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BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Legs (Drumsticks)

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This easy recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe is the ideal weeknight supper. Perfectly cooked air fryer BBQ chicken drumsticks made with only a few and easy ingredients and only 30 minutes to prepare. Read on to find out how to cook chicken in the air fryer.

bbq chicken drumsticks sitting next to an air fryer and bowl of bbq sauce

bbq chicken legs in the air fryer

I’m a huge fan of fast and simple air fryer recipes and our family loves air fryer chicken. During a busy weekday, I’m either making these chicken legs or my famous air fryer mini meatloaves. They are one of our go-to dishes when we want something quick and simple with few ingredients in one pot.

These Chicken Drumsticks have become a family favorite and are often included on our weekly rotation as a comfort food.

  • Healthier chicken drumsticks are deliciously crispy, yet juicy on the inside, and really simple to cook. Who doesn’t love a good air fryer chicken recipe?
  • So delectable: the spices combined with the barbecue sauce will make these drumsticks finger-licking wonderful!
  • Simple: There is no need for oil; in fact, you may remove the skin and cook without it for a healthier choice. Additionally, look for a low-sugar or sugar-free BBQ sauce when air frying!
brushing bbq sauce on chicken drumsticks

how long to cook chicken drumsticks in air fryer

Drumsticks should be air fried for 10 minutes at 400°F, flipped, then another 10 minutes at 400°F. Drumsticks should reach a minimum internal temperature of 170°F before serving.

instructions for air frying

This recipe is very simple: all you need is spices, a drumstick, and BBQ sauce. Easy and straightforward to assemble, relying heavily on the air fryer to perform the majority of the work!

Pro tip: before we begin, pat dry your chicken with paper towels.

steps for making air fryer bbq chicken
  1. Combine the spices: To begin, add the chicken, table salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and extra-virgin olive oil to a large bowl. Rub the seasoning liberally all over the drumsticks with clean hands.
  2. *Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to enable the flavors to permeate the meat.
  3. Preheat air fryer as follows: Set temperature to 380°F and, if preferred, line a roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy cleaning.
  4. Air Fry: Place the marinated chicken pieces directly into the air fryer tray and cook them at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Flip the chicken over at the 13 minute mark, adding more BBQ sauce. Place the chicken back into the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
brushing bbq sauce on chicken legs on a plate

expert tips

Follow these expert tips for perfect chicken drumsticks in the air fryer.

  • Avoid overcrowding your air fryer; this prevents the chicken from being crispy and properly frying.
  • BBQ Sauce: Utilize your preferred healthy BBQ sauce. You can discover some that are low in sugar or even completely sugar-free.
  • Save time: If you’re tight for time, you may omit the marinating step.

substitutions

  • Chicken: this chicken leg air fryer recipe calls for chicken legs, but you can instead use chicken wings. With wings, you’ll want to shorten the cooking time.
  • Or, you may substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs for a healthier choice.
chicken legs smothered in bbq sauce

how to tell when chicken legs are done in air fryer

  • You’ll know when they’re really crispy and delicate when touched with a fork or tongs.
  • You’ll want to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
  • A kitchen thermometer is helpful if you do not already have one.

are drumsticks healthy?

Chicken is a more nutritious meat than red meat/beef. There’s about 400 calories in two drumsticks for this recipe.

While the thighs, wings, and drumsticks are not as lean and healthful as the breast, when cooked without the skin, the drumsticks are relatively low in fat and rich in protein.

what to serve with chicken legs

My family loves to eat these chicken legs with Classic Southern Cornbread. You may also serve this dish with salad, slaw, or a vegetable side dish/

tongs lifting a bbq chicken leg from the air fryer basket

leftovers

  • refrigerate: These Chicken Drumsticks are so scrumptious that you’ll be fortunate to have any leftovers! Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days. When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave or bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 air fryer.
  • freeze: Air fried chicken legs may also be frozen; store in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags for up to three months. To reheat, thaw them in the refrigerator and then set them back in the air fryer for 10 minutes to finish heating.
air fried bbq chicken with caramelized sauce in a stack

Air Fryer BBQ Drumsticks

The easiest BBQ air fryer chicken drumsticks ever. Made in under 30 minutes, these chicken legs are crisp and sticky on the outside, yet juicy and tender on the inside.
4.6 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Amber

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Into a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, table salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Ensure the chicken pieces are coated evenly with the spices and oil.
  • Place the marinated chicken pieces directly into the air fryer tray and cook them at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Flip the chicken over at the 13 minute mark.
  • After 25 minutes, take the chicken out and coat it on both sides with BBQ sauce. Use the tongs to help you grip and coat the chicken on the opposite side.
  • Place the chicken back into the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Notes

How to store leftovers

REFRIGERATE: Refrigerate leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 days. When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave or bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 air fryer.
FREEZE: Air fried chicken legs may also be frozen; store in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags for up to three months. To reheat, thaw them in the refrigerator and then set them back in the air fryer for 10 minutes to finish heating.

Nutrition

Serving: 2drumsticks | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 1107mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




Susan

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

These are the absolute best drumsticks I've ever had. Thanks for sharing!