The preparation process includes two steps:
1. Brining the thighs in a homemade brine solution for 4-24 hrs.
2. Marinate thighs in a sweet and sour marinade 1-3 hrs.
Note: Place prepared thighs on barbecue rack @ 250 degrees for 3-4 hours make sure the internal temperature of the thighs reach at minimum 165 degrees before serving.
Step 1: Brine Chicken Thighs
Add (1/4) cup of salt to the gallon size zip lock bag. Place 4-6 thighs inside and add water until thighs are covered. Shake ensuring salt mixes in water and set in refrigerator for 4-24 hrs. This process adds flavor to the meat and also helps it retain it's juicy qualities. For best flavor allow thighs to sit in the brine mix for the 24 hr. period
Step 2: Marinade Prep.
In a bowl add:
1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup ranch salad dressing, 2 tea spoons mustard,
3 tea spoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tea spoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tea spoons salt.
Step 3: Heat Mixture in Microwave
Heat mixture in microwave for 30 seconds. This helps the honey to liquify a bit more. And since some ingredients are room temperature and others are refrigerated, this step will also help the individual ingredients in the mixture reach the same temperature.
After heating in microwave, pour ingredients into zip lock bag. (being careful of the hot ingredients)
Step 4: Add Thighs to the Marinade
Drain brine from the zip lock with the thighs in it.
Carefully move thighs from "brine" bag into "marinade" bag.
After adding last piece, lock bag and gently turn bag from side to side, making sure that the thighs are coated with marinade. Place in the refrigerator from 1-4 hours. (more time = more marinade flavor)
If you are using wood as your fire source, this is always a great time to start the barbecue pit.
The ideal temperature is 250 degrees.
Step 5: Place Thighs on the Barbecue Grill. 3-4 Hours @ 250 Degrees
Once the 250 degrees is reached, place thighs on rack, skin side up. You can place the thighs on the rack right out of the zip lock bag. It's easier and it also minimizes the number of pans needing to be washed afterward. Ideal temperature is 250 degrees. Close barbecue door and wait. Check every (1) hour making sure the temp remains at 250 degrees.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of chicken thighs is at least at 165 degrees before serving. Allow to cool a bit before serving. You can enjoy these "right out of the pit smoked flavor" or add your favorite barbecue sauce and enjoy.