Hot Honey Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sweet Chili Sauce

Grilling season is here. Time to lean in to the heat. With a whole season ahead, you need an easy and affordable recipe you can use all summer long. Grilling perfection awaits with these Hot Honey Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sweet Chili Sauce. Make the easy barbecue seasoning from your pantry ingredients, grill over medium-high heat, then brush on the sweet honey glaze for that sticky lacquered shine. It’s delicious!

This recipe calls for honey granules, or granulated honey, that you will use for the seasoning. This is a versatile sweetening ingredient that you can use in salad dressings, sauces, marinades, coffee, tea, or cocktails, and because of it’s long shelf life, it is often kept on hand for emergency supplies. It was fairly hard to locate, but I was able to find a three pound canister at Walmart. You can substitute brown sugar or use more granulated sugar. You will still get plenty of that nice honey flavor from the glaze. 

You could also use chicken breasts, salmon, pork chops, or pork tenderloin for this recipe. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. And if you are avoiding sugar for any reason, this recipe is still delicious without it. I tried making a batch of the seasoning without the honey and sugar, just using all of the dried spices, to test this. I also added the Old Bay seasoning, ground cumin, and ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon of each, from the Chili Glaze ingredients to my dry seasoning, as well. Marinate your chicken thighs with this and follow the instructions below. You won’t use the glaze or dipping sauce in this case, but you can garnish with cilantro and lime and offer Sriracha and sambal oelek alongside. 

Be safe this summer and discard your grill brush. The coarse wire bristles can break off and get into the food you’re grilling. If swallowed, they can cause injuries to the mouth and throat, or puncture parts of the digestive system like the esophagus, intestines, stomach, or liver.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 1,800 people ended up in emergency rooms between 2018 and 2020 from injuries involving grill brush bristles.

Clean and oil your grill before you start. A good way to quickly clean your grill is by crumpling a sheet of aluminum foil into a ball. Use your tongs to steady the ball of foil, or just use your hand, so that you can scrape the grill grates, knocking off any leftover residue. Then, oil your grates by dipping a wadded paper towel in a little oil and using your tongs to wipe the oil evenly over the grates. Before you head out to the grill, transfer about 1/3 cup of the glaze into a small bowl for basting. You can always add more, if needed, and you don’t want to contaminate the reserved dipping sauce with the basting brush.

Summer awaits. Get out there and get grilling!

Hot Honey Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sweet Chili Sauce

Hot Honey BBQ Seasoning

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated onion
  • 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup honey granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs

Sweet Chili Glaze and Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce, such as Mae Ploy
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 lime wedges

For seasoning: Combine granulated sugar, sweet paprika, kosher salt, garlic, onion, dark brown sugar, oregano, cumin, thyme, ground black pepper, chili powder, honey granules, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

For chicken: Preheat grill to medium-high heat on one side and low heat on another to create temperature zones for cooking. While grill heats, toss chicken thighs with 3/4 cup BBQ seasoning in a large bowl. Allow chicken to marinate for 15 minutes.*

In a separate bowl, make the sweet chili glaze and dipping sauce. Combine Sriracha, sweet chili sauce, honey, sambal oelek, Old Bay seasoning, cumin and coriander. Set aside. 

Once grill reaches temperature, place seasoned chicken thighs on the medium-high heat side of the grill and cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Once chicken thighs reach an internal temperature or 160º F, transfer to the low heat side and brush the tops with the sweet chili glaze and dipping sauce. 

Cook for about 5 minutes on the low zone of the grill to create a charred sticky glaze. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165º F. Garnish with sliced scallions, fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Serve with additional sweet chili dipping sauce on the side. 

– chef Matt Abdoo 


*Note:  Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, countertops, and your hands with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item. Use separate plates for raw and cooked chicken. Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken. 

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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