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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (from Frozen)

air-fryer-frozen-chicken-thighs summer yule

Past Featured Chef, Summer Yule, shares an uncomplicated air fryer recipe that allows you to prepare chicken thighs from frozen. No thawing or planning ahead needed! Simply preheat the air fryer, cook the thighs to defrost them, coat them with BBQ seasoning and baking powder, and allow the air fryer to perfectly crisp them. 

“This air fryer frozen chicken thighs recipe has BBQ seasoning and crispy skin. The air fryer is a fast way to defrost and cook frozen chicken!” – Summer Yule

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Recipe & Photos by Summer Yule | Summer Yule Nutrition

30 minute Cook Time | 4 servings

US Wellness Shopping List: Chicken Thighs


  • 1.5 lbs Frozen Chicken Thighs (approx. 4 bone-in, skin-on thighs)
  • 1 Tbsp Favorite BBQ Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • non-aerosol cooking oil spray


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the BBQ seasoning and baking powder together in a small bowl. Set the seasoning aside.
  3. Put your chicken (skin side up) on a hot air fryer tray or hot air fryer basket. It’s OK if the pieces are stuck together initially; you just don’t want them stacked on each other.
  4. Spray the top of the chicken with cooking oil spray. Put the tray with the chicken in the top rack position if you have an air fryer oven.
  5. Air fry for 5 minutes to defrost the chicken. Then remove the chicken from the air fryer and separate the pieces (if they were frozen together). Flip the chicken over, so it is skin-side down. Be sure to keep the chicken in a single layer for even cooking. Air fry for 10 minutes at 375°F/190°C (top rack).
  6. Take the chicken out of the air fryer and pat away moisture with paper towels. Flip the chicken, so it’s skin side up. Blot the skin with paper towels and spray the skin with cooking oil spray.
  7. Sprinkle the chicken skin with the BBQ seasoning and baking powder mixture. Air fry the chicken for 15 minutes at 375°F/190°C (top rack for air fryer ovens).
  8. Check the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure it reached the minimum safe internal temp of 165°F (74°C). You may need to extend the cooking time if it’s not at a safe temperature. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before enjoying.


See Summer’s original post for this recipe, and browse the US Wellness Meats Discover Blog for simple and delicious recipes


summer yule, featured chef, bio

Summer Yule

Summer Yule is a registered dietitian with a Master’s in Health Promotion from the University of Connecticut. After surviving breast cancer and sustaining a 70-pound weight loss, Summer created Summer Yule Nutrition as a free information and recipe resource for adults who enjoy delicious food and want to achieve a healthier lifestyle. She lives with her husband and son in central Connecticut and works to create recipes and promotes healthy weight management.