These air fryer chicken drumsticks works with chicken legs too, and take less than 14 minutes to cook! A secret ingredient guarantees the chicken is crispy on the outside and extra juicy every single time.
Using your air fryer to cook chicken guarantees perfection. I’ve tried it with all kinds, and I love how FAST it is! We’ve done chicken breast, chicken wings, and chicken thighs, and recently, we’ve added chicken drumsticks into the mix.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick and easy. The entire recipe takes less than 14 minutes to make.
- Chicken drumsticks OR legs. You can use chicken drumsticks or chicken legs interchangeably.
- Tender and juicy. A secret ingredient guarantee that the chicken turns out crispy on the outside and extra juicy in the middle.
- Healthy. Unlike fried chicken drumsticks or legs, these use barely any oil and have a fraction of the calories.
What I love about these chicken legs is just how perfect they turn out every single time. If you have ever been worried about overcooking or drying them out, don’t be- These are super juicy and flavorful!
Ingredients to make air fryer chicken legs
- Chicken drumsticks- Also known as chicken legs, choose cuts of chicken with skin for that gorgeous crispy exterior.
- Oil- I used olive oil, but any oil will work.
- Seasonings- You’ll need smoked paprika, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, onion powder, and brown sugar (or a brown sugar substitute).
- Baking powder– The secret ingredient which guarantees the crispy exterior and juicy middles.
How to make air fryer chicken drumsticks
Preheat the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
Season the chicken: Take a small bowl, add all the spices and mix them well. Pat dry the chicken drumsticks entirely before tossing them in the spice mixture. Drizzle with the oil.
Cook in the air fryer: Add a single layer of the chicken drumsticks to the air fryer basket and cook for 14 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Can I bake this in the oven instead?
Easily bake the chicken drumsticks instead of the air fryer.
To make: Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and prepare the chicken as instructed. Line them on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer by adding all the drumsticks together. Cook them in batches to make sure they cook evenly.
- Don’t confuse baking powder with baking soda, as it can affect the flavor of air fryer chicken drumsticks.
- For extra juicy chicken, let them rest for five minutes in tin foil before serving.
Dietary and flavor variations
- Chicken legs/drumsticks. Use skinless drumsticks, bone-in chicken legs, or skinless and boneless chicken legs.
- Use different spices. Add some chili for a spicy kick or some taco seasoning for a Mexican twist.
- Sauce it up. Douse the chicken in some bbq sauce or teriyaki sauce for a flavor explosion.
- Add breading. Lightly dust the chicken in panko or keto bread crumbs.
What to serve with fried chicken drumsticks
Serve the drumsticks with some french fries, potato salad, or even scalloped potatoes.
For some greens, we love a simple garden salad, spinach salad, or creamed spinach.
Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- To freeze: Air fryer chicken drumsticks can be frozen in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Either microwave them for 20-30 seconds or reheat in the air fryer until crispy.
More air fryer recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s not recommended to wash chicken before cooking it because the bacteria in raw meat can transfer to utensils and other food items in the kitchen.
Drumsticks need 12-14 minutes to cook completely (and reach an internal temperature of 165F).
Yes, you can do this, but if you want the chicken skin to be crisper, it’s recommended to cook it in contact with the hot air fryer basket.
Both work, but using the air fryer is a better option for convenience, ease, and time. It cooks the chicken quickly and makes it more crispy.
Share this recipe on Pinterest
Love this Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe?
Share it with the world on Pinterest.
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks (Chicken legs)
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
- In a small bowl, add the spices and mix well.
- Pat dry the chicken drumsticks. Toss the drumsticks through the spice mix then drizzle the oil all over.
- Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket and cook for 8 minutes, flip, and cook for a further 6-8 minutes, or until cooked and crispy.
- Serve immediately with your favorite sides.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.
Delicious! Chicken breasts are so expensive right now. When your recipe hit my inbox a few days ago, I decided this would be a fun change up for our meal. We rarely eat drumsticks. This smells delicious, and is so easy to put together. I bought a large package of drumsticks at SAMS for $5, we are having this with a loaded baked potato and a salad. I appreciate you taking the time to share this. Thank you from this family in Indiana!
Delicious! Easy to put together; as soon as you walk in the door of the house and smell this – you are hungry. My college son called me and told me he bought everything and made this for dinner (after I posted it on fb; he took the leftovers for lunch at work – He said it was terrific)
I haven’t gotten any of your recipes since May and I loved getting the healthy makeovers. Please send me some more recipes.
Great recipe! These turned out great- they were easy and quick.
The simplest and yet the best air fried chicken recipe I have tried.This is the best chicken! I did take the suggestion of yours and cooked them just a few minutes longer on each side. They are juicy, crispy and flavorful! Thank you for the recipe!
Thank you for the easy and delicious recipe!
Perfect! Crispy skin and super-juicy meat! I did 8 mins on first side and 6 mins on other side, and these were pretty hefty drumsticks, but they still cooked all the way through.
Great chicken legs, yummmm
My family really liked this recipe. My drumsticks were bigger so I had to cook them for an additional 10 minutes. We will be doing this one again! Thank you!