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Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

When I was growing up, chicken drumsticks were a staple of our summertime menu. My mother would bake them, then pack them up and we would take them to the beach to have dinner there. It is one of my fondest food memories. With the advent of the air fryer, you can make chicken drumsticks like my mother did but with half the effort.

A stack of seasoned and cooked chicken drumsticks on a white surface.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Like so many of the other air fryer recipes I’ve shared so far, when you want to make chicken drumsticks, you can get it done fast. Prep time is only 10 minutes. Cook time is about double that. So, a dinner ready in about 30 minutes. Who can argue with that?

Ingredients Overview and Instructions

Raw chicken drumsticks on a wooden board with small bowls of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and avocado oil. Note indicates missing dried rosemary.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Step-by-step instructions

Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pat dry the chicken drumsticks using paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This will help the skin to become crispy. Also, it helps the seasonings stick to the skin.

A clear bowl containing five raw chicken drumsticks on a white background.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

In a large bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried rosemary. Then, rub the mixture on the chicken drumsticks to season them.

Raw chicken drumsticks seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika placed in a white bowl.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Next, drizzle the chicken drumsticks with avocado oil, ensuring they are evenly coated. Don’t pour it on too quickly or you’ll wash away all of the ingredients you just used to season the drumsticks.

Raw chicken drumsticks seasoned with spices are placed in a clear glass bowl.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Place the seasoned chicken drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Try to leave some space between them for even cooking. This where using a slightly larger size air fryer will work to your advantage. Then the drumsticks won’t be crowded in the basket.

Six seasoned chicken drumsticks arranged in an air fryer basket, ready for cooking.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Cook the drumsticks in the air fryer at 380F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are fully cooked.

Six seasoned chicken drumsticks are shown being cooked in an air fryer basket, with a pair of tongs holding one.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Once cooked, remove the drumsticks from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. When you cut into them, they will be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

These drumsticks may replace my other favorite chicken dish — fried chicken in the Crock Pot. For something a bit saucier, check out our barbecue chicken in the air fryer recipe.

A close-up of a wooden board with seasoned, roasted chicken drumsticks, garnished with lemon wedges and herbs. One drumstick is partially eaten, revealing tender meat inside.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

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A close-up of cooked chicken drumsticks seasoned with spices, one partially eaten to reveal the white meat inside.

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

When I was growing up, chicken drumsticks were a staple of our summertime menu. My mother would bake them, then pack them up and we would take them to the beach to have dinner there. It is one of my fondest food memories. With the advent of the air fryer, you can make chicken drumsticks like my mother did but with half the effort.
Like so many of ther other air fryer recipes I've shared so far, when you want to make chicken drumsticks, you can get it done fast. Prep time is only 10 minutes. Cook time is about double that. So, a dinner ready in about 30 minutes. Who can argue with that?
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 278 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 7 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil You can substitue another high smoke point oil of your choosing.
  • 2 teaspoons paprika We used smoked paprika.
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary. If you have some fresh rosemary, feel free to add or substitute.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes.
  • pat dry the chicken drumsticks using paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried rosemary.
  • Add chicke drumsticks to bowl.
  • Rub the mixture on the chicken drumsticks to season them well.
  • Drizzle the chicken drumsticks with avocado oil.
  • Place the seasoned chicken drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Try to leave some space between them for even cooking.
  • Cook the drumsticks in the air fryer at 380F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Halfway through the cook time, flip the drumsticks.
  • When the internal temperature of the chicken is at 165°F (74°C), they are fully cooked.
  • Remove the drumsticks from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Experiment with different spice blends to suit your taste preferences. 
  • You can try variations with cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, or even a BBQ rub.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 24gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 720mgPotassium: 329mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 555IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer

Please note that nutrient values, if included with the recipe, are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability/substitution and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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