How Long It Takes To Air Fry Chicken Thighs

Have you ever had chicken that was so overcooked that it was like eating shoe leather? How about chicken that was so undercooked that it looked like it was about to walk off the plate? We've all been there. Cooking chicken at home can be daunting, especially if you're unsure how long to cook it. If you own a meat thermometer, you know you should cook chicken until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but that still doesn't answer the question: How long does it take to cook chicken thighs?

The answer depends on a few variables. First, if you're cooking bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer, you'll need to account for a couple of different cooking times. The first chunk of cooking time should generally take 25 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the inside gets thoroughly cooked to a safe temperature. The second block is when you get to crank up the heat to 400 degrees to develop a nice golden-brown color on the outside. Whether you baste the chicken with sauce is up to you, but make sure it gets at least eight minutes at high heat to brown up. That's about 33 minutes total cooking time to ensure you get delicious, safe-to-eat, bone-in chicken thighs. But what if you're using boneless?

Judging cooking time for air-fryer chicken

Bone-in chicken thighs are incredibly juicy and delicious when properly prepared, but not everyone wants to deal with the hassle of bones. For boneless thighs, you'll still want to follow the two-part cooking method. However, you'll get to subtract around 10 minutes from the first segment of air frying, which adds up to only 15 minutes to cook the inside. Don't let the lack of bone fool you, though. Be sure to use a meat thermometer. Insert it in the thickest part of the meat to confirm a temperature of 165 degrees. If it's still a few degrees short, that's fine. It can finish in the last eight minutes of high-heat cooking.

This method is also excellent for frozen chicken thighs when you need to get dinner going in a pinch. Consider that the heat will take longer to penetrate the center. With frozen chicken, a good rule of thumb is to add 50% more time to the first round of frying. So if it takes 33 minutes for bone-in and 23 minutes for boneless, frozen thighs take 50 minutes for boneless and 35 minutes for bone-in. There are many mistakes people make when cooking chicken thighs. However, not using a meat thermometer is the biggest. If ever in doubt, trust your thermometer, not the clock.