Are you tired of dealing with dry, overcooked chicken whenever you try to make it in the oven? We understand your frustration and want to help you make moist, juicy, baked chicken thighs. Baking is a great way to enjoy healthy yet delicious dinners without spending hours in the kitchen—as long as you have the necessary information for success! This blog post will show how long to bake chicken thighs at 350°F for perfect results every single time. So if you’re ready for golden brown goodness and succulent flavors in less than an hour, grab your utensils and get started!
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350
Baking chicken thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) is standard. Depending on the size of the thighs, you should bake them for about 25-30 minutes. However, the ultimate test for doneness is the internal temperature, which should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) when checked with a meat thermometer.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350 in Foil
Baking chicken thighs in foil can help lock in moisture, producing juicy and flavorful meat. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake chicken thighs in foil for about 35-40 minutes. The extra time accounts for the barrier the foil creates, slowing the heating process slightly. Check the internal temperature to confirm doneness.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 425 without foil
If you prefer a slightly quicker method and crispier skin, you might bake your chicken thighs at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). Without the insulating foil, thighs usually bake for about 20-25 minutes at this temperature. Always confirm with a meat thermometer that the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350 Uncovered
Baking chicken thighs uncovered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit will generally take 25-30 minutes. Baking uncovered can produce a lovely, crispy skin. However, be mindful to avoid overcooking, as it could potentially dry out the meat.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350 Covered
Covering your chicken thighs while baking can help retain moisture. When baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, covered chicken thighs should be in the oven for 30-35 minutes. The slight increase in time compared to uncovered baking compensates for the heat trapped by the cover.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350 in an Air Fryer
Air fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance due to their ability to cook food quickly and with less oil. To cook chicken thighs in an air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you should expect a cooking time of about 15-20 minutes. However, air fryers can vary, so checking the internal temperature for doneness is essential.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350 in a Convection Oven
Convection ovens circulate hot air around the food, resulting in faster and more even cooking. Baking chicken thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a convection oven typically takes about 20-25 minutes. Despite the quicker cooking time, the internal temperature rule of reaching 165 degrees Fahrenheit still applies.
How Long to Bake Frozen Chicken Thighs at 350
If you’re starting with frozen chicken thighs, you’ll need to adjust your cooking time. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 50-60 minutes. Because the thighs are frozen, they’ll need longer to reach the desired internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long to Bake Bone-in Chicken Thighs at 350
Bone-in chicken thighs tend to be juicier and more flavorful but require more time in the oven. At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, bone-in chicken thighs should be baked for about 40-45 minutes. The bone can affect the internal temperature, so insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, to get the most accurate reading.
How Do You Keep Chicken Thighs Moist When Baking at 350?
Baking chicken thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit can produce beautifully moist and tender meat if done correctly. Here are some tips for achieving this:
- Brine Your Chicken Thighs: Soaking chicken thighs in salt water before cooking can help lock in moisture. Combine warm water and kosher salt in a ratio of 4 cups of water to 1/4 cup of salt. Once the salt has dissolved, cool the solution, add your chicken thighs, and let them brine in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Rinse the chicken thoroughly before cooking to avoid overly salty meat.
- Use a Marinade: Marinades add flavor and help tenderize the meat. A basic marinade includes an acid (like vinegar or citrus juice), an oil, and your choice of herbs and spices. Marinade the chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor and tenderness.
- Bake Covered: Covering chicken thighs with foil for baking can help retain moisture. After about 20 minutes, remove the cover to allow the skin to crisp up for the remaining 10-15 minutes.
- Don’t Overcook: Overcooking is the fastest way to dry out the chicken. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness—the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it hits this temperature, remove the chicken from the oven immediately.
- Let it Rest: After removing the chicken from the oven, rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, keeping it moist.
Is it Better to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350 or 400?
Deciding between baking chicken thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 400 degrees Fahrenheit ultimately depends on your preference and time constraints.
Baking at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit: This gentler cooking method allows the chicken to cook more evenly, which is particularly beneficial for larger thighs. It helps keep the inside moist while giving the skin enough time to become crispy. Baking chicken thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit usually takes 25-30 minutes.
Baking at 400 Degrees Fahrenheit: Baking at this higher temperature can speed up the cooking process—chicken thighs typically cook in about 20-25 minutes. This method can create a wonderfully crispy skin, but there’s a higher risk of drying out the meat if left in the oven too long.
Baked Chicken Thighs Ingredients
Creating mouthwatering baked chicken thighs requires a simple set of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
Chicken Thighs: Depending on the size, you will need 4-6 chicken thighs. You can use bone-in, skin-on thighs for the most flavor, but boneless, skinless thighs work well too.
Olive Oil: A drizzle of olive oil helps the skin crisp up and adds a rich flavor. Two tablespoons should be sufficient.
Salt and Pepper: These are essential for bringing out the natural flavors of the chicken. Use one teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, or adjust to taste.
Garlic Powder: Garlic powder adds a delicious depth of flavor. Use about 1/2 teaspoon, or adjust to your preference.
Paprika: Paprika gives the chicken thighs a mild sweetness and a beautiful color. Use about 1/2 teaspoon.
Herbs: Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme add a lovely aroma and flavor to the chicken. If you’re using dried herbs, remember they are more potent, so you’ll need less.
How to Bake Chicken Thighs at 350
Now that your ingredients are ready let’s dive into baking chicken thighs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures a consistent temperature throughout the baking process.
- Season the Chicken Thighs: Drizzle the thighs with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken thighs. If you’re using fresh herbs, scatter them on top.
- Arrange in a Baking Dish: Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in a baking dish or roasting pan. Ensure they are open enough, as this could cause them to steam rather than bake.
- Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven. Bake the chicken thighs for about 25-30 minutes. If you prefer crispier skin, you can bake for up to 45 minutes, but be careful not to overcook, as this can dry out the meat.
- Check for Doneness: The best way to check if the chicken thighs are done is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone. If the chicken thighs are not up to temperature, continue baking and check every few minutes.
- Rest: Once the chicken thighs are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in moist, flavorful chicken.
How can I make crispy baked Chicken Thighs?
Creating crispy baked chicken thighs involves combining preparation techniques and cooking procedures.
- Use Skin-On Chicken Thighs: The skin is the part of the thigh that becomes crispy when properly cooked. Therefore, using skin-on chicken thighs is crucial.
- Pat Dry: Excess moisture is the enemy of crispiness. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel before seasoning to remove any moisture from the skin.
- Season Appropriately: Season the chicken thighs with a mixture of your favorite spices and a generous amount of salt. Salt is vital in helping the skin crisp up.
- Use High Heat: High heat helps the skin become crispy. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake the chicken thighs for approximately 35-40 minutes.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Leave space between each chicken thigh in the baking dish. Overcrowding leads to steaming, which prevents the skin from becoming crispy.
- Broil for Extra Crispiness: After the thighs are fully cooked, switch the oven to broil and broil the chicken for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the skin. Keep a close eye on the chicken during this step to prevent burning.
Baked Chicken Thighs Nutrition Facts
Now that we’ve covered how to make crispy baked chicken thighs let’s delve into their nutritional benefits. Knowing the nutritional content can help you incorporate this dish into a balanced diet.
The exact nutritional content can vary based on the size of the chicken thigh and the specific ingredients used in your recipe. However, here’s a general overview based on a medium skin-on, bone-in baked chicken thigh:
- Calories: A baked chicken thigh provides approximately 200-220 calories.
- Protein: It contains around 25-27 grams of protein, making it an excellent macronutrient source.
- Fat: A baked chicken thigh has approximately 13-15 grams of fat. Of this, about 3.5-4 grams is saturated fat.
- Carbohydrates: Baked chicken thighs are very low in carbohydrates, with less than 1 gram per serving.
- Sodium: The sodium content can vary widely based on the amount and type of seasoning used. A lightly salted baked thigh might contain around 200-300 milligrams of sodium.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Chicken thighs are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus.
Should I bake Chicken Thighs with or without the skin?
Baking with the Skin
Flavor and Texture: The skin becomes crispy when baked, providing a delicious contrast to the tender meat underneath. It also helps to lock in the juices, contributing to a more flavorful and moist chicken thigh.
Nutrient Retention: The skin can help retain some vitamins and nutrients in the chicken during cooking.
Calories and Fat: The skin contains a significant amount of fat, which can increase the calorie count of your chicken thighs.
Saturated Fat: The skin is also a source of saturated fat, which should be consumed in moderation according to dietary guidelines.
Baking without the Skin
Lower Fat and Calories: Removing the skin significantly reduces the fat and calories in your chicken thighs, making them a leaner protein option.
Health Considerations: If you have specific dietary restrictions or health concerns about fat or cholesterol intake, baking chicken thighs without the skin can be a healthier choice.
Risk of Dryness: With the skin’s protective layer, the chicken thighs are more exposed to heat and can become dry if adequately cooked.
Less Flavorful: The skin contributes a lot to the overall flavor of the chicken thigh. With it, the meat can be more flavorful if well-marinated or seasoned.
How to Know if Chicken Thighs is Cooked
- Check the Temperature: The most reliable way to check if chicken thighs are cooked is with a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone. The internal temperature should reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Assess the Juices: Another way to check if the chicken thighs are cooked is by cutting into the thickest part of the meat. The juices should run clear. The chicken needs more cooking time if the juices are pink or red.
- Evaluate the Texture: Fully cooked chicken should feel firm to the touch and not jiggly or rubbery. The meat should also shred easily when pulled with a fork.
- Look at the Color: The chicken should be a white or off-white color all the way through. The chicken is not fully cooked if there are any pink areas, especially near the bone.
How can I make a simple marinade for baked Chicken Thighs?
Marinating chicken thighs adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat, making it even more succulent. Here’s a simple yet flavorful marinade recipe for your chicken thighs:
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, minced garlic, lemon juice, honey, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Marinate the Chicken: Place your thighs in a large zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring all pieces are well-coated. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken.
- Refrigerate: Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. For the best flavor, let it marinate overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade. Bake according to your recipe’s instructions.
What are some excellent side dishes to serve with baked Chicken Thighs?
– Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, or potatoes are a classic choice. They can even be cooked in the same pan as the chicken for an easy one-pan meal.
– Rice or Quinoa: These grains provide a neutral base that complements the flavors of your marinated chicken.
– Salads: A fresh green salad or a tangy coleslaw can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich, savory chicken.
– Bread: Warm, crusty bread or fluffy dinner rolls are perfect for mopping up any delicious juices from the chicken.
– Pasta: A light pasta side dish, such as pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs, can complement the chicken without being too heavy.
How Should I Store Leftover Baked Chicken Thighs?
Proper storage is crucial to maintain the flavor and safety of your leftover baked chicken thighs.
Cooling: Allow the chicken thighs to cool to room temperature. However, leave them out for up to two hours, as this can increase the risk of bacterial growth.
Storing: Place the cooled chicken thighs in airtight containers or wrap them securely in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Refrigeration: Store the leftover chicken thighs in the refrigerator. They should be eaten within 3 to 4 days.
Freezing: you can freeze the chicken thighs for more extended storage. Store them in freezer-safe containers or bags. Properly stored, they can last for up to three months in the freezer.
Reheating: When ready to eat the leftovers, reheat them in the oven or microwave until heated. If reheating in the oven, a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes should be sufficient.