Bone-In Chicken In The Air Fryer: Savory And Succulent Delight

bone in chicken air fryer recipe

Are you searching for a mouthwatering and healthier alternative to deep-fried chicken? Look no further! The air fryer is here to revolutionize your cooking experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the wonderful world of bone-in chicken prepared in the air fryer. From food science to culinary techniques, cleaning to preparation, we will leave no stone unturned. So grab your favorite apron and get ready to embark on an epic culinary journey!

The Science Behind Air Frying

No exploration of cooking methods is complete without understanding the science behind them. The air fryer uses a combination of circulating hot air and a minimal amount of oil to create the crispy, delicious exterior we crave. This innovative cooking technique results in a significantly lower fat content compared to traditional deep frying, without compromising on flavor and texture.

Selecting the Perfect Chicken

Choosing high-quality chicken is crucial to achieving a delightful taste. Opt for fresh, bone-in chicken pieces that are plump and firm to the touch. When selecting the cut, consider your personal preferences and the cooking time. Whether you choose drumsticks, thighs, or chicken wings, the results will be equally delectable.

Cleaning and Preparing Your Air Fryer

bone in chicken

Before beginning any culinary adventure, it is essential to ensure your air fryer is clean and ready for action. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Unplug your air fryer and allow it to cool completely.
  2. Remove the basket and any accessories from the fryer.
  3. Wash the basket and accessories with warm, soapy water.
  4. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.
  5. Wipe the interior of the air fryer with a damp cloth or sponge.
  6. Ensure all parts are completely dry before reassembling.

Once your air fryer is clean and dry, it’s time to prepare for the chicken extravaganza!

Preparing the Chicken

Let’s dive into the exciting process of preparing your bone-in chicken to perfection. Follow these steps for an exceptional outcome:


  • Bone-in chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs, or wings)
  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Your favorite seasonings (optional)

Step 1: Seasoning

Begin by generously seasoning your chicken with salt and pepper. If you desire additional flavors, experiment with your favorite seasonings. Paprika, garlic powder, or a dash of cayenne pepper can add a delightful kick to your chicken.

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Step 2: Preheating the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to ensure optimum cooking conditions. Set the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and allow it to warm up for approximately 5 minutes.

Step 3: Greasing the Basket

Lightly grease the air fryer basket with olive oil or cooking spray. This will help prevent the chicken from sticking to the surface and create an evenly browned exterior.

Step 4: Placing the Chicken

Carefully arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding, as this can impede air circulation and result in uneven cooking.

Step 5: Cooking Time and Temperature

Set the air fryer to the desired cooking time and temperature. As a general guideline, bone-in chicken typically requires 20-25 minutes at 400°F (200°C) to reach the desired level of crispness and doneness. However, cooking times may vary depending on the size and type of chicken pieces.

Step 6: Flipping and Monitoring

Halfway through the cooking process, flip the chicken pieces using tongs or a silicone spatula. This will ensure even cooking and a beautifully browned exterior. Take this opportunity to monitor the chicken’s progression, ensuring it does not overcook or dry out.

Tips, Variations, and Doneness Checks

close up view of air fried bone in chicken

To elevate your bone-in chicken air fryer recipe even further, consider these additional tips and variations:

1. Marinating

Before seasoning your chicken, marinating it for a few hours or overnight can infuse it with even more flavor. Experiment with marinades such as lemon and herbs, soy sauce and ginger, or honey and mustard.

2. Crispy Coating

For an extra crunch, coat your chicken pieces with breadcrumbs, crushed cornflakes, or panko before air frying. Dip the chicken in beaten eggs before applying the coating for better adherence.

3. Bone-In Chicken Wings

Air-fried chicken wings are a crowd-pleasing favorite. Adjust the cooking time to approximately 15-20 minutes for perfectly crispy and tender wings.

4. Doneness Checks

To ensure your bone-in chicken is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, avoiding contact with the bone. Chicken is safe to consume when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

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The Recipe: Bone-In Chicken Air Fryer Delight


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: your favorite seasonings


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes.
  2. Rub the chicken thighs with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, and any desired spices.
  3. Lightly grease the air fryer basket with olive oil or cooking spray.
  4. Place the chicken thighs in a single layer in the basket, ensuring they do not overlap.
  5. Set the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Flip the chicken thighs halfway through the cooking time for even browning.
  7. Check the chicken’s internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should read 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
  8. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  9. Enjoy your tender, juicy, and perfectly air-fried bone-in chicken!

Final Thoughts

With the air fryer at your disposal, savoring a delectable bone-in chicken meal has never been easier or healthier. From understanding the science behind air frying to preparing and cooking the chicken, this comprehensive guide has covered all aspects. Experiment with various seasonings, coatings, and cuts to discover your favorite flavor combinations. So, unleash your culinary creativity, relish the succulent results, and prepare to become a bonafide air frying aficionado! Happy cooking!

FAQS On Bone In Chicken Air Fryer Recipe

Can I Cook Bone-in Chicken In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook bone-in chicken in an air fryer. In fact, many people prefer the air fryer method for its ability to deliver crispy and flavorful results without using a lot of oil.

How Long Should I Cook Bone-in Chicken In The Air Fryer?

The cooking time for bone-in chicken in an air fryer can vary based on the size of the chicken pieces and the temperature setting of your air fryer. As a general guideline, bone-in chicken typically takes around 20-25 minutes at 400°F (200°C) to cook until fully done. However, it’s important to always check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it reaches 165°F (75°C) for safe consumption.

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Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer Before Cooking Bone-in Chicken?

Yes, it’s recommended to preheat your air fryer before cooking bone-in chicken. Preheating helps to ensure even cooking and can contribute to a crisper texture. Preheat your air fryer for about 5 minutes at the desired cooking temperature before adding the chicken.

What Seasonings Can I Use For A Bone-in Chicken Air Fryer Recipe?

The seasonings you use for a bone-in chicken air fryer recipe can be versatile and tailored to your taste preferences. Popular options include a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried herbs like thyme or rosemary. You can experiment with different seasonings or even use marinades for added flavor.

Should I Flip The Bone-in Chicken During Cooking In The Air Fryer?

Flipping bone-in chicken during cooking in the air fryer is recommended to ensure even browning and crispiness on both sides. For best results, flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time to ensure it cooks evenly.

Can I Cook Frozen Bone-in Chicken In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen bone-in chicken in an air fryer. However, it’s important to note that the cooking time will be slightly longer compared to thawed chicken. Increase the cooking time by approximately 5-10 minutes and ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) for safe consumption.

Can I Use A Batter Or Breading For Bone-in Chicken In The Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use a batter or breading for bone-in chicken in the air fryer to achieve a crispy coating. However, it’s important to lightly coat the chicken and avoid excessive amounts of batter or breading, as this can hinder the air circulation and result in uneven cooking. Consider using a thin and even coating of flour, breadcrumbs, or a mixture of both for the best results.