Air Fryer Chicken Legs

5 from 2 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Air Fryer Chicken Legs are a fantastic option for those who want a healthier alternative to deep-fried chicken. Not only do they offer a crispy exterior, but they also retain the juicy goodness within.

I love using the air fryer in my cooking routines. They make food taste delicious, they are quick and the clean-up is basically non-existent. Benefits all around.

crispy chicken legs stacked on a white plate
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Air Fryer Chicken Legs

Air fryers are specifically designed to provide a healthier alternative to deep frying, and they excel at cooking chicken legs to perfection.Air fryers use powerful circulating hot air, which cooks the chicken legs faster than traditional ovens. Preheating the air fryer ensures that the chicken legs cook evenly and efficiently.

I love using an air fryer because of the consistent heat distribution that allows the legs to cook evenly from all sides. This results in a uniform and crispy exterior.

Air fryers typically come with a non-stick basket, making cleanup a breeze. Unlike deep frying, you won’t have to deal with messy oil splatters or a greasy kitchen.

air fryer with four crispy chicken legs


  • Chicken legs drumsticks
  • Olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper

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

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer: Start by preheating your air fryer to 390°F for 5 minutes. This ensures that it’s nice and hot for optimal cooking.
  2. Prepare the drumsticks: While the air fryer basket is preheating, take a large bowl and combine all the ingredients. Use your hands or a large spoon to thoroughly coat the drumsticks in the flavorful spices. Make sure each piece is evenly coated for maximum taste.
  3. Load the drumsticks: Once the air fryer has preheated, carefully place the seasoned drumsticks into the basket. Avoid overcrowding to allow for proper air circulation and even cooking. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you can usually fit around 4 drumsticks.
  4. Cook to perfection: Set the cooking time to 18 minutes. However, it’s essential to ensure the drumsticks reach an internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, piercing the thickest part of a drumstick. Adjust the cooking time if needed.
  5. Serve and savor: Once the drumsticks are cooked to perfection, remove them from the air fryer. Allow them to rest for a few minutes to retain their juiciness. Then, it’s time to serve and enjoy your crispy and delicious air fryer chicken legs!
raw chicken leg ingredients

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen chicken legs?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken legs in an air fryer. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. It’s recommended to thaw the chicken legs before cooking for more even results.

Do I need to flip the chicken legs while cooking?

For the best outcome, it’s advisable to flip the chicken legs halfway through the cooking process. This helps ensure even browning and crispy texture on all sides.

What should I serve with air fryer chicken legs?

You can serve a variety of side dishes like corn on the cob, coleslaw, potatoes or roasted vegetables.

close up of air fryer chicken legs and their crispy brown skin

More Recipes

If you’ve tried this Air Fryer Chicken Legs 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.

close up of air fryer chicken legs and their crispy brown skin
5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Legs

Air Fryer Chicken Legs are a fantastic option for those who want a healthier alternative to deep-fried chicken. Not only do they offer a crispy exterior, but they also retain the juicy goodness within.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 33 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 3 pounds chicken legs,, drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes at 390°F.
  • While the air fryer basket is preheating, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands or a large spoon to toss the drumsticks until they are evenly coated in the spices.
  • Once the air fryer has preheated, add as many drumsticks as will fit in the basket without overcrowding it (about 4).
  • Cook the drumsticks for 18 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • While you are able to cook these drumsticks at other time/ temperature intervals, I found that this combination gave the chicken legs a nice crunchy exterior while preventing the meat from losing too much moisture as it cooked.
  • Other rubs that go good on these drumsticks include a good lemon pepper seasoning, red pepper flakes, or thyme and parsley.
  • You can store these wings in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. It is easiest to reheat your wings in the microwave; however, they will not be crunchy like they are fresh from the air fryer. That being said, the flavor is maintained wonderfully in the leftovers.
  • We like to shred our leftover chicken and use it on tacos or in chicken salad.
  • It is important to preheat your air fryer to ensure your legs cook in the specified amount of time. This also helps them get that perfect crispy exterior.
  • I did not find it necessary to flip the drumsticks during the cooking process. The air fryer does a good job of cooking them evenly using the air circulation.


Calories: 301kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 303mg, Potassium: 282mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 366IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Chicken legs in the air fryer offer a healthier alternative to deep-fried chicken without compromising on taste and texture. With their crispy exterior and juicy interior, these drumsticks are a crowd-pleaser. The air fryer’s quick cooking time, even heat distribution, and easy cleanup make it the perfect tool for preparing this delicious dish.

About Melissa

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating