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4.50 from 6 votes

Sticky Asian Grilled Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are rubbed with a brown sugar spice rub that caramelizes the thighs in the most delightful way. Grilled on in-direct heat, they are basted with a simple, ginger and garlic infused Asian glaze.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Sticky Asian Grilled Chicken Thighs
Servings: 4
Calories: 652kcal


  • 1.75 pounds Chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on OR chicken wings
  • 2 green onions - thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Brown Sugar Spice Rub

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Sticky Asian Glaze

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, fresh grated
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste


  • Preheat the barbecue grill to 350-400 degrees set up for indirect cooking.
  • Stir together the Brown Sugar Spice Rub.
  • Pat the rub all over the chicken thighs.
  • Place the rubbed chicken thighs, skin side up, on the side of the grill AWAY from the heat source and close the barbecue grill lid.
  • Cook the chicken undisturbed for 20-30 minutes.
  • Bring the Asian Glace ingredients to a simmer in a small sauce pan and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly.
  • Baste the tops of the chicken thighs with the Asian Glaze 4-5 times for remaining 20-30 minutes of cook time, keeping the lid closed in between saucing.
  • Cook the chicken until the interior is at least 165 degrees and the skin is caramelized and sticky. Additional cook time for the desired level of caramelization is acceptable,
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.



-Barbecue grills can vary greatly.  The temperature is easier to control and monitor on different models.  Therefore, the cook time can also change according to model. 
-As long as the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees, the chicken can be considered done.
-Chicken thighs can be roasted beyond 165 degrees as they have a higher fat content that will continue to baste the meat as it cooks.
-Cook the chicken until the caramelization and stickiness level  of the skin is at your desired degree.
-For a standard Weber Kettle with a charcoal chimney worth of coals resting on the opposite side of the chicken, I recommend cooking the chicken, covered for 30 minutes undisturbed.  Then for another 30 minutes, still covered, except when frequently basting with the glaze.
-Chicken wings may be substituted for thighs with the same great results.


Calories: 652kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 2062mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg