Jun 16, 2021
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When it comes to making juicy baked chicken, chicken thighs are the way to go. Dark meat chicken tends to be more forgiving in the oven and has more flavor than white meat, like chicken breasts.
In this post, you’ll learn the best temperature to bake chicken thighs, abrlong with time and tips to ensure your chicken thighs come out of the oven perfectly delicious every single time. I include information for both bone-in and skin-on thighs and boneless-skinless.
If all you have is white meat, click here to learn the best temperature to bake chicken breasts.
Chicken is one of the top proteins used to build family-friendly meals for its affordability and ease of integrating into recipes. That said, chicken thighs deserve a little more credit than the second-choice status to chicken breasts.
Not only are they flavorful and easy to cook with, but chicken thighs are also high in protein (with 26g of protein per 100g or 3.5oz) and, without the skin, quite lean!
While you can cook chicken thighs in the skillet, over a grill, or in the slow cooker, today we’ll focus on the oven, a popular method that’s easy to perfect.
The Best Temperature to Bake Chicken Thighs
The key to achieving perfectly cooked chicken thighs is baking them at 375F (190C) or until the internal temperature reaches 175F (80C). The oven’s temperature is just right for the chicken to cook evenly and get that golden brown glow.
This is my favorite temperature to bake chicken thighs because I can add other items to the baking sheet like potatoes or roasted vegetables.
How Long Does It Take to Bake a Chicken Thigh
Depending on the oven temperature and size, chicken thighs can take anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes to bake. Obviously, the smaller the piece the less time and whether you are baking bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, the time will vary or boneless-skinless thighs.
Regardless of the size, oven temperature, and time in the oven, the chicken will be done baking when the internal temperature reaches 175F (80C) when checked with a meat thermometer.
Everything you want to know about baking temperatures for chicken thighs are in the charts below and this video.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350F (175C)
For smaller chicken thighs, 350F (175C) is a popular temperature to bake since the low heat creates less chance of drying out. For bone-in and skin-on, expect 50 minutes of baking time on average, much less for bone-less skin-less thighs.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 375F (190C)?
375F (190C) is a popular temperature and my preferred method. Expect anywhere between 40 to 50 minutes for bone-in and skin-on chicken and 30 to 35 minutes for boneless and skinless.
This popular temperature allows the chicken to cook evenly, which is why it’s a popular temperature with sheet pan dinner recipes because you can cook most vegetables at the same time, making an easy, one-pan meal.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 400F (200C)?
If you’re short on time and want to make a chicken dinner quickly, a 400F (200C) oven will bake boneless, skinless chicken thighs in 20 minutes. Expect anywhere around 40 minutes for bone-in and skin-on chicken.
This is also a great temperature to use to add root veggies like potatoes, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower to the baking sheet, and you have a delicious meal ready in no time.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 425F (218C)?
This high temperature is best for baking bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs because it can easily dry out boneless and skinless thighs. At 425F (200C) you’ll have thighs ready in about 35 minutes.
Learn the best temperature for baking chicken legs here.
Chicken Thigh Cooking Times Chart
While cooking by internal temperature is the best method, the charts below have various baking temperatures and times for both boneless, skinless, and bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs
|Oven Temp||Average Time||Internal Temp|
|350F (175C)||50-55 min||175F (80C)|
|375F (190C)||45-50 min||175F (80C)|
|400F (200C)||40-45 min||175F (80C)|
|425F (218C)||35-45 min||175F (80C)|
How to Check Internal Temperature of Chicken Thighs
Having a digital meat thermometer is the best way to indicate when the chicken is fully cooked and prevents the meat from drying out. All you have to do is insert the thermometer point in the thickest part of the chicken piece and wait for the temperature to appear. Once you read 175F (80C), your chicken thighs are ready.
How to Bake Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs cook faster- in almost half the time- than bone-in, skin-on thighs because bone-in thighs are larger and thicker. However, bone-in, skin-on cuts tend to be moister since the skin helps lock in moisture.
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
|Oven Temp||Average Time||Internal Temp|
|350F (175C)||40 min||175F (80C)|
|375F (190C)||30-35 min||175F (80C)|
|400F (200C)||20-25 min||175F (80C)|
|425F (218C)||not recommended||175F (80C)|
Whether you use bone-in and skin-on or boneless and skinless thighs, below are the steps to making flavorful baked chicken thighs.
Choose your chicken marinade of choice and combine ½ cup per lb of chicken thighs in a large zip bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
Place the chicken thighs in an even layer onto a greased baking sheet or dish, discard the marinade, and bake for the specified time.
Once the chicken reaches 175F (80C) remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Frozen Chicken Thighs
Did you know that you can cook frozen chicken directly from the freezer, no thawing required? So yes, when you’re stuck with a frozen pound of chicken 1 to 2 hours before dinner, you can still make that dish you planned.
However, when cooking with frozen chicken, add 50% of the original cooking time to the recipe. So if chicken thighs will cook in 25 minutes at 375, it will take 35-40 minutes for frozen chicken thighs at the same temperature.
Chicken Thigh Recipes
Before you leave, check out these epic recipes with chicken thighs. While not all the recipes include baking, these are definitely go-to dinner ideas when I want to whip up an impressive meal that’s easy to make.
- Sriracha Baked Chicken Thighs
- Spanish Chicken & Rice
- Chicken Stew
- Skillet Chicken Thighs with Carrots & Potatoes
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