I am loving my air fryer and I needed to try some easy meat recipes. Summer is coming and I see the air fryer as a great solution for those days when it’s so hot you don’t even want to step outside to grill! And when I have chicken I prefer dark meat, so air fryer chicken thighs were a logical choice.
I also see chicken thighs as automatic portion control. One thigh is just enough meat for me, and I don’t feel the need to have any more than one.
- Chicken thighs – the recipe makes 4 but depending upon the size of the thighs and of your air fryer basket, you might need to do these in batches.
- Olive oil
How to air fry chicken thighs
Chicken thighs are delicious with a simple spice rub added before cooking. I don’t use any sweetener in the spice rub which keeps it healthy, low carb and keto friendly.
I use the Instant Pot Air Fryer lid. From what I can tell, other brands might run a little “hotter” than mine so if you have a larger air fryer you might want to consider using a 375F cooking temperature.
I also consider a meat thermometer pretty important for this. Just like for grilling, it is sometimes difficult to know whether your meat is truly cooked all the way through. Checking with a meat thermometer is a great way to check to be sure.
With that in mind, simply oil the meat a little with olive oil, mix up the spice blend and then sprinkle it over the thighs.
Place the thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. For mine, that is usually 3 thighs.
Air fry for 18 minutes at 400F. Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer to verify that the temp is at least 165F. if needed, air fry for an additional 4 minutes until fully cooked.
(Note: It is possible to air fry all 4 chicken thighs at once, by overlapping slightly. I typically do this just because the packages I buy contain 4 thighs. When the thighs overlap they do need an extra 5 minutes or so of cooking time and the skin is a little less crispy, but it is an option. Just verify with the meat thermometer that the meat is fully cooked.)
Add a simple salad and/or vegetable and you have an easy, healthy and satisfying meal.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 4 chicken thighs bone-in, skin on
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika smoked
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pat dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel. Brush the skin side of each with olive oil and place skin side down on a plate.
- In a small cup, combine the spices and sprinkle half evenly over the 4 pieces of meat. Turn them over and sprinkle the remaining seasoning on top.
- Place thighs in air fryer basket in a single layer, skin side up.
- Air fry 18 minutes at 400F. Use a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature of the largest thigh is at least 165 degrees F. If needed, air fry an additional 3-4 minutes to complete cooking and for crispier skin.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.