessert?
It only takes a few extra minutes and the difference in the flavor of the juice is huge!
You'll want to zest the oranges before juicing them.
Depending on the size of your oranges and limes, you may need more or less than me. I used 2 oranges to get ½ cup of juice and 3 limes for a ½ cup of juice.
Pour the orange juice and lime juice into a bowl. Add the orange zest.
Mince the garlic cloves and add them to the bowl.
Chop the cilantro and add it to the bowl along with the olive oil.
Add the dry spices - cumin, oregano and salt and whisk to combine.
Place the chicken thighs in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Squish it around so that the garlic and cilantro is even spaced out.
Place on a small tray (a quarter sheet pan works great for this) to prevent leaks in your fridge.
Marinate for 2-4 hours. I did 3 hours. Remove from the marinade and let come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling.
Smoking the chicken thighs.
While the chicken is coming to room temperature, preheat your grill to 425.
Use your favorite wood pellets - I used Traeger Signature Blend for these!
Gather everything you'll need - your chicken, some tongs, your favorite beverage!
Place the chicken skin side down on the grill. Cook for 20 minutes.
Then flip the chicken and allow to finish cooking to 165 degrees, about 10-15 more minutes.
You really want to cook to temperature, so I recommend a good instant read thermometer or you can use the temperature probe on your grill.
Just look how good they look?!
They are perfectly cooked, nice and juicy and full of flavor!
The beauty of the wood pellet grill is no flare ups! You don't have to stand around babysitting the food. You could cook these the whole time skin side up and it would be even easier.
What to serve with these?
I'm going to be working on some sides that can cook right on the grill and I will come back and update this post, but for now, anyone of these would be amazing with these thighs!
For even more options, head on over to Side Dishes.
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Smoked Mojo Chicken Thighs
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ½ cup orange juice fresh squeezed
- ½ cup lime juice fresh squeezed
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 chicken thighs bone in, skin on
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
- Place the chicken in a ziplock bag and pour over the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
- 30 minutes before you are ready to grill, remove the chicken from the marinade, let it rest on a rack and come to room temperature.
- Preheat your wood pellet grill to 425.
- Place the chicken skin side down and grill for 20 minutes.
- Flip and cook until chicken measures 165 degrees, about 10-15 more minutes.
- Remove chicken from the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Nicole Johnson says
This sounds incredible! I bet that marinade is amazing. Beautiful pics too!!
I don't have a wood pellet grill, but I'm still making that amazing chicken marinade to use on my regular grill. It looks mouth-watering!
I love the citrus in this marinade. It adds so much flavor!
This marinade was SO amazing and will be added to our menu plan! Family loved it, thank you!!
The combination of citrus juice in the chicken really makes it so juicy and brings out the spice flavours! Loved it!
There is nothing like the flavor you get from being smoked. I loved the bit of citrus you get from the marinade. It was perfect!