Killer BBQ Chicken


Ranch Dressing and Chicken, two things most people love. But do they go together well? You bet they do. One of the fun things about BBQ is experimenting and trying new things. Sometimes new things don’t work out too well, and other times they become a family favorite that gets requested on the menu every week. This Chicken is the latter for our family. It was an experiment that turned out so well that we continue to make it all the time. Let’s get into the recipe:

Step 1: Prep the chicken

This is a simple recipe with only a few ingredients:

  • Ranch Dressing
  • Poultry Rub (I use a house blend, but Traeger chicken rub works great)
  • Black Pepper
  • Chicken Thighs

For the chicken thighs, I use bone-in/skin-on. You can make this recipe with boneless/skinless thighs if you like and it turns out just as delicious, but the cooking time will be different. You can also use chicken breast if you like, but I find thighs to be tastier, more juicy, and better suited for this recipe.

Start by rinsing the chicken, then patting dry with a paper towel. Next, lightly cover the chicken in your BBQ rub. Remember, chicken is a delicate meat and as such it required less rub than other items. Throw the rubbed chicken into a ziplock bag and add about a cup of ranch dressing. Just so there is isn’t any confusion, I do mean the actually ranch dressing, from a bottle. I do not mean the season packets you can buy. This may seam a little weird, but trust me. It works. Now add about a tablespoon of the black pepper, seal the bag, and mix it all around until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Let the chicken marinate in the spices and ranch dressing for at least 4 hours, and up to 12 hour, in the fridge.

Step 2: Cook the chicken

For this recipe, heat your smoker up to 350° and make sure the grill grate is clean. You make also want to rub a little cooking oil on the grill grate to help keep the chicken from sticking to the grate. Chicken skin has a tendency to stick. Be warned.

Next, throw the chicken onto the grill grate to cook. I recommend using the Amazen Pellet Tube Smoker during the cook as the higher temp will limit smoke output. This will be a bit of a messy process as the chicken thighs will be dripping with ranch dressing. Be careful and try not to shake too much ranch off of the thighs as you place them on the grill grate. You can place the chicken either skin side up or down if you are using bone-in/skin-on thighs. Facing them up will provide a cleaner look, while facing them down will provided a more crisp skin. The choice is up to you. The chicken needs to cook to an internal temperature of 160° which should take about 45 minutes to an hour. I typically start checking the chicken at 45 minutes with my instant read thermometer.

Step 3: Enjoy

Once the chicken has reached an internal temp of 160°, it’s time to pull it from the smoker and give it a little time to rest. Let the chicken rest, tented with aluminum foil, for 5-10 minutes before serving. After the chicken has taken the time to rest, dig in. I am positive you will find this to be a new family favorite as well.

How do you like to season and cook your BBQ chicken thighs? What inventive recipes have you experimented with? What has worked for you, and what hasn’t? Be sure to leave us your tips and tricks, successes and failures, in the comments below.