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Char Siu Thighs at

I’ve made Char Siu Pork, the delicious Chinese Barbecued Pork before. While following other blogs on social media, one blogger brushed commercial Char Siu sauce on chicken she did in the oven. I was inspired. Why not cook chicken like you do Char Siu Pork. Welcome to Char Siu Thighs.

I started by making up a marinade. I mixed the soy sauce, hoisin, five spice, Sriracha, brown sugar and red food colouring together. I tossed 4 pounds of chicken thighs in the marinade. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.

Char Siu Thighs 1

I took the thighs out and put them on a tray.

Char Siu Thighs 2

I fired up my WSM Mini smoker with a full chimney of charcoal and a couple of chunks of apple wood. I got it up to over 400 F.

Char Siu Thighs 3

I brushed the chicken with oil and put it on the grill. I smoked it for 40 minutes, turning the chicken every 10 minutes and brushing with oil. The oil helps give a good texture to the skin.

Char Siu Thighs 4

The temperature in your smoker will drop because you are opening it a few times. When I was finished, the temperature had dropped to less than 350 F.

Char Siu Thighs 5

Make sure the internal temperature of the thighs is over 165 F and they are done.

Char Siu Thighs 6

The Verdict

This turned out great. I took some to a picnic and they vanished. There is a nice flavour with sweet notes and the underlying anise flavour from the five spice. There is just a touch of heat from the Sriracha. This will be a regular on my table.

The Old Fat Guy

Char Siu Thighs

Yield: 6 servings

Char Siu Thighs


  • 2 kilograms (4 pounds) chicken thighs
  • 175 ml (2/3 cup) soy sauce
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) hoisin
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) five spice
  • 8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) sriracha (could substitute 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) hot pepper sauce)
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 7 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) red food colouring
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil


  1. Mix all ingredients except chicken and oil together.
  2. Put the chicken in the marinade and toss. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
  3. Heat a smoker to 400 F.
  4. Brush the the chicken with oil and put it in the smoker.
  5. Smoke for 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes and brushing with oil.
  6. Make sure the internal temperature is over 165 F and serve.
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7 Responses

  1. I just happen to have some thighs in my freezer and ALL the ingredients for the sauce…….I see Char Siu Thighs in my future! I need to get rested up after four months of packing and moving.

  2. oops disregard my previous question….silly me. I should have completely read your recipe before I asked lol.

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