Go Back Email Link
Smoked and Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs

Smoked and Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Brining time: 4 hours
Author Mat Cotton


  • chicken thighs (2 per person, or more if desired)
  • 1 qt buttermilk
  • dry rub suitable for chicken
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

For the coating:

  • 1 cups plain or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ┬ásalt
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ginger powder


  • Prepare your brine by mixing 600ml buttermilk with 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp of paprika, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, and 1 tbsp of black pepper in a large PLASTIC bowl, deep enough to submerge all your chicken pieces.
  • Fully submerge your chicken thighs in the buttermilk brine and place in fridge overnight, or at least for 4-5 hours.
  • Prepare your smoker to 230-260f, using a light fruit wood for the smoking wood.
  • Remove chicken from buttermilk and wipe off excess.
  • Place chicken on wire rack over aluminum tray and apply your dry rub to both sides of chicken thighs.
  • Smoke chicken thighs for around 45 minutes, or until you are happy with the color, or until chicken reaches 135-140F.
  • While chicken is smoking, mix together all your flour coating ingredients in a large bowl, and in another large bowl, place another 2 cups of buttermilk.
  • 10 mins before chicken is finished, prepare your deep fryer to 300-325F.
  • Submerge a piece of chicken thigh in the buttermilk and then toss liberally in the flour mix.
  • Repeat step 9 to double coat for extra crispiness.
  • Gently place the coated thigh in a deep fryer, and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden. Internal temp should be 165+ F. Cook in batches of 2-3.
  • Drain and keep warm in a low oven while repeating steps 9-11 as necessary.
  • Drizzle with honey and enjoy!