Of the many ways to make Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken, using an air fryer has to be one of the easiest and most tasty methods. The results are a juicy piece of chicken with a perfectly glazed skin. I’m not exaggerating when I say "So Juicy!" Just look at the pic!
For this recipe, I use skin-on, boneless chicken thighs. You can use breast meat, or even drumsticks or wings, anything with the skin on. The skin holds in a lot of moisture. Plus, it creates a great texture when paired with Hawaiian teriyaki sauce. Your cook time will vary depending on which cut of chicken you use. The cook time in this recipe is based on medium-sized chicken thighs.
Common Problems When Making Teriyaki Chicken in an Air Fryer
One of the most common ways this simple dish can become a disaster is by marinating the chicken with teriyaki sauce. There is too much sugar in the teriyaki sauce, which would burn before the chicken is cooked through. A light marinade in soy sauce and mirin will keep the chicken from charring. The mirin does have some sugar in it but not nearly as much as teriyaki sauce.
Another tip to making the perfect Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken in an air fryer is to use a moderate temperature. I know the first thought when using an air fryer is to set the temperature as high as possible. I've done that before! The idea being to speed up the cooking process and brown the skin. Since we're using chicken thighs, the cook time will be around 15-20 minutes. That's plenty of time to brown the skin while ensuring the chicken is cooked through to a safe internal temperature.
- 4-6 boneless chicken thighs, skin-on preferred
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon pineapple juice
- 1 small knob of ginger, grated (optional)
Marinating the Chicken
- Place the chicken thighs in a bowl for marinating.
- Add soy sauce and mirin and mix well until the chicken is well coated in marinade. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes but overnight is better.
Making Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce
- Combine the Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it reduces by about half. It'll slightly thicken in the process. Set aside.
- Place the chicken thighs skin side up in a single layer in the air fryer. Air fry at 350°F for 10 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and air fry with the skin side down for another 5 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part reads 165°F.
- Brush a generous amount of teriyaki sauce on the bottom side of the chicken thighs. Flip the chicken over and baste the skin side as well.
- Air fry with the skin side up at 325°F for 3-5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken and form a coating. Keep a close eye on it. There are a lot of sugars in the teriyaki sauce and it will go from perfectly thickened to burnt pretty quickly. Pull out the chicken thighs as soon as the sauce is thick and sticky.