These Air Fryer Chicken Legs are tender, juicy and flavorful with a crispy exterior! The easiest way to cook those drumsticks!
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If you’ve been hanging out around here over the last couple months, you know we are newly obsessed with the air fryer!
Our favorite things to cook are anything meat — it just comes out so perfectly juicy! This Air Fryer Chicken Breast and these Air Fryer Meatballs are two of our favorites, but these chicken drumsticks are quickly moving up the list.
They are juicy on the inside (hello bone-in, skin on dark meat!), with a crispy and flavorful skin.
The kids love these Air Fryer Chicken Legs because it’s basically dinner on a stick, but we love them because they only take 5 minutes to prep and you can cook them from fresh or frozen!
Tips and tricks!
- Preheat your air fryer — throwing the chicken in when the air fryer is hot means a quicker cook time and more even heat!
- Season well — I borrowed our favorite chicken seasoning from these Pan Fried Chicken Breasts, but you can use a variety of your favorite spices or seasoning blends
- Bring your chicken legs out of the fridge while you prepare your seasoning — letting the chicken warm up, even a little, will mean it cooks through more quickly and evenly
- Let them rest — letting your chicken drumsticks hang out a little before serving them isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it allows the juices to redistribute before you bite into that crispy skin!
How long do you cook air fryer chicken legs?
All chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, and the thermometer should not be touching the bone as it can lead to an inaccurate reading.
For me, this usually takes about 12-15 minutes but it will depend on how large and thick your chicken legs are.
You might also find that even though your chicken is cooked through, you want to give it a few extra minutes for extra crispiness!
This is fine, since the skin keeps the meat juicy even if it is cooked a little longer.
Can you cook frozen chicken drumsticks in the air fryer?
This is one of other things we love about this recipe. On those days when we haven’t thought ahead for dinner, we can throw some frozen chicken drumsticks in the air fryer and the cook time is pretty much hands off.
Chicken drumsticks will take about 25-30 minutes to cook from frozen, but always be sure to check for doneness with a meat thermometer.
It’s an easy, stress free dinner we all love.
Make ’em saucy:
We love to have a variety of sauces to dunk our chicken in!
A bottle of ranch or store bought barbecue sauce is great, but if you have a few minutes while your chicken is cooking, try this Pineapple Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce or this Homemade BBQ Sauce to take things up a notch.
More air fryer recipes!
- Air Fryer Baked Potato — with the perfect crispy skin!
- Air Fryer Pork Chops — so juicy!
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings — perfect for game night
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Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- 6 chicken legs or drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Rub 1 tablespoon of oil over chicken legs. Combine salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika and rub evenly over all chicken legs.
- Brush remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on the air fryer rack in the basket.
- Place seasoned chicken legs in the basket and cook at 400 degrees F for about 8 minutes. Flip, and continue cooking for 6-7 minutes until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached (make sure the meat thermometer is away from the bone). You can cook a few extra minutes if you want them crispier.
- Remove from the air fryer and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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