These air fryer chicken thighs are perfectly crispy on the outside and ridiculously juicy in the middle! Ready in just 12 minutes, they make a speedy and delicious dinner.
When it comes to air fryer recipes, cooking chicken is always a winner.
Our family regularly enjoys air fryer chicken breast, air fryer chicken patties, and air fryer chicken tenderloins, but when we want something a little more naturally flavorful and with dark meat, nothing beats this air fryer chicken thighs recipe.
Table of Contents
- Ready in under 15 minutes. From prep to plate, these chicken thighs need less than 12 minutes to cook! It’s ideal when you are craving crispy baked chicken thighs or grilled boneless chicken thighs but want it STAT!
- No marinating is needed. Like air fryer whole chicken or air fryer chicken drumsticks, the thighs don’t need any marinating whatsoever- just a few seasonings to let the meat shine.
- Crispy and juicy. A secret trick guarantees the chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside (hint- it’s a dash of baking powder!).
- Super versatile. We love to enjoy these thighs as is and pair them with some air fryer frozen green beans and air fryer baked potatoes for a well-balanced dinner.
You’ll love the extremely basic ingredient list for these juicy air fryer chicken thighs. Besides some seasonings, you are ready to go! Here is what you’ll need:
- Chicken thighs- Choose bone-in chicken thighs with skin, as they turn out juicy when cooked. I’ve tried this with boneless skinless chicken thighs, and they are fine too; you just don’t get the crispy skin.
- Olive oil- A flavorful and robust oil that gives the chicken a lovely flavor. Other oils will also work.
- Seasonings- We keep things simple with a little salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and Italian seasoning. This seasoning mixture may sound basic, but it truly allows the natural flavors of the chicken thighs to shine.
How to make crispy chicken thighs in the air fryer
I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1- Preheat the air fryer. Start by preheating the air fryer to 375F/190C. Ensure no crumbs or bits and pieces are in the air fryer vents.
Step 2- Prep the chicken. Next, use a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture. Rub the oil on the chicken, followed by the seasonings.
Step 3- Air fry the chicken thighs. Now, add the chicken thighs to the air fryer and air fry for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Step 4- Check and serve. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F, it is ready to serve.
Recipe tips and variations
- My #1 tip when working with chicken is always using a meat thermometer to check the doneness. Ready-to-eat chicken needs to have an internal temperature of 165F.
- 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 to cook both sides evenly. No one wants one side super crispy and one side soggy.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket or else you risk the chicken cooking unevenly. If needed, cook the thighs in batches. Also, try to choose equal-sized chicken thighs so they cook at the same time.
- Use frozen chicken thighs and increase the cooking time by 3-4 minutes. There is no need to thaw the meat, but I’d suggest spraying some cooking spray or rubbing some oil on it for the seasonings to stick.
- Add a spicy kick by adding some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and chili powder.
- Rub some eel sauce, katsu sauce, or even some bulgogi sauce for a fun Asian twist.
How to store leftovers
To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator 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 chicken overnight before reheating in the air fryer, oven, or even microwave.
More air fryer chicken recipes to try
- Air fryer fried chicken
- Air fryer chicken parmesan
- Air fryer BBQ chicken
- Air fryer chicken wings
- Air fryer chicken cutlets
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 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 12-15 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.
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