Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs are roasted perfectly in 30 minutes and seasoned to your taste. Using a convection oven for crispy skin, these moist and tender chicken thighs will become a family favorite.
Seasoning—salt, black pepper, and garlic powder mixture (All-Purpose Seasoning) OR
Optional seasoning of your choice
Table of Contents (scroll for more)
- 👨🍳How to Bake Chicken Thighs—Step-by-Step Instructions
- ⏰ How long to bake chicken thighs
- 🐓What chicken thighs to use
- Seasoning tips
- 🌡️The best final internal temperature
- Related chicken recipes
- Serving chicken thighs
- What to do about smoking ovens
- Storing and reheating leftovers
- Food safety
- 📖 Recipe
Featured Comment from Gretchen:
"5 stars. This is by and far my FAVORITE recipe. I’ve always hated chicken thighs, and now I know why… the internal temperature. I generally will modify a recipe to my liking, however yours is hands down sensational."
There are only a few secrets to making the best baked chicken thighs:
- Cook to the proper internal temperature of 185° to melt the connective tissue—don't stop at 165*.
- Use high heat in a convection oven for crispy skin—425° preferred, but other oven settings will work.
- Finally, using a rack to brown all sides and get the thighs out of the fatty drainage while they cook is best.
Make this recipe for chicken thighs in the oven with the easy step-by-step photo instructions with only 5 minutes of preparation and about 30 minutes of baking time. Cook along with chicken drumsticks at the same temperature and time.
👨🍳How to Bake Chicken Thighs—Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 425°F convection. If you don't have convection, use 450°F.
2. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Trim off any loose skin with no meat. Also, remove any fat that is easily removed.
3. Prep a sheet pan by lining it with aluminum foil. Add a rack and a heavy coat of PAM cooking spray.
4. Place thighs skin down and sprinkle lightly with the spices of your choice. Flip and tuck in any thin parts underneath and sprinkle the skin side. Just coarse salt and black pepper are fine, or the seasoning you like. We use our homemade 7:2:2, which adds some garlic.
5. With skin side up, bake until internal temp of 185°F—about 30-35 minutes of cooking time. Rest for 5 minutes or more before serving.
For more details, keep reading. See the Recipe Card below for complete instructions and to print.
⏰ How long to bake chicken thighs
The best oven temperature to bake chicken thighs is 425° convection, which will take about 30 minutes to reach 185° (the best internal temperature). This will vary by the weight and thickness of the thighs and your oven.
- Chicken thighs at 350°F conventional – about 50-55 minutes—will dry more.
- Chicken thighs at 350°F convection or 375°F conventional – about 45-50 minutes.
- Chicken thighs at 375°F convection or 400°F conventional – about 40-45 minutes.
- Chicken thighs at 400°F convection or 425°F conventional – about 35-40 minutes—recommended.
- Chicken thighs at 425°F convection or 450°F conventional—about 30-35 minutes—recommended.
Times are approximate and are provided for planning only. Cook to a final internal temperature of 185° and use a meat or instant-read thermometer.
ALWAYS COOK TO A FINAL INTERNAL TEMPERATURE. PLEASE, NEVER BY TIME ALONE.
🐓What chicken thighs to use
This recipe assumes bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs. Just trim any loose fat and skin, then pat dry. Bone-in skinless chicken thighs will work fine but cook faster since they are thinner, and there is no bone to absorb heat.
If using skinless boneless chicken thighs, brush them with vegetable or olive oil. They tend to be smaller, thinner and have no bone to absorb heat. Cooking time will be faster, generally by 5-10 minutes. But remember, you are cooking to a final internal temperature of 185°+ and not by time.
Since there is no skin, if you want crispy skinless boneless thighs, they will need some breading like Panko breadcrumbs or a coating like oven-fried chicken breasts, but not this recipe.
A good sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning will be enough. I usually use All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2- kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
You may use other spices like paprika, oregano, thyme, Italian spice mix, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spice rubs.
Make great baked BBQ chicken thighs with a BBQ rub and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Or make some tasty marinaded chicken thighs with my butter, garlic, and lemon chicken marinade or any marinade you love.
🌡️The best final internal temperature
The best final internal temperature for chicken thighs is 185° to 195*. You are melting some connective tissue, according to American Test Kitchen (subscription required).
The USDA's minimum safe internal temperature is 165°, perfect for white meat like chicken breasts, but dark meat with connective tissue will still be stringy and tough.
Serving chicken thighs
What to do about smoking ovens
Smoking ovens have been an issue for some due to high-temperature cooking. If you do have a problem, here are a few tips.
- If there is trimmable fat, trim it along with excess skin.
- The oven should be clean so the smoke isn’t coming from a previous splatter.
- Use a pan with some side to keep any splatter contained.
- Use the bake mode if your oven has a convection roast and convection bake. Or skip the convection entirely.
- You could turn down the oven by 25°-50°. This will increase the cooking time some and may cause some drying out. Remember to cook to an endpoint, not by time.
- Adding water to the pan under the rack will prevent smoking. It will cool the fat when it drips. This always works, but the moisture may interfere with some crispiness.
Storing and reheating leftovers
Store leftovers sealed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days or frozen for 3-4 months.
To reheat leftovers, thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. Leftovers will have a much better texture when reheated in the oven at 350° for about 15 minutes. An air fryer works well, also. A microwave can be used, but it tends to affect the texture adversely.
Raw chicken and other poultry should be considered contaminated and handled with care. Wash your hands carefully before and after touching raw chicken. We do NOT wash raw chicken routinely due to water splatter. See Chicken... To Rinse or Not To Rinse? for more information.
You must cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165° for safety—see the USDA for more information. You need to check this with an instant-read thermometer.
No. It will interfere with the crisping of the skin. So, no aluminum foil or lids.
It is not needed, and I don't. Thighs are high in fat, and that will generally be enough. But you can, and the skin will still be crispy but a little thicker and with a different texture. So brush a few and see which you like.
A baking rack is highly recommended. Fat drainage will be rendered, and the rack will get the thighs out of the drainage for better texture. You can cook this without a rack, but you will be happier with a rack.
Use the rack on a baking tray with sides since there is drainage during cooking. Add aluminum foil to help clean up.
Most toaster ovens will be able to cook chicken thighs. The oven must have a controlled higher temperature and account for drainage. And like in bigger ovens, you cook to a final internal temperature and never by time.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
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Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- 2 chicken thighs - do as many as you want
- coarse salt and pepper to taste - or seasoning of your choice
- Preheat oven to 425°F convection. If you don't have convection, use 450°F.
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Trim off any loose skin with no meat. Also, remove any fat that is easily removed.
- Prep a sheet pan by lining it with aluminum foil. Add a rack and a heavy coat of PAM cooking spray.
- Place thighs skin down and sprinkle lightly with the spices of your choice. Flip and tuck in any thin parts underneath and sprinkle the skin side. Just coarse salt and black pepper are fine, or the seasoning you like. We use our homemade 7:2:2, which adds some garlic.
- With skin side up, bake until internal temp of 185°F—about 30-35 minutes of cooking time. Rest for 5 minutes or more before serving.
Your Own Private Notes
- DO NOT SKIP THE PAT DRY, or you will not have crispy skin.
- Trim off any trimmable fat or extra skin.
- Get the thighs up on a rack to let the rendered fat drain. It also gets them out of the drained fat. You can do this without a rack, but it is nicer with one.
- Cook at high temp and use a thermometer to be sure you get to 185°+. Do not guess. Thighs are safe to eat at 165°F but tender at 185°F.
- A convection oven is recommended but not required. Options for other oven temperatures are in the blog post above.
- Spice as you want. I often add a touch of Cayenne.
- Scale to any amount you need.
- This recipe can also be done in a toaster oven or an air fryer.
- Skip the seasoning and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce for the last 5 minutes to make great oven-baked BBQ thighs.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editors Note: Originally Published January 24, 2014. Updated with re-edited photos and added information since the original version.