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Chicken thighs with BBQ sauce in the air fryer basket.
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5 from 3 votes

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs

These Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs are juicy, saucy and delicious but so quick and easy to whip up. This is the best BBQ chicken dish you will make in the air fryer!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer barbecue, air fryer bbq chicken thighs
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 412kcal
Author: Anna


  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil see note
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce


  • Prepare the chicken: trim any excess fat from each thigh. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel.
  • Preheat air fryer to 380° Fahrenheit for 4 minutes.
  • Rub chicken with oil or spray with cooking oil spray.
  • In a small bowl, mix cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning over chicken and rub it in.
  • Once the air fryer is preheated, place a sheet of parchment paper in the air fryer basket (trim it to fit the basket).
  • Arrange chicken on the parchment. Do not overlap or crowd the air fryer.
  • Cook for 12 minutes, then flip the chicken thighs using kitchen tongs. Cook for 8 to 10 more minutes. Check the internal temperature of each piece. It should be at least 175° Fahrenheit. See note below.
  • Brush chicken with BBQ sauce and cook for 2 more minutes to caramelize the sauce.
  • Remove from air fryer and rest chicken for a few minutes, then serve.


  • Use your favorite rub in place of the seasoning in my recipe.
  • You can use grapeseed oil or cooking oil spray. If you are using the spray, apply it to the chicken while it's still on the plate or cutting board. If you spray it in the air fryer basket, you will have a residue that is hard to clean.
  • It's always recommended to check the internal temperature of cooked meat. Remember to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh, not touching the bone.
  • Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.


Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 771mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 373IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg