Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

4 from 1 vote

Air frying chicken thighs yields crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat. The high heat and circulating air in the air fryer create a similar result to deep-frying but with significantly less oil and mess. This recipe is simple and quick, making it perfect for a delicious weeknight meal. This chicken thigh recipe was one of the first recipes I tried in my air fryer last December. My sister had been trying to convince me to get one for ages. I was not convinced until I saw her in action making biryani in her air fryer! It seemed so effortless. I have to admit, it has simplified my life. I especially love using them on weekdays for a quick meal. What I Iove most is cooking my son’s fish fingers ‘on demand’ in them. I opted for a large family model, Cosori, sold on the 99% five-star reviews the product received. Enough about the air fryer, back to the recipe. Chicken is definitely one of the most versatile meats to cook, be it on the stovetop or oven, it is possible to make succulent chicken with little effort. The challenge with making spicy air fryer chicken is not to burn the spice. I find that mixing the spices in a bit of olive oil helps keep the flavour of the spice intact. Definitely, something I’ve improved on since making Cajun chicken. This post features tips and tricks for cooking chicken thighs in an air fryer as well as my recipe. Enjoy!

air fryer chicken thighs

Why I Prefer Air Fryer Chicken Thighs to Pan or Oven-Cooked Recipes

  • Air frying chicken thighs yields crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat. The high heat and circulating air in the air fryer create a similar result to deep-frying but with significantly less oil and mess. This recipe is simple and quick, making it perfect for a delicious weeknight meal.
  • However, if you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make this delicious chicken thighs recipe by baking them in a preheated oven at 425°F (220°C) for about 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through and the skin is crispy.

How to Make Crispy Succulent Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

easy air fryer chicken recipe 1

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe

4 from 1 vote
Recipe by Ms Pillay Difficulty: Easy


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  • 4 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on

  • 1 tablespoon 1 olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon 1 salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon 1 garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon 1 paprika or Durban Masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 dried or fresh thyme

  • Cooking spray (optional)


  • Preheat your air fryer to 200°C (400°F) for about 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried thyme: Add the olive oil. Mix well.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Brush both sides of the chicken thighs with spice and oil mix. rubbing it in to ensure an even coating.
  • If desired, lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place the seasoned chicken thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, skin-side down.
  • Cook the chicken thighs in the air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, flip the chicken thighs and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes, and the skin is crispy and browned.
  • Once cooked, remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.


  • Make sure to pat the chicken thighs dry before seasoning. This helps to ensure crispy skin.
  • If your air fryer has a smaller capacity, cook the chicken thighs in batches to avoid overcrowding, which can affect the crispiness.
  • You can vary the spices according to your preference. Experiment with different combinations like lemon pepper, Cajun seasoning, or Italian herbs.

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Serving Suggestions for Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Like most roast or fried chicken, air fryer thighs are best served with sides such as a salad, coleslaw or egg and potato salad.

Flavour Variations for Air Fryer Chicken Thighs:

  • BBQ Chicken Thighs: Use a dry rub or your favourite barbecue seasoning instead of the suggested spice mixture.
  • Lemon Herb Chicken Thighs: Add lemon zest, dried herbs like rosemary and thyme, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the spice mixture.
  • Spicy Chicken Thighs: Incorporate cayenne pepper, chilli powder, or hot sauce to give the chicken thighs some heat.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Chicken Thighs in an Airfryer:

  • Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe? Yes, you can. Adjust the cooking time slightly as boneless, skinless chicken thighs will cook faster.
  • Do I need to preheat the air fryer before making chicken thighs? It’s recommended to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes to ensure even cooking and better results.
  • Can I use frozen chicken thighs? It’s best to thaw the chicken thighs before air frying for more even cooking. If using frozen thighs, increase the cooking time and monitor the internal temperature to ensure they are fully cooked.
  • How long do you cook thighs in an air fryer? The cooking time for chicken thighs in an air fryer can vary depending on the size and thickness of the thighs, as well as the specific air fryer model. As a general guideline, boneless chicken thighs usually take around 15-18 minutes at 400°F (200°C) in an air fryer. However, it is always recommended to refer to the specific recipe or manufacturer’s instructions for precise cooking times.

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