Looking for a simple, delicious air fryer drumsticks recipe? These easy chicken drumsticks in air fryer are a fantastic weeknight dinner when you don’t have much time to cook. With just a few minutes of prep, this delicious chicken recipe will quickly become a family favorite.
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Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This simple, delicious air fryer drumsticks recipe is a fantastic option. With less than 10 minutes of prep, this chicken recipe is easy to make and goes with just about everything.
Chicken legs are a great economical option, as the price per pound is much less than chicken breast and thighs. With a simple seasoning, this recipe is kid-friendly and easy enough to make on a busy weeknight after a long day.
What do I need to make air fryer drumsticks?
Here’s a quick-reference check list of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Chicken legs – this recipe works great with a single package of chicken legs (5-6 legs).
- Olive oil – you can also use avocado oil. The oil helps ensure the chicken skin doesn’t over-brown and stick to the air fryer basket.
Chicken leg seasoning:
- Paprika – you could also used smoked paprika for a slightly smokey, barbecue flavor.
- Onion powder
- Garlic salt – the flavor of garlic salt is very complimentary, however you could also substitute regular table salt.
- Ground pepper
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
How do I make air fryer drumsticks?
Start by removing the chicken legs from the packaging and patting them dry with paper towels. This will help the seasoning stick to the surface of the chicken. Place the chicken legs in a bowl or shallow baking dish.
Next, combine the chicken seasoning. In a small bowl, add in the paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, cumin and pepper. Stir together with a spoon. I also use this seasoning mix for my Baked Chicken Quarters recipe.
To the chicken legs, lightly coat with the olive oil. Using your hands, cover all sides with the oil to make sure the skin is evenly coated. The oil will help prevent the chicken skin from sticking to the air fryer.
Coat the chicken drumsticks with the prepared seasoning. Sprinkle the seasoning evenly on all sides.
Does an air fryer need to preheat before cooking?
Yes, I recommend preheating your air fryer before you place the chicken drumsticks into the basket. This will help the chicken cook evenly and for the appropriate time.
Check the owners manual of your air fryer to see exactly how long your machine needs to come to temperature. I have a Ninja Max XL Air Fryer, which needs about 3 minutes to preheat before cooking.
One of the most highly-rated, reviewed and LOVED air fryers on the market! The Ninja Max XL Air Fryer is one of the most used appliances in our kitchen, as we use it almost every day!
How long do you cook drumsticks in an air fryer?
For best results, cook chicken drumsticks in air fryer for 20 minutes at 380 degrees. Turn the chicken drumsticks over halfway through (at the 10 minute point) cooking time to ensure even cooking.
FAQ’s about making chicken drumsticks in air fryer:
Yes, it is definitely safe to cook raw chicken in an air fryer. For chicken drumsticks, cook at 380 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping half way through. To check for doneness, use a digital meat thermometer to make sure internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.
Chicken drumsticks will need 18-20 minutes when cooking in an air fryer. Use a digital meat thermometer to insure chicken internal temperature is at 165 or over.
When stored in an airtight container, cooked chicken drumsticks will last for up to 5 days refrigerated.
Do you love the ease of cooking with an air fryer? Check out our other air fryer recipes:
What can I serve with air fryer drumsticks?
This chicken recipe is wonderfully versatile and will go with numerous sides, salads, potatoes and veggies. Here are some side dish ideas that would be a great option:
- Roasted Rainbow Carrots
- Parmesan Ranch Steak Fries
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- Bacon Lovers Baked Beans
- Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
Need some delicious sauce recipes that go with chicken? Here are some of our favorite sauces that are great on chicken:
- Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce
- Parmesan Ranch Dipping Sauce
- Honey Bourbon BBQ Pork Chops
- Smoky Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- Homemade Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe
If you loved this easy chicken recipe, check out our other popular chicken ideas:
- 1.5 lbs. chicken legs (5-6 chicken legs)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Chicken leg seasoning:
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Place the chicken legs in a bowl or shallow baking dish. Pat dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken with the olive oil. Use your hands to make sure oil coats all sides of the chicken. Set chicken aside.
- In small bowl, add the paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, cumin and pepper. Stir together with a spoon.
- Sprinkle all sides of the chicken legs with the seasoning.
- Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees. (Check the owners manual of your air fryer to verify preheat times. 3-5 minutes for preheating is standard.)
- Place the chicken legs into the basket of the air fryer, providing adequate space between each piece of chicken. (Do your best to not overcrowd or stack chicken legs.) Cook at 380 for 20 minutes, stopping to turn the legs over half way through. To test for doneness, use a digital meat thermometer to ensure internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Want to double the recipe? For best results, cook the chicken drumsticks in two separate batches. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you'll have the best results by cooking 5-6 legs at once. I don't recommend overcrowding or stacking more than 6 chicken drumsticks into the air fryer basket at one time. The chicken will not cook evenly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 216mgSodium: 565mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 41g