This air fryer chicken thighs recipe is perfect if you enjoy crispy chicken skin, tender and juicy meat, and deliciously seasoned flavours!
Whether cooking for yourself or your family or hosting a party, these chicken thighs are easy to make and guaranteed to impress.
In this blog post, we'll walk you through the simple steps of preparing and cooking chicken thighs with the skin on and bone in so you can enjoy a savoury and healthy dish bursting with flavour.
How to cook bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer
Before diving into the recipe details, we highly recommend checking out our video slideshow that shows how easy and quick it is to cook chicken thighs in an air fryer.
If you prefer to skip the visuals, head straight to the recipe card for ingredient measurements and cooking temperature.You can do so by jumping through this link to the air fryer chicken recipe card.
However, we encourage you to continue reading to learn tips and tricks for making the best air fryer chicken thighs and even discover some seasoning ideas to elevate the flavour.
With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a mouth-watering dish full of flavour and perfectly cooked every time.
Chicken Thighs Bone in - with Skin
Chicken thighs with the bone-in and skin-on make this recipe so delicious. The bone helps keep the dark meat moist and flavorful, while the skin gets crispy and golden brown when cooked in the air fryer.
Always defrost frozen chicken thighs before air frying, and use a paper towel to pat the chicken thighs dry after defrosting. This helps the spice mix to stick to the chicken thigh.
We'll be using an all-purpose seasoning mix to add smoky flavor to the chicken thighs. This can include a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper.
However, feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking or experiment with different spice blends to suit your taste. Or cook plain air fryer chicken thighs and add flavour with our easy recipe for peppercorn sauce drizzled over the chicken thigh at serving.
Here are some more seasoning suggestions.
- Piri Piri
- Italian Herb
- Smoked Paprika and Onion
- Jamaican Jerk spice blend
- Curry Powder
- Your own spice mixture
You can cook chicken in the air fryer evenly and crisply without oil for the least amount of extra calories the skin will keep the meat moist. Alternatively, use cooking spray oil or a drizzle of olive oil if you prefer.
Herbs such as fresh parsley also make a great garnish and add colour to your dish. You can add other herbs like basil or coriander to your taste.
You'll need a few essential pieces of equipment to make these delicious air fryer chicken thighs. The most important one is an air fryer.
We recommend the Ninja Dual Zone air fryer, which cooks food quickly and evenly. Ensuring that your chicken thighs are always perfect. You can cook eight chicken thighs between the two baskets at a time, so perfect for a family meal.
You'll also need a food bag to toss the bone in thighs with the seasoning. This ensures that the chicken is coated evenly with spices and herbs. Eliminates the need to handle too much raw chicken. Or it can be mixed in a mixing bowl instead.
Additionally, you'll need a pair of tongs to move the chicken around in the air fryer. And a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is perfectly cooked.
It's easy to make these deliciously crispy air fryer chicken. Take your bone-in chicken thighs, and place them in a ziplock bag.
Sprinkle in the seasoning mixture of your choice. You can also add some olive oil at this point if you choose to. Or use a spray oil just before cooking.
Seal the bag with a little air inside to make it easier to distribute your spice rub. Shake and twist the raw chicken thighs inside the bag until all of the chicken thighs are covered. Or mix together in a mixing bowl.
Place your chicken thighs into the air fryer basket with the skin side facing up. Do not stack chicken thighs inside the air fryer as this will make them cook unevenly, take longer and won't give you a crispy skin.
Add a drizzle or spray of oil to the skin if you wish. (there is plenty of fat already in the skin, so its optional)
Cook boned chicken thighs in the air fryer for around 25 minutes. Cook time can vary depending on the size of the chicken thighs and different models of air fryers.
Flipping halfway during the cooking process is necessary if the basket is full, for example, four large bones in thighs all touch when in the air fryer basket.
But if you are only cooking a few smaller thighs you won't need to flip halfway as the hot air can easily pass around them.
Internal temperature for cooked chicken
We like to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. An instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of your chicken thigh should show 74°C (165°F).
If you don't have one, cut a piece close to the bone to check the chicken is cooked throughout. There should be no signs of pink on the meat and the juices.
Cook in the air fryer for longer if needed. Chicken must be fully cooked to prevent the risk of food poisoning.
Allowing air fryer chicken thighs to rest for a few minutes after cooking is important to ensure that the juices are distributed evenly throughout the meat.
This can help prevent the chicken from becoming dry or tough, and ensure that each bite is juicy and flavorful.
Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs before serving.
We have many side dishes that will make these air fryer chicken thighs a delicious meal.
More side dishes
Here are some more ideas for what to serve with your air-fried chicken thighs.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Air Fryer Chicken Thigh Bone in with Skin
- 4 Chicken Thighs Bone in - with Skin
- 1 tablespoon All Purpose Seasoning See notes for more dry seasoning suggestions
- few sprays of Spray Oil
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- Fresh parsley to serve
- Place the 4 Chicken Thighs in a large food bag*can use a bowl if preferred.4 Chicken Thighs
- Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon All Purpose Seasoning.Optional* You can add 1 teaspoon Olive oil to the bag, if you want. But it will cook fine without or use a few sprays of Spray Oil if you want to keep it healthier.The ones seen in these images have no olive oil added.1 tablespoon All Purpose Seasoning, 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- Seal the bag (leaving some air in the bag to help distribute the seasoning easier) and shake and twist the chicken inside the bag until all parts of the chicken are evenly coated.
- Place chicken thighs into the basket skin side facing up. Optional - Spray the chicken skins with few sprays of Spray Oil
- Airfry at 190°C / 380°F for about 25 minutes. *Time varies depending on the chicken thigh size and your air fryer model.
- Check the chicken is cooked through by checking the internal temperature. Chicken must be cooked to 74°C (165°F). If you have not got a thermometer cut a piece near the bone to check it is cooked through.
- Allow to rest for 3 minutes
- Sprinkle Fresh parsley or other herbs before serving.Fresh parsley
Dry Seasonings for Chicken ThighsAll Purpose BBQ Piri Piri Italian Herb Paprika and Onion Jamaican Jerk Curry Powder Morrocan Cajun
Leftover air fry cooked chicken thighs can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
You could also store air fry chicken pieces in the freezer for up to six months. Defrost before reheating.
While it's best to consume air-fried chicken immediately after cooking for optimal texture (especially the crispy skin). Reheating leftovers in the microwave is a convenient and quick option.
Place the chicken in a microwave-safe container. Add a splash of water and cover, heat in 1 minutes intervals until heated through.
More Chicken Recipes
If you're a chicken lover, don't miss out on these tasty recipes.
Our breaded mozzarella chicken - juicy breasts stuffed with mozzarella and coated with a crispy breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese mixture, cooked with marinara sauce.
Try our pressure cooker chicken biriyani recipe for a different flavour profile. Tender, spiced chicken and fluffy basmati rice cooked in aromatic herbs, spices, and fragrant flavours of India.
And if you like it hot, our salt and pepper wings taste amazing. Coated in a spicy blend of salt, pepper, garlic, and chilli flakes - perfect for game day.
Air fryer chicken thighs are a popular and delicious choice for a quick and easy dinner. They're great because they're crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, without any added oil or fuss of traditional frying methods.
We will be posting more air fryer chicken recipes soon! Let us know in the comments what you serve your air fry chicken thighs with.