Baking chicken thighs in the oven is a simple and flavorful way to cook this versatile cut of meat. However, it’s important to find the right balance of time and temperature to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked and not overcooked or undercooked.
Too low of a temperature can result in unsafe chicken, while too high of a temperature can lead to dry and tough meat. By understanding the optimal baking times and temperatures for chicken thighs, you can achieve perfectly cooked and tasty results every time.
In this article, we will discuss how long to bake chicken thighs in the oven at 350°F, 400°F, and 450°F, as well as provide additional helpful information.
Best Temperature To Bake Chicken Thighs In The Oven
When it comes to baking chicken thighs in the oven, the sweet spot is 375°F (190°C). This temperature allows the chicken to cook evenly, resulting in tender and juicy thighs that are packed with flavor.
How Long To Bake Chicken Thighs At 400°F
If you’re looking to bake your chicken thighs at a higher temperature, 400°F (200°C) is a good choice. It typically takes 35-45 minutes to bake chicken thighs at this temperature, although the exact cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs.
How Long To Bake Chicken Thighs At 350°F
For a slower cook time, try baking your chicken thighs at 350°F (180°C). It typically takes 45-55 minutes to bake chicken thighs at this temperature, allowing the flavors to fully develop and the chicken to become tender and juicy.
How Long To Bake Chicken Thighs At 375°F
If you want to stick to a classic temperature for baking chicken thighs, 375°F (190°C) is a good option. It usually takes about 40-50 minutes to bake chicken thighs at this temperature, resulting in perfectly cooked and flavorful meat.
If you’re looking to get crispy skin on your chicken thighs, try baking them at a higher temperature like 450°F (230°C). It typically takes about 25-30 minutes to bake chicken thighs at this temperature, but be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking and drying out the meat.
How Long To Bake Chicken Thighs Boneless
Boneless chicken thighs are a convenient and quick option for a variety of dishes. To bake boneless chicken thighs, you can expect a cook time of around 20-30 minutes at 375°F (190°C).
How Long To Bake Bone-In Chicken Thighs
If you prefer the flavor and texture of bone-in chicken thighs, they will take a little bit longer to bake than boneless thighs. Expect a cook time of around 30-40 minutes at 375°F (190°C) for perfectly cooked bone-in chicken thighs.
Cooking Times for Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
Here is a list of the approximate cooking times for boneless, skinless chicken thighs at different temperatures:
- 350°F (180°C): 45-55 minutes
- 375°F (190°C): 40-50 minutes
- 400°F (200°C): 35-45 minutes
- 450°F (230°C): 25-30 minutes
How Long To Bake Frozen Chicken Thighs
Baking frozen chicken thighs can be a little trickier than starting with thawed meat. It is not recommended to bake frozen chicken thighs without thawing them first, as they may not cook evenly.
To bake frozen chicken thighs, it is best to thaw them in the refrigerator and then bake them at 375°F (190°C) for 45-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
There are several ways to thaw frozen chicken thighs before baking:
- Refrigerator thawing: This is the most recommended method for thawing chicken thighs, as it allows the meat to thaw slowly and evenly. To thaw chicken thighs in the refrigerator, simply transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator and let them thaw for several hours or overnight. The amount of time it takes to thaw chicken thighs in the refrigerator will depend on the size and thickness of the thighs.
- Cold water thawing: To thaw chicken thighs using cold water, place them in a sealed plastic bag and submerge them in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to ensure that it stays cold. This method typically takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour to thaw chicken thighs, depending on their size.
- Microwave thawing: It is possible to thaw chicken thighs in the microwave, but it is not recommended as it can result in uneven thawing and may partially cook the meat. If you do choose to thaw chicken thighs in the microwave, be sure to use the “defrost” setting and check the thighs frequently to ensure that they are thawing evenly.
How To Know That Chicken Thighs Are Done Baking?
The most reliable way to determine when chicken thighs are done baking is to use a meat thermometer. Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh, being careful to avoid the bone, and check the internal temperature. Chicken thighs are fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
Should I Cover Chicken Thighs Or Not?
Well, It’s your Choice! If you want crispy, golden brown chicken skin, leave your thighs uncovered. But if you want tender, juicy meat, consider tenting your chicken thighs with foil while they bake. It’s all about finding the right balance between texture and moisture.
How to Bake Chicken Thighs
1. Preheat the oven
Before you start baking the chicken thighs, be sure to preheat the oven to the desired temperature. This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and to the desired doneness.
Depending on your preference, you may want to season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices. You can also coat the chicken thighs in a marinade or rub them for added flavor.
Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish: Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in a baking dish. If you are using a marinade or rub, be sure to pour any excess over the chicken thighs.
3. Bake the chicken thighs
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the chicken thighs for the recommended amount of time, depending on the temperature and the size and thickness of the chicken.
To ensure that the chicken thighs are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Chicken thighs are fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
Once the chicken thighs are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve the chicken thighs with your desired side dishes and enjoy!
6. Store The Leftovers
Allow the chicken thighs to cool completely, then store them in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Keep in mind that these cooking times are approximate and may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs. It is always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure that it is fully cooked.
It is important to note that it is not safe to thaw chicken thighs at room temperature. Thawing chicken at room temperature can allow bacteria to grow on the meat, which can cause food poisoning. To ensure the safety of your food, it is best to thaw chicken in the refrigerator or use cold water.
Later you can take look at this article if you are interested in cooking time in the air fryer:
Below is a simple recipe to learn how to cook chicken thighs perfectly