How long does it take to cook chicken thighs? (2023)

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Cooking chicken thighs to perfection is easy; it's all about making sure you cook them at the correct temperature for the right amount of time in order to achieve, tender fall-off-the-bone meat.

Chicken thighs are a versatile, budget-friendly cut of meat that can be used in countless recipes. You can choose to cook thighs in an oven, slow cooker (opens in new tab), on the barbecue, or sliced in a stir-fry or curry. Thighs taste particularly good when they are left to marinate overnight in a homemade marinade.

(Video) Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

Choosing bone-in chicken thighs with the skin still attached will offer the most flavour but lots of supermarkets sell boneless and skinless varieties. Bone-in chicken thighs will take longer to cook as they are much weightier than boneless thighs. They are also more calorific when cooking with skin on, as the skin contains most of the unsaturated fat."The good thing about the skin is that you can trap lots of flavour underneath. Try making garlic or herb butter and use your fingers to rub underneath as you would a roast chicken." says Goodto Food Editor Samuel Goldsmith.

If you decide to cook skin-on chicken thighs, it's a good idea once cooked, to check under the skin to make sure the flesh isn't raw or pink underneath. Do keep in mind that thighs are a much darker cut of meat compared to breasts so may have a darker appearance overall.

How long does it take to cook chicken thighs? (1)

How long does it take to cook chicken thighs in the oven?

The length of time you need to cook your chicken thighs depends on the style of cooking and recipe. For example, if the recipe tells you to cut the thighs into small, bite-sized pieces for a stir-fry it could take under 10 minutes for the thighs to cook all the way through.

If you’re roasting the thighs in the oven it will take longer to cook, especially if the thighs aren’t even in thickness. Bear in mind, that as a general rule, bone-in chicken thighs will add more flavour to your dish but they will take a little longer to cook because they are bigger and heavier.

(Video) 3 Ways To Cook The Juiciest Chicken Thighs Ever - Bobby's Kitchen Basics

When cooking chicken thighs in the oven, consider pan-frying them first to crisp up the skin. Brush with a little oil or melt some butter and cook skin side down for a couple of minutes until golden. Finish in the oven as specified in your recipe until the internal temperature hits 74C.

As a general rule of thumb, oven-cooked bone-in chicken thighs will take 35-40mins at 180C/160C fan.

Many people find chicken one of the trickiest meats to cook as they often over-cook it for fear of food poisoning. Read our ultimate guide on how to cook chicken (opens in new tab) so you can be confident you’re doing it right.

What temperature should you cook chicken thighs in the oven?

The lower your oven temperature, the longer you will need to cook the chicken thighs. You should preheat your oven to ensure it is as the temperature specified in your recipe otherwise the timings will be inaccurate.

Remember that opening and closing your oven door will also cause the temperature to decrease, so try not to open it frequently while cooking.

Chicken thighs are generally cooked at 180C/160C fan. If a recipe only specifies the conventional oven temperature but you want to cook on via a fan oven, simply deduct 20C. So a recipe that calls for 200C, would work out to be 180C in a fan oven.

How long do you cook chicken thighs in a slow cooker?

If you want to create a pulled chicken (opens in new tab) effect for tacos, wraps, or even as a jacket potato topping, slow cooking is an excellent option. Chicken thighs are ideal in slow cooker curries and they also work well in recipes for stews or as pie fillings.

(Video) How to Make the Best Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Bridget Lancaster

You can slow cook chicken thighs for several hours, as outlined in our recipe for Asian chicken thighs. (opens in new tab) Slow-cooked recipes tend to include lots of liquid in the form of stock or chopped tomatoes so that there is plenty of moisture in the dish and the chicken won’t go dry.

When you cook chicken thighs in a slow cooker, the same principles of marinating apply. Slow cooking will help intensify the flavours and will change the texture quite drastically.

How do you know when chicken thighs are cooked?

To test when chicken thighs are cooked we recommend using a meat thermometer. Using a digital thermometer will help you to become a more confident cook and remove any stress of potential food poisoning.

Chicken is cooked when it has an internal temperature of 74C. To probe your chicken thighs you should insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.

You can also test to see the chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when cut and pressed. However, this method isn’t as precise and can also ruin the presentation if you’re serving chicken thighs at a dinner party. Follow our simple guide on how to check if a chicken is cooked for more information.

How do you add flavour to chicken thighs?

The flavourings you choose will largely depend on the style of cooking and if you’ve chosen skin-on or off thighs. The easiest way to add flavour to chicken thighs is to marinade them. Food writer Keiron George has a handy tip, he explains: 'I always make 2-3 cuts in the skin and them marinade them. The cuts allow the flavour to go further into the meat.'

Most of our chicken thigh recipes (opens in new tab) that call for a marinade will suggest marinating overnight for the flavours to fully infuse. At a minimum, we recommend marinating for an hour.

Chicken and garlic are a classic combination so it’s no wonder Slimming World’s rustic garlic traybake (opens in new tab) is so popular. Or you could opt for our roasted chicken thighs (opens in new tab) with garlic, lemon, and rosemary. These are fantastic options if you want the comfort of a roast dinner without all of the prep.

If you plan to cook chicken thighs submerged in a sauce, like our chicken coconut curry (opens in new tab) (pictured above), we recommend using skinless bone-in thighs for maximum flavour.

How to store chicken thighs

Once cooked, chicken thighs need to be cooled completely and then can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat until piping hot.

Store cooked chicken thighs in the freezer too. As above, make sure they are completely cooled before storing them in an airtight freezer-safe container or freezable bags. You can store chicken thighs in the freezer for up to 4 months. Defrost thoroughly overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven until piping hot for the best results.

What to do with leftover chicken thigh skin

It’s very easy to remove the skin from chicken thighs yourself. Take your time and use a sharp knife to carefully peel the skin away from the chicken meat.

(Video) Chicken thighs 101: How to sear, stew, roast and de-bone

There is no need to throw the skin away though. You can easily turn leftover chicken skin into a tasty snack like our crispy chicken skin crisps:

Crispy chicken skin crisps

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Scrape any remaining flesh and fat from the chicken skin and place it on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, then place another layer of greaseproof paper on top and weigh it down with another baking tray.
  4. Cook for 10-15 minutes until crispy. Leave to cool on the kitchen towel to absorb some of the greases.

If, like us, you hate waste, take a look at our leftover chicken ideas. (opens in new tab) From salads to pies, you’re sure to find a recipe that makes the most of your delicious chicken thigh leftovers.

FAQs

How long bake chicken thighs chart? ›

Cooking Times
Thighs
Baking(350°-375°F)40-50 min.
Braising30-40 min.
Simmering45-55 min.
Oven Frying(425°F)20-30 min.
1 more row

How long does it take to cook chicken thighs at 350? ›

Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

How do you know when chicken thighs are done baking? ›

For the most flavor, try to get some of the seasonings on the meat under the skin. Arrange the chicken thighs skin side up in the pan. Bake at 400° F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165° F.

Is it better to cook chicken thighs fast or slow? ›

Chicken thighs, whethe bone-in or boneless, are good at an internal temp of 175 degrees Fahrenheit, but they're even better at 195. Knowing this, what's the best way to cook thighs and drumsticks? The key is to cook them slowly.

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

For the Best Thighs, Crank Up the Heat

Whether they're on a sheet pan, in a skillet, or in a saucy marinade, the best temperature for cooking boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the oven is between 400°F and 450°F, with 425°F being the temperature we rely on most often.

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

You can roast or bake anywhere between 325 and 450 degrees F. When roasting a whole chicken, a nice rule of them is to start at 400 to 425 degrees F and then turn the oven down to 350 after 15 minutes and cook until the internal temp of the chicken is 165 – 175 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.

How long do I bake chicken legs at 400 degrees? ›

In order to reach the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, here's a basic guide of how long to bake chicken legs at different temperatures.
  1. Bake chicken legs at 425° or 400° for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Bake chicken legs at 350° or 375° for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Bake chicken legs at 300° or 325° for 30-40 minutes.
8 Sept 2022

What temp is chicken thighs done? ›

Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks:

They take longer to cook than breast meat, about 25 to 30 minutes on the grill. Cook to an internal temperature of 170 degrees F.

How long should you cook chicken pieces in the oven? ›

How long should I bake chicken breast?
  1. 20 to 30 minutes for large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
  2. 35 to 40 minutes for large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
2 Dec 2021

How long do chicken thighs need to be cooked? ›

The USDA guidelines lists approximate cooking times of 40 to 50 minutes for 4-to-8-ounce chicken thighs roasted at 350 degrees. In our basic meal prep boneless chicken thighs recipe, they take about 25 to 30 minutes baked at 425 degrees F.

Is it OK if chicken thighs are a little pink? ›

The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness. The USDA further explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.

How can you tell if chicken thighs are done without a thermometer? ›

Poke the meat to see if juices are red or clear

This method applies to chicken specifically. For properly cooked chicken, if you cut into it and the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or have a pinkish color, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.

Should you overcook chicken thighs? ›

America's Test Kitchen writes that the meat is nearly impossible to overcook. While thighs or drumsticks are just fine once they're fully cooked to an internal temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit, it's actually even better at 195 degrees — unlike white meat, which just gets leathery and tough.

Should you cover chicken thighs when baking? ›

Should I cover chicken with foil when baking? There is no need to cover the baking dish before baking these chicken thighs. Leaving it uncovered is what helps the skin get extra crispy during the baking time.

Why is my chicken thigh tough? ›

Overcooking And Undercooking Both Result In Chewy Meat Pieces.

What temp is chicken fully cooked? ›

Poultry: The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, stays the same at 165 ºF.

How long do boneless skinless chicken thighs take to pan fry? ›

Heat 2 to 3 tbsp of oil into a pan or skillet and pan-fry the chicken thighs for 5 to 6 minutes on one side. Flip over and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat or until the chicken thighs turn golden all over.

Can you fry boneless skinless chicken thighs? ›

Crispy chicken thighs can easily be achieved even if you're using boneless, skinless chicken! The key is cooking the chicken thighs on the stove top, rather than in the oven (as you might with skin-on thighs). Pan-fried chicken thighs cook really fast and need almost no prep—about 15 minutes, start-to-finish.

Should you bake chicken covered or uncovered? ›

Baking chicken at home (whether as pieces or a whole bird) is really as easy as prep and bake. You never have to worry about covering chicken while baking, as it's fine to bake it uncovered. Once your chicken is in the oven, it's hands-free until you need to check the temperature.

How do you not overcook chicken in the oven? ›

Cook at a lower heat for longer to keep the chicken breast tender and juicy. Bake just until internal temp reaches about 160º F, then let sit under foil to cook to a safe internal temp. Line pan or baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Olive oil keeps chicken moist and adds extra flavor.

Does cooking chicken longer make it more tender? ›

Chicken becomes more tender the longer it cooks. Unfortunately, most cooking methods produce extremely dry meat when the chicken is cooked long enough to become tender.

How long does it take to bake chicken thighs at 425 degrees? ›

It will take around 35 to 40 minutes to bake chicken thighs at 425 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. Before cooking, pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel to remove any moisture from the skin. Chicken thighs should have an internal temperature of 165°F.

How long do I bake chicken legs at 400 degrees? ›

In order to reach the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, here's a basic guide of how long to bake chicken legs at different temperatures.
  1. Bake chicken legs at 425° or 400° for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Bake chicken legs at 350° or 375° for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Bake chicken legs at 300° or 325° for 30-40 minutes.
8 Sept 2022

How long does it take chicken breast to bake at 400? ›

A medium size chicken breast (5 to 6 ounces each), takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes to bake in a 400 degree oven. I always bake chicken breasts at 400 degrees Fahrenheit as the high temperature helps seal in the juices (and the flavor).

What temp is chicken thighs done? ›

Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks:

They take longer to cook than breast meat, about 25 to 30 minutes on the grill. Cook to an internal temperature of 170 degrees F.

How long should you cook chicken pieces in the oven? ›

How long should I bake chicken breast?
  1. 20 to 30 minutes for large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
  2. 35 to 40 minutes for large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven.
2 Dec 2021

How do I cook chicken thighs in an air fryer? ›

Preheat a 3.5-quart air fryer to 400 degrees F. Add the chicken thighs to the air fryer basket, skin-side down and without touching. Cook, flipping skin-side up halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part (avoiding the bone) reads 165 degrees F, about 18 minutes.

How do you cook chicken thighs in a fan oven? ›

Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Place the chicken, butternut squash, onion and garlic in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with the oil and season, then toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes.

What temp is chicken fully cooked? ›

Poultry: The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, stays the same at 165 ºF.

Do you need to flip drumsticks in the oven? ›

Bake for 40 minutes.

I definitely recommend turning the chicken over halfway through baking, so the skin gets cooked on all sides. By the end the skin on top should be nice and crispy, but if you prefer it even crispier, set your oven to broil and place the chicken under the broiler for a minute or 2 on each side!

Can I bake frozen chicken legs? ›

Can you bake chicken Legs frozen? Technically, you can, though it will certainly ruin the seasoning for this recipe. Frozen chicken takes much longer to bake and carries an uncertainty of the inner parts of the chicken reaching a proper temperature to eat safely.

When baking chicken should it be covered? ›

Baking chicken at home (whether as pieces or a whole bird) is really as easy as prep and bake. You never have to worry about covering chicken while baking, as it's fine to bake it uncovered. Once your chicken is in the oven, it's hands-free until you need to check the temperature.

How long does it take to bake chicken at 375? ›

It takes around 60 to 75 minutes to bake/roast 2.5 to 3lb of Whole Chicken at 375 degrees preheated oven; however, 3.5 to 4lb of Whole Chicken takes approximately 75 to 90 minutes to bake at the same temperature.

How do I bake chicken breast without drying it out? ›

Our Test Kitchen has found that baking chicken at a higher temperature, 425°F, locks in the chicken's moisture and gives you a really juicy chicken breast.

How long does it take to cook chicken thighs? ›

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs cook quickly, in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size. Bone-in thighs, however, take a bit more time, between 25 and 30 minutes. Use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thighs. They're finished cooking when the temperature reads 165°F.

Can you overcook chicken thigh? ›

One of the most underrated and not-talked-enough-about qualities of chicken thighs is that it's nearly impossible to overcook them. The beauty of dark meat! Unlike the other most common cut of chicken (breasts), thighs are extremely forgiving when it comes to cook times.

Can chicken thighs pink? ›

The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness. The USDA further explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.

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