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How Long to Cook Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer? (Crispy & Juicy)

Have you ever been skeptical about the effectiveness of air fryers, especially their claim to make crispy chicken and fries without oil? Wondering how long to cook chicken thighs in air fryer? Well, your perspective will be completely overturned here. In this article, we will show you the exact air fryer chicken thighs time and temperature, and how to make chicken thighs with crispy exterior and juicy inside in the air fryer. Continue reading and master the art of air-frying chicken thighs for your next meal.


How Long Do You Cook Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer?

Cooking chicken thighs in an air fryer can vary in time depending on whether they are bone-in or boneless, as well as their size. It also varies across different air fryer models. How long to cook bone-in chicken thighs in air fryer? For bone-in chicken thighs, the general cooking time is around 16 to 22 minutes at 400°F, with a recommendation to flip them halfway through the cooking process for even crispiness and cooking. While boneless chicken thighs might require slightly less time, approximately 11 to 15 minutes total, depending on their size.

Chicken Thigh Ingredients

Here's a brief rundown of the necessary components for crafting these exquisitely cooked chicken thighs in an air fryer. For precise measurements and comprehensive instructions, please follow the best air fryer chicken thigh recipe card provided below.

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon oregano

How to Cook Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer?

Cooking chicken thighs in an air fryer is a quick and simple way to achieve crispy and juicy results. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking chicken thighs in the air fryer:


1. Pat your chicken thighs dry, and place them in a bowl. Season the chicken thighs with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and oregano.

2. Preheat your air fryer to around 400°F. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket.

3. Cook the bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer for about 16–22 minutes, flipping halfway through.

4. After cooking, let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Then serve the chicken thighs with your favorite side dishes.

Tips for Successful Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

For successful air fryer chicken thighs, there are several tips and techniques to ensure they come out juicy inside with a crispy exterior:

  • Seasoning: Season the chicken well before cooking. A mix of olive oil and your choice of spices can enhance flavor. Seasonings can be rubbed under the skin for bone-in thighs or directly on the meat for boneless ones.
  • Even Cooking: If the chicken thighs vary in size, be aware that smaller pieces will cook faster than larger ones. Remove the cooked pieces first, allowing the larger ones more time if necessary.
  • Batch Cooking: Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket. Air fry in batches if necessary to ensure there's enough space around each thigh for even cooking and crisping. Overcrowding can result in unevenly cooked chicken.
  • Flipping Halfway: For boneless, skinless chicken thighs, flipping them halfway through cooking is optional. They cook quite evenly on their own, but flipping can achieve more uniform browning.
  • Temperature Check: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, ensuring it reaches at least 165°F for the juiciest dark meat.
  • Resting Time: Allow the chicken to rest for 3–5 minutes after cooking. This helps redistribute the juices, making the chicken more flavorful and moist.
  • Storage and Reheating: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F for 2–3 minutes for best results.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Thighs?

Don’t know what to serve with the best air fryer chicken thighs? Well, there are a variety of side dishes that complement the crispy, juicy main. Healthy vegetable sides like roasted broccoli or air fryer zucchini bring a refreshing balance, while starchy favorites such as roasted potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes add comforting warmth to the meal. Incorporating grains like brown or lemon rice can provide a wholesome, light accompaniment, enhancing the overall dining experience. For those seeking a crisp counterpoint, fresh salads or sautéed greens offer a vibrant contrast to the rich flavors of the chicken.

Seasoning Chicken Thighs for Different Flavors

Seasoning chicken thighs can dramatically transform their flavor and make them suitable for a variety of cuisines and dishes. Here are several ways to season chicken thighs for different flavors:

  • Cajun Seasoned Chicken Thighs: For a spicy kick, combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. This blend offers a perfect mix of spicy, smoky, and savory flavors.
  • Sweetly Seasoned Chicken Thighs: Incorporate brown sugar into your spice mix for a hint of sweetness, complementing a barbecue sauce finish for a smoky, sweet flavor.
  • Zesty Lemon Chicken Thighs: Add lemon zest for a fresh, citrusy twist, complementing dishes like Pasta al Limone or Lemon Rice beautifully.
  • Exotic Curry Chicken Thighs: Stir curry powder into your blend for a burst of flavor, perfectly paired with aromatic turmeric rice.
  • Parmesan-Encrusted Chicken Thighs: Elevate your spice blend with the addition of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, perfect when served alongside a crisp Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.


In conclusion, the process of cooking chicken thighs in the air fryer involves choosing the right ingredients, applying a variety of seasonings for different flavors, and understanding the optimal cooking times and temperatures. The key question, “How long to cook chicken thighs in air fryer?” depends on whether the chicken thighs are bone-in or boneless, as well as the air fryer models. By following these tips for successful air frying, hope you can make juicy and delicious chicken thighs. Whether seasoned with a simple salt and pepper rub or a more complex blend like Cajun or honey mustard, the versatility of chicken thighs makes them a staple for any home cook using an air fryer to achieve quick, flavorful meals with minimal fuss.

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