Make the crispiest air fryer chicken thighs made with a delicious chicken seasoning. These pair perfectly with any dinner side and are ready in no time!
Favorite Air Fryer Chicken Thigh Recipe!
Looking for a super simple dinner idea that’s tender on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside? Look no further than air fryer chicken thighs.
We are huge fans of chicken thighs in general at Fit Foodie Finds because a little bit of dark meat can do the soul good. Chicken thighs typically come out so much juicier than chicken breasts and they really are tasty.
Now, if you are used to whipping up baked chicken thighs or grilled chicken thighs to get them nice and crispy, the air fryer is going to change your life. When I say these are so crispy, I mean it!
Why Make This Recipe
So Crispy: Make the crispiest chicken thighs you’ve ever had without sacrificing and the juiciness of the meat.
7 Ingredients: you only need 7 ingredients to make this delicious meal.
Ready in 30 minutes: have perfectly cooked thighs ready in 30 minutes!
What You Need
Chicken thighs (bone-in): for this recipe, we’re using bone-in thighs. We love how juicy the insides come out with bone-in thighs. Feel free to use boneless skinless chicken thighs if that is your jam. We recommend lowering the cooking time by a few minutes on each side to prevent over-cooking.
Olive oil: olive oil is used to make sure these chicken thighs come out nice and crispy. Feel free to swap for a different oil.
Spices: the spice combination in this recipe is so delicious. We’re using salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and brown sugar.
chicken seasoning ideas!
If you have any of our homemade seasonings on hand, feel free to use around 1-2 tablespoons in place of the listed spices.
Top Tips for Perfectly Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Thighs
Pat the chicken dry
Removing as much moisture as possible from the chicken thighs is important. This will really help them crisp up nicely in the air fryer.
Don’t skip the oil
Ultimately oil helps make the skin on your chicken thighs very crispy. Don’t skip it!
Make sure to flip
By flipping your chicken thighs after 10 minutes, you’ll ensure that both sides get nice and browned and that it cooks evenly.
Use a dry rub over a marinade
While you can make air fryer chicken thighs with a marinade, using a dry rub is going to make sure the outsides get nice and crisp.
Set your air fryer to 400ºF and cook your chicken thighs for 16 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Yes, you can cook raw chicken in the air fryer. It’s one of the best ways to get it nice and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Chicken thighs will take around 16-20 minutes depending on the size of the thigh. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp for doneness.
How long to air fry chicken thighs?
Cook chicken thighs in air fryer for 20 minutes at 400ºF, flipping halfway through.
Can I use boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer?
Yes! You can absolutely use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. We recommend lowering cook time to 16-18 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken thighs are.
Can I marinate my thighs instead?
Marinated chicken thighs in the air fryer are delicious and can absolutely be done instead of a dry rub. Just note that they likely will not come out with a super crispy skin due to the added moisture.
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. Make sure that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken is 165ºF.
Complete your meal with some of our favorite easy side dishes.
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
Once your chicken thighs have cooled, transfer them into an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 2 lb. bone-in chicken thighs (we used 4)
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF and spray the inside of the basket with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the garlic powder, paprika, dried thyme, salt, and brown sugar to a bowl and mix until combined.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a piece of paper towel and sprinkle the dry rub over the chicken thighs. Be sure the dry rub covers the entire chicken thigh.
- Place the chicken thighs skin side down into the air fryer and drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil. You may have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Set the air fryer for 8 minutes, flip the chicken thighs, and cook the chicken thighs for an additional 6-10 minutes depending on the size of your thighs.
- If the internal temperature of the chicken is 165ºF and the skin is crispy, remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer. If you would like your chicken thighs crispier, cook them for an additional 2 minutes. Let the chicken sit for 3-5 minutes and enjoy.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.
This recipe is a game-changer! The step-by-step instructions were easy to follow, and the pictures were mouth-watering. The end result was a delicious meal that my family couldn’t get enough of.
Seriously the best chicken thighs.
Just made this a couple of days ago. I gave it a touch of black pepper and added an extra half more amount of the spices. Since I had 6 pieces of thighs. This was very good and I will definitely be making it again. Thank you for sharing
I made this for supper tonight…2 legs and 2 thighs. The chicken was moist and the seasoning was delicious. This recipe is a keeper!
Note: My chicken was only about 3/4 thawed, so I added 2 minutes to each stage and it was perfect.
Yummy! Simple and comes out very juicy from air fryer! Used boneless thighs
I had boneless thighs ready to cook but no idea what to do. This recipe was perfect. It ended up great and a quick recipe.
Excellent – loved the rub on the chicken.
I made this tonight, and it was SO good!!! Everyone loved it!
I really like the simplicity of this recipe. You were able to make a dry rub appear to be”wet”, and that makes the chicken look tastier. I’m going through and finding recipes I believe are, quick, simple, and flavorful. Let’s see how yours fares.-GSH
Just made it for myself and a couple of grandchildren. So juicy and delicious. So easy. I wish I had stopped to take a photo but didn’t. I will definitely be saving this recipe.
My Amanda oven has an air fryer option, I bought a pan and mesh basket to use for this. Should I use the same 400 temp setting and times?
Why don’t you put oil on the skin side?
Please try this recipe it is wonderful Don’t improvise just follow the instructions. I can tell you as a Southern Cook, this is a hit!
Wow, Janice, we’re blushing! So glad you enjoyed these chicken thighs.
It is just fine without the oil. The drizzle of Olive oil made the air fryer smoke too much for my taste.
I haven’t cooked chicken in a few years due to dietary changes so I needed a good air fryer recipe and came across this one. It. Was. Awesome! The blend of spices was perfect and the timing adjustment for boneless/skinless thighs was spot on. I’ve pinned this and will definitely make it again!
This was so delicious and easy! Highly recommend! Did it with boneless chicken thighs and cooked for 16 min, came out perfect!
This was my first-ever attempt at cooking in an air fryer and it came out great!! I also included asparagus and butternut squash cubes, taking them out after 10 minutes. I did leave the chicken in too long–interior temperature was 190F! Fortunately, chicken thighs are very forgiving; they were tender and juicy. Also, I used avocado oil on the chicken skin and it came out wonderfully crispy.
This is going to be my new go-to air fryer chicken recipe. The dry rub is so flavorful.
Seriously the best chicken thighs I’ve ever had. The spice rub is amazing!