Air Fryer Chicken Legs
Jun 22, 2020, Updated Oct 16, 2023
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Air fryer chicken legs are juicy, crispy, and taste like fried chicken without all the extra oil. These chicken drumsticks make a wonderful, quick dinner for busy weeknights.
Chicken drumsticks are an easy meal that everyone will enjoy. These air fryer chicken legs have quickly become a family favorite. They go with so many different side dishes and can be made quickly. We also like to occasionally add BBQ sauce, wing sauce, or teriyaki sauce.
There are many reasons I love cooking with an air fryer:
- Air frying gives food a crispy, “fried”, texture without excess oil.
- You don’t have to turn on the stove or oven plus the air fryer is easy to use.
- Easy clean-up.
Why this recipe works
- Crispy skin without extra grease.
- Low-carb, glueten-free and Keto friendly recipe.
- An easy recipe that cooks up fast, about 30 minutes.
- Can use different seasoning or sauces to change the flavor profile.
- Chicken drumsticks – These are typically very affordable and easy to cook.
- Olive oil – You could also use avocado, vegetable, or canola oil.
- Spices – Feel free to use your favorite seasoning. For this recipe we are using a blend of paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
How to make air fryer chicken legs
Scroll down for full printable recipe, ingredients and video.
- Preheat: Preheat the air fryer at 390 degrees F for 3-5 minutes.
- Prepare: Pat chicken legs dry and place in either a large food storage bag or a large bowl. Pour oil over the chicken legs and move around to coat. Add the seasoning and toss to coat.
- Cook: Place drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook at 390 degrees F for 10 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook again at 390 degrees F for another 10 minutes. The total cook time will be 20-25 minutes.
Adding sauce to air fryer chicken legs
If you would like to add sauce, wait until the chicken drumsticks have finished cooking and then toss in the sauce.
You can also spread on BBQ sauce the last five minutes of cooking for a “baked-in” BBQ flavor.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before coating them with oil and spices to hep get nice, crisp chicken legs skins.
- Don’t put too many chicken legs in the air fryer. Be sure not to stack them because you want the hot air to be able to circulate around the food to achieve even cooking.
- Try to avoid chicken on the chicken too often so that the heat does not escape.
- Use a digital meat thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
- If you want to cook more than 8 drumsticks, double the amount of oil and spices.
How long to cook chicken legs in the air fryer
One thing to keep in mind when cooking with air fryer is each brand can cook a little different when it comes to cook times. My chicken legs cooked in 20 minutes with the Cosori air fryer. If the internal temperature hasn’t reached 165 degrees F, add 2-5 minutes to cooking time.
How to store
Store: Store any leftover chicken drumsticks 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.
Freeze: To freeze, let them completely cool, place on a baking sheet in the freezer until legs are frozen. Place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Can you cook frozen drumsticks in the air fryer? Yes, you can cook them from frozen, just add another 10 minutes to the cook time.
Reheat: Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or back in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes. You can also remove the meat from the bone and heat in the microwave.
Yes, raw chicken can be cooked in the air fryer.
Chicken can sometimes become rubbery if cooked too long in the air fryer.
If you would like a crispier skin, it’s important to add a little oil, however you can omit the oil if needed.
More air fryer recipes
- Air fryer chicken breast – These cook up quick and can be used for many different recipes.
- Air fryer whole chicken – Whole chicken in the air fryer is perfect for meal preparation.
- Air fryer meatloaf – Classic dish with crispy outside and tender inside.
- Air fryer grilled cheese – Serve with salad or soup for an easy meal.
If you made this air fryer chicken legs recipe, please feel free to leave a comment and star rating below.
Air Fry Chicken Legs
- 6-8 chicken drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat air fryer for 2-5 minutes.
- Pat drumsticks dry with paper towel. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Place chicken in a large bowl or food storage bag. Pour oil and spices over chicken. Mix around until chicken is coated.
- Add chicken to air fryer basket. Cook at 390 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip drumsticks over and cook for another 10 minutes at 390 degrees F.
- Serve warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.