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Smoked Piri Piri Chicken Thighs

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Latest Wow BBQ Article - Smoked Piri Piri Chicken Thighs
Posted: Friday 15th May 2015

We decided to bust out our Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker at WOWBBQ HQ to celebrate the sunshine! And what better way to enjoy the summer than with a plate full of delicious tender smoked chicken thighs, seriously tasty.

Piri Piri is the name of the type of African chilli used to make this marinade and subsequently the sauce itself. You’d find this chilli in both South Africa and Portugal, although in the UK’s it’s mostly synonymous with the ever popular Nando’s restaurant chain (although we will add that their chicken is not quite as good as ours, ahem).

We recommend that you marinade your chicken overnight so the flavour can really seep in for a seriously fiery kick!


For the Marinade:

  • 5 birdeye chillies (Piri Piri if you can find them!)
  • 70g Paprika (smoked if you can find it)
  • 70g Cayenne pepper
  • 5 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tin of Passata
  • 1 large white onion
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 200ml white wine vinegar
  • 120g of light brown sugar
  • 20g best quality salt
  • The juice of one lemon
  • A good glug of olive oil


  • Chicken (we love Thighs as they’re fantastically tender and juicy but feel free to use any cut you like – this sauce works well with wings, legs, you name it!) 
  • Ziplock bags

The Method

  • Lightly toast the spices in a wok/pan but do not burn
  • Leave to cool.
  • Add all marinade ingredients including spices into a blender and whizz until completely smooth.
  • Stab and slit your chicken a couple of times to provide areas for the marinade to seep in.
  • Bag up your chicken thighs and sauce, smush the chicken and marinade together in the bags to ensure even coating.
  • Leave overnight.

Piri Piri Marinade


  • The next day; set up your BBQ for indirect grilling or your Smokey mountain for smoking.
  • Add wood chunks to your charcoal for an extra layer of smokey flavour; Apple or Cherry works best.

    Weber Smokey Mountain Ready!

  • Cook! Use a meat probe to make sure your chicken is properly cooked.

Enjoy your delicious Piri Piri Chicken!

  • Feast!