This post shows how to grill chicken thighs with an “Indirect Low Heat” method with a Weber 22.5 inch grill. Let me refer you back to Grilling Chicken Thighs Part 1 for the first several steps. The steps that are the same between the two posts are brining, trimming, seasoning and lighting the charcoal.
Once the charcoal is lit I will pour the briquettes to one side of the grill. I like to bank them so that they only take up about a third or less of the charcoal grate. Long handled metal tongs are very useful for this job.
After the coals are arranged I add an aluminum pan beside them, put the cooking grate onto the grill and place the chicken thighs above the aluminum pan.
Open your vents, close the lid, and let the chicken grill for an hour. After an hour the grilled chicken thighs are not looking very impressive. Go ahead and baste them with some Wishbone Italian dressing (let me send you back to Part 1 for more details).
The temperature at the dome was significantly higher than what the chicken was seeing. My dome thermometer was reading about 375F. However the thermometer I had at the grate with the chicken was reading 256F. (Ignore the 380 number in the middle of the digital display. That is a “Set Temperature” I enter above which the thermometer will alarm. It is coincidence that the “Set Temperature” and the dome temperature are so close.)
Here is where the grate thermometer was located.
Right before I opened the lid to baste the chicken I noticed that the dome temperature had started to drop a little. When the temperature starts to drop use your tongs to flip the hinged grate open and add some more unlit briquettes. I added about ten briquettes then closed the lid and grilled the chicken for another thirty minutes. Another shameless plug for Weber charcoal grills; the hinged grates make life easy!
After the thighs have cooked for another half hour (1 hour 30 minutes total) they start looking pretty tasty. Baste them again with Italian dressing. I checked the temperature and got a reading of 163F. Some people call this done. I like my thighs closer to 170-180F as I think they get more tender at those temperatures. I closed the lid on the Weber 22.5 and let the chicken go for another half hour.
After two hours here is what it looked like on the grill and plated up in the kitchen. I think this is just about perfect!
Just like in “Part 1” this chicken is pink on the outside and grey in the middle. The pink is the smoke ring and does not indicate under-cooked chicken. Under-cooked chicken would be cold and pink at the bone; this is hot and grey.
I hope you found these two posts on using your Weber 22.5 kettle for grilling chicken thighs to be useful. Keep practicing with your technique. Practicing is half the fun and is a great way to be living the barbecue life!