Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

5 from 2 votes

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If there’s one thing that can turn an ordinary evening into an extraordinary one, it’s the aroma of perfectly cooked drumsticks. And what better way to achieve that crispy, golden goodness than with the magical contraption known as the air fryer? Get ready to be wowed over these Air Fryer Drumsticks!

Let’s start by acknowledging the marvel of air fryers. These compact, countertop appliances have taken the culinary world by storm, promising to deliver crispy delights with significantly less oil than traditional deep-frying methods. They use hot air circulation to cook your favorite dishes to perfection, making them a healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste.

golden crisp air fried chicken drumsticks close up
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Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Drumsticks, those meaty little wonders, are often overlooked in favor of their more glamorous counterparts like wings or breasts. But fear not, for they are about to take center stage in your kitchen! Drumsticks are flavorful, juicy, and perfect for the air fryer treatment, as they can achieve that coveted crispy exterior while maintaining their succulent interior.

When you place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket, make sure they are not overcrowded. Leave some space between them to allow the hot air to circulate properly. Depending on the size of your air fryer and drumsticks, you may need to cook them in batches to avoid overcrowding. By giving them enough room, you’ll ensure that each drumstick gets evenly cooked and achieves that crispy, golden perfection.

raw and lightly floured and seasoned chicken drumsticks in an air fryer

Ingredients

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Cornstarch
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika

Keep scrolling to find a full, printable recipe with a detailed ingredient list.

Recipe Instructions

  1. Place drumsticks on a plate and coat with olive oil.
  2. Mix cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and ground pepper in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle seasonings over the drumsticks, ensuring even coverage.
  4. Arrange drumsticks in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  5. Air fry at 390°F for 18 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  6. Serve and enjoy your crispy air fryer drumsticks!
raw ingredients for air fryer chicken drumsticks

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen drumsticks in the air fryer?

Yes, you can use frozen drumsticks in the air fryer. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. It is recommended to thaw the drumsticks before cooking for more even results.

How do I ensure the chicken legs come out crispy?

To achieve crispy drumsticks in the air fryer, make sure to coat them with oil before seasoning. Additionally, flipping the drumsticks halfway through the cooking time helps to ensure even browning and crispiness.

How do I know when air fryer drumsticks are done?

The chicken drumsticks are cooked when the internal temperature has reached 175 to 185 degrees F. I prefer mine at 185 degrees F, they are very tender.

What dipping sauces pair well with air fryer drumsticks?

Air fryer drumsticks pair well with a variety of dipping sauces. Some popular options include barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, or even a simple garlic aioli. Choose your favorite sauce or get creative with homemade combinations!

golden crisp air fried chicken drumsticks

More Recipes

If you’ve tried this Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe or any other recipe on Bless This Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.

golden crisp air fried chicken drumsticks close up
5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Air fryer drumsticks: Crispy, flavorful chicken delights without the guilt of deep frying.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 23 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 chicken drumsticks with skin on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil,, or melted butter, cooled
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch,, a little goes a long way, don’t overuse cornstarch, as it will lead to a chalky final flavor
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper,, I often substitute with lemon pepper seasoning

Instructions 

  • Place all chicken drumsticks on a tray or big plate. (I like to put them on a platter or cooking dish. This step makes coating them with oil easier and ensures everyone gets the right amount of seasoning.)
  • Coat each drumstick with olive oil.
  • Mix the cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, smoked Paprika, and ground pepper in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle the seasonings over the chicken drumsticks. Evenly covering them on all sides.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks in the air fryer basket, single layer, and make sure not to overcrowd the basket.
  • *NOTE* When placing the drumsticks in the air fryer with space in between each will make for a more even cooking.
  • Air Fry at 390 degrees F for 18 minutes. Turn them halfway through the cook.
  • *NOTE* The chicken drumsticks are cooked when the internal temperature has reached 175 to 185 degrees F. I prefer mine at 185 degrees F, they are very tender.
  • Serve and Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you need to make multiple batches, warm up the oven to 200 degrees F and place the cooked chicken drumsticks on a cookie sheet. Keep the raw chicken drumsticks in the fridge until they are ready to be cooked.
  • Make sure when you place the chicken drumsticks in the air fryer they are in a single layer and enough space in between each to allow for an even cook.
  • This recipe was photographed using a Ninja Speedi, but if using a Cosori, increase the temperature to 400 degrees F. Time may vary according to the Air Fryer used.
  • I use an instant-read thermometer to ensure they are cooked.
  • Storage: Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Re-warm: place back into the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Have fun with the recipe: Make it spicy: Change the seasonings (red pepper flakes, chili powder are my favorite) or use spicy oil.
  • Serve with fun dips: Ranch, Avocado Ranch, Honey Mustard, BBQ sauce (sweet or spicy)
  • Make it Deluxe: 2 minutes before they are cooked, coat them with BBQ sauce. When finished cooking, it will caramelize the sauce. Sprinkle some cheese and serve with more BBQ sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 2drumsticks, Calories: 324kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 139mg, Sodium: 741mg, Potassium: 367mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 317IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Air fryer drumsticks offer a convenient and healthier way to enjoy crispy and delicious chicken. With minimal oil and easy preparation, you can savor the finger-licking goodness of perfectly cooked drumsticks right at home. So, fire up your air fryer, follow these simple steps, and get ready to enjoy a crowd-pleasing treat that will have everyone asking for seconds.

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