Warmer weather calls for more outdoor cooking. It’s the most beautiful time of year, when the sun is shining, flowers are blooming and you can bust out your grill or smoker to show off your skills! But sometimes, burgers, hot dogs and even pulled pork can get a little old, don’t you think? Why not try something new for your next backyard BBQ. Enter: cider smoked chicken.

Now, hear us out. Chicken definitely isn’t everybody’s favorite, especially because, all too often, it can be bland and far too dry. This cider smoked chicken recipe captures the flavor of semi-sweet cider and kicks it up a notch. It makes for a sweet, tangy piece of chicken with plenty of moisture. Try it on your Traeger, or another type of smoker, and don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of cider to enjoy while it’s cooking.

Cider Smoked Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless chicken thighs

2 cups semi-sweet cider (We used Golden Row Hard Cider)

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon Maille Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

Directions

Generously season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place them in a walled baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients for the marinade. Mix together the cider, brown sugar, Dijon, honey and fresh thyme, then whisk to combine.

Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the smoker to 200°F the next day.

Once the smoker is up to temperature, place the chicken thighs on the grill, reserving the marinade.

Place the baking dish with the marinade still in it under the chicken thighs on the grill. Occasionally spoon the mixture over the chicken while cooking.

After smoking for 2 hours, turn the heat up to 400°F. Cook the chicken thighs for 30 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Serve the chicken thighs whole, or chop them up to toss in a salad.