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Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

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Air fryer chicken drumsticks are one of the easiest ways to cook chicken. They come out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and are totally delicious.

This recipe will show you an easy way to add flavor to the chicken drumsticks plus tips and tricks for getting the best air fried chicken.

air fryer chicken drumsticks on white plate sprinkled with bits of parsley

Crispy Air Fryer Drumsticks

I love chicken drumsticks because they’re cheaper than other chicken cuts, easy to cook and kids love them. These drumsticks use a few simple spices that you probably already have in your pantry to create a simple main dish for dinner. You can prep and cook them in under 30 minutes!

A Note About Air Fryers

Before we go any further let’s talk about air fryers. If you already have one, you are probably just beginning to realize how amazing this tool can be in your kitchen. You can air fry so many foods to create crispy deliciousness.

I have the Ninja Foodi Deluxe – it’s an all-in-one that allows me to use it as an air fryer, instant pot, sear, slow cook, steam and even bake food. I love it because it saves space in my kitchen – no need to have an extra instant pot as this appliance will do it all!

cooked chicken drumsticks in an air fryer

Easy Air Fryer Ingredients

CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS – I’m using a pack of five chicken drumsticks for this recipe. You can cook more in your air fryer, but make sure they’re in a single layer for even cooking.

SPICES – This recipe uses simple spices: paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

OLIVE OIL – I used olive oil for this recipe, but you could also use coconut oil, avocado oil or any cooking oil you have already at home.

five cooked air fryer chicken drumsticks on a white plate sprinkled with bits of parsley

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy chicken drumsticks are so easy to make in the air fryer. Everything including prep time and cook time is all done in less than 30 minutes.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add in the chicken drumsticks and toss in the seasoning until fully coated.
  2. Lightly coat the air fryer with cooking spray or olive oil on a paper towel.
  3. Preheat the air fryer for two minutes at 400°F. Add in the chicken drumsticks and cook for 12 minutes, then flip them using a pair of tongs. Cook for another 12-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them in the last couple of minutes so that they don’t burn.

Tips For Perfect Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

  • Preheat your air fryer first. This will give you the best crispy chicken drumsticks.
  • Pat the drumsticks dry with a paper towel before adding to the bowl. This will remove any excess moisture.
  • Always flip the chicken halfway through cooking to get an even crispiness.
  • Check the chicken in the last couple of minutes to make sure they’re not overcooking. Every air fryer is different so it might take a little bit of practice getting used to your temperature and how it works.
  • According to the USDA recommended cooking temperatures, the safest internal temperature for cooking all types of poultry products is 165°F. This is the interior temperature that the meat will read at once removed from the heat source. You can use a food thermometer, which will be poked into the thickest part of the chicken to read the temperature.
close up of cooked chicken drumsticks on white plate. Plate of cooked potatoes in the background.

More Air Fryer Recipes:

Air Fryer Salmon – You can cook your salmon in an air fryer too! This recipe uses a yummy honey mustard marinade.

Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes – These are delicious. I will eat a whole bowl of these myself easily.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts – Crispy and the perfect side dish for chicken. You can also snack on these like kale chips.

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Air fryer chicken drumsticks are one of the easiest ways to cook chicken. They come out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and are totally delicious.
4.25 from 280 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 servings



  • Add olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix together.
  • Add the drumsticks and mix with the paprika sauce so that chicken is evenly coated.
  • Lightly coat the inside of the air fryer tray or basket with olive oil or cooking spray. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 2 minutes.
  • Place drumsticks in a single layer in the air fryer. Cook for 12 minutes then flip over.
  • Cook an additional 12-15 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F as an internal temperature when poked with a meat thermometer.

Recipe Notes:


Calories: 174kcal
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