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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

how to make crispy air fryer chicken thighs

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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are an incredibly quick and easy to make. They are crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, and packed full of flavor!

Whether you are looking for a whole 30 or keto alternative to deep frying, or just love a tasty piece of chicken, you will love how incredible these chicken thighs turn out in the air fryer! Serve them up with some Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoesand Garlic Parmesan Oven Roasted Asparagus for a delicious meal!

how to make crispy air fryer chicken thighs


These thighs were one of the first things I cooked in my hair fryer, and man-oh-man was I impressed!

I’m one of those people who cannot stand fat that hasn’t completely rendered during cooking. I love me some fat, but only if it has either completely melted away or has become crispy and wonderful.

Not only was I completely blown away by how quick and easy these were to make, but it was some of the best “fried” chicken I have ever eaten!

Ingredients needed to make air fryer chicken thighs:

Okay, this is going to blow your mind.

  • chicken thighs
  • salt
  • garlic herb seasoning (you could even skip this if you want a two ingredient meal!)

No oil needed. Not even a little bit.

Because chicken thighs have such a thick layer of skin and the dark meat is so tender, all of the fat melts right into the juicy and tender meat and you’re left with a completely crisp outside.

Could you go crazy and do a buttermilk soak and coat the chicken prior to cooking. Much like I do for my traditional fried chicken? Sure. Do you need to? Nope.

What kind of chicken works best in the air fryer?

You can use any cut of chicken in the air fryer, but each will yield different results.

  • Air Fryer Chicken Wings are fantastic. I know this for a fact.
  • Drumsticks work well too because there is so much skin on top of dark meat.
  • Breasts are a bit more tricky because there is so much white meat. They still turn out fabulous in the air fryer, but need a bit more oil and coating to keep them from drying out.
  • But what is my favorite cut of chicken to cook in the air fryer? Boneless skin-on thighs. My grocery store only sold boneless skinless or bone-in skin on. Lucky for me, the guy behind the meat counter offered to de-bone my thighs. If I wasn’t feeling so lazy, I would have brought the bones home to make homemade chicken broth too.

how to make air fryer chicken thighs

How to make crispy air fryer chicken thighs:

This recipe is so insanely easy to make, you’ll be blown away.

  • Your chicken will turn out best if it’s of even thickness. The best way to accomplish this is to use a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin to flatten the thighs out to be the same thickness.
  • Cooking tip – any kind of seasonings or herbs will turn black in your air fryer. Salt won’t. That is why I put the salt on the top of the skin and the seasonings directly on the bottom of the chicken. This will keep your skin perfectly golden brown while still infusing all that wonderful flavor.
  • I was able to fit 3 thighs in my air fryer. If you can fit more, go for it. Just be sure they’re in a single layer. I found that 400 degrees F for 18 minutes was perfect for my chicken thighs. Yours might vary a bit depending on the thickness and starting temperature of your chicken. Just be sure the internal temperature reads at least 165 degrees F before serving.

air fryer chicken thighs boneless

How to reheat chicken that was cooked in the air fryer:

One of the problems with cooking in the air fryer is that it’s difficult to cook large meals. For example, to feed my family, I had to do two rounds of chicken.

If you are having to make multiple batches, loosely tent the cooked chicken on a plate with aluminum foil. This should keep them warm while the other chicken is cooking. You can also pop them back in the air fryer for 2 minutes just to heat them up real quick while the second batch is resting.

If you are cooking a lot of chicken ahead of time for meal prep, my favorite way to reheat this chicken is on a baking sheet, uncovered, in the oven or toaster oven. Because they are so thin, they reheat quickly and taste amazing leftover.

This chicken is also fantastic when served cold. It makes a great addition to things like a homemade cobb salad or a chicken salad sandwich.

how to make crispy air fryer chicken thighs

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are an incredibly quick and easy to make. They are crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, and packed full of flavor!

4.78 from 9 votes


Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer, chicken thighs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 371kcal
Author: Krissy Allori


  • 3 chicken thighs skin on, boneless
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic herb blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Use a meat tenderizer to pound any thick parts of the chicken thigh so that they are as close to uniform thickness as possible.
    how to season air fryer chicken thighs
  • Sprinkle the garlic herb seasoning on the meat side of the chicken thighs and the salt on the skin side.
    boneless chicken thighs
  • Place chicken thighs, skin side up, in a single layer in your air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees F for about 18 minutes. Skin should be golden brown and very crispy. Internal temperature should read at least 165 degrees F when done.
    air fryer chicken thighs


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 421mg | Potassium: 347mg | Vitamin A: 130IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1.1mg
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