How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs – Stop Overcooking!

Published Categorized as Journal

Boiling chicken thighs is a relatively easy process. Whether you need them for soup, grilling, or shredding, we’ve got the details you need when it comes to how long to boil chicken thighs until they are fully cooked.

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If that sounds like something you’d love to have more information on, then you’re in luck. We will be covering all of that and more in today’s post! Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

woman holding lid of cooking pot and using brown spatula

How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs

How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs With Bone

Chicken thighs that still have the bone in them will take a bit longer to cook than chicken thighs without the bone.

Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes to cook bone-in chicken thighs in boiling water, assuming that your water is pre-boiled.

Bone-in chicken thighs can be boiled for many reasons, including shredding and for making chicken broth.

The reason that boiling bone-in chicken thighs for broth is ideal is because the nutrients within the bone itself are highly nourishing and leech into the water as you boil bone-in chicken thighs. As a result, you get the delicious flavor from the chicken thigh meat combined with the health benefits (and flavor) of having boiled the bone, making for the perfect healthy broth for when you don’t have any on hand!

How Long to Boil Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs No Bone

Boiling boneless skinless chicken thighs usually only takes 20 minutes or so before they are fully cooked through. Boiled boneless chicken thighs are perfect for shredding and using in all types of recipes, so this is a quick, easy, and healthy way to cook boneless chicken thighs without too much fuss.

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs

How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs For Broth

How Long to Boil Bone in Chicken Thighs For Soup

As previously mentioned, you can boil bone-in chicken thighs for a broth to get the nutrients from both the bone and the meat. But you can boil boneless chicken thighs for broth also.

When boiling chicken for broth or stock, longer is often better as this deepens the flavor. No matter if you are boiling chicken thighs that are bone-in or boneless, you will want to boil your chicken for broth anywhere from 1-5 hours before removing your chicken and using the meat any way you like.

Bear in mind that when doing this, it is possible that your chicken might dry out if boiled too long.

To prevent this from happening, you may remove your meat after 1 hour and allow your broth to continue boiling along with any veggies you may have thrown in for the remaining amount of time. Or you may choose to simply allow your broth to keep boiling with the chicken until the desired amount of time has passed.

Both have their benefits as longer simmering of the meat times yields deeper flavors.

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs

How Long to Boil Boneless Chicken Thighs For Soup

When boiling boneless chicken thighs for soup, you technically only need to boil the chicken thighs for 20-30 minutes before the thighs themselves are cooked.

This is important to know because you may not need to continue cooking your homemade soup any longer than this, depending on your needs.

Some recipes call for you to use broth or stock for soup while others call for just water.

If your recipe uses only water and thereby relies on the chicken to flavor the soup, then you will want to cook your soup for at least an hour to get the right flavor.

If, however, you only wish to boil your chicken thighs in premade broth (or to be added to premade broth later), then you will only need to boil the chicken thighs until they are fully cooked through, usually 20-30 minutes, unfrozen.

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs

How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs Before Grilling

How Long to Par Boil Chicken Thighs Before Grilling

Boiling bone-in or boneless chicken thighs before grilling is a great option for juicy and flavorful meat.

Not only does boiling your chicken first ensure that the meat is already cooked through, but it can also lock in moisture so that your chicken doesn’t dry out while it is on the grill.

When preparing to boil chicken thighs for the grill, you have two options. You can either “parboil” your chicken (cooking it only partially). Or you may boil your chicken until it is fully cooked through before moving it to the grill.

If you choose to parboil your chicken thighs, do so for 5-8 minutes for boneless thighs, and 10-15 minutes for bone-in thighs.

If you wish to cook your chicken thighs fully before adding them to the grill, then parboil your bone-in thighs for 30 minutes and your boneless chicken thighs for 20 minutes.

grilled chicken

How Long to Par Boil Chicken Thighs

It is generally recommended that you parboil chicken thighs for anywhere between 5-10 minutes.

How Long Do You Boil Chicken Thighs to Shred

When preparing to shred chicken thighs, you only need to boil them for 20-30 minutes before they are fully cooked. After that, carefully remove your chicken from the boiling water, and use two forks to shred your chicken.

When shredding chicken from the bone, be careful not to get bones in the meat. To avoid this, be sure to shred slowly and carefully and to check the meat thoroughly once finished.

How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs on the Stove

Boiling chicken thighs on the stove only take about a half-hour. This is assuming that your water, or whatever liquid you are boiling your chicken thighs in, has already been brought to a boil.

Once boiling, simply add your chicken carefully to the pot along with any vegetables, herbs, or spices you may be using, and simmer away until the chicken is fully cooked.

Note: Boiling chicken, especially chicken thighs, can be dangerous. If you allow the pot to overflow, the water that leaks from the pot and onto your hot stove can ignite a flame. This is because chicken thighs are a fattier piece of meat.

This makes them a delicious option for boiling when you want a very flavorful broth or soup. It is this same delicious fat, however, that comes in contact with your stove range. It thereby yields the potential to start a fire.

To eliminate this, we recommend boiling your chicken thighs only when you are in the room. Carefully watch your boiling pot to prevent any spillage.

Follow the directions below for specific instructions on how to boil chicken thighs on the stove.

Boiled Chicken Thighs Recipe


  • A Pot of Water
  • 4 Bone-In or Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder (optional)
  • Any Additional Herbs or Spices You Wish to Add


Boiled Chicken Thighs

Fill pot

Fill a pot with water leaving enough room in the pot for adding your chicken and onion without much overflow.


Bring your pot of water to a boil.

Add ingredients

Once your pot of water is boiling, remove the pot from the burner and add your chicken, onion, and seasonings. 

Boil and cook

Place your pot of water back on the burner and allow it to boil for 20-30 minutes, depending on if you are using boneless or bone-in thighs (bone-in thighs take longer to cook).

Turn off heat

Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner once the allotted amount of time has passed.

Remove and cut

Carefully remove the meat and cut or shred it as you desire. 

Eat up!

Taste and re-season the remaining broth to be used any way you like! Enjoy!

How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs From Frozen

If you are boiling chicken thighs from frozen, you can expect the process to take up to an hour for bone-in chicken thighs. It’ll be a little over half an hour for boneless skinless chicken thighs.

As always, check for doneness before shredding or serving.

How Long Do You Have to Boil Chicken Thighs For Them to Cook Fully?

Remember cooking unfrozen chicken thighs will range anywhere from 20-30 minutes. 20 minutes is typical for boneless chicken thighs, while 30 minutes is appropriate for bone-in chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs that are frozen, however, may take up to 1 hour for chicken thighs that are bone-in. Typically, it’d take 30 minutes for chicken thighs that are boneless.

How Long Do I Need to Boil Chicken Thighs? Not Very Long At All!

When boiling unfrozen chicken thighs, it helps to know that boiling them until they are fully cooked usually only takes anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour. This makes boiling chicken thighs a very quick, easy, and convenient process, especially when you are short on time.

As always, be sure to supervise your chicken thighs as they boil. Do your best not to allow water to escape the pan, as the fat within the water may cause a flame to ignite on your stovetop.

We hope this has been helpful… See you again soon!

More helpful chicken posts:

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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