Get ready for your new favorite air fryer recipe! These crispy air fryer chicken thighs are juicy on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside. They’re incredibly simple and easy to make, and are ready in under 30 minutes with just 5 ingredients!
Looking for a super simple dinner idea that’s ready quickly with minimal prep and clean up? These crispy air fryer chicken thighs is the perfect new family friendly recipe for your dinner menu.
I received a new air fryer for Christmas and I’m not gonna lie: I’ve become completed obsessed with how easy it makes it to fast and delicious meals for our family with less clean up and stress.
Our family eats a lot of chicken, and we LOVE bone in chicken thighs because they typically are juicier than chicken breasts. One of the challenges with making them in the oven can be getting the skin perfectly crispy in the oven without overcooking the chicken in general.
Last night I took at stab at making them instead in the air fryer and wowwww. With the air fryer, it makes it so easy to make the most delicious crispy air fryer chicken thighs you’ve ever had. These turn out perfectly crispy on the outside while remaining juicy and tender on the inside.
This simple recipe is perfect for busy weeknights as it’s ready in less than 30 minutes, and is something the whole family can enjoy.
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What You Need to Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
To make this recipe you’ll need only a few ingredients:
Bone-in, skin on chicken thighs: Our family prefers bone-in chicken thighs because of how juicy they come out. Skin-on also means that they will crisp up perfectly. However, you can absolutely use boneless skinless chicken breasts if that’s what you prefer or have on hand!
If you go that route be sure to reduce the cooking time a few minutes on each side so that they don’t over-cook.
Cooking spray: to help your crispy chicken avoid sticking to the basket, you’ll want to spray the basket first with a cooking spray. I prefer to use an olive oil cooking spray for this.
Olive oil: A little olive oil helps the outside of these air fryer chicken thighs come out nice and crispy. You can use a different kind of oil with this too, like coconut oil.
Spices: In this recipe we are using a simple spice blend of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, cajun seasoning and Italian seasoning, but you can use so many different spice combinations with this recipe too, like:
- Mediterranean seasoning
- Ranch dressing mix
- Everything Bagel seasoning
- Oregano, basil, Rosemary
These chicken thighs also come out great if you want to toss them in a hot wing sauce or BBQ sauce after cooking!
Air Fryer: In order to make these, you obviously need an air fryer! I personally use and love the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 10 Quart XL Air Fryer because I wanted one that was big enough to cook a whole 6 pound chicken, but this one and this one are two other fantastic options too.
How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Your family is going to love this recipe! Get ready for the crispiest chicken thighs you’ve ever had using this easy recipe.
Start by spraying the inside of your air fryer baskets with cooking spray. Then, pat dry your chicken thighs and cut away any excess skin.
Combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl. Rub a little olive oil over the entire outside of the raw chicken, then dry rub both sides of the chicken thighs with the seasoning mix.
Next, place chicken thighs in the air fryer basket skin side down. This allows your chicken to cook without the skin getting overcooked. Place your chicken in a single layer so that there is room for the air to flow easily around each piece.
My air fryer has two large baskets, so I’m able to fit 8 chicken thighs easily. Depending on the size of your air fryer, if it’s smaller you might need to do this in batches.
After the chicken thighs cook for 10 minutes, flip them and continue to cook until the skin is crispy and the internal temperature reaches 165F. Use an instant read meat thermometer like this one to check.
Let your chicken sit for 2-5 minutes before cooking to help retain its juices. Serve the chicken thighs with green beans, a crispy baked potato, a green salad or whatever side your family loves.
Once your chicken thighs have cooled, transfer any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Thighs
If you want your chicken thighs to come out perfectly every time, be sure you follow these tips for the best results!
First, pat the chicken dry using paper towels. Removing the moisture before applying the oil and seasoning helps them crisp up better in the air fryer.
Be sure not to skip the oil! It’s key to making the chicken thighs crispy, so don’t skip this step.
Make sure you flip the chicken thighs so that both sides cook evenly and the skin doesn’t get too crispy. Finally, to help these juicy chicken thighs retain their moisture, let your chicken sit for 3-5 minutes before serving.
Air Fryer Bone in Chicken Thighs FAQ’s
Can I use boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer?
Yes! You can substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. If you choose to use them instead, you will want to cook each side for less time. Instead of 10 minutes per side, start with 8 minutes per side.
How long to cook chicken thighs in air fryer?
Depending on the size of your chicken thighs, on average you can cook chicken thighs in air fryer for 20 minutes at 400ºF, flipping halfway through.
Can I marinate my thighs instead?
This recipe works great for cooking marinated chicken thighs in the air fryer that turn out delicious. However, note that by cooking your chicken thighs with a marinade, instead of tossing them in one after, they will not come out with extra crispy skin due to the added moisture from the marinade.
A dry rub is another great option, like these air fryer lemon pepper wings.
How do I know when my chicken thighs are fully cooked?
The best way to know if your chicken thighs are fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer, like this one. You want to be sure that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken thigh reads 165ºF.
- 4-8 Bone in, skin on chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Onion powder
- Start by spraying the inside of your air fryer baskets with cooking spray. Cut away any excess skin and fat, and pat dry your chicken thighs using paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
- Combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl. Rub a little olive oil over the entire outside of the raw chicken, then dry rub both sides of the chicken thighs with the seasoning mix.
- Next, place the chicken thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket skin side down, being sure to leave room for air to flow easily around each piece. This allows your chicken to cook without the skin getting overcooked. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might need to cook your chicken in batches.
- Set your air fryer for 400 degrees F and set the timer for 20 minutes. After the chicken thighs cook skin side down for 10 minutes, flip them and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes until the skin is crispy and the internal temperature reaches 165F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
- Let your chicken sit for 2-5 minutes before cooking to help retain its juices and serve. Transfer any leftovers into an airtight container once they have fully cooled and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 249Total Fat: 11gSodium: 326mgCarbohydrates: 0.9gProtein: 32g
More Chicken Recipes
Looking for more ways to cook chicken thighs? Here are a few of our favorite family-friendly chicken recipes:
Easy air fryer chicken thighs recipe
I hope you and your family love this easy air fryer recipe! This simple and easy recipe is a game changer for family meals. With tender meat and the crispiest skin, this recipe is perfect for your dinner table. These go great with a lemon icebox pie!