Discover how easy to make juicy bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are. This juicy chicken, made in an air fryer, is a viral sensation. Deliciously flavored in the perfect seasoning mixture, making air fryer chicken thighs has never been easier.
And for a busy family, the 30-minute cook time keeps weeknight dinners smooth and simple.
Why you should make Air Fried Chicken Thighs
Chicken recipes can be really common. We all fall prey to making a boneless skinless chicken breast recipe and usually more than one time a week. It can get pretty dull as a menu.
However, tender inside, crispy outside chicken thighs break up that routine and provide you with a delicious and quick meal that pairs amazingly with most viral side dish recipes. We suggest this southern mac and cheese recipe and our favorite salad recipe.
Once you discover how simple and easy using the air fryer to make chicken is, you may never go back!
- Chicken Thighs: This method uses bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs defrosted and marinated. It’s OK to adjust to boneless thighs as long as you monitor or consult manuals for the time alterations needed. Keeping the skin on and bone in helps the chicken piece maintain moisture, resulting in a forgiving and juicy meal.
- Vegetable oil – The oil is used to assist in marinating chicken recipes.
- Worcestershire sauce – Worchestershire sauce is a condiment that helps provide a savory flavor to the protein.
- BBQ Seasoning – Seasoning can vary based on what you have in the pantry. We use McCormick Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub, and the original video uses Dan-O’s seasoning. Alternatively, it’s OK to use your seasoning mixture, and we suggest spices like kosher salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.
How to make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (Juicy!)
- Place raw chicken thighs in a large resealable plastic bag. Add vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, and a generous amount of BBQ seasoning.
- Seal the bag and shake to carefully mix and distribute the seasoning.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place skin-on chicken thighs into the air fryer basket (chicken thighs skin side down) and season with additional dry BBQ seasoning. Set the air fryer to air crisp at 390 degrees for 11 minutes.
- Flip the juicy chicken thighs over and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove chicken thighs recipe from air fryer and serve hot.
Where did this Viral TikTok Chicken Thigh Recipe Come from?
This original inspirational video came from @lowcarbstateofmind video on our page.
Did this Viral Chicken Recipe work?
We tested Jackie’s recipe the way she posted it but found that the bone-in chicken thighs burned with our air fryer. We are not saying her method was wrong but it ultimately didn’t work for the air fryer brand (ninja foodi) we had.
See our adjustments in the printable recipe and always consult your air fryer manual for tested times and temps that help you achieve perfect results.
How long to cook a chicken thigh in the air fryer?
This is one of those questions that has various answers. The timing could change depending on the air fryer brand, how close the chicken is to the heating element, and how thick the thighs are (plus bone-in or boneless).
Times and cooking could vary quite a bit, and it’s best to always rely on a cooking meat thermometer with an internal temperature gauge of 165 Fahrenheit before knowing chicken is safe and cooked through.
After testing the air fryer method that the TikTok chicken video showed, we had some burned results. We instead consulted our Ninja Foodi Air Fryer booklet and used that method for perfect thighs. Always consult your own air fryer manual, which should have chicken thighs listed, for perfect results.
Ninja Foodi Booklet: Small bone-in thighs Air Crisp at 390 Degrees for 11-13 Minutes, flip chicken and lower Air Crips heat to 350, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
HOTE: Boneless chicken thighs take less time in air fryers by about 3 minutes.
How to reheat chicken thighs
When reheating, just like all chicken, you have to be careful not to overcook, or the chicken will become chewy. If placed in the microwave, make sure the chicken is on a heat-safe plate, cover with a paper towel, and heat slowly, 1 minute at a time, until desired.
If reheating in the air fryer, preheat to 350 and air fry for 5 minutes. Increase air fryer temp to 375 and cook another 5 minutes.
Is it required to marinate for 30 minutes?
The longer chicken marinates, the more flavor they have. However, do not let forgetting about marinating stop you from making chicken thighs. Naturally (and more than chicken breasts or legs), thighs are pretty juicy and will still taste delicious. As a busy mom, I understand that some recipe prep can be lost in timing, and it’s still OK to make thighs.
Tempering the chicken
Typically, the chicken will be coming from an extra cold fridge after marinating. For best results in chicken thighs, bring the chicken pieces up to room temperature on the counter to take off as much cold as possible.
Removing from the fridge 20-30 minutes before cooking time can help achieve the best results, but experts claim that you can leave the chicken out for as much as 4 hours before cooking.
Is air fried chicken a healthier option?
Air frying chicken takes far less oil than traditional frying methods and therefore is considered a much healthier alternative.
Any brand air fryer should be fine to make fantastic air-fried meals. We suggest a Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, an all-in-one pressure cooker, and an air fryer.
Other popular brands are listed and see the current prices by clicking.
Get the Best Air Fryer Here!
Our Favorite Air Fryer to use in all of our recipes is the Ninja Foodi 6 quart.
Check out the current price on Amazon here!
Related Air Fryer Recipes
- If you love making chicken in the air fryer, these Air Fryer Sriracha Chicken Legs are so good!
- Serve leftover chicken thighs on this Chicken Kale Salad Recipe.
- Did you know you can make Pillsbury Grande Biscuits in an Air Fryer?
- Serve this chicken with authentic Japanese Steakhouse Yum Yum sauce.
- Viral TikTok Dessert recipe for super large Giant chocolate chip cookie in the Air Fryer (cake) done in 10 minutes.
- This Air Fryer Steak Bites Recipe is a great way to make a quick and delicious lunch or dinner.
- Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower Bites recipe is not for the weak!
- Soft boiled and runny yolk Jammy eggs, made in the Air Fryer, perfect with a ramen recipe.
- See how to be game day ready with Ninja Foodi Chicken Wings recipe here.
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