Moist, tender, and crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs are quick and easy. Roasted to perfection in 30 minutes with your convection oven at 425° for crispy skin.
Economical baked chicken thighs are delicious, moist, and flavorful. With simple spicing and no marinade needed, you will make an easy dinner that the whole family, even picky kids, will love.
With quick and easy step-by-step photo instructions,you only need 5 minutes of preparation and about 30 minutes of baking time.
For better texture, this recipe suggests a rack to get the thighs out of the draining fluids, and roasting to 185° internal temperature to melt the connective tissue for extra tender meat.
Your convection oven will make the skin extra crispy, or use a regular oven if you don't have convection.
👨🍳How to Oven Bake Chicken Thighs
- Preheat the oven to 425°F convection or 450°F conventional oven if you don't have convection.
- Pat dry and trim chicken thighs.
- Season both sides of the thighs with salt and pepper or All-Purpose Seasoning, which adds garlic, or use the seasoning of your choice.
- Place them on a baking sheet with a rack and a heavy spray of PAM.
- Bake until an internal temp of 185°F—about 30-35 minutes of cooking time.
- Rest for 5 minutes or more before serving.
⏰ 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 an instant-read thermometer or meat thermometer.
ALWAYS COOK TO A FINAL INTERNAL TEMPERATURE. PLEASE, NEVER BY TIME ALONE.
This recipe assumes bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs. Just trim any loose fat and pat dry.
If using skinless boneless chicken thighs, give them a brush of vegetable or olive oil. They will tend to be smaller and thinner, and there is 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.
- For seasoning, a good sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper will be enough. I usually use All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2.
- Feel free to season to your taste. Typical seasonings include paprika, oregano, thyme, Italian spice mix, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spice rubs.
- To make great baked BBQ chicken thighs, skip the seasoning and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
🌡️The best final internal temperature
The best final internal temperature for chicken thighs is 185°+. You are melting some connective tissue, and cooking up to 195° will still be okay, according to American Test Kitchen (subscription required).
The USDA's minimum safe internal temperature is 165°. But there is a difference between safe and done. Pork butt is safe at 145°, but you sure won't want your pulled pork to be cooked to 145°F. It would be terrible. 165° is perfect for white meat like chicken breasts, but dark meat with connective tissue will still be stringy and tough.
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. There will be rendered fat drainage, 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 are cooking to a final internal temperature and never by time.
Smoking ovens have been an issue for some due to high temp cooking. I haven’t had a problem, BUT it is probably related to multiple factors.
1) If there is trimmable fat, trim it.
2) Use a pan with some side to keep any splatter contained.
3) If your oven has a convection roast and convection bake, use the bake mode. Or skip the convection entirely.
4) 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.
5) The oven should be clean, so the smoke isn’t coming from a previous splatter.
6) Adding some water to the pan under the rack will prevent the smoking issue. It will cool the fat when it drips. This always works, but the moisture may interfere with some crispiness.
🍴Serving and 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 tend to adversely affect the texture.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
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. Rinsing chicken is no longer recommended due to the health risks of splattering the work area. See Chicken… To Rinse or Not To Rinse? for more information.
Prep a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil, and 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.
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
- 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 baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil, and 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 a rack.
- 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 which is just a small convection oven.
- Skip the seasoning and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce for the last 5 minutes to make great oven-baked BBQ thighs.
- If there is trimmable fat, trim it.
- Use a pan with some side to keep any splatter contained.
- If your oven has a convection roast and convection bake, use the bake mode. 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.
- The oven should be clean so the smoke isn’t coming from a previous splatter.
- Adding some water to the pan under the rack will prevent the smoking issue. It will cool the fat when it drips. This always works, but the moisture may interfere with some crispiness.
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. This recipe is part of my family of chicken recipes. There have been updating photos and added information since the original version.