Craving a delicious and easy dinner option you can make in the air fryer? Look no further than this mouth-watering recipe for Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. With a base seasoning recipe, as well as four additional flavor options, such as classic lemon pepper and savory teriyaki sauce, this recipe is perfect for everyone. Experiment with different flavor options and enjoy a new taste every time you make it.

Close up view of an air fryer chicken thigh.

An air fryer is a handy kitchen appliance that cooks food using hot air circulating around the food. This method of cooking is perfect for chicken thighs as it gives them a crispy, golden brown exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. It’s also much quicker to preheat than an oven, uses less energy, and the compact size means it doesn’t take up too much space in your kitchen.

The seasoning options are endless, and you can use the base recipe and adjust the seasoning to your liking. You can also marinate the chicken beforehand for an extra boost of flavor. The recipe uses bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, which will give you the best crispy skin, but it can also be made with skinless chicken thighs.

Using Skinless Chicken Thighs

If you prefer to use skinless chicken thighs, you can still use all of the same ingredients, including the oil, you’d just rub it directly onto the meat rather than the skin. With skin, people either love it or hate it and there are pros and cons to both. Cooking skinless chicken thighs will result in a slightly different texture but it will still be delicious and flavorful. It’s also a great option for those looking for a leaner protein source. Simply follow the recipe as directed, but rub your oil and spices directly on the meat, rather than the skin.

Tips for Success

  • Make sure to preheat the air fryer for at least 5 minutes before adding the chicken. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Experiment with different temperatures and timing: Different air fryers can vary in temperature and timing, so you may need to adjust the recipe accordingly. Keep an eye on the chicken as it cooks and adjust the temperature and timing as needed.
  • Season the chicken generously: Make sure to use enough seasoning to give the chicken plenty of flavor. You can adjust the seasoning to your liking, or use the additional flavor options provided in the recipe.
  • Use parchment paper or a silicone mat: If you want to avoid sticking and make cleanup a breeze, use parchment paper or a silicone mat to line the air fryer basket.
  • Don’t overcrowd the basket: To ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and gets that perfect crispy texture, make sure to not overcrowd the basket. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary.
  • Let the chicken rest before serving: Once the chicken is done cooking, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the chicken even more juicy and flavorful.
How long should I cook chicken thighs in an air fryer?

The cooking time for chicken thighs in an air fryer will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken and the desired level of doneness. Generally, for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, you should cook them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I marinate the chicken before cooking?

Yes, you can marinate the chicken before cooking. Marinating the chicken will add extra flavor and tenderness to the meat. You can use any marinade you like and let the chicken sit in it for 2-3 hours before cooking.

How do I know when the chicken is cooked through?

The best way to ensure that the chicken is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Air fryer chicken thighs.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This recipe is best served fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the chicken in the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-5 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, but be careful not to overheat and dry out the chicken.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious chicken air fryer recipes: