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Air fryer chicken thighs – crispy on the outside and deliciously juicy and tender on the inside. Air Fried chicken thighs are so simple and easy to make with no mess and only a few ingredients!
If you are a fan of super juicy chicken with delicious, crispy brown skin, I have great news… Your favorite air fryer boneless chicken thighs recipe is right here! It makes a perfect easy weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy.
Like our Air Fryer Chicken Breast, you won’t use any breading in this recipe but this recipe doesn’t need any because the spice mixture and the crispy skin add so much flavor and deliciousness. Making chicken thighs in the Air Fryer is faster and easier than in the oven – you’ll love this simple recipe!
If you’re looking for other delicious Air Fryer chicken recipes, try my Air Fryer Chicken Wings or my Air Fryer Chicken Tenders. We’re also loving our Air Fryer Fried Chicken for those days when we’re craving something with a crispy breading.
Reasons to make this Air Fryer recipe
- Less oil – You’ll only need to use 2 teaspoons of oil or a light spray of oil spray!
- Less mess – Your air fryer contains the oil. As a result, there’s no greasy stove to clean up.
- Quicker and cooler than an oven – An air fryer preheats quickly, and it won’t heat up your kitchen. Plus, air fryer chicken thighs cook faster than oven-fried chicken.
- Budget-friendly – Chicken thighs are more flavorful than chicken breast and less expensive, too!
- Customizable – If you want to use seasonings other than the ones shown in the recipe below, feel free to do so.
Tips and FAQ for this recipe
- Preheat the air fryer – Be sure the air fryer is preheated completely before you cook in it. Set it to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). If your Air Fryer doesn’t need to be preheated you can skip this step.
- Pat Dry the chicken – Use paper toweling to remove any excess moisture from the chicken thighs. Just pat the exterior dry; it will help create the best crispy skin.
- Season on all sides – Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. First, sprinkle half the seasoning mixture on the bottom of the chicken thighs. Then, turn them over and evenly sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture on top.
- Don’t stack the chicken thighs – Be sure to place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer, skin-side up.
- Turn the chicken over during frying – To ensure that the chicken thighs cook completely, turn the chicken over halfway through the cooking time.
Should I use boneless skinless chicken thighs or bone-in with skin
I prefer to use boneless skin-on chicken thighs because it gives you the best results in my opinion. Bone-in skin-on thighs are also a great choice, they might take a few minutes more to cook. However, this recipe also works with skinless boneless chicken thighs, if this is what you have on hand or prefer. You won’t get the same crispiness but it will still be super flavorful and delicious.
Do I have to use chicken thighs
No, you don’t have to! You could use this recipe with other cuts of chicken like, drumsticks, wings, or breasts. But please keep in mind, that different cuts of chicken will require different cook times!
How do I know when the chicken is done
The entire cook time will be somewhere between 15 and 18 minutes. It depends on your Air Fryer and on the kind of meat you use. There are two ways to check if the chicken thighs are fully cooked:
- Appearance – The skin will be crispy and golden brown, and the chicken juices will run clear.
- Internal temperature – Also, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thighs should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
What to serve with chicken thighs
This recipe is super versatile! You can serve it in so many ways: with some carbs and veggies on the side, on a salad, or even on a sandwich. Here are some of my favorite sides to serve with this dish:
- Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Oven Roasted Green Beans
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- German Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Oven Roasted Potatoes
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 4 boneless chicken thighs, skin-on
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, or oil spray
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat an air fryer to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
- Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl and sprinkle half the seasoning mixture evenly over the chicken thighs. Turn thighs over and evenly sprinkle remaining seasoning mixture on top. Place chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer, skin-side up.
- Fry in the preheated air fryer until chicken is nicely browned and juices run clear about 14-18 minutes, turning the chicken halfway. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
- Bone-in chicken thighs can also be used but will take longer to cook. Skinless chicken thighs are also an option but won’t give you the same crispiness as skin-on chicken.
- The spice mixture is optional, you can use your favorite spice mixture like or swap out different spices to go with a wide variety of meals.
- Leftovers will last up to 3 days in an airtight container stored in the fridge.