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air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe

air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe

air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe

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Chicken as food

Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world.[1] Owing to the relative ease and low cost of raising chickens—in comparison to mammals such as cattle or hogs—chicken meat (commonly called just “chicken“) and chicken eggs have become prevalent in numerous cuisines.

Chicken can be prepared in a vast range of ways, including baking, grilling, barbecuing, frying, and boiling. Since the latter half of the 20th century, prepared chicken has become a staple of fast food. Chicken is sometimes cited as being more healthful than red meat, with lower concentrations of cholesterol and saturated fat.[2]

The poultry farming industry that accounts for chicken production takes on a range of forms across different parts of the world. In developed countries, chickens are typically subject to intensive farming methods while less-developed areas raise chickens using more traditional farming techniques. The United Nations estimates there to be 19 billion chickens on Earth today, making them outnumber humans more than two to one.[3]


The ultimate recipe for juicy tender air fried chicken drumsticks with an irresistible crispy crunch with just a little oil and some seasonings, no additional breading needed!

The only oil we’re using in this recipe is a tiny bit – about two tablespoons – of heart healthy avocado or olive oil.

To make this recipe, you will need:

  • 8 chicken drumsticks – pick high quality chicken drumsticks that are fresh or thawed. Pat chicken drumsticks dry with paper towels to make sure the oil and herbs stick, as water and packaging liquid can make it harder for them to stick to the chicken.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – you can use olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or any oil you prefer to cook with. We love the classic olive oil flavor with chicken.
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt – grab a quality sea salt you love the flavor of. We like using celtic sea salt because it is saltier, so you can use less salt than regular table salt.
air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe
air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper – using fresh cracked black pepper develops a better flavor and a bit of heat.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder – garlic powder brings a rich, delicious flavor to chicken.
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika – paprika gives a hint of color to the chicken, and an earthy, smoky flavor.
  • ½ tsp cumin – cumin is earthy and brings out a “meaty” flavor in chicken.


  1. In a small bowl, combine herbs and spices.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Place drumsticks in a bowl or a plastic bag and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Toss to coat.
  5. Sprinkle herbs and spices all over drumsticks to coat them.
  6. Preheat air fryer at 400 for 2-10 minutes.
  7. Place drumsticks in air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes on 400.
  8. Remove basket and flip chicken drumsticks.
  9. Cook at 400 for another 10 minutes.
  10. If chicken is not 165 degrees internally, add another 5 minutes of cook-time.
  11. Time can vary based on drumstick size, so do check the temperature with a digital thermometer after cooking to prevent over or under cooking.
  12. When chicken has reached 165 degrees internally, serve immediately.


Chicken goes with just about everything – so it’s easy to pick a delicious, easy, and flavorful side dish to pair with this meal!

We love serving chicken with spicy beans, air fryer french fries, roasted potatoes, quick-pickled beets, rice pilaf – or really, any of our delicious easy side dishes.

How Long Should I Air Fry Chicken Drumsticks?

This recipe was designed to work with different types of air fryers – so the time listed is an estimate. Your air fryer might take a bit longer than time listed. Aim for around 15-20 checking at 10 and 15 minutes to see how the temperature is progressing.

What Air Fryer Should I Use?

This recipe was designed after testing in the Instant Pot Air fryer, Instant Pot with Crisping Lid broiler function, Ninja Foodi + Broiler lid, and the Phillips Air Fryer.
Cooktime was slightly different with each appliance, but each resulted in perfect air fryer drumsticks. Check chicken legs as you cook to make sure they are done to your preference!

Should I Marinate Chicken Drumsticks Before Air Frying?

I personally always marinate chicken before cooking – even just 30 minutes in some olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs can infuse a ton of flavor into your chicken. This recipe was designed to boost flavor regardless, so if you don’t have time to marinate, no worries!

How long do chicken drumsticks last?

Chicken drumsticks can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days, or frozen for up to four months.



  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe
air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe


  • Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel. Brush drumsticks with oil and then place into a Ziploc bag.
  • In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Once combined, pour into the bag with chicken and toss again until the drumsticks are covered with the spice mixture.
  • Lightly spray the basket with cooking spray, or brush a light coating of olive oil over basket to prevent drumsticks from sticking.
  • Place the drumsticks in air fryer basket without overlapping or stacking. Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Flip chicken drumsticks halfway through the cooking time.
  • Once chicken has reached 165° degrees internal temperature, and has your desired crispness, remove from the air fryer and serve immediately.


Use a digital food thermometer to check chicken for doneness. I highly recommend using this thermometer, when cooking meat in the air fryer. A thermometer confirms chicken temperature very easily.

  • I make this recipe in my Cosori air fryer and 20 minutes cook time was perfect. Because all air fryers are different, you may need to adjust cooking time by 2-5 minutes.


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