Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
These air fryer chicken drumsticks are tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and ready to eat in 25 minutes! You’ll love this easy chicken dinner idea, which is perfect for busy weeknights.
Why you’ll love it: Crispy on the outside, so juicy on the inside!
How long it takes: 25 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: air fryer, tongs, food thermometer
Chicken drumsticks are one of our favorite things to cook in the air fryer. They are super easy to prepare and come out perfect every time! Plus, they come with a built-in handle, ready to dip into your favorite sauce.
Why You’ll Love These Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Easy. It takes mere minutes to throw everything together, then your air fryer does all the work.
- Flavorful. Every bite of these tender chicken legs has the ideal balance of crispy, yet juicy.
- Affordable. Chicken drumsticks are very economical, often selling for ninety-nine cents a pound.
- Healthy. Drumsticks are a good source of protein and are a perfect choice for those of you following low-carb, keto, or Whole30 plans.
I love to cook chicken thighs and chicken breasts in the air fryer too. Basically, I’m a big fan of letting my air fryer to all the heavy lifting for me in the kitchen!
How Long Do Chicken Drumsticks Take In The Air Fryer?
It depends on the size of the chicken leg and how crowded the rack is. In general, the 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), the cooking time will increase slightly. You can gauge whether your chicken quarters are done by using an instant read thermometer. Here also, you’re looking for 165°F and clear juices.
Adding Flavor to Your Chicken Legs
One of the best things about this air fryer recipe is how simple it is to customize it using a variety of seasoning mixes.
This recipe uses a mixture of paprika (sweet or smoked), garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. It’s a basic seasoning that goes well on almost any type of chicken. I use it for air fryer wings, too.
Here are some more ideas for ways to flavor your 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.
- Hot Sauce + Bleu Cheese: Turn these into buffalo drumsticks by tossing the drumsticks with your favorite hot sauce and serving with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
- Dipping sauces: These are perfect with chicken drumsticks. BBQ sauce, hot sauce, fry sauce, or ranch dressing are popular choices.
What Goes With Air Fryer Chicken Legs?
I personally love serving air fryer chicken with crockpot mashed potatoes or a loaded mashed potato casserole. I also love this Instant Pot mashed potatoes recipe, which is so creamy and totally effortless to make. You also can’t go wrong with some simple frozen french fries cooked in the oven while your air fryer does its thing.
Want to serve something green on the side? This roasted broccoli recipe comes out perfect every time. Fattoush salad is also amazing with air fryer chicken drumsticks.
Frequently Asked Questions
The drumstick is a dark meat portion of the chicken that is connected to the thigh. It’s usually sold bone-in and skin-on. They have tons of flavor and are relatively inexpensive!
Absolutely! I’ve found the air fryer is one of the best ways to cook chicken, including starting from raw. It’s great for reheating chicken too.
Yes, you can start with frozen chicken in the air fryer, but be aware that cooking times will be long and the results might not be exactly the same. Make sure to use a good food thermometer to make sure your chicken is fully cooked before serving.
How to Store & Reheat Extras
Let your chicken cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
You can eat cooked chicken drumsticks cold, picnic style, or you can reheat them first. I recommend placing single servings in the microwave for about 1 minute or until the chicken reaches your desired temperature. You can also reheat them briefly in an air fryer heated to 350F, until they reach your desired temp.
More Air Fryer Recipes
I love using my air fryer for crispy “fried” food, without the extra added calories of oil. Try:
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Pork Chops (so juicy and tender)
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 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
- Preheat air fryer to 400ºF. Toss drumsticks with oil and then sprinkle and rub with spices.
- Place in air fryer in a single layer.
- Cook for 10 minutes, turn drumsticks over, and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Serve immediately.
- Store leftover air fryer chicken legs in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge for best results. Reheat in the microwave, or briefly in the air fryer. Or enjoy cold!
- Try different seasonings: barbecue rub, taco seasoning, 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.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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