Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
Jun 23, 2021, Updated Sep 27, 2021
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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe – delicious crispy, crunchy keto low carb air fried chicken thighs that are bursting with flavor!
If you love chicken thighs for their tender, delicious meat – and their crispy, crunchy outside (both with or without skin), this recipe is going to be your next go-to.
We’re going to show you the basics of air frying chicken thighs, so you can add sauces, herbs, or any other flavors you’d like to this recipe later – making this a truly adaptable dish you can use for your favorite meals.
Chicken thighs are great on their own served with vegetables or a simple side dish as a keto main dish – but can also be chopped up and served over salad, in tacos and burritos, sandwiches, wraps, and more!
Chicken thighs – and this recipe in particular – are a great option for people on keto or low carb diets, they are packed with protein and are filling, and can be bought on any budget – especially if you grab bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
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Table of contents
How to Air Fry Chicken Thighs
Air frying chicken thighs is super simple – you can use the higher fat content in thighs to get a crispy crunch with no breading or excess oil with the air circulation and high heat an air fryer brings to food.
If you want to buy chicken thighs in bulk, it can sometimes be much more economical to buy skin-on, bone-in thighs.
You can cook them as-is with the modifications below, or remove the skin, or the bones – it is all up to you.
One tip… if you want super crispy-crunchy thighs that taste fried, but have no additional breading – just like our Easy Keto Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe – you can remove the bone from the thigh and unroll it to lay it flat in your air fryer basket.
This will reduce the amount of thighs you can cook at one time, but will get you insanely crispy, crunchy, and tender juicy chicken – reduce your cook time by about 5 minutes overall, as the thigh will cook faster and more evenly.
How To Air Fry Bone In Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs with the bone in are one of the most economical picks of meat you can buy in the grocery store – you can trim the bone out, but you can also just leave it in and air fry!
To air fry bone in chicken thighs, please add an additional 2-4 minutes cook time to the times listed below.
Take care to not get the thermometer too close to the bone when inserting your digital thermometer, as the bone will give you an inaccurate temperature reading.
How To Air Fry Boneless Chicken Thighs
We designed this recipe for a skin-on or skin-off boneless chicken thigh recipe, so you do not need to adjust cooking time below.
If you would like to get extra crispy, crunchy chicken with boneless chicken thighs, consider unrolling them and laying them flat in the air fryer basket to cook. When doing this, you will reduce cooking time by about 2 minutes overall, but go by your digital thermometer to gauge when your chicken is done.
How To Air Fry Skin On Chicken Thighs
For skin-on chicken thighs, it is essential you get a golden brown, ultra-crispy skin.
Let the fat render on your chicken skin as you air fry. When your chicken is done, broil for an additional minute or two to let the skin crisp, directly under the broiler (if you are using a ninja foodi or instant pot with dual function, be sure to switch from the convection/air fry mode to the broil mode) and let the skin finish crisping fully so you have a great crunch!
If your air fryer isn’t crisping fully or doesn’t have a broiler function, pop it under your oven’s broiler for just a minute or two, just to make sure you get a final burst of direct heat on the skin to get a crunch to prevent flabby, greasy chicken skin.
How To Air Fry Skinless Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs that don’t have skin need just a touch of additional fat to cook properly without sticking to the air fryer.
Since we’re using an herby marinade in this recipe, you’re covered – but if you want to make them without it, we’re adding some tips for air frying skinless chicken thighs:
- Spray or brush skinless chicken thighs with a bit of olive, avocado or other oil to make sure they do not stick to air fryer basket.
- Be sure to preheat air fryer before adding in skinless thighs to help prevent sticking.
Because chicken thighs have a higher fat content than chicken breasts, they don’t strictly need a marinade.
We’re using a marinade in this recipe to add more flavor with herbs and garlic, but you don’t need to worry about time in the marinade as much as you would with a leaner piece of meat like pork tenderloin or chicken breasts.
What To Serve With Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs are delicious and easy with tons of sides – but we’re round up some of our favorites below:
Click here to find our complete side dish recipe archives.
Other Chicken Thigh Recipes You’ll Love
If you love chicken thighs, please check out more of our tender, juicy and delicious chicken thigh dishes!
You can find more of our chicken thigh recipes here.
To find our complete chicken recipe index, please click here.
Chicken thighs are done at 165 degrees internal temperature.
Air fried chicken thighs can last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
We recommend preheating air fryer before adding any food to prevent sticking to the air fryer basket.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
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- 6 boneless skin-on chicken thighs (please see notes for bone-in or skinless)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
- 2 teaspoons celtic sea salt (I prefer maldon)
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees (or as high as your air fryer will go.)
- In a small bowl, add oil, herbs, and spices, mix well.
- Drizzle over chicken thighs, toss to coat.
- Chicken can be marinated overnight, but this is optional.
- Add chicken thighs to air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 400 for 8 minutes.
- Flip thighs, cook another 8 minutes.
- Using a digital thermometer, probe the thickest part of the chicken thigh's meat, taking care to not hit the bone.
- You will likely need to flip chicken thighs once more and cook an additional 4-6 minutes to reach 165 internal temperature, but be sure to go off your thermometer, not the cooking time on your air fryer!
- If you used skin-on chicken, and your chicken skin is not crispy, crunchy, and golden brown, pop directly under your air fryer's broiler or your oven's broiler to crisp for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from air fryer, and let sit for at least five minutes before serving.
To cook chicken thighs with bone-in, you may need to add an additional 2-4 minutes to cook time. Please watch internal temperature and be sure to not get thermometer too close to chicken bone to get an accurate reading.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 96Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 28mgSodium 746mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 6g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.