Pull those bone in, skin on chicken thighs out of the refrigerator and make these air fryer crispy chicken thighs tonight! In under 30 minutes you will have a delicious family friendly dinner.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
This is the perfect way to cook chicken thighs for that extra crispy skin and no need to heat up the oven.
- Just 5 ingredients - chicken thighs, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and onions powder (plus salt and pepper but those don't count!)
- Cooks quickly thanks to the air fryer - These take about 25 minutes in the air fryer...which is great!
- No splatter on the stove top!
Personally, I think the air fryer is the best invention besides a home coffee maker. I use mine just about everyday!
I love to make burgers, pork tenderloin, crispy pork chops, and even crispy Brussels sprouts.
My method for crispy chicken thigh skin
I start by pre-heating the air fryer before I spray with cooking spray. I do this only when I want my food to be really crispy.
I make sure the chicken thighs are patted dry and any excess skin is cut away.
Then I mix the chicken thighs with all of the seasonings.
Now we can place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket skin side down.
I do this so the skin can start to render the fat without browning the skin too much.
I also do this with my Air fryer whole chicken recipe.
My Air fryer has a 6 quart basket so 4 chicken thighs fit perfectly.
If your air fryer is smaller you would need to cook these in batches.
After the chicken thighs cook skin side down, we can flip them over and continue to cook them until the skin is nice and crispy and the internal temperature is 165F.
Making this a complete meal
I like to serve these air fryer chicken thighs with cauliflower Mac and cheese, keto green beans with bacon, or a broccoli salad.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs - Super Crispy!
- 4 Bone in, skin on chicken thighs, trimed of excess fat and skin
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Onion powder
- Preheat your air fryer to 380F for 5 minutes. After pre-heating, spray with cooking spray.
- Add the chicken thighs to a large zip-top bag or a bowl with a lid. Top with the kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano and onion powder. Shake to coat.
- Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer, skin side down, for 12 minutes.
- Turn your chicken thighs skin side up and cook for 10 minutes more. If you would like your chicken thighs super crispy. Cook for 4 minutes increments to get your desired crispness.
- Thighs are done when an internal meat thermometer reads 165F. Serve.
Nutrition per serving
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy only. Please re-calculate on your own with the ingredients and amounts you used for the most accurate data.
Wow this is absolutely delicious. I cook it as is the recipe. But I took the chicken out and took the skin off .then put the skin back for 2 mins whilst dishing up. Wow
Kevin Woitas says
Does this make your air fryer smoke?
Jennifer Banz says
It shouldn't. If your air fryer is smoking it is likely from grease build up.
Danelle Canzoni says
I make this once a week and add to rice and veggies! So tasty and so easy! Thanks for sharing!
Jeff Frane says
I've used your approach twice now and absolutely love what you've brought to the table. My air-fryer isn't huge so a Costco portion of thighs takes two batches, but the leftovers are delicious cold. Pre-heating, pre-spraying and starting the thighs skin down was the key. The only change I met, the second time was to give the chicken a good dusting of Johnny's Seasoned Salt instead of your rub. Years and years ago I learned about Johnny's from the church ladies outside the Mt Angel rodeo and always relied on it when grilling chicken because it's delicious and I'm lazy. Using your guidelines in the air-fryer got me chicken as good as I ever got on the grill.
I only have skinless chicken thighs. Can I dredge them in flour to make it crispy?
Jennifer Banz says
You could try but I cannot guarantee it would work. I would definitely reduce the cook time.
Incredible recipe!! My husband and son are fussy eaters and they both said it was the best chicken they’re ever had. So easy, too. It was perfection the very first time I tried it. 👍🏻
Paula Adams says
Thank you so much for this recipe. I always got my air seasoning from the store never knew the chicken could be crispy without airfryer seasoning.
Great recipe, left a taste that makes you want another piece. Will be using this one again and again. Might even try it on pork chops.
Can I use a liner in the basket?
This recipe was so delicious! Tasty!
Easy! It's a keeper.
Roxana Lopez says
I used your method (with my own spice choices) for air frying chicken thighs tonight for dinner. They came out perfect! Done to perfection, with a lovely crisp skin. Thanks so much for the recipe.
This was my first time to use an air fryer. So excited. Turned out perfect. Loved the seasoning mix. I will be making this again
So good great recipe 👍
Leilah B. says
Delicious and my 5 year old enjoyed making this too and enjoyed it! <3 great idea putting them skin side down first to render the fat!
Jill C says
Definitely our go to recipe. We use boneless thighs and turn out perfect every time! 👏👏👏
Cindy Davis says
Great recipe!I won’t cook it any other way.My husband raved over it.Thanks……
My daughter loves to make salad and she always beg me to air fry some chicken thighs and legs to go with it. This has become our favorite meal ever since. Thank you
I had never cooked bone-in chicken in the air fryer and boy was it delicious! Crispy, juicy, tender!!!
Needed to figure out how to use my new air fryer and while I was taking my time finding recipes online, planning meals, etc., the boyfriend shows up with chicken thighs (expecting me to know what to do with them). Scrambling for what to do, I didn’t even have chicken thighs in mind for meals so back to the search I went and found three to choose from, changed my mind mid-prep, and settled on this one.
Made it for the first time about a year ago, and I feel like this is all we’ve eaten since. Maybe not ALL we’ve eaten, but pretty darn close, as he seriously begs me to make it at least once a week, MINIMUM.
Thanks for the delicious recipe. You’re a lifesaver!
Well, these were great! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Making again tonight!
Kath Kelly says
I’ve made this dish several times & always turns as the recipe says. Super crunchy & tastes amazing! Best of all my family loves it.
I made this today and we loved it. The skin was nice and crunchy yet the inside was tender and moist. Loved it!!!!
Great flavour and directions 😀 Will definitely make again.
I just purchased an air fryer and after cooking up this recipe for chicken thighs, I asked it "Where have you been all my life?" I absolutely LOVE this recipe, and it will become my go-to.
I feel like I’ve moved up in the world of air frying because my new oven has air frying capabilities. I would guess there would be no change in time cooked or heat settings? Looking forward to trying it!
Jessica P says
I keep coming back to this recipe. I’m gluten free (not by choice) and this feels so close to fried chicken. It’s juicy and flavorful and CRUNCHY! I do like a little more seasoning than OP but I stick with the same seasonings. If you haven’t done this, do it.
Thank you for this recipe, absolutely delicious!
My 1st time doing thigh’s in AF. Outstanding!! Made a bit more seasoning mix.
This will be my only go to from now on
Fantastic flavor! My adult son took a bite, looked surprised and said, "Oooo! Yummm."
Loved them!!! Sooo juicy and delicious. I did double the spice rub.
Great recipe chicken lovely and crispy
Best chicken thigh recipe ever! Only thing I change is adding a few mornin items for cook-time. They’re so good crispy! Thank you for sharing!
Laura Hudelson says
I read this many times and you do not say what setting to cook them on, Sue fry? Bake? Broil? Which is it??
Ester H. says
I just flipped over my chicken thighs for the 10 remaining minutes and I can't wait until I can eat them. They smell delicious. This is my first time cooking chicken thighs in my air fryer. I'm so excited about this recipe. Thanks Jennifer!!
Delicious! I left out the garlic powder due to allergies.
Melissa Milich says
I have been reading that it's not a good idea to spray cooking spray directly into your air fryer.
You are correct I just put oil on the chicken then put it in the zip lock with all the seasonings and then put in air fryer and put teaspoons of butter under the skin…. Yummy perfecto🤌🏾
I use the non-aerosol canola spray and it doesn't harm the non-stick. I made the mistake of using PAM in my previous air fryer and it destroyed the finish.
I cooked these last week and absolutely LOVED them. They came out so crispy & flavorful. I had to use regular paprika because I didn’t have smoked but I know the smoked would’ve made them even more better. I will definitely use this recipe again. Thank you!
Tried this last night in a hamilton beach toaster oven/air fryer and it was amazing! I've never cooked with smoked paprika and I always hear it in recipes and mean to try it. Finally bit the bullet and glad I did with this recipe sooo good. I also did roasted potatoes in the basket beside kept them separate. Potatoes only take about 10 mins so I put them in after flipping the chicken. Thanks for this! This is definitely going straight into my regular rotation.
Awesome, comes out perfect.
Just made it and was delicious keb
Janice Cappelli says
The chicken thighs boneless were great thank you for the recipe
Elaine Stephenson says
This is the only way I'll cook chicken thighs now.
Patrick D. says
Simple and quick as can be and really tasty.
Very good! Will use this method often from now on. The thighs were perfect. Thank you!
Ymile Thompson says
Quick and easy as promised. Importantly DELICIOUS!
We made this tonight and it was great! This is only the second thing I've tried in our new air fryer (the first was frozen French fries, so not really a recipe.) This chicken came out perfect, crispy outside and juicy inside. The spice mix was tasty too. And it was so simple to make! Thank you for the recipe.
Emily Newton says
This is LITERALLY one of our favorite recipes to use. So easy. So fast. The chicken is flavorful and so juicy. My son asks for me to make this as much as possible...and I'll be honest -- he is totally ravenous when it's done and would probably eat them all if I let him. Thank you for putting together such a fast and easy recipe!
This was really tasty! I’ll definitely be making this again. Thanks for sharing!
The thighs were excellent. And the directions and narration were spot-on. Great job!
Laura Beth says
Easy and delicious. Moist and crisp.
I’ve used a couple of different recipes but I feel like the time and temperature was really good with this recipe! The chicken came out to a crispy perfection! Will be using this recipe weekly!
This will be my new go to recipe whenever I have bone in chicken thighs in my fridge! Soo crispy and juicy!
Love this simple recipe! It’s the second time I’ve made it but it doesn’t fail to disappoint. So easy when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare dinner. It’s a keeper!
Ann Honeycutt says
I made this for supper tonight...2 legs and 2 thighs. The chicken was moist and the seasoning was delicious. This recipe is a keeper!
Note: My chicken was only about 3/4 thawed, so I added 2 minutes to each stage and it was perfect.
This is my favorite chicken thigh recipe. I couldn't even begin to tell you how may times I've made it. I usually forget to take them out of the freezer and this still works great. I add 3 minutes to each round, and finish with the 4 minutes to get the extra crispy skin, and it never disappoints. No matter what seasoning blend I use. Thank you for making weeknight cooking life easy!
OMG what a fabulous tasting moist chicken recipe. I put the seasoning in a ziplock bag with oil and mixed the chicken instead of spraying my basket. Yessss my hubby loved the crispy skin. I don’t eat skin but where there was no skin the spices carmalized on the meat. Oh my thighs must’ve been small because I stopped 4 minutes short. Done to perfection thank you 👍👍
Patrick D. says
Good idea about putting the oil and the spices rogether in the bag. I'll try out this recipe in a few minutes. Thanks.