Have you ever tried to cook chicken thighs on Weber vortex? If yes, then, you know how to do the processing. On the other hand, it’s no big deal if you haven’t tried. And that brings you here.
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In this guide, I’ll pull out the ins and outs of how you can have succulent chicken thighs cooked in a vortex. That’s it?
Well, I’ve more to offer. You’ll know the quintessential methods and answer of the important questions that arise regarding the processes. Besides, I’ll explain important tips and tricks.
Let’s take a deep dive into it.
How To Prepare Chicken Thighs Before Cooking
Before placing the thighs on the right size weber vortex, I brine the pieces. Brining isn’t an obligatory step to follow. But! You must keep the flame ‘low’.
Otherwise, the chicken thighs will be dead plates. Brining acts like a shield to prevent the chicken from burning. In the end, the thighs will be juicy and tender to have unless you cook them in high flame or overcook them.
To prepare the chicken thighs, follow these easy steps-
- Take your chicken pieces out of the plastic wrap.
- These are bone-in chickens. So, place the thighs on the cutting board. You’ll see the fats are dangling around.
- Trim the fats and skins off. It helps to reduce unnecessary flare ups. Thank me later.
- Then comes the seasoning part. I rub salt and pepper on these thighs.
- If you want a sugar rub on your thigh’s skin, it’ll only cause burning and end up being seared.
So, I, personally, don’t layer up the thighs with sugar to avoid a bitter taste. What I love to rub on thighs to season them are-
- Salt: 2 tbls
- Black pepper: 1 tsp
- Smoked paprika: 2 tbls
- Chopped garlic: 1/2 tsp
- Chili powder (As per your taste)
All these ingredients work as a relish and add more taste to your thighs.
Then, I let the chicken thighs marinate for 45 minutes before placing them on the Weber vortex. Marination is an essential process.
Checkpoint: Why is marination a priority before stirring up the chicken or any meat?
It allows the thigh or any meat skin to absorb the ingredients. As a result, after cooking, you’ll enjoy a tasty meal that has all the spices perfectly blended.
You might worry about the dry rubs. But it’s completely fine. They’ll end up with crispy skin and well-cooked juicy thighs.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs On Weber Vortex – Method 1
The ingredients needed to prepare the chicken thighs are-
- Salt: 3 tbsp
- Chicken thighs: 5 to 10 pieces
- Italian dressing/any dressing: 1 cup
- Brine mix: 1 quart + 1/4 cup salt + 1/4 cup sugar
Now, I’ll share how I get the best thighs on a Weber charcoal grill using a Weber vortex every time. Follow these handy and easy steps-
Your chicken thighs are good to get grilled as they’re fat-free, well-shaped, and brined properly.
- Leave the chicken on the counter to get warm.
- Now, get moved to prep the chimney by adding a scrunch-up paper under it.
- After that, light up the paper and it’ll cause smoke.
- Keep it for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- You can place the vortex filled with lump charcoal on the grill.
Two methods are efficient for having delicious thighs on the vortex. I’ll start with the first and explain the details, then move to the second method accordingly.
- Put the charcoal into the vortex and it’ll look like a pile-like shape. So, you don’t have to spread them all over the grill.
- Ensure the downside of the air vent is open. The charcoal should be lightened up and heat the grill for 10 minutes on high flame.
- Take the chicken thighs and place them above the vortex on the grill grates.
- Arrange the pieces in a circle pattern for proper heat distribution. Make sure the thighs aren’t directly over the vortex.
- Close the kettle lid. Let the heat smoke up chicken thighs. Grilling the thighs might take 1 hour or more depending on the thickness.
- After 10 minutes, open the lid and check the thighs
- Change the temperature according to the needs. I, mostly, set it at 180 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure of the balanced heat distribution.
- Recheck after 10 to 15 minutes and turn the thighs over. It helps to reach both sides of the meat.
Pro tip: Some people recommended to me at the very beginning of my grilling journey to use a dressing including corn syrup as one of the ingredients.
Well, I didn’t mind taking their advice. But applying it wasn’t convenient for me. Because I experienced corn syrup dries the dresser quickly. Better to use a dressing that excludes corn syrup.
If you ask me which one I prefer, I’ll say Wishbone. It has a juicy effect on thighs with a mouthwatering taste, and also, prevents the burning of meats.
However, you’re free to choose any brand that suits your taste. Remember to check the ingredients.
Now, Close the kettle lid for 10 minutes. Brush the thighs with Italian dressing. In case, you’re confused about how much time you should wait to start brushing the dressing. Let me tell you.
You should baste the chicken with Italian dressing or any dressing after 20 to 30 minutes. When you should brush the chicken is dependent on the thigh size, flame, spices, etc.
Wait for 5 minutes and check the temperature with Meater or Yummly digital thermometer. Your cooking ceremony ends if the temperature of chicken thighs is 170F or more.
Don’t forget to add an ash catcher to the weber, except that there is nothing to worry about the overcooked thighs. Because you’ve already taken precautions by brining them.
Also Read: Firedial Vs Vortex Plate – Which You Need?
Cook Chicken Thighs On Weber Vortex Following Method 2
Now that you know about the first method, I’ll start with the second method. And it’s named as the ‘Low and Slow’ method of cooking chicken.
Before going to the main part of the cooking, you’ve to light up the coals. Also, prepare the chicken by brining, trimming, and seasoning.
Let’s know the ‘Low and Slow’ process-
- Place the vortex filled with charcoal briquettes on one side of the grill
- On the opposite side, place an aluminum casserole.
- Locate the dome thermometer beside the chicken pieces to read the temperature whenever you need.
- Arrange all the chicken thighs above your aluminum casserole.
- Close the lid to let the thighs grill properly for an hour and check them onwards.
- Baste with your favorite flavor and brush all over the thighs.
- Add some more coal when the temperature falls. Mostly, you can add an extra 8 to 10 coals in this step.
- Close the lid and keep it closed for another 30 minutes.
Then, your chicken pieces look brown and they’re ready to serve on the table. I suggest you keep the lid closed for 30 minutes more.
My experiences say this half an hour let the spices go inside. What you see after this period is tender chicken thighs with a crispy outer.
Overall, you should spend at least 2 hours to have the chicken thighs ready on your plate in the ‘Low and Slow’ method. Simply practice the techniques mentioned above and it’ll be just perfect.
Checkpoint: The chicken thighs may not look well-cooked after an hour when you open the lid up. But nothing to worry about. Continue the process.
Another thing to check is the temperature. Set a temperature to give you an alarm if the temperature rises beyond that. It’ll help you to keep a track of the highest temperature while cooking.
If the temperature goes higher than the ‘Set temperature’, take some coals out using a metal tong. Also, don’t let the temperature rise more than the set temperature which can be 350F to 380F. Usually, cooking is done from 250F to 270F.
Things You Have To Keep In Mind While Cooking Things On Vortex
If you don’t want to fail your attempt to get the perfect thighs, you should keep some facts in your mind when you cook thighs on the vortex.
Maintaining some precautions provide you with the best results and let you enjoy the barbeque journey.
- Brining is a shield
You may not have time and skip brining before cooking. But I advise you to brine the chicken for at least 2 to 3 hours. It helps the chicken to be tasty and not get burnt.
The temperature shouldn’t rise more than 190F, the chicken won’t taste juicy. They’ll turn like hockey pucks in the end.
For method 2, keep the track of the temperature in your digital thermometer. Don’t let the temperature exceed your ‘Set temperature’.
- Avoid corn syrup while dressing
Baste the chicken with a flavored dressing to make it tender and prevent burning. But if the corn syrup is present in the solution, it can’t prevent burning. Make sure, you don’t purchase the wrong thing.
- Choose the Best Charcoal
I have used Royal Oak and Kingsford Original Briquettes. They’re great for grilling because of easy lighting, and re-usable features. Mostly, I go for Kingsford charcoal.
- Heat the Thighs before Placing them on Hot Grill
The thighs in normal temperature are soft-skinned. When you’re placing them on the hot grill, the marinated skin becomes even softer and gets teared. That results in badly shaped grills in the end.
How Long Do You Cook Chicken Thighs On A Weber Grill?
Usually, the process takes 1 to 2 hours. But based on different factors, like, the chicken thighs thickness, ingredients you rubbed to brine and how well you trimmed and seasoned the chicken pieces, the time varies.
What Temperature Do You Cook Chicken Thighs On A Weber Grill?
In the kettle, the temperature should be between 350 F to 420F. Try not to raise the temperature beyond this range, the thighs might get overcooked. And won’t be tender anymore.
How Do You Use The Vortex On A Weber Grill?
Cooking chicken thighs using the vortex is the easiest thing to do in grilling.
- I place the coals inside the vortex of the kettle.
- I make sure the vent is clear and doesn’t interrupt air inside the kettle.
- After that, I lit up the coals and placed the hinged grate over the vortex.
- Then, I place the chicken thighs or the meat and let the Weber grill do all the things. Surely, I check the meat from time to time.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Chicken Thighs At 300 Degrees?
To smoke thighs at 300 degrees might take 1 to 1 and a half hours. I want to remind you the result can turn into less tasty, less smoky flavored chicken pieces, not well-tender and juicy chicken thighs.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Chicken Thighs At 350 Degrees?
The chicken thighs might take half an hour (30 minutes) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to be smoked properly. In this case, you’ve to preheat the smoker to 350F. You’ll have crispy-skinned chicken thighs if you cook them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since you’ve reached the verdict, I assume, you have given this guide a good shot. Also, I expect you’re a little more knowledgeable about how to cook chicken thighs on Weber vortex than before.
You can choose either of these two well-researched and applied procedures. I’ve grilled in both ways and found out the first method works well for me.