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How to Cook Chicken Thighs in an Air Fryer in 4 Easy Steps

Get juicy, crispy chicken thighs in less than 30 minutes.

<p>Claudia Totir/Getty Images</p>

Claudia Totir/Getty Images

If you’re cooking up classic fried chicken, hot wings, or a slow-cooked stew, chicken thighs are always the way to go. That’s because chicken thighs have darker meat and a bit more fat, which creates an incredibly rich flavor and tender texture. Chicken thighs, especially bone-in, are also one of the most cost-efficient cuts of meat you can buy at the supermarket. 

Depending on what type of dish you’re making, you might be shopping for chicken thighs that are either bone-in with skin, bone-in and skinless, or boneless and skinless. But, no matter what kind of chicken thighs you’re buying, air frying them is a foolproof cooking method that always delivers.

Related: 27 Essential, Easy Chicken Recipes for Every Day of the Week

How to Cook Chicken Thighs in an Air Fryer

Just like with anything else, cooking chicken thighs in an air fryer is simple, quick, and won’t make a mess. Whether you’re using a spice rub, marinade, or breading your chicken thighs, the air fryer will help lock in flavor and moisture while cooking them evenly, every time. 

The most important thing to keep in mind when cooking chicken thighs (or anything) in the air fryer, is not to crowd the basket. Depending on how big your air fryer basket is and how much chicken you’re making, you may need to cook the thighs in batches. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set the air fryer to 400 degrees.

  2. Place 2-4 chicken thighs in the basket at a time, making sure not to overcrowd it.

  3. Cook the chicken for a total of 24 minutes, flipping each piece at the halfway mark, around 12 minutes. (The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees.)

  4. Remove the chicken from the basket and let it rest on a platter or cutting board for several minutes, then serve.

Related: 6 Easiest Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts—Including Grilled, Fried, and More

Can You Put Raw Chicken in the Air Fryer?

Yes, you can put raw chicken in the air fryer. While it may seem odd to put raw chicken or meat in the appliance, we can assure you it’s totally fine to do. You’ll just want to make sure the meat you’re using is completely defrosted so it cooks evenly.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer?

Chicken thighs usually take about 25 minutes to cook in the air fryer, but that time can vary depending on the model you have. Before removing chicken thighs from the air fryer basket, use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Related: How to Grill Chicken Thighs

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