Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Thighs are so juicy, tender, and packed with flavor! Marinated in a sweet and tangy teriyaki marinade, then grilled to perfection. It is an easy recipe that your entire family will love.
- Chicken Thighs: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work best. Trim off all the excess fat and connective tissue.
- Soy Sauce: I prefer to use light soy sauce for this marinade. But if you only have regular soy sauce add 3 tbsp of water to the marinade.
- Brown Sugar: Adds the sweetness to the marinade and can be substituted with honey.
- Ketchup: Adds flavor and color.
- Sunny Delight: Yes, you read that right. Sunny Delight is what makes this recipe work. The combination of orange, tangerine, apple, lime, grapefruit, and pear juices adds so much flavor.
- Garlic: Always use fresh minced garlic for the most flavor.
- Ginger: Always use fresh ginger for the most flavor.
- Rice Vinegar: Adds a slight zing and can be substituted with apple cider vinegar.
- Green Onion: Used to add flavor to the marinade and for a bit of color and texture when serving.
- Cornstarch: Used to thicken the marinade.
- Vegetable Oil: Can be substituted with sesame oil or peanut oil.
How To Make The Marinade For Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Thighs.
This Asian inspired marinade will be your go to anytime that you grill. The combination of the citrus, soy sauce, spices, and sugars add so much flavor.
To make the marinade:
- Start by mincing the garlic and ginger.
- Dice the green onions, reserving some for a garnish.
- Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Sunny Delight citrus juice, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, green onions, cornstarch, and vegetable oil.
- Whisk together and pour over the chicken in a gallon-sized freezer bag.
- For the best results, marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
What Temperature Should My Grill Be To Cook Chicken Thighs?
Here are the best temps for grilling boneless or bone-in chicken thighs. I highly recommend using a grill with a built-in thermometer for the best results.
- For boneless chicken thighs grill them at 400 degrees F.
- For bone-in chicken thighs grill them at 450 degrees F.
How Long To Grill Chicken Thighs?
Here are the best grilling times for boneless or bone-in chicken thighs! As always, grill the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. in the thickest part of the chicken. I like to use this Meat Thermometer to make sure my chicken is completely cooked.
- Boneless chicken thighs will grill for approximately 8-10 minutes, cook them for 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Bone-in chicken thighs will grill for approximately 11-13 minutes, cook them for about 6 minutes on each side.
How Long Should Chicken Thighs Rest After Grilling?
One of the key secrets to juicy grilled chicken is letting it rest. It gives the juices inside time to redistribute and not come out all over your plate. Remove the chicken from the grill and cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 5 minutes and then serve.
- Choose chicken pieces that are uniform in size so they will cook evenly on the grill.
- To help the marinade penetrate the chicken. Score it lightly with a knife or poke with a fork before marinating.
- For the most flavorful and juicy chicken, marinate the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours. Allowing the flavor to be absorbed into the meat. It will also allow the acid in the orange juice to help tenderize the chicken.
- Do not marinate the chicken for more than 4 hours. The citrus from the juice can break down the chicken and ruin the texture.
- Make It Spicy: Add a little heat to the marinade and add 1/ 2 to 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. You can also add 2 tbsp Sriracha.
- Use Chicken Breasts: When using medium chicken breasts, cut the grilling time down to 5 minutes per side. Before grilling, pound them to an even thickness, so they cook evenly.
- Use Bone-in Chicken Thighs: When using bone-in chicken thighs, raise the heat of the grill to 450 degrees F.
What To Serve With Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Thighs
These summer side dishes will leave you begging for more.
- Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes
- Best Potato Salad Recipe
- Homemade Baked Beans – These are so good!
- Grilled Asparagus – A family favorite.
- Best Grilled Zucchini Recipe
Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 2½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- ½ cup Sunny Delight orange juice
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1½ tbsp ginger (minced)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 green onions (sliced)
- 1½ tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Sunny Delight, garlic, rice vinegar, green onions, vegetable oil, and cornstarch. Whisk together until well combined.
- Place chicken in a large freezer bag or bowl, pour the marinade over the chicken, and coat thoroughly.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours and no longer than 4 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium (400 Degrees F.). Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Rest for 5 minutes, then garnish with diced green onions and sesame seeds.
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