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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (boneless skinless), are ready in about 20 minutes! Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. And did I mention, SO flavourful!

I can honestly say these air fryer chicken thighs are my absolute favourite chicken that we make at home. They always, always come out juicy and SO flavourful. They’re on permanent dinner rotation, and if you try them, maybe they’ll be on yours too!

a top down view of a parchment paper lined dish filled with cooked seasoned chicken thighs. the dish is sitting on a blue and white checkered towel

Why use an air fryer for chicken?

Because the flavour is unmatched. Roasting chicken in the air fryer results in THE most flavourful chicken ever. The shorter cooking time combined with the higher temps, allows the chicken to cook to perfection without drying out…and the high heat keeps all the flavour inside as the chicken cooks in its own juices. Will I ever cook chicken thighs in the oven again? Not if I can help it.

a top down view of a parchment paper lined dish filled with cooked seasoned chicken thighs. the dish is sitting on a blue and white checkered towel

The key to the best air fryer chicken, is to flatten it.

Yes. Do not, I beg of you, do not skip this step. We have tried not flattening, and flattening, and each time the best chicken is the flattened chicken. It cooks more evenly, so it doesn’t dry out. It’s a really simple step that has big impact…just lay the chicken thighs in between sheets of parchment paper, and use a kitchen mallet or even a small saucepan (that’s what we use), and pound the chicken to a 1/2 inch width (see image below).

an image of a man using a small pot to flatten chicken between two pieces of parchment paper

Use your favourite seasoning.

Once the chicken thighs are flattened, it’s time to season them. We have used many different seasonings, from different barbecue seasonings to seasoning salt like Lowry’s. Just make sure the seasonings that you do use have salt in them…if they don’t, make sure to generously season the chicken with salt or the chicken thighs will be very bland. See tips below.

a top down view of six seasoned raw chicken thighs laid out on parchment paper
Flattened and seasoned chicken thighs before going into the air fryer.

Cook in batches.

The hardest thing about using an air fryer is that you need to cook food in batches because you don’t want to overcrowd the basket. We can usually fit about 4 chicken thighs in at a time. When we do it this way, we will cut the cooked chicken thighs into slices so everyone can help themselves, and enjoy them while they’re fresh and hot. Then we add another batch to the air fryer right away so everyone can have seconds.

an air fryer tray with four cooked chicken thighs

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Tips & Tricks

  • Chicken Thighs: Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • Spice / Rub: You can use Lowry’s, Hy’s, or any of your favourite barbecue seasonings/rubs. Another favourite that we often use is a couple tablespoons of my Brown Sugar Rib Rub (it’s delicious on chicken)!
  • Don’t forget to flatten the chicken thighs! Don’t overlook this step (see above).
  • Make sure to preheat the air fryer! Before you cook the chicken thighs, make sure to preheat the air fryer. This will ensure even and accurate cooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the basket! Hot air needs to circulate through the air fryer to ensure even cooking.
  • All air fryers are different. So make sure to check the chicken on the last half of cooking to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
  • Air Fryer Tip! I don’t like the smell of the air fryer cooking in my house (yes I know, it’s picky, but it is what it is). So my solution for that is to use the air fryer outside. We set ours up next to our barbecue.
a top down view of a parchment paper lined dish filled with cooked seasoned chicken thighs. the dish is sitting on a blue and white checkered towel

Our Favorite

Ways to enjoy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

  • As a main with potato salad, corn on the cob and a green veggie.
  • Make chicken sandwiches in a soft bun with all the fixings…lettuce, tomatoes, onions…
  • Slice them up and add them to green salads or pasta salad.
Print

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (boneless skinless), are ready in about 20 minutes! Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. And did I mention, SO flavourful!

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 6 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Air Fryer

Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 12 tbsp of your favourite barbecue spice or rub (see tips above for ideas)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F.
  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel.
  3. Place the chicken thighs between two sheets of parchment paper, then use a food mallet or a small sauce pan to pound the chicken flat (to about a 1/2 inch thickness). See image above.
  4. Season both sides of the flattened thighs generously with your favourite seasoning.
  5. Spray the air fryer grill with a little cooking oil spray.
  6. Cook the thighs for 7 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 7 minutes more on the other side.
  7. Serve hot and fresh. Enjoy!

Keywords: air fryer chicken thighs, air fryer chicken, how to make air fryer chicken thighs

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