These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are delicious, quick, and seriously juicy! With plenty of garlic and herbs, our air-fried chicken thighs make for a fantastic meal.
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Some chicken recipes are awesome but feel repetitive. Other chicken recipes might be easy but aren’t always quick and practical. This recipe, though, is the best of all worlds! These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs guarantee perfectly crispy chicken with the best garlic-herb flavor, and it is the easiest thing ever to make – even on a very busy day.
Baked chicken thighs are one of my go-to options for an easy, healthier, and tasty dinner that the entire household agrees on. Besides, basic baked chicken is versatile and goes well with everything, from soup to salad, so I can make it work with whatever sides I have on hand. But the best part of this chicken recipe is that the air fryer does most of the work! And, since you’re air-frying instead of using a conventional oven, the chicken gets done in record time. Like, barely 20 minutes of cooking time.
Why We Love This Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Efficient and Simple: The air fryer streamlines the cooking process, making it quick and hassle-free, perfect for busy schedules or last-minute meals.
- Healthier Cooking Method: Air frying requires less oil than traditional frying methods, resulting in a lighter and less greasy dish without compromising on flavor.
- Flavor-packed Seasoning: The combination of spices like paprika, garlic powder, and herbs ensures that each bite of the chicken bursts with flavor and deliciousness.
How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer
- For bone-in skin-on chicken thighs: Arrange the chicken thighs in the air fryer, skin-side down, and cook at 400˚F for 8 minutes; flip over the chicken thighs and continue to cook for 8 to 10 more minutes or until cooked through.
- For boneless skinless chicken thighs: Arrange the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket and cook at 400˚F for 8 minutes; flip over the chicken thighs and cook for 6 more minutes or until cooked through.
How To Air Fry Chicken Thighs
Air fryer chicken thighs are a modern twist on a classic favorite, offering a crispy exterior with a tender and juicy interior. Utilizing the efficiency of an air fryer, this method not only simplifies the cooking process but also ensures a healthier and flavorsome result, perfect for a quick dinner.
Ingredients For Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Thighs: Bone-in, skin-on thighs are super-flavorful and are easy to cook without drying them out.
- Oil: Olive oil is my favorite, but you could also use peanut oil, avocado oil, or any other neutral cooking oil that you like.
- Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings: Here’s where this chicken gets flavor blasted! Garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika bring out the best in simple baked chicken.
- Prep the Chicken. Pat the chicken thighs dry with some clean paper towels.
- Season the Chicken. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well, then rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken thighs.
- Air-Fry the Chicken Thighs. Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin side down. Lightly spritz the chicken with oil, and cook for 8 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs and cook for 8 to 10 more minutes or until done. Chicken is done when its internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Cool and Serve. Remove the chicken from the air fryer, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Is Air Fried Chicken Healthier?
If you compare air-fried food to deep-fried food, the main advantage is that air fryers achieve that same crispy crunch without the need for large amounts of oil. This means that your food generally cooks up with less oil soaked into it, making the food less fatty and reducing the calorie counts by as much as 80 percent, depending on the ingredients! ?
Tips for Success
- Cooking Time: The exact cook time will depend on the size of your chicken thighs, so keep that in mind when cooking and always check for doneness before serving. The easiest and most accurate way to check for doneness is when you use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer deeply into the meat, but do not let it touch the bone, or the temperature won’t be accurate. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can test the chicken for doneness by cutting into the meat and pulling it away from the bone. If the meat comes away from the bone easily, and the juices run clear, the chicken is done. If you see pink or red, or the chicken feels rubbery and clings to the bone, it needs a bit more time to cook through.
- Crispier Chicken: If you like your chicken crispier, just air-fry for an additional minute or two.
- Non-Aerosol Spray: It’s best to use a non-aerosol cooking oil or spray when using your air fryer. Regular aerosol sprays can damage the finish of your air fryer basket over time.
- To avoid those extra 100+ calories, remove the skin before consuming, but not before cooking. Keeping the skin on while cooking is probably the best way to preserve flavor and moisture.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Crispy chicken is good, but it really shines when you add a tasty side dish or two. From creamy pasta to a crisp chopped salad, here are a few of my favorite things to serve with crispy air fryer chicken thighs.
- Salad: My favorite chopped salad might just be Shopska (Macedonian Chopped Salad). Made with cucumber, tomato, onion, bell pepper, and feta cheese, it’s so refreshing and healthy, with a juicy burst of fresh veggie flavor in every bite.
- Creamy Pasta: This Creamy Asparagus Pasta Recipe is a comforting yet healthy pasta dish that goes beautifully with chicken.
- Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes: Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes are excellent with almost anything, but chicken thighs are a perfect companion.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Place leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- To freeze cooked chicken thighs, take the meat off the bone and pack it into a freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible before sealing, and keep it in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Thaw before reheating.
- To reheat the chicken thighs, just warm them in the oven at 350°F until heated through. You can also take the meat off the bone, and warm it on the stove, in a skillet over low to medium heat.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Preheat Air Fryer to 400˚F.
- Pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towels.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper; mix until well incorporated.
- Brush the seasoning rub all over the chicken thighs.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin side down. If the basket is too small for all four chicken thighs, you can cook them in batches.
- Lightly spray the chicken thighs with cooking oil and cook for 8 minutes; flip the chicken thighs and continue to cook for 8 to 10 more minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs registers at 165˚F. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken.
- For crispier chicken, cook them a little longer, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer and rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Preheat Air Fryer: Preheating your air fryer for a few minutes before adding the chicken can help achieve a crispier skin.
- Pat Dry: For extra crispy skin, pat dry the chicken thighs before seasoning. Moisture can prevent the skin from crisping up.
- Don’t Overcrowd: Avoid overcrowding the basket; the thighs should not touch each other to ensure even cooking and crispiness. Please make sure to cook in batches if necessary.
- Cooking Time: Note that the size of the thighs can and will affect cooking time. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, and when measuring, avoid touching the bone. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, the chicken is done when juices run clear, and the meat comes off the bone easily.
- Crispier Chicken: Add another 1-2 minutes to the air fryer for a crispier finish. Chicken thighs won’t dry out from this short extra time.
- Non-Aerosol Spray: Opt for a non-aerosol oil/spray for your air fryer to prevent damage to the basket. Avocado oil in a misting bottle is a great choice.
- Tip: To avoid extra fat and over 100 calories, remove the skin before consuming, but not before cooking. Keeping the skin on while cooking is a great way to preserve flavor and moisture.
- Please refer to this recipe for boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. For freezing, remove meat from the bone, store it in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 4 months. Defrost before reheating.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.