Air fryer chicken drumsticks are perfectly done and ready to eat in 20 minutes. Enjoy them as a hearty snack, appetizer, or main dish. 

Overhead view of a chicken drumstick on a white plate, sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Chicken drumsticks are so popular, and I can see why. Who doesn’t love gnawing on a chicken leg! They’re a perfect finger food, with a built-in handle, ready to dip into your favorite sauce.

Plus, chicken drumsticks are very economical, often selling for ninety-nine cents a pound. Drumsticks are a good source of protein and are a perfect choice for those of you following low-carb, keto, or Whole30 plans.  

And, most importantly, air fryer chicken legs are really tasty! You’ll love how easy it is to make them in your air fryer and they turn out so good: juicy with a nice crisp exterior. I love to cook chicken thighs in the air fryer, too. Prefer white meat? Try air fryer chicken breasts.

Overhead view of four chicken drumsticks in the basket of an air fryer.

About these air fryer chicken drumsticks:

To add flavor, sprinkle your favorite seasoning mix on the drumsticks before cooking. I like to use a mixture of paprika (sweet or smoked), garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Keep reading for more seasoning ideas.

How long do chicken drumsticks take in the air fryer?

While it depends on the size of the chicken leg and how crowded the rack is, cooking time is usually twenty minutes: ten minutes, flip, and ten more minutes.

For best results, don’t overcrowd the drumsticks. You probably will have to cook them in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F, and juices should run clear when pierced with a fork. 

If you’re cooking leg quarters (thigh attached to drumstick), cooking time will be slightly increased.

Three cooked drumsticks on a white serving plater, on a white wooden background.

How to make these drumsticks your own:

Try different seasoning blends on the drumsticks:

  • Barbecue rub: a homemade blend of dark brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, celery seed, and cayenne pepper.
  • Taco seasoning: try making your own with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika.
  • Sprinkle on your favorite seasoning blend. Seasoned salt would be good, too.
  • Buffalo drumsticks: Toss the drumsticks with your favorite hot sauce and serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
  • Dipping sauces are perfect with chicken drumsticks. BBQ sauce, hot sauce, fry sauce, or ranch dressing are popular choices. 

Overhead view of a black air fryer basket with cooked chicken drumsticks inside it.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Store leftover air fryer chicken legs in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for a couple of months.

If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge for best results. Reheat in the microwave, or briefly in the air fryer. Or enjoy cold!

Overhead view of three seasoned chicken drumsticks on a white platter.

More Air Fryer recipes:

I love using my air fryer for crispy “fried” food, without the extra added calories of oil. Try:


Cooked chicken legs on a white serving platter, salt and pepper in the background.

Overhead view of a black air fryer basket with cooked chicken drumsticks inside it.

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Air fryer chicken drumsticks are perfectly done and ready to eat in 20 minutes. Enjoy them as a hearty snack, appetizer, or main dish. 


  • 5-6 chicken drumsticks (1 ¾ to 2 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (avocado, olive, or canola)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat air fryer to 400ºF. Toss drumsticks with oil and then sprinkle and rub with spices. 
  2. Place in air fryer in a single layer.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes, turn drumsticks over, and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  4. Serve immediately.


  • Serving size 2 drumsticks

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 2 drumsticks
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 231mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 44g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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