Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks feature spiced crispy skin and mouth-watering moist, tender meat.

This Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe is one of our favourite quick & easy homemade meals to cook when a craving for roast poultry hits!

This simple Air Fryer recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook. We love serving this healthy recipe during a busy week for dinner or as a finger food at parties.

Even the pickiest kids love Air Fried Chicken Drumsticks as they’re fun to eat with your hands and are flavoured with yummy olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and chili powder.

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What Are Chicken Drumsticks?

There are many recipes that call for chicken legs, thighs or drumsticks, however not every home cook knows what the difference is between these parts of the chicken.

Chicken leg refers to the whole leg portion of a chicken, which is both the thigh and drumstick connected as one piece.

When the leg is divided into two sections, it creates the thigh and drumstick portions. The chicken thigh is the top portion of the leg, and the drumstick is the lower calf section of the leg.

The chicken drumstick is most often sold with the skin on and bone-in, and is called a drumstick due to its similarity in shape to a drumstick used by musicians on a drum kit.

Drumsticks tend to be cheaper than thighs due to the high bone to meat ratio, although they are a popular item on a buffet table, potluck or birthday party as they’re an ideal finger food.

We tested this Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe in a Hamilton Beach Air Fryer.
We tested this Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe in a Hamilton Beach Air Fryer.

Best Air Fryers

An air fryer is a small countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil. A fan circulates hot air at high speed, producing a crisp layer via browning reactions.

In 2010, Philips introduced the Airfryer brand of convection oven at a consumer electronics fair in Berlin. It used the patented Rapid Air technology, though the term air fryer is now used generically.

Early air fryers were barrel-shaped, though more recently, many have come to resemble toaster ovens and pressure cookers, offering additional functions like toasting, baking, dehydrating and rotisserie.

A decade after their launch, Air Fryers are now one of the trendiest kitchen appliance. They are particularly popular with gourmands living in condos or apartments in big cities like Toronto as they reduce the number of appliances taking up space in your kitchen.

  • Hamilton Beach: I tested this recipe with a Hamilton Beach toaster oven-style air fryer. They are an excellent option for those looking for an affordable air fryer and I particularly like mine as it allowed me to replace my toaster, dehydrator and rotisserie. It’s also easier to spread food out and make it crispy by using a baking tray rather than a basket.
  • Instant Vortex: This popular air fryer is brought to you by the inventors of the popular Instant Pot. It’s 6 quart capacity features an easy to clean tray that air frys, roasts and bakes.
  • COSORI: This 5.8 quart air fryer is an 11-in-1 cooker featuring a nonstick basket and helpful shake reminder setting.
  • Ninja: This premium brand is the perfect option for those looking to invest in a heavy duty stainless steel air fryer. The product has been designed to look similar to an Instant Pot, with the top of the air fryer flipping backwards so you can easily lower a basket filled with food.
  • NuWave: This sleek digital air fryer features a traditional removable basket and reaches temperatures up to 390 F.
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe ingredients.
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe ingredients.

My Family Loves Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

My family is obsessed with chicken.

Whenever my parents were having a busy week at work we’d always look forward to feasting on rotisserie chicken that they’d pick up at the grocery store.

My father is well known for his obsession with grilling chicken, pork and beef at our family cottage in Muskoka.

During the warmer months of the year, he’d fire up the barbecue and grill bbq sauce marinated chicken breasts for dinner paired with fresh salads and deep fried side dishes like french fries, sweet potato fries or onion rings.

It wasn’t until I entered my university years that I fell in love with baking homemade chicken wings and drumsticks. I particularly love tossing drumsticks in my famous Korean Gochujang sauce recipe.

Now that we’ve upgraded our kitchen with the trendiest new gadget we love making Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks.

Cooking Chicken Drumsticks in an Air Fryer is a modern day marvel for home cooks who have a penchant for serving a mouth-watering crispy chicken feast. Air Fryers cook food much quicker than a traditional oven. They ensure your drumsticks will turn out crispy, moist and delicious!

In a large mixing bowl toss chicken drumsticks in olive oil and spices.
In a large mixing bowl toss chicken drumsticks in olive oil and spices.

How To Make Air Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Our air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe is so easy to make you’ll have it ready to serve in under 20 minutes!

There are two methods to making chicken drumsticks in an air fryer, which depend on the style of device you are using.

  • Traditional Basket: air fryers with a removable basket are still the most common. In order to make Air Fryer chicken drumsticks in these machines, simply lower each drumstick into the basket. Ensure the pieces aren’t crowded and don’t touch. This will ensure the skin is crispy and meat uniformly cooked.
  • Toaster Oven Tray: modern air fryers featuring a glass door and tray configuration make it easy to prepare drumsticks in an air fryer at home. Simply place the spiced drumsticks on the tray and watch them brown and get crispy through the glass door.
Place seasoned chicken drumsticks in an air fryer basket.
Place seasoned chicken drumsticks in an air fryer basket.

Air Fryer Drumsticks Cooking Tips

  • Place the drumsticks in one flat layer without any overlap or touching, otherwise you’ll end up with an unevenly cooked and potentially soggy product.
  • You can make simple drumsticks in an air fryer by putting the patties directly into the machine. Or use our recipe below to incorporate flavourful seasonings onto the crispy skin.
  • You can purchase prepared chicken seasoning at the grocery store or get creative by adding additional spices like dry mustard, oregano and thyme.
  • We love serving homemade drumsticks for a crowd. They’re an easy finger food to serve at birthdays, Super Bowl parties and an Academy Awards Oscar night soiree.
  • You can cook frozen or fresh chicken drumsticks in an air fryer, just be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure the interior of the meat is safe to eat before serving (165 F).
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are finished cooking once the skin is browned and crispy.
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are finished cooking once the skin is browned and crispy.

What To Serve With Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Air Fryer Drumsticks are a quick & easy lunch or dinner to prepare last minute and can be simply enjoyed alone or with salads, chips, or carrots and celery.

If you want to enjoy this recipe as a more substantial meal feel free to serve with fresh salads and deep fried side dishes like french fries, sweet potato fries or onion rings.

We love serving Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks with homemade healthy salads like Vegetarian Lebanese Eggplant Fatteh, Citrus “Rojak” Singapore Salad, Roasted Pumpkin Feta Salad with Beetroot & Pine Nuts, Roasted Beetroot Salad with Grapefruit, Canadian Salad, Cajun Spicy Chorizo Corn Salad, Cherry Pecan Kale Salad, or Garlic Lemon Chickpea Avocado Salad.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate ChipsDark Chocolate Lindt Lindor CookiesMaraschino Cherry Cupcakes RecipeCinnamon Babka For Chocolate LoversRhubarb Strawberry Dutch Baby or Jordgubbstårta Swedish Strawberry Cake.

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are a quick & easy recipe to prepare on a busy weeknight or for picky kids.
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are a quick & easy recipe to prepare on a busy weeknight or for picky kids.

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Health Benefits

Our easy Air Fried Chicken Drumsticks recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.   

Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Paprika is rich in vitamin A, capsaicin, and carotenoid antioxidants. These substances may help prevent inflammation and improve your cholesterol, eye health and blood sugar levels.

Chili Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

We love serving these Air Fried Drumsticks with fresh salads and potato chips.
We love serving these Air Fried Drumsticks with fresh salads and potato chips.

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Now you're an expert on how to make Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks!
Now you’re an expert on how to make Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks!

Best Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

How to make the best Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks. Our easy homemade air fried recipe features spiced crispy skin and moist, tender meat.

Ingredients

  • 32 oz Chicken Legs (8)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder

Instructions

  • Preheat Air Fryer to 350 F.
  • In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and chili powder.
  • Place chicken drumsticks in a plastic bag and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle spice mix over the drumsticks to coat on all sides.
  • Place drumsticks in the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove basket and flip chicken drumsticks, cooking for an additional 10 minutes until browned and crispy.
  • Time can vary based on chicken drumstick size so be sure to measure the internal temperature with a meat thermometer so it is at least 165 degrees.

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