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Top 10 how long to airfry chicken thighs That Easy To Do

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Air Fryer Juicy Chicken Thighs | Bone in Skin on
r Fryer Chicken Thighs

Crispy-skinned, spectacularly juicy, smoky paprika-rubbed Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are a no-effort recipe that earns unanimous praise and augments kitchen swagger.

Crispy air fryer chicken thigh on a plate

Of the dozens (hundreds?) of recipes I’ve tested the last several months, air fryer chicken thighs are the first to earn the highest honor awarded in our household:

  • Ben fervently declared that he’d love for me to cook “exactly this” every week, forever.

He even went so far as to call this the best chicken he’d ever had.

Between Baked Chicken Thighs, Pan-Fried Chicken Breast, and all of these healthy chicken recipes, that’s quite a statement.

Four air fryer chicken thighs on a plate with lemon slices

I know he means it too, because, while he gets jazzed about other proteins like Air Fryer Salmon or Air Fryer Pork Chops, chicken rarely causes a heart flutter.

(Unless it’s Air Fryer Chicken Wings, but let’s be real—that’s more about the Buffalo sauce.)

On the diner’s end, these juicy thighs have everything going for them.

  • The meat is juicier than you ever thought chicken could be.
  • The seasoning tastes lightly smoky and complex, an ideal profile for chicken.
  • The skin is so shatteringly crispy, even those who usually don’t eat chicken skin (me), will find themselves nibbling crunchy pieces.

But that’s not the end of the story.

From the cook’s perspective (that’s me and you), it’s hard to find an easier recipe, let alone one that’s this easy AND this fast.

  • Bone-in chicken thighs cook in 16 to 20 minutes in the air fryer at 400 degrees F.
  • You don’t need to spend time marinating the chicken thighs before air frying.
  • The rub is made from common spices you likely already have in your pantry, like paprika and garlic powder.
The best air fryer chicken thighs on a plate

How to Make Crispy, Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

For this recipe, you can use bone-in or boneless chicken thighs (I’ve included times for both), but I highly recommend using bone-in, skin-on for this recipe.

  • As with this Baked Bone-In Chicken Breast, the skin locks in moisture, so you don’t need to spend time brining the meat for excellent results, the way you would with Air Fryer Chicken Breast.
  • The bone flavors the meat from within and makes it harder to overcook the chicken.
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are a bargain compared to boneless.
  • Chicken thighs are healthy! They don’t deserve the bad rap they sometimes get. Prepared the right way (like in the air fryer), they are an excellent, lean source of protein and contain important nutrients like zinc and iron.

The Most Important Tool for Cooking Meat

While using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs gives you better protection from dry meat than if you were to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can still overcook chicken thighs. For best results use an instant read thermometer.

  • Good Budget Option. This instant read thermometer costs less than $15 and will save your dinner.
  • Best Option. This one is well-worth the price tag if you cook often. It reads results immediately and is dead accurate. (Plus, the colors are fun.)

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are ideal for the air fryer. The meat stays tender and juicy during cooking, and the skin becomes crackly and crispy.
  • Paprika + Smoked Paprika. The combination of paprika and smoked paprika provides the perfect balance of sweetness and smokiness.
  • Garlic Powder. For a touch of addictive garlicky flavor.
  • Salt + Pepper. Classic, can’t-miss flavor additions.
  • Olive Oil. Helps the spice mixture adhere to the chicken thighs and the skin to crisp. No cooking spray needed.

The Directions

Spices in a bowl
  1. Stir the spice mixture together in a bowl.
Raw meat covered in spices in a bowl
  1. Pat dry the thighs with paper towel, then add them to the bowl. Coat the chicken with oil and the spices.
Raw chicken thighs in an air fryer
  1. Add the chicken thighs skin side down to an air fryer basket.
  2. Air fryer chicken thighs for 16 to 22 minutes at 400 degrees F, flip halfway through. Let rest for 5 minutes. ENJOY! Top with fresh parsley, cilantro, or thyme.

A Note on Chicken Temperature

Per the FDA, chicken thighs should be cooked to 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone.

That said, the chicken’s temperature will continue to rise as it rests. Resting meat is necessary for juicy results.

I prefer to pull my chicken thighs out of the air fryer at 155 to 160 degrees F and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes, allowing the carryover cooking to finish the job. I have never had an issue with undercooked chicken.

An air fryer with chicken thighs inside

More Ways to Season Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe

  • Parmesan Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Add 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese to your spice mixture. (I’ll have this with Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, please.)
  • Spicy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the spice mixture.
  • Brown Sugar Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar to the spice mixture. (For a BBQ-like finish, serve the thighs with my scrumptious Barbecue Sauce or any bbq sauce.)
  • Italian Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to the spice mixture.
  • Curry Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Add 2 teaspoons curry powder to the spice mixture. (This would be delish with Turmeric Rice.)
  • Garlic Butter Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Omit the smoked paprika, add an extra teaspoon of garlic powder, and swap the olive oil for melted butter. (Perfect for pairing with Garlic Pasta.)
  • Lemon Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. Add zest of 1 lemon to the spice mixture. (Try this with Pasta al Limone or Lemon Rice. YUM!)

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the air fryer.
  • To Freeze. Freeze thighs in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, coat the chicken thighs in the oil and spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.

Easy air fryer chicken thighs on a plate

What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Side Dishes

Oven Roasted Potatoes

1 hr 10 mins

Side Dishes

Sweet Potato Fries

50 mins

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Air Fryer. The air fryer I own and love!
  • Instant Read Thermometer. I cannot recommend this tool enough. It’s the most foolproof way to ensure your meat is cooked through.
  • Measuring Spoons. A must-have tool for measuring spices.

The Best Air Fryer

A faster and less messy way to enjoy your favorite crispy foods. This model is slightly larger than most, meaning you can cook more at once.

Crispy air fryer chicken thigh on a plate

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Air Fry Chicken Thighs that are Frozen?

Yes! Unlike Crockpot Shredded Chicken, it is OK to put frozen chicken in an air fryer. I would only suggest this with boneless skinless thighs, as the bone-in kind would be difficult to thaw. Air fry frozen chicken thighs at 360 degrees F for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through, then check for doneness.

Can I Use Boneless Chicken Thighs?

While I love using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe, you can use boneless thighs instead. See the recipe notes for tips.

Do I have More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes?

Yes! I have a ton! you can find them here!

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  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), see notes to use boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for serving

  • In a large bowl, combine the paprika, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.

    Spices in a bowl

  • Pat the chicken thighs very dry on both sides, then add to the bowl. Drizzle with the oil, then toss to coat in the spice mixture.

    Raw meat covered in spices in a bowl

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Add the chicken thighs in a single layer, skin-side down (make sure they are not touching; if they are, cook the chicken in batches).

    Raw chicken thighs in an air fryer

  • Air fry the chicken thighs for 16 to 22 minutes, flipping halfway through, until an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of a thigh (but not touching bone) reaches 155 degrees F. Set aside, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes (chicken is considered by the FDA cooked at 165 degrees F, but the temperature will continue to rise as it rests; air fryer models differ in cooking time, so check early to be safe). Serve hot, with lemon wedges (squeeze them over the top of your serving) and sprinkled with fresh herbs.

  • FOR BONELESS THIGHS: Coat with the spice mixture as directed. Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F, then add the chicken smooth-side down. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken reaches 155 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes (the temperature will continue to rise), then enjoy warm.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze thighs in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 24gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 142mgPotassium: 369mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1407IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I’m Erin Clarke, and I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that’s affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I’m the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Frequently Asked Questions About how long to airfry chicken thighs

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how long to airfry chicken thighs, then this section may help you solve it.

How long should you cook chicken thighs in an air fryer?

Preheat a 3.5-quart air fryer to 400 degrees F. Add the chicken thighs to the air fryer basket, skin-side down and without touching. Cook, flipping skin-side up halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part (avoiding the bone) reads 165 degrees F, about 18 minutes.

How long should you cook chicken in air fryer?

The amount of time it takes to cook chicken in an air fryer will vary based on the size of your chicken breasts.

  1. Small Breasts (5 to 7 ounces): 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Medium Breasts (8 to 10 ounces): 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Large Breasts (11 ounces or more): 12 to 16 minutes.

How long does it take to air fry chicken thighs at 375?

Place the chicken in the air fryer in a single layer. We have a 4 quart fryer and it fits 3-4 thighs with room to breathe between each one. Air fry at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken and fry an additional 6-8 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat reads 165 degrees

How long do you air fry chicken at 375?

Place chicken in the basket of your air fryer. Close, then cook at 375°F for around 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F at the thickest part. Serve the chicken immediately for maximum juiciness

Video About how long to airfry chicken thighs

Air Fryer Juicy Chicken Thighs | Bone in Skin on