Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks with savory crispy skin will give you a bite that is tender and juicy. Simple ingredients for a quick dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
One of our family favorites for a quick meal because it is done in less than an hour or can be prepped the day before. You just need a few ingredients like onion powder, Paprika, and pepper. Nothing fancy and you are eating tasty crispy chicken drumsticks right at home.
With easy and simple ingredients, you can get the seasoning done ahead of time. So when you need a quick dinner, you just put them in the air fryer and dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- Chicken Drumsticks with skin on
- Olive oil
- Onion powder
- Dry mustard
- Smoked Paprika
- Ground pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
Just a pinch of cornstarch, a little goes a long way.
Place the chicken drumsticks into a zip-top-bag.
Pour the olive oil over the chicken.
Close the bag and massage the drumsticks to coat them with the oil.
Sprinkle the cornstarch, onion powder, salt, dry mustard, smoked paprika, and ground pepper.
Close the bag and massage to coat all the chicken drumsticks.
Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket, don’t overpack the basket so they can cook evenly. For this recipe, I did 2 batches. I used a Cosori 5.8 Qt. with 4 medium-sized drumsticks in each batch.
Cook in the air fryer on manual setting at 400 degrees F. for 9 minutes. Flip them and cook for an additional 8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 to 175 degrees F. We like them above 175 degrees F. because the higher temperature gives a more tender and tastier drumstick.
Serve and Enjoy!
You can substitute the onion with garlic powder and the drumsticks with chicken thighs. Now, the cooking time for the thighs will vary. Sweet Paprika is a good switch for the smoked Paprika.
The seasoning can be modified to your desired taste. Also, think about a simple glaze like BBQ sauce or even a thicker teriyaki sauce halfway thru to add dinner magic. You can keep it simple by adding grated Parmiggiano cheese, sesame seeds, or fresh herbs once they are done.
- Seasonings – You can replace the seasoning with Ranch (or your favorite), lemon pepper, or simply use salt and pepper.
- Spicy – Add red pepper chili flakes, press in some jalapeno juice, or even Thai chilis.
- Deluxe – Sprinkle your favorite cheese with fresh herbs and a dipping sauce.
- Kid-friendly – Lose the Paprika for celery seed. Or make it sweeter with the kids’ favorite dipping sauce.
- Air Fryer
- Zip-top-bag (1 gallon) or mixing bowl
Keep leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze them for up to 4 months. You can even rewarm them in the air fryer, win-win.
Chicken Drumsticks go great with…
Cheesy Garlic Bread Our go-to for a quick side or just a tasty treat. No such thing as to much CHHEEESSEE!
Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes Give those leftover mashed potatoes one more go with our WoW-Factor!
Sausage Meatballs If you need a meatier addition, these are prepped and cooked in under 20 minutes. BAM!
Cinnamon Tortilla Chips and Apple Pie Dip are a simple dessert or great snack at home. Filling your kitchen with incredible Fall aromas of cinnamon and apple.
What did you think of the savory crispy skin? How about the tender bite?
Let us know below.
Chicken Drumsticks in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer
- Zip-top-bag (Mixing bowl)
- 8 2 pounds chicken drumsticks (with skin on)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon smoked Paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Place the chicken drumsticks into a bag.
- Pour the olive oil over the drumsticks.
- Close the bag and massage the chicken to coat it with the oil.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch, onion powder, salt, dry mustard, smoked paprika, and ground pepper.
- Close the bag and massage to coat all the chicken drumsticks.
- Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket, don’t overpack the basket so they can cook evenly.
- Cook in the air fryer on a manual setting at 400 degrees F. for 9 minutes. Flip them and cook for an additional 8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 to 175 degrees F.
- That's it, Enjoy!
The most I have done is 24 hours because this is one of our go-to overnight recipes. I usually do it the night before when I know that crazy day is tomorrow. And when I forget, I can still have dinner done in under 30 minutes.
No. Actually what we have found out is above 175 degrees F. the connective tissue in the drumsticks starts to break down and give a more tender bite. Additional cornstarch aids in developing crispy skin, which helps keep the moisture in the drumsticks.
You can loosely cover them with aluminum foil. Not too tight so the air can circulate a bit, so you don’t lose that crispy skin. Think about reflecting the heat back on the drumsticks.
Remember you will be working with raw chicken. Be careful and follow food safety steps like cleaning your hands and prep surfaces.
Additionally, the minimum recommended safe temperature, per USDA, is 165 degrees F. for cooked chicken. We always use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature.
If you loved the air fryer version and have some more time, you got to give our Smoked Chicken Drumsticks a go. It is one of our favorite short smokes done in just under 2 hours. With mesquite wood and a simple rub, now you have classic Texas BBQ at home.