Reverse Sear Chicken Thighs

Reverse searing is a foolproof cooking method that produces delicious, juicy, tender chicken thighs in the oven every time. Learning how to Reverse Sear Chicken Thighs is an easy way to get perfectly cooked protein for your favorite side dishes!

cooked chicken thighs on a plate

🤔Can You Reverse Sear Chicken Thighs?

Yes, this cooking method is one of the best ways to cook chicken thighs. The reverse sear method is a simple cooking technique that involves finishing meat under the broiler, in a cast iron skillet, or by using a torch after it has been cooked slowly at a lower temperature in the oven.

This method produces tender, juicy chicken thighs that are not dry or overcooked. Reverse searing also allows for better caramelization of the exterior of the meat, resulting in a delicious crust when finished making it one of the easiest chicken thigh recipes.

🍗Ingredients and Tools

Chicken Thighs – Bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs are the best type of chicken thighs to use for this recipe. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found where other cuts of chicken are.

  • Seasonings – You can use just about anything to season your meat. We love using a simple blend of kosher salt, garlic, and black pepper. Just mix in a small bowl with a spoon before dry rubbing onto the meat. 
  • Cooking Oil – An oil such as, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, or another high smoke point oil is best for broiling the chicken after its been reverse seared.
  • Oven Safe Cooking Rack – Use this on top of a rimmed baking sheet to ensure the heat gets circulated all around the surfaces of the meat.
  • Meat Thermometer – A quality kitchen thermometer with a long probe is key to reverse searing any meat. For a top-of-the-line thermometer, use the Meater. For an inexpensive option, try the ThermPro.

📖How To Reverse Sear Chicken Thighs In The Oven

1️⃣Preheat the oven: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, let the chicken thighs sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to take off the chill. 

2️⃣Season the chicken: Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken thighs with your favorite seasonings. 

3️⃣Place the seasoned chicken thighs on a rack: Place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and place in the oven. 

4️⃣Cook until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F: Cook the chicken thighs in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit, about 30-40 minutes per pound. Use an oven-safe kitchen thermometer for accurate results. 

5️⃣Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes: Remove the chicken from the oven and place foil over the top for 15 minutes.

6️⃣Sear in skillet: Add the oil to a skillet and let it get very hot. Pat the chicken thighs dry again with paper towels, then sear them for about 1 minute on each side until a golden brown crust forms or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

7️⃣Finish on gas grill or smoker: You can also sear on a gas grill or smoker (Traeger or big green egg). Once chicken thighs are cook and the chicken has rested. Crank up the temperature on the grill or smoker to medium-high and sear on each side for about one minute or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

8️⃣Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes: Remove the chicken from the heat and add foil back to the top. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

👩🏼‍🍳Reverse Sear Cooking Tips

  • Always pat the meat dry: This will help the seasonings stick to the meat and prevent unwanted moisture. 
  • Take the chill off: Letting the meat rest before cooking is important because it lets the proteins relax, keeping the meat from getting tough when going from hot to cold. 
  • Use an oven-safe meat thermometer: This will allow you to accurately cook the meat to the correct temperature without opening the oven door and letting out heat. Use a temperature probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat. 
  • Rest the meat after searing: Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier and more flavorful chicken. 
  • Sear at high temperature: Whether you are pan searing in a cast iron pan, grilling, or smoking, ensure that the temperature is very hot before searing. Low temperatures will cause the meat to stay in longer, further increasing the internal temperature and making it dry. 
  • Sear chicken thighs then bake: Reverse the process by searing the chicken thighs first then bake utilizing a meat thermometer to ensure the proper temperature is reached. How long to bake chicken thighs after searing depends on the thickness. Generally it will take 20 minutes in a 350F oven.

🧂Chicken Thighs Seasoning Ideas

  • Cajun or Blackened seasoning: This blend of paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and oregano is perfect for chicken. 
  • Greek seasoning: A mix of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, and thyme gives the chicken a Mediterranean flavor. 
  • Jamaican jerk: Allspice, ginger, cloves, thyme, and habanero peppers give this chicken a spicy kick. 
  • BBQ rub: A blend of paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin will give the chicken a smoked flavor. 
  • Lemon herb: Perfect for summer, this blend of lemon zest, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and basil is refreshing and light. 
  • Chinese five spice: A mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, and Sichuan pepper gives the chicken an exotic flavor. 
  • Chasu: A Japanese-inspired seasoning of ginger, garlic, and onion powder with a touch of cumin is perfect for reverse-seared chicken that’s great to use thinly sliced on top of ramen or other Japanese dishes.

FAQ

Can I reverse sear boneless chicken thighs?

Yes, the cooking time will be a bit shorter and the crust won’t be as golden brown or crispy if it does not have skin, but it will still be delicious!

Do I need to use an oven rack?

No, but it helps the chicken cook evenly and keeps it from sticking to the baking sheet.

What temperature do you reverse sear chicken?

For best results, an oven temperature of 250F will cook the chicken thigh reverse sear low and slow at about 30-40 minutes per pound. Get the internal temperature to at least 155F before searing the rest of the way to bring the internal temperature to 165F before enjoying.

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cooked chicken thighs on a plate

Reverse Sear Chicken Thighs

Reverse searing is a foolproof cooking method that produces delicious, juicy, tender chicken thighs in the oven every time. Learning how to Reverse Sear Chicken Thighs is an easy way to get perfectly cooked protein for your favorite side dishes!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 500kcal

Equipment

  • Oven Safe Cooking Rack
  • Meat Thermometer

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Chicken Thighs
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, let the chicken thighs sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to take off the chill.
  • Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken thighs with your favorite seasonings.
  • Place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and place in the oven.
  • Cook the chicken thighs in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit, about 30-40 minutes per pound. Use an oven-safe kitchen thermometer for accurate results.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and place foil over top for 15 minutes.
  • Add the oil to a skillet and let it get very hot. Pat the chicken thighs dry again with paper towels, then sear them for about 1 minute each side until a golden brown crust forms or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. You can also sear on a gas grill or smoker over high heat for about one minute each side.
  • Remove the chicken from the heat and add foil back to the top. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 222mg | Sodium: 1338mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg

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