Pellet Smoked Habanero Honey Chicken Thighs

Pellet Smoked Habanero Chicken Thighs

Welcome to a culinary adventure that combines smoky goodness, fiery heat, and a touch of sweetness! In this mouthwatering recipe, we will explore the irresistible combination of juicy chicken thighs infused with the intense flavors of pellet smoke, habanero peppers, and the natural sweetness of honey. Prepare to embark on a flavor-packed journey that will leave you craving for more.

Chicken thighs, known for their tenderness and juiciness, are the perfect canvas for our flavor infusion. But we won’t settle for ordinary. By harnessing the power of pellet smoking, we’ll take our chicken thighs to the next level, infusing them with a rich, smoky essence that will have you salivating from the moment you catch a whiff.

Now, let’s turn up the heat! The habanero pepper, notorious for its fiery kick, will bring a bold and vibrant flavor to our dish. Its distinct fruity notes will dance on your palate, adding a tantalizing heat that will awaken your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

But we’re not done yet. We’ll balance the spiciness with the natural sweetness of honey, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that will truly take this dish to new heights. The honey will provide a subtle caramelization and glaze, complementing the smoky and spicy elements with its gentle touch.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a flavor adventure that combines smoky, spicy, and sweet, join us as we explore the magic of pellet smoked habanero honey chicken thighs. Get your taste buds ready for a symphony of flavors that will have you coming back for seconds, and maybe even thirds. Let’s dive in and discover the irresistible allure of this incredible dish!


  • 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 habanero pepper
  • 1/2 cup green habanero sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

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First, slice a habanero pepper and half of a jalapeno pepper into thin slices while keeping the seeds in. Set the slices aside in a container for later. Next, use a mini chopper or a blender to chop the bell pepper, one habanero, and half of the jalapeno. You can keep the seeds of the habanero and jalapeno on for extra heat but this recipe recommends you remove them. If you are using a blender, just pulse the contents a few times to create a liquid mash with large chunks.

Next place the chicken thighs in a container and pour the pepper mash from the chopper / blender over the chicken thighs. Add the habanero sauce, black pepper, kosher salt, paprika, and brown sugar. Wear a glove and hand mix the chicken to evenly coat all sides with the pepper mash mixture. Cover the container and place it in the refrigerator overnight or at least 12 hours.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat your smoker to 275F using hickory, pecan, or apple wood pellets. When the smoker reaches temperature, place the chicken skin side up on the smoker. Cover the skin with any remaining pepper mash and add 2 pepper slices on each thigh. Cook for 30 minutes, then add honey to the skins. Cook another 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165F. 175F is the target for thighs, but we will finish them over fire.

Preheat your grill when the chicken temps get close to 165F. If your pellet smoker has a grill mode, remove and cover the chicken at 165F. When the grill is ready, place the chicken on skin side down and place some pepper slices on the top side. Close the lid and cook for 5 – 8 minutes then flip. Cook another 5 – 8 minutes or until they reach 175F.

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Watch How To Make This Recipe

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