[GUIDE] How Long To Cook Bone-in Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer

Air frying bone-in chicken thighs is a convenient and flavorful way to enjoy a juicy and tender meal that is much healthier than traditional frying. The air fryer offers a quick and hassle-free cooking method, and with the right temperature and cooking time, you can achieve that perfect crispy exterior and juicy interior. In this article, we will delve into how to cook bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer, including the appropriate temperature, cooking time, and preparation steps to ensure a delicious outcome.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Bone-in Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer

The quick answer to how long to cook bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer is approximately 25-30 minutes at a temperature of 375°F (190°C). However, these variables may require some adjustments depending on the size of the chicken thighs and the specific model of your air fryer. It’s essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

Choosing Bone-in Chicken Thighs

When selecting bone-in chicken thighs for air frying, it’s essential to choose fresh, high-quality chicken. Look for skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs, as the skin adds flavor and helps retain moisture during the cooking process. Additionally, bone-in chicken thighs often provide a richer flavor compared to boneless cuts, making them a popular choice for many recipes.

Preparing Bone-in Chicken Thighs

Before cooking, the bone-in chicken thighs should be properly prepared to enhance their flavor and ensure even cooking. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare bone-in chicken thighs for the air fryer:

  1. Trimming Excess Fat: Start by trimming any excess fat from the chicken thighs using kitchen shears. This helps prevent excessive smoking and ensures a cleaner cooking process.

  2. Seasoning: Season the bone-in chicken thighs according to your taste preferences. You can use a simple blend of salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes to enhance flavor.

  3. Patting Dry: Prior to air frying, pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture will help achieve a crispier exterior during the cooking process.

Air Fryer Temperature For Cooking Bone-in Chicken Thighs

The appropriate air fryer temperature for cooking bone-in chicken thighs is 375°F (190°C). This temperature allows the chicken to cook through evenly and attain a crispy exterior, while ensuring the meat remains tender and juicy on the inside. It’s important to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before placing the chicken inside to ensure even cooking from the start.

Air Fryer Cooking Time For Cooking Bone-in Chicken Thighs

The cooking time for bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer typically ranges from 25 to 30 minutes. However, it’s essential to monitor the cooking process and make adjustments based on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the cooking process:

  1. Preheating: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for about 3-5 minutes.

  2. Arranging the Chicken: Place the seasoned and prepared bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring that they are not overcrowded to allow proper air circulation.

  3. Cooking Time: Cook the chicken thighs at 375°F (190°C) for 10 minutes. After the initial cooking time, flip the chicken thighs using tongs to ensure even browning.

  4. Continued Cooking: Continue cooking the chicken thighs for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) as measured by a meat thermometer.

  5. Resting Period: Once done, allow the chicken thighs to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute, resulting in a moist and flavorful outcome.

Air frying bone-in chicken thighs is a convenient and healthy cooking method that yields delicious and succulent results. By following the recommended temperature, cooking time, and preparation steps, you can enjoy crispy and flavorful chicken thighs that are perfect for a variety of meals and occasions. Experiment with different seasonings and herbs to customize the flavor to your liking, and enjoy this delectable dish with your favorite sides for a satisfying meal. With the simple yet effective method of air frying, cooking bone-in chicken thighs has never been easier or tastier.

How To Cook Bone-in Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer

Cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer is a convenient and healthy way to enjoy crispy and flavorful chicken without the need for excessive oil. By using the air frying technique, you can achieve a golden brown and tender chicken thigh that is cooked to perfection.

To cook bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer, follow these steps:

  1. Start by preheating your air fryer to the recommended temperature. This usually takes around 3 minutes.

  2. While the air fryer is preheating, season your chicken thighs with your preferred spices. You can use a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and any other herbs or spices you like. Make sure to season both sides of the chicken thighs evenly.

  3. Once the air fryer is preheated, place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket or on the tray. Make sure to arrange them in a single layer, without overcrowding the basket or tray. This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and becomes crispy all around.

  4. Set the cooking time and temperature. The recommended temperature for cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer is 400°F (200°C). The cooking time will depend on whether you are using fresh or frozen chicken thighs, which we will discuss in the next section.

  5. Cook the chicken thighs in the air fryer for the recommended time. It is essential to flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking and browning on both sides. Use tongs or a spatula to carefully flip the chicken thighs.

  6. Once the cooking time is complete, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs. The FDA recommends cooking poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it is safe to eat. If the chicken has not reached the desired temperature, you can continue cooking for a few more minutes.

  7. Finally, remove the cooked chicken thighs from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and juicy chicken thigh.

Cooking Time For Frozen Bone-in Chicken Thighs

If you are cooking frozen bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. It is recommended to defrost the chicken thighs before cooking them to ensure even cooking. However, if you are short on time, you can still cook frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer.

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The cooking time for frozen bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer is longer than that of fresh thighs. It usually takes between 30-35 minutes at 400°F (200°C) for frozen chicken thighs to cook through and reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). However, it is important to note that the cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs. Therefore, it is crucial to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.

Adjusting Air Fryer Temperature For Cooking Bone-in Chicken Thighs

The recommended temperature for cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer is 400°F (200°C). This temperature allows the chicken to cook evenly and develop a crispy exterior while staying moist and tender on the inside. However, you can adjust the temperature based on your preferences or the desired texture of the chicken.

If you prefer a more golden or crispy exterior, you can increase the temperature slightly to around 425°F (220°C). This will result in a more browned and crunchier texture. Just make sure to monitor the cooking time and reduce it slightly to avoid overcooking the chicken.

On the other hand, if you prefer a juicier and more tender chicken thigh, you can lower the temperature to around 375°F (190°C). Cooking at a lower temperature will allow the chicken to cook more slowly, resulting in a more moist and tender final product. However, keep in mind that the exterior may not be as crispy at lower temperatures.

Remember to always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs, regardless of the temperature you choose. This will ensure they are cooked to the proper doneness and safe to eat.

Adjusting Air Fryer Cook Time For Cooking Bone-in Chicken Thighs

The cooking time for bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer will vary depending on several factors, including the size and thickness of the chicken, the temperature of the air fryer, and whether the chicken is fresh or frozen. It is crucial to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it is fully cooked.

For fresh bone-in chicken thighs cooked at 400°F (200°C), the average cooking time is around 20-25 minutes. This time may vary slightly depending on the size of the chicken thighs. It is crucial to flip the thighs halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning and cooking on both sides.

For frozen bone-in chicken thighs cooked at 400°F (200°C), the average cooking time is between 30-35 minutes. As previously mentioned, it is recommended to defrost the chicken thighs before cooking to ensure even cooking. However, if you need to cook them straight from frozen, this is the estimated time to cook them thoroughly. Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and adjust the cooking time if needed.

Cooking Techniques

While the basic cooking process mentioned above will yield delicious bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer, here are a few additional techniques and tips to enhance the flavor and texture of your chicken:

  1. Marinade: Marinating the chicken thighs before cooking can add an extra layer of flavor. You can use a simple marinade consisting of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs of your choice. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator for more intense flavors.

  2. Breading: If you prefer a breaded and crispy exterior on your chicken thighs, you can dip them in a beaten egg mixture and coat them with breadcrumbs or panko. This will create a crunchy and flavorful crust when air fried.

  3. Seasoning Variations: Experiment with different seasonings and spices to customize the flavor of your chicken thighs. You can try Cajun seasoning, Italian herbs, BBQ rubs, or even a spicy buffalo seasoning for a kick of heat.

  4. Oil Spray: While air frying eliminates the need for excessive oil, a light coat of cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil can enhance the browning and crispiness of the skin.

  5. Boneless vs. Bone-in: The cooking time may vary depending on whether you are using boneless or bone-in chicken thighs. Bone-in thighs tend to take slightly longer to cook as the bone can slow down the cooking process. Ensure that the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) regardless of the type of chicken thighs you choose.

Cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer is a quick, easy, and healthy way to enjoy flavorful and crispy chicken. By following the steps outlined above and adjusting the cooking time and temperature based on your preferences, you can achieve perfectly cooked chicken thighs every time. Remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Experiment with different seasonings and techniques to create a variety of delicious meals using this versatile cooking appliance.

Undercooking

Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s no surprise why. These handy kitchen appliances allow you to enjoy the crispy, delicious taste of fried foods with a fraction of the oil and calories. One dish that can be easily cooked in an air fryer is bone-in chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are flavorful and tender, and cooking them in an air fryer can result in a crispy skin and juicy meat.

When cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is undercooking them. Undercooked chicken can be dangerous to consume as it may contain harmful bacteria, such as salmonella. To ensure that your chicken thighs are cooked through, follow these guidelines:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to the recommended temperature, usually around 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not overcrowded. This allows the hot air to circulate evenly around the meat.
  3. Cook the chicken thighs for approximately 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time. The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the thighs. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and check for doneness before consuming.

Overcooking

While undercooking chicken thighs can be dangerous, overcooking them can result in dry and tough meat. It’s essential to find the right balance when cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer to avoid this pitfall. Here are some tips to prevent overcooking:

  1. Keep an eye on the cooking time and temperature. Overcooking bone-in chicken thighs can be a result of leaving them in the air fryer for too long or cooking them at too high a temperature.
  2. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for poultry. Once the chicken thighs reach this temperature, they are safe to eat and will be tender and juicy.
  3. Consider using a lower temperature setting for longer cooking times, as this can help retain moisture in the meat. Experiment with different cooking times and temperatures to find the perfect balance that suits your preference.

Checking For Doneness Of Bone-in Chicken Thighs

To ensure that your bone-in chicken thighs are cooked to perfection, it’s essential to check for doneness using various methods. Here are a few ways to determine if your chicken thighs are fully cooked:

  1. Internal Temperature: The most reliable way to check if bone-in chicken thighs are cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. The temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) for the chicken to be safe to eat. If the temperature is lower, continue cooking for a few more minutes and recheck.

  2. Color and Juices: Another visual clue that bone-in chicken thighs are cooked is the color and juices. The skin should be golden brown and crispy, and the juices should run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork. If the juices are still pink, it’s an indication that the chicken is not fully cooked and needs more time in the air fryer.

  3. Texture: The texture of cooked bone-in chicken thighs should be moist and tender. When you gently press the meat with your finger or a fork, it should yield without resistance. If the chicken thighs feel tough or rubbery, they may need additional cooking time.

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Remember, bone-in chicken thighs may require slightly longer cooking times compared to boneless chicken, so be sure to adjust accordingly for the best results.

When Things Go Wrong

Even with the best intentions and following cooking guidelines, sometimes things don’t go as planned. If you find that your bone-in chicken thighs have not turned out the way you expected, here are a few troubleshooting tips:

  1. Undercooked Thighs: If you realize that your chicken thighs are undercooked after checking the internal temperature, simply continue cooking them in the air fryer. Be careful not to burn the skin, so consider reducing the temperature and extending the cooking time. Keep a close eye on them to avoid overcooking.

  2. Overcooked Thighs: If you inadvertently overcook your bone-in chicken thighs, they may end up dry and tough. To salvage them, you can shred the chicken and use it in other dishes, such as tacos, salads, or stir-fries. Alternatively, you can drizzle some sauce or gravy over the chicken to add moisture and flavor.

  3. Unevenly Cooked Thighs: If you notice that some parts of the chicken thighs are cooked while others are not, it may be due to overcrowding the air fryer basket. To ensure even cooking, make sure the thighs are arranged in a single layer without touching each other. You may need to cook them in batches or use a larger air fryer if you have a large quantity to cook.

Tips For Cooking Bone-in Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer

To achieve the best results when cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer, here are some additional tips:

  1. Seasoning: Before cooking, season the chicken thighs with your favorite herbs and spices. This will enhance the flavor and aroma of the chicken. You can use simple seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, or experiment with more complex spice blends.

  2. Marinating: If you have the time, marinating the chicken thighs before cooking can add even more flavor. You can marinate them for a few hours or overnight in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, and spices. The acid in the marinade helps tenderize the meat, resulting in more succulent chicken thighs.

  3. Breading: For extra crunch, you can bread the chicken thighs before air frying them. Dip each thigh in beaten egg and then coat them with breadcrumbs or panko. Place the breaded thighs in the air fryer basket and cook as usual. The result will be a crispy, golden coating that complements the juicy chicken meat.

  4. Preheating: Preheating your air fryer is crucial for even cooking. Most air fryers have a preheating function, so make sure to preheat it for a few minutes before adding the chicken thighs. This ensures that the air fryer reaches the desired temperature and allows for optimal circulation of hot air during the cooking process.

  5. Oil Spray: To achieve a crispy skin, lightly spray the chicken thighs with cooking oil before placing them in the air fryer. This will help the skin brown and crisp up during cooking. You can use a cooking oil spray or brush the chicken thighs with a small amount of oil.

  6. Flipping: To promote even browning and cooking, flip the chicken thighs halfway through the cooking time. This ensures that both sides of the thighs are exposed to the hot air and results in a uniform texture and color.

  7. Resting Time: Allow the cooked chicken thighs to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a moist and flavorful result. Cover the chicken thighs loosely with foil to keep them warm while resting.

  8. Cleaning: After you have finished cooking, make sure to clean your air fryer thoroughly. Remove the basket and wash it with warm, soapy water. Wipe down the interior of the air fryer with a damp cloth. Regularly cleaning your air fryer will help maintain its performance and prolong its lifespan.

Conclusion

Cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer can be a quick and convenient way to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal. By following the guidelines and tips provided in this article, you can achieve perfectly cooked bone-in chicken thighs with a crispy skin and tender meat. Remember to always check for doneness using a meat thermometer and adjust the cooking time accordingly. With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll soon become an expert at cooking bone-in chicken thighs in your air fryer. Enjoy your tasty and guilt-free meal!

FAQS

Can You Cook Frozen Bone-in Chicken Thighs In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen chicken thighs in an air fryer. However, it is recommended to thaw the chicken thighs first for even cooking and to prevent undercooking.

What Temperature Should The Air Fryer Be Set To For Cooking Bone-in Chicken Thighs?

The recommended temperature for cooking bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer is 375°F. However, it may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs.

Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer Before Cooking The Chicken Thighs?

Yes, it is recommended to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before cooking the chicken thighs. This helps to ensure even cooking and crispy skin.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Bone-in Chicken Thighs In An Air Fryer?

The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs. On average, it takes about 20-25 minutes to cook bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer.

How Can I Ensure The Chicken Thighs Are Fully Cooked In The Air Fryer?

To ensure the chicken thighs are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach at least 165°F for safe consumption. You can also cut into the thickest part of the thigh to check for any pink or translucent areas.