How Long Does It Take to Cook Chicken Thighs?

Chicken thighs are inexpensive, flavorful, and, most importantly, suitable for children. Thighs can be cooked in the oven, slow cooker, on the grill, or sliced in a stir-fry or curry. Continue reading to find out how long to boil bone-in, boneless, or frozen chicken thighs.

What Are Chicken Thighs?

Chicken thighs are a section of the bird’s leg just above the knee. This part of the bird’s anatomy is known as “dark meat” because the meat has more fat and a darker color.

The muscle of the bird’s legs and thighs is used more than that of the breast, which can make thigh meat tough. Because of the extra fat, chicken thigh meat is often tender and supple rather than stringy.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Chicken Thighs?

Chicken leg with seasoning

1. Boneless

If you cook boneless chicken thighs too quickly, they will become rubbery, so keep the heat of the water at a simmer rather than a full boil. Cooking time for boneless chicken thighs at a gentle boil is 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Bone-in

Bone-in thighs are less expensive and easier to keep juicy and flavorful. Cooking time for bone-in chicken thighs at a gentle boil is 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Frozen Chicken

If using frozen chicken thighs, separate them and cook them in a single layer rather than freezing them together in a clump.

The USDA recommends doubling the cooking time for frozen chicken. This means 45 to 55 minutes for bone-in thighs and 30 to 35 minutes for frozen boneless thighs.

How Do You Know When Chicken Thighs Are Cooked?

We recommend using a meat thermometer to determine when chicken thighs are done. Using a digital thermometer will help you become a more confident cook and eliminate any fear of food poisoning.

When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 74 degrees Celsius, it is considered cooked. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to probe your chicken thighs.

In addition to checking the temperature of the chicken, look for the following signs of cooked chicken:

● Juices run clear: When you cut into the chicken, the juice should be clear, not pink.
● Opaque meat: The meat should be opaque rather than translucent or shiny. Due to pigment in the bone marrow, the flesh of bone-in chicken will occasionally remain pink around the bones.
● Shape: Cooked chicken thighs and breasts expand in size. Uncooked chicken is more limp and flat, with a higher and rounder shape.

Is There Any Way to Get Crispy Skin on Boiled Thighs?

Get crispy skin on cooked chicken thighs

If you like crispy skin, cook the chicken thighs in the oven or on the grill. If you really want to boil the chicken first, you can broil the boiled thighs in the oven. Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet. Apply oil or butter to the skin. Spices, seasonings, and sauce can also be added (like BBQ sauce). Broil the chicken until the skin is crispy, keeping a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Factors that Affect How Long Chicken Legs Take to Boil

Because of the following factors, the time required to boil chicken legs may be reduced or increased.

1. The Hue of the Meat

White meat cooks more quickly than darker meats. The color of the meat is determined by its fat content and density. The meat will be darker in color if it has more fat and is denser, and vice versa.

2. Types of the Cooking Pot

It will be faster to boil chicken legs in a shallow pot with just enough water to cover them. If you use a large pot with a lot of water, the entire process will take much longer.

3. The Number of Chicken Legs

Cooking a small number of chicken legs will take less time than cooking a large number of chicken legs.

4. Bone-in or Boneless Chicken Legs

The boiling time for bone-in chicken legs is longer than for boneless chicken legs. This is due to the longer time it takes for the bone to heat up and the meat around it to fully cook.

5. The Size of the Chicken Leg

A larger chicken leg will require more time to cook than a smaller chicken leg.

How Long Will Chicken Thighs Last In The Fridge?

Cooked chicken thighs can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for 3 months. When reheating, defrost and place in a 350°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes. To keep the chicken moist, drizzle it with olive oil before warming it. If reheating in the microwave, cover the chicken with a wet paper towel and avoid overheating because the chicken will dry out.

Nutritional Value of Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs, like chicken breasts, are high in protein, but due to the darker meat, they have more fat and calories than breasts. Remove the skin from chicken thighs before or after cooking to remove some of the fat.

A 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast contains approximately 140 calories, 26 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of saturated fat. The same amount of skinless chicken thigh meat contains 152 calories, 21 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat.


Chicken legs take about 30 to 45 minutes to fully cook. Because a chicken leg contains bones and muscles, it must be cooked for this amount of time before it is edible. Insert a meat thermometer deep into the meatiest part of the chicken and check to see if it is already 165 °F (74 °C).