How Long to Cook Chicken Legs and Thighs

How Long to Cook Chicken Legs and Thighs

Here is a comparison table for cooking chicken legs and thighs using different methods:

Cooking MethodTemp (°F)Timing
Air Fryer400-42520-25 minutes
Oven375-40025-30 minutes
Electric Grill375-40020-25 minutes
Gas GrillMedium20-25 minutes
Charcoal GrillMedium20-25 minutes
Instant PotHigh10-12 minutes
Crock PotLow4-6 hours
Pressure CookerHigh8-10 minutes
Slow CookerLow5-6 hours
BBQMedium35-45 minutes
Please note that the cooking times are approximate and may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken legs and thighs. It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F for safety.

In an Air Fryer

The air fryer is an incredible tool for those who enjoy chicken. It guarantees that your chicken legs and thighs have a delicious crispy exterior, while remaining juicy and tender on the inside. To begin, heat your air fryer to 400°F. Season your chicken thighs or legs as desired. Once the fryer has reached the desired temperature, place the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket.

You may use a spray of oil if necessary, but keep in mind that air fryers require less oil than traditional frying techniques. Cook the chicken for approximately 25-30 minutes, turning it over halfway through to ensure even cooking. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches a minimum of 165°F to ensure safe consumption.

In an Oven

Chicken legs and thighs are a delicious and hearty choice for a meal. Depending on your preferred cooking method, the time it takes to cook them can vary. In an oven, achieving juicy, yet thoroughly cooked chicken legs and thighs is a simple endeavor. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). 

Once done, place your seasoned chicken pieces in a single layer on a baking pan. You’re aiming to cook them for about 35-45 minutes, depending on their size. It’s recommended to turn them over halfway through for even cooking. You’ll know your chicken is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), the safe minimum cooking temperature for poultry, as advised by the USDA.  

On an Electric Grill

When using an electric grill, you can achieve tasty outcomes by cooking chicken legs and thighs with the appropriate heat and timing. Begin by preheating the electric grill to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. It is recommended to cook chicken thighs and legs for about 10-15 minutes on each side to ensure that the meat is fully cooked while retaining its juicy texture.

How Long to Cook Chicken Legs and Thighs On an Electric Grill

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature which should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit for a fully cooked chicken. 

Just a reminder, each electric grill may cook in its own way, so be vigilant. Take out your chicken and give it a few minutes to rest before serving. This will help the juices to spread evenly, resulting in a tasty and moist chicken. On a Gas Grill

You’re in the right place if you’re trying to perfect your grilling technique. When grilling chicken legs and thighs on a gas grill, start with a preheated grill set to medium heat, around 350°F (175°C). 

First, lightly oil the grill grates to prevent your chicken pieces from sticking. Arrange the legs and thighs on the grill rack and close the lid. Cook the chicken for about 30-35 minutes. 

To ensure flavorsome, juicy and safe to eat chicken, use a meat thermometer. Your chicken is cooked when it reaches 165°F (74°C). 

Be sure to turn over the pieces several times during cooking for even heat distribution. Enjoy grilling!

On a Charcoal Grill

Getting the chicken legs and thighs perfectly cooked on a charcoal grill involves a combination of keeping a close eye on temperatures and using the right cooking techniques. 

Primarily, set the grill for indirect heat, placing the chicken pieces not directly over the coals. This method will ensure the meat cooks evenly without burning. It would be best to toss your chicken legs and thighs in your preferred marinade beforehand for maximal flavor. 

Typically, chicken thighs and legs take about 40-45 minutes on a charcoal grill. Make sure to constantly monitor the internal temperature, which, according to food safety guidelines, must reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe for consumption.

In Instant Pot

Preparing chicken legs and thighs in an Instant Pot is a game changer for busy folks. The fundamental process involves setting your Instant Pot to the saute function. 

Add a smidge of oil and brown the chicken pieces for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Once browned, remove the chicken and add a cup of water, broth or a chosen sauce to the pot. Return the chicken to the pot, secure the lid, and set the pressure to high. 

Cook the chicken legs and thighs for about 15-20 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 additional minutes. Ensure the internal temperature is 165°F for food safety.  

In a Crock Pot

Cooking chicken legs and thighs in a crock pot is relatively easy and stress-free. All you need to do is place your chicken in the crock pot, add your spices or sauces, cover, and then set your pot to the desired settings. 

For a tender and juicy outcome, cook on high for about three to four hours or on the low setting for six to eight hours. This method allows for precise, low, and slow cooking resulting in a flavorful and delicious chicken dish. 

Note, internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that your chicken is safe to eat. Be sure to rest your chicken before serving for maximum flavor.

In a Pressure Cooker

Whether you’re preparing a feast or a simple supper, chicken legs and thighs are always a crowd-pleaser. Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker is both quick and easy. Here is a basic guide to help you perfectly cook your chicken legs and thighs in a pressure cooker.

Start by seasoning your chicken with your favorite spices, then place them into the pressure cooker. Pour in about one cup of chicken broth, water, or your preferred cooking liquid. Secure the lid properly, and set your pressure cooker to high. The cooking time would typically be around 15 to 20 minutes. After the time is up, gradual release (Natural release for about 10 minutes) is often recommended for the best results. Voila! Juicy, tender chicken is ready to serve.

In a Slow Cooker

How Long to Cook Chicken Legs and Thighs In a Slow Cooker

Preparing chicken legs and thighs in a slow cooker is a convenient and fuss-free method. To ensure juicy and flavorful meat, it’s important to cook them for the right amount of time.

For tender and juicy chicken legs, set your slow cooker to low heat and cook them for 4 to 5 hours. This slow cooking method allows the meat to become tender and fall off the bone effortlessly.

When it comes to chicken thighs, set the slow cooker to low heat and cook them for 3 to 4 hours. This timeframe ensures that the thighs are cooked through and remain moist and flavorful.

Remember, the exact cooking time may vary slightly depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces. To be certain, always check the internal temperature of the chicken, which should reach 165°F (74°C) for proper doneness.


When it comes to cooking chicken legs and thighs on the BBQ, it’s all about finding the perfect balance of time and temperature.

The recommended cooking time for chicken legs and thighs on the BBQ is around 20-25 minutes. However, this can vary depending on factors such as the temperature of your grill and the thickness of the meat. It’s crucial to ensure that the chicken is cooked all the way through to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.

To achieve juicy and flavorful results, it’s best to marinate the chicken beforehand and preheat your BBQ to medium heat. Place the chicken on the grill and flip it occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Make sure to monitor the progress of the cooking and check if the meat is done by using a meat thermometer. Serve the grilled chicken legs and thighs while they are still hot and savor the delectable tastes enhanced by barbecue.  

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle blogger for over 10 years, I couldn't pass up healthy eating and diet reviews. I prefer to write small, understandable articles and guides for visitors, to answer the question clearly and concisely and to give the reader a starting point for further actions to improve their diet and health in general.

Diet Expert