Grilling Showdown: Chicken Boneless Skinless Thighs vs Breasts

When it comes to grilling chicken, one of the most popular questions that people ask is which cut is best: boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts? The answer to this question is not straightforward, as both cuts have their own unique features and benefits. In this article, we will explore the differences between boneless skinless chicken thighs and chicken breasts and determine which is best for grilling.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breasts: Which Cut is the Best?

Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breasts
Chicken Thighs vs Breast Protein

Taste and Texture

One of the primary differences between chicken thighs and chicken breasts is the taste and texture.

Chicken thighs are known for their rich, dark meat flavor and moist, juicy texture. They are also slightly more tender than chicken breasts and contain more fat, which adds to their flavor and helps them stay moist during cooking.

On the other hand, chicken breasts are leaner and have a milder flavor compared to chicken thighs. They are also firmer and have a lighter texture, which some people prefer.

Cooking Time

Cooking time is also a big difference between chicken thighs and chicken breasts. Because chicken thighs are thicker and contain more fat, they take longer to cook than chicken breasts. It typically takes 6-8 minutes per side to grill boneless skinless chicken thighs over medium-high heat, while chicken breasts take 4-6 minutes per side.

Note: Ensure that chicken is fully cooked before consumption to avoid foodborne illness. Therefore, using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken is critical. The USDA recommends cooking chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Health Considerations

Boneless skinless chicken thighs and chicken breasts are both excellent sources of protein. However, chicken breasts are lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than chicken thighs. A 3-ounce serving of boneless skinless chicken breast contains approximately 140 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 70 milligrams of cholesterol, while the same serving size of boneless skinless chicken thigh contains approximately 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 80 milligrams of cholesterol.

It’s worth noting that while chicken thighs contain more fat, the fat in chicken thighs is primarily unsaturated fat, which is considered healthier than the saturated fat found in other meats. This can make chicken thighs a better choice for those who are trying to maintain a healthy diet. Additionally, the fat content in chicken thighs can help keep the meat moist and tender during cooking.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast contains 26 grams of protein, while the same serving size of boneless, skinless chicken thigh contains 22 grams of protein. Both cuts of chicken are good sources of protein and can be a healthy part of a balanced diet. However, for those who are watching their calorie and cholesterol intake, chicken breasts may be the better choice.”


United States Department of Agriculture. (2021). Basic Report: 05066, Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release.

Which is Best for Grilling?

So, which is best for grilling, boneless skinless chicken thighs, or chicken breasts? The answer always depends on your personal preferences and needs.

If you prefer rich, flavorful meat that stays moist during cooking, then boneless skinless chicken thighs are a great choice. They are also an excellent option for those who want to add some healthy fat to their diet.

If you are looking for a leaner option or prefer a milder taste and firmer texture, then chicken breasts are the way to go. They are also an excellent option for those watching their calorie and cholesterol intake.

Besides, you can read: How to Grill Frozen Burgers on a Gas Grill? – Tips for Grilling Perfectly


Both boneless skinless chicken thighs and chicken breasts are great options for grilling with the right grilling equipment. The choice ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and needs. So, fire up your grill and enjoy some delicious and healthy grilled chicken!

Helen Knight
Helen Knight

I'm passionate about cooking and making simple, delicious recipes that you can always feel confident feeding to friends and family. My goals for you are to have fun in the kitchen, learn new things, and create beautiful dishes. I have a lot of experience using kitchen appliances, so making great food is my passion and my favorite thing to share with others. I prioritize food safety in all of my meals. Check out my blog SKI, for helpful tips and tricks to improve your own cooking skills. Let's explore the world of food together!

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