For an easy weeknight dinner that will bring everyone running to the table, these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs always do the trick! Thanks to the magic of the air fryer, the skin gets so irresistibly crispy while the meat stays perfectly juicy and tender. In my opinion, these are just as satisfying as deep-fried chicken, but they’re so much healthier! (Seriously, when the skin is this crispy, you’ll never miss the breading.)
We all love to indulge in fried chicken every now and again. It’s a classic for a reason! But what about when you’re craving crunchy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside chicken without all that excess oil or breading?
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are the perfect solution! The skin gets beautifully crispy while the meat stays so moist and flavorful. (So much better than using the oven.)
And unlike deep-fried chicken, you only need a handful of ingredients and less than 30 minutes to make it.
The air fryer is pure magic when it comes to crispy foods. You’ll use a fraction of the oil it takes for deep frying, but every bite is still oh-so-satisfying.
Once you try making Chicken Thighs in an air fryer, you’ll see what I mean. When the result is this crave-worthy, you’ll want to make it again and again!
Ingredients for Making Chicken Thighs in an Air Fryer
- Chicken Thighs — You’ll want about 2½ pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. If you use chicken breasts, you will need to adjust the cooking time. I recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure a perfect cook!
- Seasoning — A simple mixture of oregano, thyme, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper will bring out the natural flavors of the thighs. Smoked paprika is also an option.
- Oil — For cooking Chicken Thighs in the air fryer, I recommend using avocado oil due to its high smoke point. You could use olive oil, but I do not recommend extra virgin olive oil.
Top Tips for Perfect Crispy Chicken Thighs
- Pat the chicken dry to remove any excess moisture and ensure crispy skin. If the skin is still holding water, it won’t be able to fully crisp up in the air fryer.
- Don’t skip the oil before putting the thighs in the air fryer basket. The hot air will basically fry the oil coating, which is what makes this dish so irresistible. My favorite cooking spray is avocado oil.
- Make sure to flip the thighs halfway through to ensure they cook evenly and that both sides get as crispy as possible.
- Add some creamy yumminess to your meal with kid-approved Quinoa Mac and Cheese!
- This light and bright Instant Pot Red Potato Salad is nothing like the heavy potato salads you’re used to.
- Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto is a no-fuss one-pan side dish that features creamy texture and bold flavors.
Tools Needed to Make Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer
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- Small bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Air Fryer
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
I recommend reheating in the air fryer at 400° F until the thighs are warmed through and the skin is re-crisped.
You can keep them in the freezer for up to three months.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is going to depend on the size and thickness of your chicken thighs. However, you can assume it will take between 16 and 18 minutes overall. Don’t forget to rest the chicken for at least five minutes afterwards!
You bet! Just keep in mind that these will cook a little faster. To make air fryer boneless Chicken Thighs, follow the same instructions, but reduce the cooking time to 12-13 minutes. Make sure to flip halfway through!
Absolutely. Just add the seasonings to ⅓ cup of avocado oil to make the marinade. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then marinate overnight before cooking as usual.
The best way to know if chicken is fully cooked is to use an Instant Read Thermometer. The chicken is done cooking when the internal temperature reaches 160° F.
There are a few reasons your air fryer bone-in Chicken Thighs might not be getting quite as crispy as you like. Let’s take a look at some of the common culprits.
First, be certain you’re thoroughly patting the thighs dry before you do anything else. If there’s still excess moisture in the skin, the air fryer will never be able to crisp it up.
Next, make sure you’re using air fryer best practices. For optimal results, always give the air fryer time to preheat before adding your food. You also never want to overcrowd the basket, because this can prevent the hot air from circulating properly.
Finally, we want to give the chicken the best chance to crisp up and cook evenly. That means coating the thighs with avocado oil before cooking as well as rotating them halfway through the cook time.
How to Make Air Fried Chicken Thighs
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
In a small bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the thighs.
Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the air fryer to 400° F.
Coat the chicken thighs with avocado oil.
Place the chicken thighs skin-side down in the air fryer in a single layer with room for the air to circulate between each one. Work in batches if needed.
Air fry for 8 minutes.
Flip and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160° F.
Remove from the air fryer and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
- These Delicious Air Fryer Chicken Legs are crispy, crunchy, and oh-so-juicy, all without the hassle of deep-frying!
- Air Fryer Empanadas with chicken are a lighter version of the classic dish that still turn out every bit as savory and satisfying.
- For an easy weeknight meal you can have on the table in under 30 minutes, Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets will keep you coming back for more!
- Perfectly-cooked Ninja Foodi Grill Chicken Wings in a punchy caramelized sauce never fail to satisfy.
- If you are looking for global flavors, don't miss this Air Fryer Chicken Katsu recipe!
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
- In a small bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
- Rub the seasoning over the mixture.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° F.
- Coat the chicken thighs with avocado oil.
- Working in batches, place the chicken thighs skin side down in the air fryer.
- Cook for 8 minutes.
- Flip and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160° F.
- Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.