Chicken thighs are inexpensive, high in protein and easy to cook. In the air fryer, they come out tender, moist and so juicy in about 15 minutes. I use my signature all-purpose seasoning blend to give them incredible flavor, and just a touch of olive oil to help the skin get nice and crispy.
Don’t have an air fryer yet? I love my Philips XXL Air Fryer – it’s a little pricier but it is nice and big and works beautifully. Plus it cooks everything in about the time it takes to preheat your oven!
How to Air Fry Chicken Thighs
Simple seasonings, simple cooking method, truly outstanding flavor. These air fryer chicken thighs have got it going on!
Chicken thighs. We’re using bone-in, skin on chicken thighs. You can remove the bone if you like, but you won’t get that crispy texture without the skin. Depending on the size of your air fryer and the size of the thighs, you can fit 4-6 in the basket.
Seasoning. This is the most important step! Not properly seasoning your meat will leave you with dull, boring chicken thighs. Mix up some salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. This is my signature blend of spices that I use on everything from Oven Baked Chicken Breasts to Baked Pork Chops and even potatoes and veggies.
Prepare and season the chicken. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then brush with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning. If I’ve got time, I’ll give the chicken a little massage, over and under the skin to get all that seasoning in every nook and cranny.
Air Fry. Cook the chicken at 370 degrees, flipping once to get both sides evenly cooked and crispy.
How long do you cook chicken thighs in the air fryer?
It only takes about 15 minutes to cook bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer. That’s about half the time it takes in the oven!
Make sure to flip the chicken thighs halfway through so they cook evenly.
What temperature do you cook chicken to?
No matter what cut of chicken or how you’re cooking it, chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to be considered safe to eat. One of the most useful devices you can have in your kitchen is an instant read digital thermometer. The one linked here is my favorite and the one I use in my own kitchen, and it’s very affordable.
Don’t wash the chicken (there’s no need and it can spread germs). But always pat your chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Wet chicken skin won’t get crispy.
Feel free to use your own seasoning. The one in the recipe just happens to be a favorite. Try lemon pepper, garlic, brown sugar and soy, anything your family loves.
Please note that while my air fryer cooks the chicken thighs in about 15 minutes, yours might vary. Check the notes for your specific machine for any differences.
Make Ahead, Storing and Freezing
Make ahead: you can prep and season your chicken in advance up to 24 hours. Be sure to keep it tightly sealed and in the fridge.
Storage: Keep leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the air fryer or microwave, or enjoy cold for lunch, or in a salad or wrap.
Freezing: Cooked chicken thighs can be frozen for up to 6 months. Wrap them tightly to avoid freezer burn. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the microwave or in your air fryer. Another option is to pull the meat off the bone (remove the skin first) and store in the freezer for use in soups and casseroles.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.