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Air Fryer Chicken Legs – Crispy Drumsticks

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Easy air fryer chicken legs are crispy outside and juicy inside for a family favorite meal! Get tasty, crispy drumsticks with minimal effort in 25 minutes.
closeup of air fryer chicken legs

These easy air fryer chicken legs are crispy outside and juicy inside for an irresistible family favorite meal! Get golden brown crispy drumsticks without the effort of making fried chicken.

Easy is my favorite way to cook – especially for busy weeknights. The air fryer makes cooking fast while adding delicious flavor. These crispy chicken legs are tender, juicy, healthy, and come together in about 25 minutes! It doesn’t get much easier than that!

I love air-fried chicken but making it involves multiple dipping and breading steps and generates a lot of dishes. And I don’t always have the energy for that! This delicious dinner recipe requires only a handful of simple ingredients but delivers chicken with crispy skin with minimal effort.

four drumsticks with fresh herbs

Find my tasty recipes for air fryer chicken wings or air fryer chicken thighs. Or, if you aren’t a fan of dark meat, try air fryer chicken parmesan

Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Chicken drumsticks – The great thing about chicken legs is that you can fit a bunch in the air fryer at once. Plus, they are easy to hold and eat, making them kid-friendly. 

Flour and baking powder – These ingredients help dry the chicken so that it gets nice and crispy as it cooks, without the hassle of breading it like fried chicken.

Oil – A little oil helps the seasoning stick to the drumsticks.

Seasoning – A simple blend of seasoning including paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper provides extra flavor.

ingredients for air fryer chicken legs

How to Air Fry Chicken Drumsticks

1. Prep

Leave the skin on if you like crispy skin, or take it off if you prefer. Either way, pat the chicken drumsticks dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

seasoning for air fryer drumsticks

Combine the flour, baking powder, and spices in a small bowl. Then drizzle the drumsticks with the olive oil and add the flour mixture. Toss to mix everything together.

adding the seasoning to the drumsticks

2. Air Fry

Put the drumsticks in the air fryer in a single layer. Use foil or parchment paper to make cleanup even easier! Make sure you don’t crowd the basket so there is room for the air to circulate. I can fit 4 to 6 drumsticks in my 5.8-quart Cosori air fryer, depending on their size.

Air fry at 360 degrees F for 10 minutes. Then flip chicken drumsticks over and air fry for another 10 minutes. The chicken will be light brown and charred.

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It is done when it reaches 165 degrees F.

Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, don’t try to cook based just on time. A thermometer is not expensive and the peace of mind they give you is priceless. Food poisoning is not fun! This is my favorite inexpensive meat thermometer, which you can buy on Amazon.

Always check the internal temperature since the cooking time will vary based on your air fryer and the size of the chicken legs.

What to Serve With Air Fryer Chicken Legs

These air-fried chicken drumsticks feature juicy meat combined with crunchy skin. I love serving them for a weeknight dinner, especially with favorite sides like garlic mashed potatoes, twice-baked potatoes, sweet potato fries, or baked beans

How to Store

You can store the chicken drumsticks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days. To reheat leftover chicken legs put them back in the air fryer at 360 degrees F for about 5 minutes. 

These also keep for about 3 months in the freezer. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.

holding an air fryer drumstick

Variations

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder for added flavor.
  • If you like it spicy, use chili powder instead of paprika.
  • Use your favorite spice blend, like Montreal steak seasoning, Italian seasoning, or Adobo powder. 
  • Toss the chicken in your favorite sauce after it’s cooked and crisped. BBQ sauce, honey mustard, or hot sauce are tasty choices.

Tips for Making Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry before seasoning it..
  • Feel free to change the seasoning, but don’t skip using baking powder, as it helps give you crispy chicken.
  • Don’t crowd the chicken in the basket. Make sure there is space between the drumsticks.
  • Always use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat.
four air fryer chicken drumsticks on a plate

FAQ

Do I need to flip the chicken legs as they air fry?

Flipping will ensure the meat cooks evenly and result in crispier chicken skin. So it is worth the extra minute of effort!

Can I use this recipe with other chicken parts?

This air fryer recipe will work fine with chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or chicken leg quarters. You will need to add another 4-8 minutes of cooking time, depending on the size of the chicken pieces you are using.

Should I preheat air fryer to cook chicken drumsticks?

I don’t find it necessary to preheat for chicken unless I use a breading, like in fried chicken. Using a preheated air fryer will reduce the cooking time by 2-3 minutes.

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

closeup of air fryer chicken legs
4.73 from 18 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Legs Recipe

Easy air fryer chicken legs are crispy outside and juicy inside for a family favorite meal! Get tasty, crispy drumsticks with minimal effort in 25 minutes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 3
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Ingredients
 

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • You can remove the chicken skin or leave it on, whichever you prefer. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel or kitchen cloth.
    6 chicken drumsticks
  • In a small bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, paprika, salt, ground pepper, baking powder, and onion powder.
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Drizzle the chicken drumsticks with the oil. Then add the flour mixture and stir until the drumsticks are well coated with the spice mixture.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket without overlapping. Use parchment paper or foil in the basket to make cleanup easier.
  • Air fry at 360 degrees F for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes or until lightly brown and charred.
  • Use a kitchen thermometer to check the chicken for doneness. It is done when it reaches 165 degrees F.

Notes

  • Use your favorite spice blend, like Montreal steak seasoning, Italian seasoning, or seasoning salt, instead of my spice suggestions.
  • Feel free to change the seasoning, but don’t skip using baking powder, as it helps the chicken crisp up.
  • Don’t crowd the drumsticks in the basket.
  • Always use a thermometer to check the chicken’s internal temperature and ensure it reaches 165 degrees F.
  • If desired toss the chicken in your favorite sauce after it’s cooked and crispy.
  • You can make this simple recipe in the oven as well. Bake the drumsticks at 425 F for 30-35 minutes or until lightly brown and charred.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 514mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 564IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Let’s Make More Air Fryer Chicken!

top view of fried cihcken on a cutting board after air frying

Love chicken?

Check out my ebook, which contains 50+ air fryer chicken recipes! You can find many of your favorite recipes, including whole chicken, fajitas, and much more.

top view of air fryer drumsticks
By on June 16th, 2022

6 thoughts on “Air Fryer Chicken Legs – Crispy Drumsticks”

  1. 5 stars
    Hello, and thanks for this recipe! I’m new to Air Fryer cooking so I have a few questions. Before I purchase your chicken recipe book I’d like to know if your recipes have suggestions for those of us who have diet restrictions. For example can I use “alternate” flours such as almond or coconut? Thank you in advance for your answer.
    BVKnight

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Just the recipe I needed. Last week I cooked the legs in the oven but next time I will airfry. Question : why do I see a picture of the aluminum foil, and are there holes (vents) for airfrying the chicken legs?

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for your post. I have read through several similar topics! However, your article gave me a very special impression, unlike other articles. I hope you continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone! play retro games

    Reply

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