Air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe! well seasoned, flavorful, and delicious. Learn how to air fry chicken drumsticks in 3 ways including air fryer bbq drumsticks, buffalo, and teriyaki.
This air fryer drumsticks recipe is for the lollipop part and although you can use it for leg quarters (which is both drumsticks and thighs in one), I have a dedicated post for air fryer chicken legs which you should also check out.
Easy air fried chicken drumsticks recipe so simple and quick! I hardly cook them in the oven nowadays as my two favorite ways of making it are in the instant pot and air fryer. Check out my instant pot chicken drumsticks recipe if you haven't already. It's so simple and so good hence why it's readers' favorite on the blog.
Serve with roast potatoes, air fried vegetables, or any sides of choice for a tasty weeknight dinner or any mealtime really.
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
This is the best air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe because it's well seasoned, flavorful, and delicious. You can use this recipe for 3 different flavors: Teriyaki, bbq, and buffalo.
These air fryer drumsticks make use of simple ingredients. 7 ingredients and you have perfect drumsticks that are packed full of flavor, without breading and simply delicious.
It also takes just 25 minutes to make (add additional time if you'd like to marinate it) which makes it faster than oven baked.
It's healthier than frying and no babysitting the food while it cooks! Just set the air fryer and you can go do something else while the chicken cooks.
It comes out flavorful and juicy even without marinating. Want other flavors? You can toss the drumsticks in lemon pepper, honey soy sauce, garlic butter, and other delicious sauces for tasty variants. Just perfect!
If you don't already know, I have the Probreeze 5.7 quarts air fryer which I love so much and it's super easy to use. Other brands I recommend are Phillips, Ninja, Cosori, Power Xl. They work in similar ways however cooking times may vary according to the brand.
The full ingredient list and directions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Teriyaki sauce or BBQ sauce or buffalo sauce (Optional) - If you'd rather just have it crispy with no sauce then leave this out.
How to Cook Chicken drumsticks in air fryer
Here's how to air fry chicken drumsticks in easy, quick steps:
Season - Pat the drumsticks dry with a paper (kitchen) towel then add paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne or black pepper, oregano, salt, oil, and a tablespoon of sauce. Mix till well combined.
Air Fry - Arrange the chicken drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer then cook at a temperature of 180C/356F for 10 minutes.
Bring the basket out, flip the drumsticks, return the basket to the air fryer and cook for another 10 minutes.
After the 20 minutes cooking time, brush all sides of the chicken with the remaining sauce and cook for additional 3 minutes.
Serve - Bring out the cooked drumsticks, serve and enjoy.
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
This is one of my favorite flavors! I like the sticky, smoky, sweet taste. To make it, use BBQ sauce where it states sauce in the ingredient list and follow the cooking directions as detailed. You can add more bbq sauce after cooking or use it as a dipping sauce. Check how to make BBQ sauce at home or use a good store-bought one.
Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks
Use Teriyaki sauce where it's listed sauce in the ingredients and follow the cooking directions as detailed. You can also serve teriyaki sauce as a dipping sauce. Make sure to use a good one as this will tell on the taste.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Drumsticks
If you want to know if you can cook frozen drumsticks in the air fryer, yes you can! I've done this many times. If they are already seasoned, place them in the AF basket and cook at a lower temperature of 170C/338F to allow them to thaw and cook through. It's best if they are not stuck together however if they are, cook for initial 5 minutes after which you should be able to separate them with a spatula and then continue cooking.
How long to cook drumsticks in air fryer depends on if you are cooking from fresh or frozen, the sizes of chicken, and the brand of AF. The bigger they are, the longer it takes to cook. Also frozen chicken takes longer to cook than fresh.
Your air fryer might take a longer or shorter time than the time listed so start with 15-20 minutes and you can then add additional time if need be.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to make sure it’s at least 165F/75C. That is when it's safe to eat.
- Pat chicken dry with a kitchen towel before adding the seasoning so it's not watered down.
- It's best to arrange chicken in a single layer so the air fryer is not crowded. This allows for even heat distribution and evenly cooked chicken.
- You don't have to marinate after seasoning however if you not in a hurry put it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to marinate.
- You can use other homemade seasonings like jerk seasoning and taco seasoning.
- Substitute Olive oil for vegetable or sunflower oil.
- There's no need to preheat the air fryer.
- The brand of sauce you use may affect the taste so use a good one.
- Don't cook at a higher temperature as this recipe makes use of sticky marinade which can make the outer skin turn dark or burn really quickly.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. If it’s at least 165F/75C, it is safe to eat.
- Cooking time will vary depending on your air fryer brand and sizes of cooked.
There are many delicious sides you can serve this with including
Potatoes - Be it air fryer roast potatoes, parmentier potatoes, mashed potatoes, or boiled potatoes.
Rice- Spicy rice, Rice and peas or Curry rice are good options.
Vegetables - Sauteed vegetables, or air fryer roasted vegetables makes a healthy side dish.
How To Store
When the drumsticks are completely cooled, put in a freezer bag or airtight container, label with name and date then store in the fridge where it will last for up to 5 days.
To store in the freezer: Put in Ziploc bags or any freezer-safe container and store in the freezer where it will store for up to 6 months.
To reheat: Put the chicken inside the air fryer basket, and air fry at a temperature of 200C/400F. Start from 3 minutes and adjust the time if need be till drumsticks are hot and heated through. No need to thaw as they can be reheated from frozen.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Best Air Fryer White Fish
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Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Air Fryer
- 9 pieces Chicken Drumsticks
- ½ tablespoon Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne or Black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Teriyaki , BBQ or Buffalo sauce
- Here's how to air fry chicken drumsticks in easy, quick steps:Pat the drumsticks dry with a paper (kitchen) towel then add paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne or black pepper, salt, oil, and a tablespoon of sauce. Mix till well combined.
- Arrange the chicken drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer then cook at a temperature of 180C/356F for 10 minutes. Bring the basket out, flip the drumsticks, return the basket to the air fryer and cook for another 10 minutes.
- After the 20 minutes cooking time, brush all sides of the chicken with the remaining sauce and cook for additional 3 minutes.
- Bring out the cooked drumsticks, serve and enjoy.
Judy Nieman says
These look so good. Hubby and I making them for the game this afternoon!