Chicken Muffins are a great way to please almost everyone at a BBQ. They’re really easy to prepare and they’re economical (thighs being one of the more inexpensive cuts of meat).

Method: Smoke, Grill
Suggested Woods: Hickory, Apple, Cherry
Approx. Cook Time: 1.5 hours



  • Chicken Thighs, 2 per person, and a couple more
  • BBQ Rub of your choice – Spicy works well
  • Smoking chips/chunks – Hickory is good
  • Muffin tins, as many holes as you have thighs
  • Enough lard/duckfat/butter to grease the tins

Step 1.

Debone the chicken thighs, cutting around the bone, to leave you with a single strip of chicken, try to remove excess skin and ligament as well.

Step 2.

Put the thighs straight into a large bowl as you finish them. Once the thighs are tidied up and deboned, add a generous amount of BBQ rub to the bowl, and mix it up, try to coat the thighs as thoroughly as possible, you can always add more rub if needed.

Step 3.

Grease the muffin tin with lard (duck fat, butter works too). Be thorough, even excessive, about 1/2cm cube per cup.

Step 4.

Starting at the thinner end of the cut, roll the thigh up so that the skin is on the outside and place skin side down into the muffin tin, tucking in the edges.

Step 5.

Smoke them like this for half an hour at 250f/120°C  before flipping them to be skin side up for a further half hour.

Step 6.

Remove the water pan, empty and replace it, then cook for another hour in the tins. At this point, you can eat them, and they will be good, BUT… for a great finishing touch, take them out of the tins and grill them until the skin is crispy.

Step 7.

NB You can also baste them with a sugary glaze at this point, giving them a beautiful sheen and sweet flavour that works well with chilli. Chicken Muffins are great with cornbread and even as chicken burger.

The photo’s used in this recipe are from our saltimbocca chicken recipe, hence the lack of a dry rub.

The times in the recipes we write are approximate, due to all manner of factors including weather, the charcoal you use and many more, but fear not! For there is a sure way to tell whether or not your cook is done. Internal temperature is accurate and infallible if it is taken correctly. The most important things to do are:

  • Take the temperature in the centre of the largest piece of meat (e.g. on a chicken this would be the breast.)
  • Make sure the probe isn’t touching the bone, you will know if it does as the temperature will be impossibly high.

For chicken 165°F is done.