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.
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.
How to Air Fry Chicken Drumsticks
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Flipping will ensure the meat cooks evenly and result in crispier chicken skin. So it is worth the extra minute of effort!
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.
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.
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Air Fryer Chicken Legs Recipe
- 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
- You can remove the chicken skin or leave it on, whichever you prefer. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel or kitchen cloth.
- In a small bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, paprika, salt, ground pepper, baking powder, and 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.
- 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.
- 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 facts are estimates.
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