5 from 1 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

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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. 

chicken thighs on a plate.

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! 

Ingredients: 

  • 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!)

  1. Place raw chicken thighs in a large resealable plastic bag. Add vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, and a generous amount of BBQ seasoning.
  2. Seal the bag and shake to carefully mix and distribute the seasoning.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  4. 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.
how to marinate chicken thighs..
  1. Flip the juicy chicken thighs over and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  2. Remove chicken thighs recipe from air fryer and serve hot. 
chicken thighs cooked in air fryer.

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.

blackened chicken thighs in air fryer.

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.

Kitchen Appliances

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!

  • 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.
easy air fryer chicken thighs.
5 from 1 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (TikTok)


Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Viral Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, bone in and skin on chicken thighs produce super juicy tender chicken with crispy skins in under 30 minutes. TikTok inspired.

Equipment

  • air fryer

Ingredients
 

  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • BBQ Seasoning suggested: Dan'O or McCormick Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub

Instructions

  • Place defrosted and 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 chicken into the air fryer basket and season with additional dry BBQ seasoning.
  • Set the air fryer to air crisp at 390 degrees for 11 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken thighs over and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove chicken thighs from air fryer and serve hot. 

Notes

How long to cook a chicken thigh in the air fryer? 
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. 
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. 
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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1thigh | Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 277mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

Sharing of this recipe is encouraged and appreciated. Copying of full recipe to any social media is prohibited.

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5 from 1 votes

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