How to Pre-Bake Skinless Chicken Thighs Before Grilling

by Chris Callaway

Chicken thighs can be baked before grilling to ensure that the meat is cooked through.

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Perhaps the meat you most need to cook thoroughly is chicken, as undercooked chicken can carry bacteria such as salmonella, staphylococcus aureus and campylobacter jejuni. At the same time, you also want to avoid overcooking the chicken, as the meat will then be dry and the chicken's taste ruined. Chicken thighs can be especially tricky to grill, so pre-baking them ahead of time will allow you to cook them thoroughly and safely before you place them on the grill for a final sear and char.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit; prepare the chicken while the oven heats up.

Place the skinless chicken thighs into the baking dish with the marinade or garnish of your choosing. Consider using oil, brown sugar for a caramelizing effect, citrus fruits for a tangy flavor or simply your favorite barbecue sauce. If you are really planning ahead, allow your chicken thighs to marinate overnight.

Wrap the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. This will trap steam between the foil and the glass, which will help the chicken thighs cook thoroughly as well as allow the meat to soak up the flavor of the marinade.

Bake the chicken for an hour. If you are going to then grill the chicken, do so immediately, as refrigerating partially cooked chicken can result in the growth of harmful bacteria, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. If you plan to refrigerate the chicken before grilling, make sure that the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit by checking its center with a meat thermometer.


  • Wash your hands and any surface that may have touched uncooked chicken thoroughly. You will need to wash your hands each time you touch the chicken.

    Remove any excess fat from the chicken for a healthier dish. The skin should already be peeled away, but cut off any existing chunks before cooking.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Chris Callaway started writing professionally in 2007 and has worked as sports editor, managing editor and senior editor of "The Racquet" as well as written for the "La Crosse Tribune" and other newspapers in western Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor of Arts in English and communications.