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Best Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipes

So you are from the select group, and may I add a smart group of people who own an air fryer? Then good for you! As an air fryer owner, you’ve probably discovered a whole new world of delicious food you can make using this magical gadget and air fryer chicken drumsticks is certainly one of those delicious and classic recipes.

Air frying is not only about tasty food but also about innovative cooking. Also, if you’re an air fryer newbie, you’ll be glad to know chicken is one of the easiest things to make in the air fryer.

So, if you love your fried chicken and who doesn’t! Get ready to explore chicken drumstick recipes that involve basic ingredients and yet taste so delicious when air fried. In addition, all this fried goodness only takes a tiny amount of oil and is so much better for you!

What is an Air Fryer?

The generally accepted concept of an air fryer is; a countertop kitchen appliance that uses convection to circulate hot air around food in order to cook it. Its compact space facilitates even faster cooking. The top of the unit holds a heating mechanism and a fan. Hot air rushes down and around food placed in a fryer-style basket. This rapid circulation makes the food crisp, much like deep frying. It is essentially an amped-up countertop convection oven.

Now, for the not so much textbook answer. An air fryer is a pretty slick gadget, and nowadays more and more people are cooking at home it makes a home cook’s dream come true because it is so convenient. Is one of those tools that make cooking better; whether that means faster, easier, more delicious, or all of the above.

Air fryers have become popular in big part because it basically mimics the results of deep-frying with nothing more than hot air and in some cases -only a fraction of the amount of oil deep frying usually requires! For that reason, it’s often labeled as a “healthier” alternative.

With the right recipe, you can prepare everything from family dinners to quick snacks and be done with it fast. Chicken drumsticks recipes and air frying go hand in hand so check out all about it.

How To Make Fried Chicken In Air Fryer?

Fried chicken is a big win for the air fryer. You can cook an entire chicken and feed your family or cook delicious side dishes like fried chicken wings or full meals such as fried chicken breasts, chicken drumsticks, chicken tenders, the boneless chicken you name it!

Do you want fried chicken that is tender and juicy on the inside and crispy crunchy on the outside? Here we let you in a top-secret to making air fried chicken that tastes just as good as frying!

First, you need to marinate the chicken with buttermilk and spices and to bread it with a mixture of flour and corn starch. You also need to generously spray it with cooking spray to ensure all the flour is coated with oil.

Follow the steps below.

You need:

  • 1 4-pound fryer chicken, cut into 10 pieces (2 breasts cut in half, 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk


  • ½ cup of corn starch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Spray olive oil for cooking

To prepare the breading mixture, stir together flour, corn starch, seasoned salt, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.

Remove chicken pieces from the buttermilk and shake off any excess; then dip in the flour mix and coat well. Transfer breaded chicken pieces to a clean plate or wire rack to rest.

  • You will need to work in two batches if you are doing a full chicken. Spray the basket of your air fryer with nonstick spray. Place half of the pieces in the basket of your air fryer. Try to ensure the pieces don’t touch. Air needs to circulate around them.
  • Spray the chicken pieces lightly with spray oil. Place the basket in the air fryer and turn the air fryer to 350°F. Cook for 14 minutes, then flip the fried chicken with tongs, spray lightly with oil a second time on the bottom side of the chicken, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes.
  • The half-breast pieces and the wings will be done on the low end of that time range, and the dark meat pieces will need a full 24 to 26 minutes of time to be cooked through. The dark meat pieces should reach 175˚F.
  • When the fried chicken is ready, let it rest on a plate for a few minutes before serving. Serve immediately with coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad or your favorite side.

Why Our Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe Works For You

Eating fried chicken made in the air fryer is like having the best-fried chicken you’ve ever had just that it hasn’t really been fried!

Just picture that crispy skin and tender, juicy flesh that has been crisped up into perfect crunchiness. This recipe works for you because you also get that tangy buttermilk coating you know and love minus the excess grease.

If you’ve made fried chicken before, making it in the air fryer will definitely surprise you. You’ll basically get the same texture and amazing taste minus the unnecessary oil. With this recipe you can enjoy your guilty pleasure fried chicken treat, guilt-free!

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Or Air Fryer Chicken Legs

You may be indecisive about whether to cook chicken drumsticks or chicken legs in your air fryer. The question may arrive as an issue regarding space. You may be asking yourself how many chicken legs can you fit in the air fryer.

A chicken leg has two parts to it, the drumstick and the thigh. The drumstick is the calf part of the leg, while the thigh is the top part of the leg.

If you are using full chicken legs, i.e. drumsticks with thighs attached, plan on comfortably fitting 5-6 legs in a large air fryer and 2-3 in a small one.

Meat shrinks during cooking so raw drumsticks will take up a little more space. That said, you can comfortably fry 8-10 drumsticks in a 6.8-quart air fryer. If you plan on using a 3.6-quart air fryer, you will be able to fit in 4-5 chicken drumsticks.
It really comes down to the size of your specific air fryer. Just keep in mind you need to leave some gap between the drumsticks so proper air circulation and hence browning can take place.

Tips To Make The Best Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

There are a few things you can do to make sure your chicken drumsticks are cooked to perfection in the air fryer. With these tips you will surely impress at your next gathering or family meal.

  • Depending on the number of drumsticks you may want o double the amount of oil and spices.
  • Use a digital thermometer to check the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
  • Do not check on the chicken too often. This will prevent the hot air to escape.
  • It doesn’t matter how tempted you are, do not overcrowd. Remember you want the hot air to be able to circulate around the food to achieve even cooking.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before coating them with oil and spices to help get nice, crisp skins.
  • Preheat air fryer according to machine’s instructions for 3-5 minutes.

Extra Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

If you want extra crispy chicken drumsticks you may want to follow a couple of simple techniques.

  • Flip twice during cooking. You can think of is as a 15-10-5 method, where the chicken is flipped after 15 minutes, then after 10 minutes of cooking, and then cooked for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Cooking at high temperatures. Air frying at high temperatures produces results similar to those of grilling. I find that frying at lower temperatures, which results in longer cooks, only dries out the meat and makes the skin rubbery. The recommendation here is to cook your chicken drumsticks at 400F – 410F, most likely the highest temperature on your air fryer.
  • When it comes to how long you should cook the drumsticks in the air fryer, the proof has shown that it takes about 30 minutes at 400F and about 25 minutes at 410F. Keep in mind each air fryer brand can cook a little different when it comes to times.

Check out this recipe for yummy Extra Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks!

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

With this air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe, you’ll have extra crispy and extra addicting delicious drumsticks.

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Top Side Dishes To Go With Your Air Fryer Drumsticks

As far as side dishes go, these air fryer chicken drumsticks go just great with so many different options! Personally I love drumsticks with garlic mashed potatoes. They compliment each other so well.
However, this is a matter of your own personal choice. You can also try a healthier option, such as a delicious tomato and cucumber salad.
To maximize your air fryer abilities you could also opt for crunchy air fryer French fries as an accompaniment. Other classic alternatives include biscuits, greens, cornbread, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, slaw and the list goes on.

We Highly Recommend These Yummy Recipes!!

Keto Air Fryer Roasted Eggplant

This roasted eggplant recipe is super quick, simple and healthy option of a side dish!

Keto Air Fryer Roasted Eggplant

Keto Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

Imagine fried green tomatoes filled with flavor and crispy texture minus the oil.

Keto Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

Keto air Fryer Green Bean Casserole

Get all the flavors from the holidays but ditch the carbs with this amazing recipe.

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Stuffed Air Fryer Potato Recipe

Stuffed Potatoes cooked to perfection in the Air Fryer is a side dish that takes very little effort to make yet yields amazing results! They’re tender and creamy on the inside with crispy skin on the outside.

Stuffed Air Fryer Potato Recipe

For more delicious side dish options to go along with your Air Fried Drumsticks click here.

Storing Your Air Fryer Drumsticks

Any leftovers? No worries!
Leftovers don’t need to be a big deal. If you are left with any drumsticks then you have a few options depending on how low you are planning to keep them. You can either reheat, store, or freeze!

  • Reheat your drumsticks for later in the day and simply place them back in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes.
  • To freeze, after they’ve completely cooled, place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Lastly, you can also place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Leave on the bone or remove the meat from the bone for easier use!

Best Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipes

There are tons of recipes you can follow to make your chicken drumsticks in the air fryer, and we’ve come up with what we think are the best of the best!

1. Keto Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Drumsticks

Avoid the unnecessary carbs with this yummy and easy drumsticks recipe.

Keto Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Drumsticks

2. Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Enjoy this classic and fan-favorite dish without the hassle.

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

3. Air Fryer Southern Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Make delicious Southern chicken drumsticks with this easy air fryer recipe!

Air Fryer Southern Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

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