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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs: Smokey and Crispy Recipe Air Fryer Chicken Thighs: Smokey and Crispy Recipe


Air Fryer Chicken Thighs: Smokey and Crispy Recipe

Written by: Lucas Johnson

Discover the perfect smokey and crispy air fryer chicken thighs recipe. Enjoy a delicious and easy-to-make dish that everyone will love. Try it now!

Whipping up my air fryer chicken thighs tonight! A quick rub of spices, a flip in the fryer, and voila - crispy, juicy chicken that's a hit every time. Yum!

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Ever dreamt of whipping up juicy, succulent chicken thighs right in your kitchen? I'll let you in on my secret air fryer chicken thighs recipe. Imagine crisped skin envelops tender, flavor-blasted meat perfumed with the smoky heat of paprika, garlic's punch, and onion powder's subtle sweetness. This recipe's secret weapon? An air fryer! Providing that perfect roast without the usual oil bath, you're in for an indulgence that's deceivingly healthy. Let's roll up our sleeves and get our hands deliciously dirty!

Ingredients for Juicy and Flavorful Chicken Thighs

  • Olive oil: Adds moisture and helps the spices adhere to the chicken, enhancing flavor and creating a crispy skin.
  • Smoked paprika: Provides a smoky depth of flavor and a rich color to the chicken thighs when cooked.
  • Garlic powder: Infuses the chicken with a savory and aromatic taste, complementing the other spices in the dish.
  • Onion powder: Adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the chicken thighs when combined with other seasonings.

One interesting fact about this air fryer chicken thighs recipe is that you can add a touch of sweetness by sprinkling a bit of brown sugar on the chicken thighs before air frying. This creates a delicious caramelized crust that adds a unique flavor dimension to the dish. Enjoy experimenting with different seasonings to customize the taste to your liking!

Essential Tools for Making Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer

  • Air fryer: Essential for cooking the chicken thighs to crispy perfection without the need for excess oil.

Common Questions About Cooking Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer

Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe?
Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but the skin-on thighs will result in a crispier texture.
Do I need to flip the chicken thighs while cooking in the air fryer?
Yes, it's recommended to flip the chicken thighs halfway through cooking to ensure even crispiness on both sides.
How do I know when the chicken thighs are done?
You can use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken thighs has reached 165°F (74°C).
Can I marinate the chicken thighs before cooking?
You can marinate the chicken thighs for extra flavor, but it's not necessary for this recipe.
What can I serve with these air fryer chicken thighs?
You can serve the chicken thighs with a side of vegetables, salad, rice, or potatoes for a complete meal.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a bowl, mix olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken thighs.
  4. Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin side down.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip the chicken thighs and cook for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutritional value:

Per Serving in Calories: 280 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 22 g | Total Fat: 20 g | Saturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g | Cholesterol: 110 mg | Sodium: 400 mg | Dietary Fiber: 0 g | Sugar: 0 g | Calcium: 20 mg | Potassium: 250 mg | Iron: 1 mg | Vitamin A: 100 µg | Vitamin C: 0 mg

Meal Prep and Storage Tips for Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Prepare the spice-rubbed chicken thighs as per the recipe.
  • Store the uncooked chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before air frying.

Freezing Instructions

  • After seasoning the chicken thighs, place them in a freezer-safe bag, remove excess air, and seal tightly.
  • Label the bag with the date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before air frying.

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