These air fryer chicken thighs are perfectly crispy on the outside and ridiculously juicy in the middle! Ready in just 14 minutes, it’s easy to customize and perfect for dinner.
I’m a huge fan of the air fryer recipes, so I continue discovering new recipes that I can make in my air fryer.
When I’m low in time but want something filling, healthy, and protein-rich, I often cook up something in the air fryer. We have a few favorites on hand, and these include chicken breast, salmon, pork chops, and when we are being a little cheeky, chicken wings. Our recent favorite, though, has been air frying chicken thighs!
The BEST chicken thighs in the air fryer
Why you’ll love this recipe-
- Ready in under 15 minutes. From prep to plate, these chicken thighs need less than 14 minutes to cook!
- No marinating needed. Unlike other ways of cooking thicken thighs, these don’t need any marination time.
- Crispy and juicy. A secret trick guarantees the chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
- Easy to customize. Use your favorite oil, seasonings, spices, and sauces.
What I love about this dish is just how simple and delicious it is. Like other chicken thigh recipes, barely any effort is required for juicy and tender chicken thighs.
Ingredients to make this chicken
- Chicken thighs- Get bone-in chicken thighs with skin, as they turn out juicy when cooked.
- Olive oil- A flavorful and robust oil that gives the chicken a lovely flavor. Other oils will also work.
- Seasonings- salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and Italian seasonings.
How to make air fryer chicken thighs
Preheat the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 375F/190C.
Pat dry the chicken: Use a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture.
Season the chicken: rub the oil on the chicken, followed by the seasonings.
Cook in the air fryer and serve: Add the chicken thighs to the air fryer and air fry for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F, it is ready to serve.
How long to cook chicken thighs in an air fryer?
For 6 oz chicken thighs, they will typically take around 12-14 minutes to be completely cooked. Larger or smaller thighs would have different cooking times.
What is the temperature of chicken thighs when done in the air fryer?
The best way to find out when chicken thighs are completely cooked is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature which should be 165 Fahrenheit. Measure the temperature of the thickest part of the chicken thighs.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Always pat dry the chicken before seasoning it. This guarantees a crispy exterior and keeps all the juices inside.
- You must flip the chicken halfway through so that both sides are cooked evenly.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket, or else the chicken will take longer to cook and risk becoming gummy in the middle.
- Try to choose equal-sized chicken thighs so they cook at the same time.
- Use other cuts of chicken thighs. Sliced chicken thighs, skinless chicken thighs, or boneless AND skinless chicken thighs.
- Add a spicy kick. Add some red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and chilli powder.
- Cover it in sauces. Rub some teriyaki sauce, honey mustard, or bbq sauce over the chicken before air frying it.
- Skip the oil completely. For a healthier twist, skip the oil and air fry it as it is.
What to serve with chicken thighs?
These air fried chicken thighs are a blank canvas, and are perfect to pair with simple sides, fancier side dishes, or cover it in creamy sauces. While there are tons of side dishes to choose from, here are our favorites-
For a lighter dinner, nothing beats a fresh garden salad or coleslaw. If you want something heartier, try a cauliflower potato salad. Some heartier side dishes include keto mashed potatoes and let’s not forget the creamy sauces to drizzle on top- Alfredo sauce or cheese sauce.
Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions
- To Store: Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container for up to five days.
- To Freeze: Place the cooked and cooled chicken in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to three months.
- Reheating: Thaw the frozen air fryer chicken thighs overnight before reheating in the air fryer, oven, or even microwave.
More chicken thigh recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you can’t stack chicken in the air fryer. Leave some gaps between the chicken pieces to allow the air to circulate and cook the chicken.
Unless you are reheating chicken, it’s always best to only use raw chicken.
Yes, you can put foil in the air fryer, but use it at the bottom of the air fryer basket, not the air fryer itself.
Fresh or frozen chicken thighs can be cooked in the air fryer.
Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F.
In a bowl, add the chicken and oil and mix together. Add the salt, pepper, and spices and mix well.
Place chicken, skin side up, in an air fryer basket. Cook for 13-17 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Be sure to flip halfway through.
Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer and let them sit for five minutes before serving.
TO FREEZE: Place the cooked and cooled chicken in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to three months.
TO REHEAT: Thaw the frozen air fryer chicken thighs overnight before reheating in the air fryer, oven, or even microwave.
Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 402mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 241IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg