These chicken thighs bake in the toaster oven and have a delicious, golden brown and crispy skin. All the how to’s and cooking times are included in this super simple, 2 ingredient recipe.
Be sure to check out more of my toaster oven recipes including my crispy toaster oven chicken wings, 14 minute toaster oven garlic bread and my toaster oven roasted potatoes with lemon and herbs.
How Long to Cook Chicken in a Toaster Oven
The cooking time in a toaster oven is similar to conventional oven baking and roasting. Depending on the size of the chicken thighs, the cooking time will vary between 35 and 45 minutes. In order to determine if the chicken is fully cooked, I use an instant read thermometer. Chicken is safe to eat at a minimum of 165°F. This is a good instant read thermometer to have with your kitchen tools.
The real key is the cooking temperature. Because the toaster oven heat is a little more intense, it’s best to lower the temperature a little bit. In a conventional oven I would cook as high as 500°F. My toaster oven only goes as high as 450°F which works well.
Why use the Toaster Oven?
The toaster is such a great tool when you’re cooking for two. A big conventional oven takes a long time to preheat and is often way bigger than needed for small portions.
More benefits of toaster oven cooking:
- The heat in a toaster oven is a bit more intense because the food is closer to the heating elements. This means that the chicken will brown nicely.
- The toaster oven preheats in less than 5 minutes which means less electricity. My conventional oven takes at least 20-25 minutes to heat to 400°F. And because the toaster oven is running for a shorter time it creates less heat. I use my toaster oven exclusively during the summer to avoid heating up the kitchen.
The list of ingredients is incredibly simple. This recipe is more about the cooking method which lets the crispy skin and juicy thigh meat be the stars.
Chicken thighs – I use bone-in, skin-on thighs because the flavor is far superior to boneless skinless. The crispy skin created in this recipe is irresistible. The skin also keeps the meat juicy, tender and flavorful.
Salt has a magical ability to make your taste buds sense other flavors even better. It enhances just about everything it touches. The key with salt is to add it before cooking so that it penetrates the surface and flavors the food beyond the outside.
Before cooking the chicken you’ll sprinkle a light coating of salt on the skin side and bottom. And even better, if you have some time, refrigerate it (with the salt on) for at least an hour or as long as overnight. I promise, the wait is worth it!
Juicy Toaster Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Crispy Skin
- 4 (about 1½ lbs) bone in, skin on chicken thighs1
- salt, Diamond Crystal kosher salt recommended
- Preheat the toaster oven to 450°F and line a pan with foil and parchment. The parchment is optional but will help browning and prevent sticking. The foil will make clean up much easier.NOTE: A sheet pan or a pan with low sides is best.
- Use scissors or a sharp knife to remove any excess skin or fat from the thighs.
- Place the chicken bottom side up on the pan and sprinkle with salt.
- Flip them over and coat the skin side with salt. Spread them out as much as the pan allows. This will help brown the skin better.
- If you have some time, refrigerate it (with the salt on) for at least an hour or as long as overnight. I promise, the wait is worth it! The salt penetrates through to the meat and makes it super flavorful.
- Bake for 15 minutes skin side up.
- Then flip and bake 15 minutes more.
- Flip them back to skin side up and bake 5 minutes more or until a thermometer with the probe in the thickest part reads at least 165°F.2 The thermometer probe should not touch the bone.NOTE: Chicken thighs are much more forgiving of overcooking. They will stay juicy even when cooked over 190°F.
- If the skin has not sufficiently browned, you can turn the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on it when broiling!
- The number of thighs that you can bake at one time will depend on the size of the pan that fits in your toaster oven. This recipe was tested with the Breville Mini Smart Toaster oven and an 8×10 inch sheet pan. Whichever size pan you use, it is best to have at least 1/2 inch of space between the thighs.
- Chicken is safe to eat at a minimum of 165°F.