These air fryer chicken thighs are super easy to make and loaded with flavor! The trick is not only the delicious rub recipe I’ve developed but the unique cooking technique using the air-fryer. It makes the chicken super crispy while keeping the meat tender and juicy.
If you love air-fryer recipes like this, make sure to check out the many others I have on my site. They are all super easy, and I can all but guarantee you’ll find one for your needs!
About My Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
Today we are making a simple, easy, and very quick dinner or lunch dish. These air-fried chicken thighs are one of my favorite air fryer recipes for chicken.
All that you need is chicken thighs, lime juice, olive oil, and a couple of basic spices.
As with all of my recipes, the combination of spices you use is flexible. But as always, the ratios I developed for this recipe are to die for! The only thing I would (MAYBE) change is the amount of cayenne pepper (spice).
Other than that, this recipe is perfect! It is effortless, and virtually all of your time is spent cooking the chicken – which doesn’t require any effort!
The cooking technique I use also makes these thighs taste like they’re straight off the grill! They’re crispy, smoky, packed with flavor, and uber-tender.
So, let’s take a look at how to air-fry chicken. I’ve even provided you with some expert tips to help make the best chicken possible!
Tips And Tricks For Making The Best Fried Chicken In An Air Fryer
- If you cannot find limes, you can also use lemons. 1 large lime makes about 2 tablespoons of lime juice. That’s the same as what you’ll get from 1 regular-sized (medium) lemon. You can also use 2-3 tablespoons of pre-squeezed juice if you cannot find fresh citrus.
- If you’d like to, you can place the seasoned meat inside a resealable bag. Leave it to marinate for an hour or two. You can leave the chicken for even longer if you’d like. The marinating process will tenderize the meat, make it juicier, and give it more flavor.
- There isn’t an exact cooking time for air fryer chicken thighs (meat in general). That’s because the size of the cuts differs SO MUCH. If you have smaller chicken thighs, they will have a total baking time of around 15-25 minutes. Larger thighs can take anywhere between 18-30 minutes. That’s why it’s important to check the internal temperature to see when it’s perfectly done.
- If you don’t already know how to test the doneness of chicken, take a look at this guide. But the most accurate way is to test the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. The thickest part of the chicken should have an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
Why is my air fryer chicken not crispy?
This is likely because you stacked the chicken or because the skin wasn’t crisped (your temperature wasn’t hot enough). If you do, the hot air in the frying chamber cannot crisp up the chicken evenly. Stacking meat also causes it to cook unevenly. And, if your temperature isn’t hot enough, the skin won’t become nice and crispy. That’s why I use a specific technique to cook these fried chicken thighs.
What can I serve with air-fried chicken?
There is no shortage of sides that goes well with this air fryer chicken thighs recipe. Personally, I love a fresh cold salad, like a Cucumber And Onion Salad Recipe. It helps make the meal less heavy. You can also try this Russian Potato Salad. Other classic and easy sides include my famous Steven Universe Potato Bites or Air-Fryer Sweet Potato Fries.
Are air fryer chicken thighs healthy?
Most recipes for air-frying chicken are healthier as compared to deep-frying. It can cut down on as much as 70-80% of calories because you don’t dredge the chicken in oil (fat). And my recipe today is extremely healthy. Spices don’t contain any calories, and you use minimal oil. Essentially, you are only getting calories from the chicken. Not to mention the many nutrients it has too!
Can you make this recipe in the oven instead?
You won’t get the exact same results because the appliances work differently. An oven cannot circulate the hot air as well as an air fryer can. And that’s exactly why air-fried chicken is crispy. So, you can bake the chicken in an oven at 360ºF (180ºC) for roughly 35-50 minutes.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Honey Balsamic Chicken Breast
- Air Fryer Piri Piri Chicken Drumsticks
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – It’s Like They’re Straight From The Grill!
- 3 large chicken thighs
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (coarse)
- To start, make sure that the chicken thighs are completely cleaned. You can wipe them down with a piece of paper towel or a damp cloth.
- Then, before seasoning the thighs, make sure that the chicken is completely dry. This will help the skin become crispy.
- Once the thighs are cleaned, place them into a large mixing bowl.
- Slice the lime in half and squeeze its juice over the chicken.
- You can use the squeezed lime wedge or a pastry brush to spread the juice all over the meat.
- Once the lime juice is on, brush the chicken thighs with olive oil.
- Next, combine all of the spices in a small mixing bowl. Make sure they are well mixed so their flavors are blended together beautifully.
- Add the spice rub over the chicken. Make sure it covers the entire thigh on all sides.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (200ºC) – on the air frying or roasting setting.
- When the air fryer is heated, place the seasoned chicken thighs inside the air fryer basket.
- Leave them to cook at 400ºF for 7 minutes.
- Then, lower the heat to 360ºF (180ºC). Leave the chicken thighs to continue cooking until they are done. This can take between 15-20 minutes, depending on the exact size of your thighs. Keep cooking the thighs until they are done (see notes).
- Once your delicious air fryer chicken thighs are done, let them rest for 5 minutes before serving them with your favorite accompaniments.