Honey Sriracha BBQ Sauced Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Fast Dinner Recipes, Meats, Supper Time

Easy Honey Sriracha BBQ Sauced Air Fryer Chicken Thighs.

Cooks in 30 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

Looking for flavorful air fryer chicken recipes? This simple sriracha honey BBQ sauced chicken thigh recipe will surely hit the spot. It’s a simple homemade BBQ sauce you can make within minutes to coat the crispy-skinned air-fried chicken. Your family will love the flavor of these tasty chicken thighs for a delicious weeknight dinner idea. 

With this simple recipe, I’ve been experimenting with my Ninja Foodi air fryer once again. What I love about it is that it utilizes a cut of chicken that I might usually overlook in favor of chicken breasts. Why? Well, with the current rise in grocery prices, using more economical cuts of meat that still deliver flavorful results is a smart move when it comes to feeding a family. While skinless chicken breasts may be a healthier option, their increasing cost isn’t exactly budget-friendly. 

The BBQ sauce I’ve crafted for this recipe is a personal favorite. It’s a simple yet flavorful blend that takes only a few minutes to make. However, I must warn you not to get too close to the sauce pot while it’s cooking. The heated vinegar can be quite pungent, as I’ve learned from personal experience. 

If you need a simple side to go with this BBQ chicken, I recommend trying our basic garden salad. It’s economical and great as a side to any summer dish. 

Honey Sriracha BBQ Sauced Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Why You Will Love This Honey Sriracha BBQ Sauced Chicken Thigh Recipe. 

Air Fry, easy. Preparing meat in the air fryer is a breeze, and it consumes less electricity than a conventional oven. This air fryer recipe only requires a handful of simple ingredients, making it a great choice for home cooks looking for a hassle-free weeknight dinner idea. 

​Crispy-skinned chicken. When air-frying with BBQ sauce, we add it toward the end after the skin has had a chance to get crispy. This makes for delicious, crispy chicken instead of flabby chicken, which is a plus in my books. 

Adjustable Spice. This easy honey-sweetened BBQ sauce allows you to increase or decrease the heat of the Sriracha sauce. It’s perfect for those with a wider variety of heat lovers at the dining table. 

Let’s Start With The BBQ Sauce For This Easy Air Fryer Chicken Recipe

You will start by making the BBQ sauce. Mince the fresh garlic first and add one cup of honey in a small heated saucepan on medium heat. The sauce will begin to bubble quickly, so have the ketchup and sriracha handy. Add both and stir the sauce until it’s boiling and starts to thicken. Generally, three to five minutes of boiling is all that is needed to make it the right thickness. Remove it from the heat and start your chicken. Alternatively, you can have the chicken already cooked in the air fryer. 

I buy the family bulk pack of bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe so that I have leftover chicken for my partner’s work lunch the next day. You can reduce the amount of chicken you cook to fit your needs. The bulk pack generally includes ten chicken thighs with skin on. You can also cook boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. 

Create a single layer of the chicken thighs in either air fryer basket and set the heat to 400F for 30 minutes. Start and cook for 20 minutes before pausing the fry time. Once paused, open the baskets. Temp the chicken. It should be nearly finished. It’s bake time. Fully cooked chicken will read 165F with the meat thermometer. Ensure you are testing in the thickest portion of the meat away from the bone. I learned this while managing the hot foods department at our local grocery store. We can wait to cook the chicken, so it’s perfect if it’s reading 158F or close to that. 

Using tongs, remove each piece one at a time and dredge in the BBQ sauce so it’s completely coated. Return the pieces to the air fryer basket. Close the baskets once all are coated and continue to air fry for an additional five minutes. Stop the basket and brush more sauce on top of each piece before finishing the cooking. You will have cooked entirely and delightfully sauced chicken thighs when thirty minutes are up. 

It would help if you didn’t put the BBQ sauce on at the beginning of the cooking. Doing so will not allow the skin to crisp, and the sauce will burn, making it unpalatable. 

Enjoy these sweet, spicy, sauced chicken thighs with a side salad and carbs like our crispy baked potatoes.


Chicken Thighs: I used bone-in chicken thighs as they are more economical to cook with than their counterparts, skinless boneless. Air-frying also develops a nice crispy skin on the outside of the juicy chicken thighs, which allows the sauce to stick to it. 

Honey: This ingredient is a great natural sweetener with a lighter flavor than molasses that’s typically used in BBQ sauces, allowing the chicken’s flavor to shine.

Ketchup: This is used as the acid cuts through the honey’s sweetness and as a thickener to the base. It’s also very economical to use in BBQ sauces. 

Sriracha Sauce: This spicy sauce is a delicious way to add heat to the chicken dish while not overpowering the delicate flavor of the honey.

Fresh Garlic: Adds a bit of earthy spice to the sauce, developing a more robust flavor in the finished dish. 

Honey Sriracha BBQ Sauced Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Substitutions and Add-ins For This Tasty BBQ Sauced Thighs

Chicken Thighs: You can easily use a different pieces of chicken for this dish. In fact, boneless chicken thighs are equally tasty, as are air fryer chicken wings. Note that your cooking time may be different. 

Honey: I used store-bought honey for this recipe. It’s important to purchase natural honey as not all honey is equal. Indeed, the honey flavor profile can be notably different depending on where it was made because bees collect pollen from various plant sources. If you don’t want to use honey, I recommend testing maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown sugar. Each of these options provides a similar level of sweetness and can complement the spicy tang of the sriracha. 

Ketchup: Instead of this ingredient use tomato sauce or tomato paste as a base. Tomato sauce will provide a smoother texture, while tomato paste will offer a more concentrated flavor. You may need to adjust the seasoning and sweetness to compensate for the difference in taste between ketchup and tomato-based alternatives.

Sriracha Sauce: To change the sauce ingredients, combine red chili flakes or chili powder with a dash of vinegar or lime juice for acidity. This will provide a similar spicy kick and tangy flavor profile. Adjust the amount of chili flakes or powder based on your preferred heat and taste level.

Fresh Garlic: This can be omitted in favor of garlic powder, starting with one teaspoon and adjusting the level. Alternatively you can try using onion powder in it’s place if you have a garlic intolerance.

Add-ins to make it a different flavor; add sesame seeds when fully cooked for an Asian-inspired dish. 

No air fryer? No problem; bake the chicken thighs on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, then coat them with the honey sriracha sauce and continue to bake for 10 minutes before temping. If you would like to reserve some of the sauce to coat the spicy honey sriracha chicken, divide between what you use for coating the chicken pieces while baking/cooking and what you will use at the table. This division will ensure your extra sauce doesn’t have raw meat juices and make it safer to consume. 

Honey Sriracha BBQ Sauced Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Expert Tips, Serving And Storing Suggestions For This Family Favorite. 

Tip #1: Allow the sauce to thicken. Thickening the sauce over the heat will also help develop the flavor. 

Tip #2: Do cook chicken without sauce. Allow the skin to crisp and the chicken to almost entirely cook before saucing. This will prevent burning the sauce and ensure crisp skin instead of flabby skin.

Tip #3: Test the internal temperature. It’s important to test the internal temperature of the meat using a meat thermometer. When fully cooked, it should read 160 degrees F. Test the thickest part of the meat. Carefully insert the thermometer away from the bone and only halfway through the meat. This method ensures that you are reading the inside temperature accurately.

These honey sriracha chicken thighs, coated in a delectable honey sriracha sauce and featuring tender dark meat, offer a mouthwatering experience with tons of flavor. Don’t hesitate to add a dash of your preferred hot sauce for an extra burst of flavor. Try this recipe tonight and prepare to be amazed by its deliciousness!

Store any leftover honey sriracha chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days to maintain their freshness. 

If you wish to freeze these to eat later to minimize any potential texture changes, consider freezing the chicken thighs and sauce separately. This allows for greater control over the reheating process and helps maintain the quality of both the chicken and the sauce.

Ready to elevate your dinner game with irresistible honey sriracha chicken thighs? Try out this tantalizing recipe and share your feedback with us! Remember to tag us on social media with your delicious creations. Let your taste buds savor the spicy-sweet goodness!

Honey Sriracha BBQ Sauced Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Easy Honey Sriracha Air Fried Chicken Thighs

Amber Bondar
This easy honey sriracha air fried chicken thigh recipe never fails to be flavorful and bring the heat. Adjust the heat level to your preferred taste and cook up a batch of these tasty chicken thighs in just thirty minutes using your air fryer.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 8


  • Ninja Foodi Air Fryer
  • Small Saucepan
  • measuring cup
  • knife For peeling mincing garlic
  • Tablespoon
  • Basting Brush


  • 10 Bone-In Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Cup Honey
  • 6 Cloves Fresh Garlic Minced/diced
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce


  • Put the chicken thighs in the air fryer baskets in single layer.
  • Set the time to 30 minutes at 400℉
  • Start the cook while making the BBQ sauce.
  • In a small saucepan on medium heat add the minced garlic, honey, ketchup and sriracha.
  • Bring to boil and continue to cook while stirring for 3-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • When chicken has 10 minutes remaining pause the fry and open baskets.
  • Chicken should temp near to 160℉ Using tongs roll one by one in the BBQ sauce to thoroughly coat each piece.
  • Return chicken to the air fryer and continue to cook for five more more minutes.
  • Pause air fryer and brush more BBQ sauce on tops before finishing the cook time.
  • Test the internal temperature of the chicken away from the bone in the thickest portion. It should be 165℉ or above.
  • Remove and serve while hot.
Keyword air fryer recipe, Barbecue chicken, BBQ sauce, chicken thighs

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipe Rating