BBQ Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer Recipe

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Introduction :

Who doesn’t love the sizzle and aroma of barbecue? And what if I told you that you can achieve that same smoky, succulent flavor right in your kitchen with an air fryer? Yes, you heard it right! In this article, we’re going to dive into the world of BBQ chicken thighs cooked to perfection in the air fryer. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and impress your family and friends with this mouthwatering recipe.


Why Choose Chicken Thighs?

When it comes to BBQ, chicken thighs are the ultimate choice. Their juicy, tender meat is packed with flavor and stands up well to the high heat of the air fryer. Plus, they’re more forgiving than chicken breasts, so you’re less likely to end up with dry, overcooked meat.


Selecting the Perfect Chicken Thighs

For the best results, opt for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. The bone helps to retain moisture and enhances the flavor, while the skin crisps up beautifully in the air fryer, adding an irresistible texture.


 Preparing the Marinade

The secret to delicious BBQ chicken thighs lies in the marinade. Whether you prefer a classic BBQ sauce, a tangy teriyaki glaze, or a spicy jerk rub, take the time to marinate the chicken for at least an hour (or overnight for maximum flavor).


 Seasoning and Rubs

Don’t be shy with the seasonings! Experiment with different rubs and spices to create your signature flavor profile. From smoky paprika to zesty lemon pepper, the options are endless. Massage the seasoning into the chicken thighs for an even coating.


 Preheating the Air Fryer

To ensure that your BBQ chicken thighs cook evenly and develop a crispy exterior, preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 3-5 minutes.


Cooking Time and Temperature

Place the marinated chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer, skin side up. Cook at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). Adjust the cooking time as needed based on the size of the thighs.


 Checking for Doneness

To ensure that your chicken thighs are cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The juices should run clear, and there should be no pinkness near the bone.


 Adding a Smoky Flavor

For an extra touch of authenticity, consider adding wood chips or a small amount of liquid smoke to the air fryer basket. This will infuse your BBQ chicken thighs with that irresistible smoky flavor reminiscent of outdoor grilling.


 Serving Suggestions

Once your BBQ chicken thighs are cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve them up! Pair them with classic BBQ sides like corn on the cob, coleslaw, and baked beans for a complete meal that’s sure to please.


 Tips for Success

Pat the chicken thighs dry before seasoning to ensure a crispy skin.


Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket, as this can prevent proper air circulation and result in uneven cooking.

Experiment with different marinades, rubs, and sauces to keep things interesting.


Allow the chicken thighs to rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.



With this simple yet flavorful recipe, you can enjoy the taste of BBQ chicken thighs anytime, anywhere, thanks to your trusty air fryer. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just craving a taste of summer, this dish is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.


  1. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe?
    • While boneless, skinless chicken thighs will work in the air fryer, they may not achieve the same level of flavor and texture as bone-in, skin-on thighs.
  2. How do I prevent the chicken skin from sticking to the air fryer basket?
    • To prevent sticking, lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray before adding the chicken thighs.
  3. Can I use frozen chicken thighs for this recipe?
    • It’s best to thaw the chicken thighs before cooking to ensure even cooking and avoid food safety issues.
  4. Can I make BBQ chicken breasts in the air fryer using this recipe?
    • Absolutely! Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly, as chicken breasts may cook faster than thighs.
  5. Can I use my favorite store-bought BBQ sauce for this recipe?
    • Of course! Feel free to use your favorite BBQ sauce or homemade marinade to customize the flavor to your liking.

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