How Long Chicken Thighs Need To Cook In The Air Fryer

If you're a fan of succulent, flavorful chicken thighs and are looking for a hassle-free cooking method, the air fryer might be your new best friend. Cooking chicken in an air fryer is not only quick but also yields crispy and delicious results. However, the length of time your meat needs to spend in the fryer can vary depending on a few factors. The cooking time for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in an air fryer is generally between 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This gives the dark meat of chicken thighs, which contains more fat and connective tissue than breast meat, time to melt into the meat giving the chicken thighs their characteristic luscious mouthfeel and deep flavor. The skin will also crisp nicely, adding a beautiful contrast to the juicy meat. For boneless chicken thighs, the cooking time tends to be closer to the 20-minute mark, thanks to their streamlined structure. Note, though, that like all other cooking times, the above instructions are merely a guideline for proper cooking and may need to be adjusted. 

For example, the more chicken thighs you place in your air fryer's basket, the longer it will take for them to cook through. Time may also need to be added if you're putting the chicken thighs in straight from the fridge rather than letting them come to room temperature before cooking. The best way to test for doneness is to stick a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Chicken thighs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flip your chicken halfway through cooking for success

If you prefer your chicken thighs with the skin, it's important to note that the skin needs its own share of attention during cooking. Skin-on chicken thighs require a little extra time in the air fryer. This is because the skin does slightly insulate the meat beneath it, but also, the skin needs time to render properly and become irresistibly crispy. This is a very minor disruption to the overall cooking time, though, and well worth the effort for the flavor and texture the skin adds to the chicken thigh.

To achieve that perfect combination of crispy skin and tender meat, flipping the chicken thighs once during the cooking process is recommended. This ensures that both sides are exposed to the hot circulating air in the air fryer, promoting even browning and cooking. As it relates to skin-on chicken thighs, make sure that you finish them with the skin side up so that the fat in the skin can render properly, running off and basting the meat below while the skin becomes delightfully crackly. 

The result is an even combination of a crispy exterior and juicy interior. Cooking chicken thighs in an air fryer is a quick and efficient method that guarantees delicious results. So, set your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, keep an eye on the clock, and get ready to savor the delightful taste of perfectly cooked chicken thighs.