These boneless skinless air fryer chicken thighs are the perfect easy family dinner. Low in fat but high in flavour and protein, this air-fried chicken is coated in homemade seasoning with savoury garlic, smoky paprika, and earthy oregano. They're air fried until crispy on the outside with the juiciest tender meat once you cut into them. It's an easy, budget-friendly dinner your family will love.
Chicken thighs are a great low-cost option to regular chicken breast. Because they are dark meat they also have more flavour. You can try these curry chicken thighs and these slow cooker honey garlic thighs.
- ⭐️ Why air fryer chicken thighs make a great quick and easy dinner
- 🧾 The 3 key ingredients you need to make crispy air-fried chicken
- 👩🏻🍳 How to make the best air fryer chicken thighs in 3 easy steps
- 🍯 Storage
- 💭 7 Top tips for cooking the perfect crispy air fryer chicken
- Unbelievably Easy Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
⭐️ Why air fryer chicken thighs make a great quick and easy dinner
- Convenience: Boneless, skinless chicken is easier to prepare and eat, because you don't need to deal with bones or skin.
- They're Healthy: Skinless chicken is lower in fat and calories than chicken with the skin on. Chicken thighs are dark meat so slightly higher in calories and fat, but we're leaving the skin off to keep these thighs healthy.
- Flavour: Boneless, skinless chicken meat is leaner and has a milder taste than chicken with the skin on, so it easily takes on a huge variety of flavours and seasonings.
- Air frying: Air frying is a healthy and convenient way to cook chicken or any food for that matter! It uses hot air to cook food, which can be done using a very small amount of oil or butter, so it's a healthier option than deep frying.
🧾 The 3 key ingredients you need to make crispy air-fried chicken
- Chicken thighs: The main ingredient of this dish is the chicken thighs, which should be boneless and skinless. Look for bright pink and plump chicken thighs.
- Seasoning: Salt, pepper, and other seasonings of your choice can be used to add flavour to the chicken. Seasonings that are incredible with chicken include garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and dried herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
- Oil or cooking spray: To help the chicken get crispy and golden, you can use oil or cooking spray to coat the chicken before cooking. They only need a light spray or brush of oil.
- Optional extras: You can also add some vegetables like onions, bell pepper, or carrots to the air fryer basket for a complete all-in-one meal.
See recipe card for quantities.
👩🏻🍳 How to make the best air fryer chicken thighs in 3 easy steps
- Mix the dry spice rub in a medium bowl bit enough to toss the chicken.
- Toss the chicken and make sure that all the thighs are covered in the spice rub.
- Season the chicken: Start by seasoning the chicken with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings of your choice. This will add flavour and help to keep the meat juicy.
- Cook the chicken: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 5-10 minutes to make sure you get the crispiest chicken! Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket smooth side down and cook for about 18-25 minutes. Turn the chicken over after about 10 minutes. or until the internal temperature reaches 74°C (165°F).
- Rest and serve: Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the air fryer loosly cover it with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and will result in a more flavourful and tender chicken. Serve with your favourite sides and enjoy!
Some additional tips:
- Use cooking spray, oil, or butter to give the chicken a nice crispiness and colour.
- Add some vegetables to the basket for a complete meal.
- Keep in mind that cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs, so it's best to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature has reached a safe level before eating.
- Fridge - these cooked chicken thighs can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Freezer - cooked chicken thighs can be stored in the freezer either in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.
- Reheating - chicken can become tough and develop a strange texture when it's reheated in the microwave. They are best reheated in the oven at about 160ºC for 10-15 minutes or until hot.
💭 7 Top tips for cooking the perfect crispy air fryer chicken
- Preheat the air fryer: Before you start cooking, make sure to preheat the air fryer to the correct cooking temperature. This will help to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and stays juicy.
- Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that the chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. For chicken thighs, the internal temperature should reach 74°C (165°F).
- Dry the chicken: use a paper towel to dry off the surface of the chicken to ensure you get them nice and crispy. Use a dry spice rub rather than BBQ sauce:
- Don't overcrowd the basket: To ensure that the chicken cooks evenly, do not overcrowd the air fryer basket. Leave enough space between the pieces of chicken so that hot air can circulate freely.
- Use oil or cooking spray: To help the chicken get crispy and golden, use a cooking spray or brush the chicken with oil before cooking. I've used an olive oil cooking spray for this recipe, but brushing with
- Turn the chicken or shake the basket: Halfway through the cooking time, use tongs to turn the chicken over. For something like chicken wings or nuggets give the basket a shake to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly.
- Be mindful of the cook time: The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken thighs, so it's important to keep an eye on the clock and adjust the cook time as needed. This will also vary based on your air fryer.
- Let the chicken rest: Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and will result in a more flavourful and tender chicken.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs, but generally, it should take anywhere from 15-25 minutes at 190°C (375°F) for the internal temperature to reach 74°C (165°F).
Yes, you can cook chicken thighs from frozen in the air fryer. However, the cooking time will be longer and it's really important to make sure that the internal temperature reaches 74°C (165°F) before eating.
The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (74°C) before consuming. You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. If you don't have a meat thermometer, then you can look for visual cues: the chicken thighs are firm and when you cut into them they are hot all the way through and the flesh is white and the juices run clear.
Yes, you can cook vegetables in the air fryer with the chicken. Simply add them to the air fryer basket and cook them at the same time. Make sure that the chicken is fully cooked before consuming the vegetables to ensure no cross contamination has happened.
Yes, you can absolutely cook bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer. However, the cooking time will be longer so be sure to account for that when preparing side dish. And use a meat thermometer to ensure the thighs are cooked.
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Unbelievably Easy Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 1 kg (2 pounds) boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoon (2 tablespoon) garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) dried basil
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) Nonstick cooking spray- olive oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 190ºC (350ºF).
- In a medium bowl mix the herbs and spices together. Toss the chicken thighs in the bowl and using your hands toss well to coat the chicken in the spices.
- Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with some nonstick spray and place the chicken smooth-side down into the basket. Cook for about 12 minutes, use some tongs to turn the chicken over and continue to cook for a further 6-8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature is 75ºC or 165ºF.
- Be sure that the chicken is cooked fully. Each air fryer is different and you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly. But be sure to not set your temperature higher otherwise the chicken will likely burn.
- You can use some olive or vegetable oil and gently brush it onto the air fryer basket if you don’t want to buy cooking spray.
- Feel free to adjust the ratio of the herbs and spices to customize your mix. Add in a pinch of chilli powder for an extra spicy kick.