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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs

A quick bbq rub, air frying, and then a bbq glaze makes these air fryer thighs deliciously seasoned.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Bbq.

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These air fryer chicken thighs are going to be your new favorite weeknight dinner! They’re so easy to whip up and the flavor is unmatched. The whole family loves these Boneless Skinless BBQ chicken thighs, we think you will too.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Bbq.

Dig into your pantry and get ready to make Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs! Start with an easy bbq dry rub made from basic pantry staples. Air fry the boneless thighs and then finish them with your favorite barbecue sauce.

What do I need to make these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs?

Ingredients to make bbq chicken thighs in the air fryer.
  • An Air Fryer with a removable air fryer basket
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • oil
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • smoked paprika
  • chili powder
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • light olive oil
  • your favorite bbq sauce or homemade bbq sauce
  • small bowl
  • paper towels
  • instant read thermometer/digital thermometer
  • large bowl
  • basting brush
Chicken thighs in the air fryer with BBQ Rub.


You can swap out different cuts of chicken to make this easy recipe. Try boneless chicken breasts but just be aware that they take longer to cook because they’re thicker. Increase the cooking time if you’re using whole boneless skinless chicken breasts.

But you can speed this up by cutting them into strips OR pounding them thin OR slicing them in half so you have two full-size breasts but thinner.

BBQ chicken made in the air fryer with a garden salad.

Breasts ARE drier than thighs because they’re all white meat so be aware that you need to cook the breasts just until they register an internal temperature of 165° on a meat thermometer. They can overcook really quickly and be very dry, for best results don’t overcook.

You can also use chicken tenderloins for this recipe. These are smaller pieces of chicken and require a shorter cook time than breast pieces. They even require less time than chicken thighs

My OTHER Favorite BBQ Recipes

We all enjoy these Air Fryer Pork Chops with the same bbq rub and sauce treatment. Or these Oven BBQ Chicken Thighs are SO GOOD!! I think you can use this rub and sauce treatment on any cut of meat you want.

The BEST chicken in the Air Fryer

One of my favorite recipes for the air fryer is this Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken, it’s innovative and delicious. Try these other air fryer chicken recipes to your air fryer repertoire:

The perfect side dish for these thighs?

Any potato salad will work with this recipe such as my loaded potato salad. Or try my BLT pasta salad. And try this Pea Bacon Salad for an old-fashioned twist to your dinner. But add any salad or side dish and you’ll have a great meal on your hands.

Our Favorite Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

  • Crispy Fried Chicken
  • Air Fryer Fried Chicken
  • Crispy Chicken Tenders

Got Leftovers??

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the air fryer or microwave. Use as desired in sandwiches, wraps, or even in a casserole!

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Bbq.

Air Fryer Barbecue Chicken Thighs

5 from 41 votes
A quick bbq rub, air frying, and then a bbq glaze makes these air fryer thighs deliciously seasoned.
Course: Air Fryer, Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Laura
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 TBSP light olive oil
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce


  • preheat the air fryer at 400° for 5 minutes
  • pat the raw chicken dry with the paper towels
  • put the chicken in a large bowl
  • pour the oil over the chicken and stir to coat
  • mix all the spices together with the brown sugar
  • then rub the mixture into the chicken
  • when the air fryer is preheated the chicken in it
  • set it to 380° and set the time to 8 minutes and air fry
  • turn it over after 4 minutes
  • when it’s been a total of 8 minutes check for doneness by using a digital thermometer, if the temperature is 155° brush it with the barbeque sauce on both sides and cook again for 2 minutes or until the temperature is 165°


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 753mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

7 thoughts on “Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Thighs”

  1. I have converted over to chicken thighs because of the price and the family threw a fit. Using the AF to make these bbq thighs changed their minds as everyone devoured them. Great recipe.


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