How long does it take to bake chicken thighs?

chicken thighs baked for 40 minutes

Chicken thighs come bone-in and boneless and in different sizes therefore, baking times may differ. Baking temperature is also important for baking time. Chicken thighs baking at low temperatures can take 40-45 minutes to bake. While chicken thighs baking at high temperatures will take 20-25 minutes to bake.

Oven temperature consistency is essential when relying on baking times. Since new ovens keep the temperature consistent, older ovens fluctuate more. Put a meat thermometer into a preheated oven and leave it there for 5 minutes. It’ll give an accurate temperature measurement.

In this article, I’ll show you how long it takes to bake chicken thighs in different temperatures ranging from 350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. At the article’s end is a step-by-step chicken thigh baking guide.

Jump to baking temperatures and times:

How long to bake chicken thighs: temperature ranges from 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit

Time chart for baking chicken thighs
Time chart for baking chicken thighs

Chicken thighs come bone-in and boneless, weighing between 4-8 ounces. While bone-in chicken thighs take longer to bake, boneless chicken thighs take about 10 minutes less to cook. Below I’m covering baking times ranging from 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit. For reference, I’m using 5-ounce chicken thighs. However, if baking smaller or larger thighs, add or subtract 2-3 minutes for each ounce.

Chicken thigh is dark meat therefore, it takes time to bake until tender and juicy. If undercooked, it tends to be chewy. Unlike chicken breasts, chicken thighs are the most tender when the internal temperature reaches 175-195 degrees Fahrenheit.

Note: Baking frozen chicken thighs take 1,5 times longer than thawed thighs.

How long does it take to bake chicken thighs at 350° Fahrenheit

Chicken thigh baking times at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Chicken thigh baking times at 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Here’s how long it takes to bake chicken thighs at 350° Fahrenheit:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – 40-45 minutes
  • The skin on bone-in chicken thighs – 50-55 minutes
  • Bone-in air fryer chicken thighs – 40-45 minutes
  • Boneless air fryer chicken thighs – 35-40 minutes

Note: Baking thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a longer time is beneficial. It makes them tender and juicy.

How long does it take to bake chicken thighs at 375° Fahrenheit?

Chicken thigh baking times at 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Chicken thigh baking times at 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Here’s how long it takes to bake chicken thighs at 375° Fahrenheit:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – 35-40 minutes
  • The skin on bone-in chicken thighs – 45-50 minutes
  • Bone-in air fryer chicken thighs – 35-40 minutes
  • Boneless air fryer chicken thighs – 30-35 minutes

Note: Baking chicken thighs at 375 degrees f makes them tender and juicy.

How long does it take to bake chicken thighs at 400° Fahrenheit?

Chicken thigh baking times at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Chicken thigh baking times at 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Here’s how long it takes to bake chicken thighs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – 30-35 minutes
  • The skin on bone-in chicken thighs – 40-45 minutes
  • Bone-in air fryer chicken thighs – 30-35 minutes
  • Boneless air fryer chicken thighs – 25-30 minutes

Note: Baking chicken thighs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is beneficial for browning.

How long does it take to bake chicken thighs at 425° Fahrenheit?

Chicken thigh baking times at 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Chicken thigh baking times at 425 degrees Fahrenheit

Here’s how long it takes to bake chicken thighs at 425 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – 25-30 minutes
  • The skin on bone-in chicken thighs – 35-40 minutes
  • Bone-in air fryer chicken thighs – 25-30 minutes
  • Boneless air fryer chicken thighs – 20-25 minutes

Note: Baking chicken thighs at 425° Fahrenheit is beneficial for browning but not so much for making them extremely tender and juicy.

How long does it take to bake chicken thighs at 450° Fahrenheit?

Chicken thigh baking times at 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Chicken thigh baking times at 450 degrees Fahrenheit

Here’s how long it takes to bake chicken thighs at 450° Fahrenheit:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – 20-25 minutes
  • The skin on bone-in chicken thighs – 30-35 minutes
  • Bone-in air fryer chicken thighs – 20-25 minutes
  • Boneless air fryer chicken thighs – 15-20 minutes

Note: Baking chicken thighs at 450° Fahrenheit is beneficial for browning however, it can make chicken thighs dry quicker.

Tips for how long to bake chicken thighs
Tips for how long to bake chicken thighs

How to bake chicken thighs in the oven

Here’s how to bake chicken thighs. I’m baking at 375 degrees Fahrenheit and using 5-ounce chicken thighs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs (evenly sized)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika powder
  • 5 cloves of garlic or 3 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (optional)
Baked chicken thighs recipe
Baked chicken thighs recipe

Directions:

  1. Mix 5 crushed garlic cloves in a bowl with honey, lemon from half a lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, paprika powder, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Give it a good mix. Add skinless thighs to the bowl and mix. Leave it in a fridge for 3-4 hours, ideally overnight.
  2. Bring chicken thighs to room temperature. It’ll allow them to cook evenly throughout.
  3. Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
  4. This step is optional. Place cast-iron skillet on a stovetop over medium-high heat until smoking hot. Sear chicken thighs for about 2 minutes on each side until caramelizes. Maillard’s reaction will cause the meat to become brown and exceptionally flavorful.
  5. Place chicken thighs into a baking dish or on a baking sheet. If using bone-in skin on chicken thighs, place chicken thighs skin side down. Slide chicken thighs into the oven on a middle rack. Bake until things reach an internal temperature of 175-195 degrees Fahrenheit. For collagen to turn into gelatin, it requires more time and a higher internal temperature. 20 minutes into baking thighs, check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Continue baking for another 25 minutes until the juices run clear.

What is the baked chicken thigh’s internal temperature?

According to the USDA, oven-baked chicken thighs should reach an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit. However, since dark chicken meat is packed with collagen, it needs time to break down to turn into gelatine. The internal temperature should reach 175-195 degrees. The temperature is high enough to turn collagen into gelatin.

To check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs, use a meat thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat and check the reading. If you do not have a meat thermometer, check if the meat juice runs clear. It’s a sign chicken thighs are cooked.

Conclusion

Chicken thigh is dark meat therefore, unlike chicken breasts, it takes longer to bake. Depending on the oven temperature and thigh size, it can take 20-45 minutes to cook properly. However, to prevent the chicken from overcooking, use a meat thermometer and keep an eye on chicken juice. If the juice is running clear, it’s about time to take them from the oven. And if you want to know how long it takes to bake a whole chicken, check this article.

FAQ

Is it better to bake chicken thighs at 350 or 400?

Baking chicken thighs at 400° F will brown the chicken’s exterior more. While baking at 350° F is excellent for making chicken thighs tender. Since chicken thigh is dark meat, it requires a long time to bake. It’s hard to overcook them. Nevertheless, it’s important to track the internal temperature of the meat to keep it tender and juicy.

Do chicken thighs get more tender the longer you cook them?

Because of the meat structure, the longer the chicken thighs cook, the more tender it becomes. Dark meat has abundant connective tissue, which dissolves the longer you cook it, rendering meat tender and juicy.

Is it better to cook chicken thighs slowly or fast?

Cooking chicken thighs slowly will render them tender, while cooking them fast can cause overcooking. Chicken thighs consist of loads of connective tissue, which turns into gelatin when cooked for a long time. While cooking fast will cause chicken thighs to caramelize, it won’t make them as tender. However, it depends on a preference – crispy and soft or extremely tender.

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