Looking for an easy chicken recipe that the family will beg you for again and again? Ninja Foodi Grill Chicken Thighs are perfect. They are crispy, juicy, and have a subtle smoky flavor. Super-simple and absolutely delicious!
My family is a big fan of air fryer chicken thighs. This weekend I thought I'd mix things up by making bone-in chicken thighs in my Foodi Grill.
I planned ahead of time and marinated the chicken overnight in an easy and delicious buttermilk-based marinade.
I knew they would be good, but I was blown away by the reaction to these Ninja Foodi Grill Chicken Thighs.
The skin was oh-so-crispy - it reminded me of bbq chicken thighs made on the grill. And the meat? Moist, juicy, and loaded with flavor.
My eight-year-old declared this the "best chicken ever." She went so far as to hide a piece for herself for leftovers in the fridge. (With two teenage brothers, leftovers can be hard to come by at our house.)
I'd call that a success.
Give this a try - I think it will become one of your favorite ninja food grill chicken thigh recipes just like it is mine.
Ingredients for Making Chicken Thighs in the Ninja Foodi Grill
Chicken: Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. You could use chicken breast, or even boneless chicken, but you will need to adjust the cooking time. For best results, use an instant-read thermometer because different cuts of chicken have different cooking times.
Buttermilk: This adds a tanginess to the chicken and also tenderizes it.
Seasonings: Salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper add the right pop of flavor. Feel free to adjust the salt and pepper to your personal liking.
Tips, Tricks, and Variations
- I encourage you to marinate this overnight if you can. Just four hours in the marinade is enough to make a difference. The real magic happens when you let them tenderize and gain flavor overnight.
- Feel free to mix this up! You could toss the thighs in your favorite bbq sauce seven minutes before the cook time is up. Return them to the grill to finish cooking. Or, if you're craving sweet glazed chicken thighs, a brown sugar glaze could be used in the same way.
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- Cilantro Lime Slaw
Frequently Asked Questions
Because of the high acuity level, buttermilk tenderizes meat. It also adds flavor.
A maximum of 24 hours is ideal. You can safely marinate meat in buttermilk for up to two days, but it may get tougher if you go beyond the first day.
Tools Needed to Make Ninja Foodi Grill Bone-In Chicken Thighs
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- Ninja Foodi Grill
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Tongs (for flipping)
You can store leftover chicken thighs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Cooked chicken thighs can be frozen for up to three months.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Ninja Foodi Grill
Start by placing the chicken in a shallow dish or large zip-top bag.
Make the marinade by combining the buttermilk, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Pour the chicken over the marinade and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to overnight.
Remove the marinated chicken from the marinade and throw the marinade away.
Select GRILL, HIGH and set the time for 25 minutes. (Keep in mind that the cooking time may need to be adjusted depending on the size of the thighs.)
When the grill is hot, add the chicken in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd.
Cook, flipping the chicken after 12 minutes, until the chicken registers 160° F.
Remove the chicken from the grill and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
More Ninja Foodi Recipes to Try:
- Ninja Foodi Grill Potatoes
- Grilled Chipotle Chicken
- Ninja Foodi Grill Asparagus
- Three Types of Bacon in the Ninja Foodi Grill
- Ninja Foodi Grill Baked Potato
- Chicken Wings in the Ninja Foodi Grill
Ninja Foodi Grill Chicken Thighs
- 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place the chicken in a shallow dish or large zip-top bag.
- In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Pour the mixture over the chicken, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
- Select GRILL, HIGH and set the timer for 25 minutes.
- When the grill is preheated, add the chicken, being careful not to overcrowd.
- Cook, flipping halfway through, until the chicken registers 160° F.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
NO MENTION OF TEMP
This is a recipe for the Foodi Grill - the temp is GRILL, HIGH.
These are delicious...however I wouldn't soak the chicjen longer than 8 hours. The proteins tend to break down too much and become "mushy". Thanjs!
So glad you enjoyed it!
That is actually true for a lot of marinades, especially ones that contain acid. However, a buttermilk base is something you can marinade longer if you choose.
Of course, if shorter is more to your liking, then that is what you should do!
I looking at making this but worried soaking in buttermilk then placing on the Nina foodie grill will start smoking and set off my smoke detector ? I live in an apartment with a sensitive smoke detector ?
I haven't had an issue. Just make sure you drain it well.
I have just bought the Ninja Max Grill and this chicken recipe will be the first one I try. The instructions are brilliant, thank you
Nancy Jo Bowman
I purchased a tray of pre-seasoned chicken thighs this morning with no real cooking technique planned. Google brought me to your recipe. obviously, I wasn't able to marinade the chicken, but the cooking instructions were spot on. my husbandmisn't a huge fan of chicken, but complimented "my" technique as he licked his fingers clean. I'll be doing this again using buttermilk and my own seasonings. love the recipe and lovemthis usemof my ninja foodi grill.