How to make drumsticks in the Airfryer (2023)

Air frying has become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy alternative to traditional deep frying. Chicken thighs are the perfect dish for air frying. Air frying ensures even roasting of the chicken while maintaining its juiciness, as well as a delicious crispy skin. In this article, we'll talk about the benefits of cooking drumsticks in the air fryer, preparing drumsticks for air frying, seasoning options, cooking best practices, serving suggestions, flavor comparisons, and frequently asked questions.

The benefits of cooking a leg in a deep fryer

One of the main advantages of cooking chicken legs in a fryer is that it is a healthier option than deep frying. Air frying requires less oil, resulting in less fat and calories. In addition, air frying ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and you don't have to worry about hot oil stains that can make the chicken greasy or burnt. You'll also get a delicious crunchy crust without breadcrumbs or flour, which can be high in carbs and calories.

Another advantage of cooking drumsticks in a fryer is that it is a quick and convenient method of cooking. Air fryers heat up quickly and cook faster than traditional ovens, making them a great option for busy nights of the week. In addition, air fryers are easy to clean and maintain, with most models having dishwasher-safe parts.

Finally, air frying allows for the versatility of seasoning and flavoring chicken legs. You can experiment with different spices, herbs and marinades to create unique and delicious flavor combinations. In addition, air frying allows you to easily experiment with different cooking techniques, such as adding glaze or sauce during the cooking process for extra flavor and moisture.

Preparation of the drumstick for air frying

Before the legs are cooked, they need to be seasoned both inside and outside the chicken. You can even make a marinade for a stronger flavor profile. Then, preheat the fryer to 360° F to 400° F for a few minutes. If your fryer does not have a preheat mode, you can preheat it for a few minutes.

Once the fryer is heated, place the drumsticks in the basket in a single layer, making sure they are not touching. This way the chicken will cook evenly and become crispy on all sides. You may need to cook the drumsticks in batches if the fryer isn't big enough to hold them all at once.

It is important to check the internal temperature of the chicken to make sure it is fully cooked. The USDA recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Spice options for air-fried drumstick

Seasoning the chicken legs before cooking is essential to get the best flavor. You can experiment with different herbs and spices, but some classic options include salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, and herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano. Don't be afraid to vary and create the flavors you love.

If you're looking for a healthier option, you can use low-sodium spices or even make your own spice blends. For example, you can mix together cumin, coriander, and chili powder for a Mexican-inspired flavor, or combine turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon for a Middle Eastern twist.

Another tip is to marinate the drumsticks before frying them. This can help flavor the meat and keep it moist. You can use a simple marinade of lemon juice, olive oil and spices, or try something more complex, such as soy sauce and honey marinade.

Best practices for cooking a drumstick in a deep fryer

When you are ready to start cooking the legs, place them in the airfryer basket so that they are not touching and will cook evenly. Cook the legs at 360°F for about 20 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Be careful not to overcook the chicken as the meat can become dry and rubbery.

Another important tip when roasting drumsticks in the Airfryer is to marinate them first. This not only adds flavor to the chicken but also helps keep it moist during the cooking process. You can use different marinades, such as barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, or even a simple mix of olive oil, lemon juice, and spices.

Finally, it is important that the chopsticks rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to be redistributed throughout the meat, making the chicken more tender and flavorful. You can cover the legs with foil and set aside for about 5 minutes before serving.

How long do you cook drumsticks in the Airfryer?

The cooking time of a chicken leg depends on the thickness of the meat and the size of the airfryer. As a general rule of thumb, cooking time can be 25 to 45 minutes at 360°F to 400°F.

Please note that cooking times may vary depending on the desired level of crispiness. If you prefer your chicken legs to be extra crispy, you may need to increase the cooking time by a few minutes.

In addition, it is recommended to turn the drumsticks halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking on both sides. This will also help you get a more evenly browned and crispy exterior.

Tips for getting a crispy crust on air-fried drumsticks

Getting the crispy skin of an air-fried chicken leg is all about preparation. Pat the chicken skin dry with a paper towel before cooking to remove moisture. You can also cook the drumsticks at a higher temperature in the Airfryer to make them extra crispy. Try cooking at 400°F for the last 5-7 minutes for a golden brown and crunchy crust texture.

Another tip for getting a crispy crust on air-fried drumsticks is to season the chicken with a dry crust or marinade before cooking. This not only adds flavor but also helps remove excess moisture from the skin. You can use a variety of spices such as garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper to create a deliciously crunchy coating.

Finally, it is important not to overfill the airfryer basket when frying the drumsticks. This will keep the chicken steaming and not crunchy. Make sure there is enough space between the chopsticks for good air circulation. You may need to cook the drumsticks in batches to ensure even cooking and the crispy crust you're looking for.

Suggestions for serving air-fried drumsticks

There are many ways to serve air-fried chicken drumsticks. You can combine them with your favorite sauce or glaze or serve with vegetables, mashed potatoes or rice. Chicken legs are a great snack or appetizer, but you can also serve them as a main course. As always, you can be creative and experiment with different spices, herbs and additives.

If you're looking for a healthier option, try air-fried drumsticks with a side salad or roasted vegetables. You can also try different breadcrumbs or coatings, such as panko breadcrumbs or crushed corn flakes, for a unique texture and flavor. Another fun idea is to serve drumsticks as part of game day, along with other appetizers like mozzarella sticks and jalapeno peppers. No matter how you serve them, the air-fried chopsticks are sure to please the crowd!

Comparison of the taste of air-fried drumsticks with other cooking methods

Air-fried chicken legs give a crispy skin and succulent meat similar to deep frying. Compared to deep-frying, air-fried drumsticks are less greasy and the meat is less likely to become dry or overcooked. Air frying is also a healthier option as it requires less oil than frying or pan frying.

Frequently asked questions about frying drumsticks in the Airfryer

1. Can I cook frozen chicken legs in the fryer?

Yes, you can prepare frozen drumsticks in the Airfryer. However, it is recommended to defrost the chicken first for even cooking.

2. Do I need to turn the drumsticks when cooking in the fryer?

Yes, it is recommended to turn the chicken halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking and a crispy skin on all sides.

3. What size fryer do I need to fry a drumstick?

The size of the Airfryer's basket should be at least 3.5 liters and allows you to cook 4 to 5 drumsticks at the same time.

In short, air-fried chicken legs are a healthier option than traditional deep-frying, and yield a crispy skin and succulent meat that's hard to beat. With the right seasoning, preparation, and cooking techniques, air-fried chicken legs are sure to delight your taste buds and make for a delicious and healthy meal.


How long do you cook drumsticks in an air fryer? ›

Drumsticks take 18 to 20 minutes in the air fryer at 400 degrees F. Turn once halfway through. The chicken legs can be ready in the time it takes you to throw together a quick Arugula Salad or side of Sautéed Brussels Sprouts. Simple prep time and cooking time!

Do you have to flip drumsticks in an air fryer? ›

Do You Flip Chicken When Air Frying? Yes — don't forget to flip your air fryer chicken drumsticks after 15 minutes so that they cook all the way through. You can use a food-safe thermometer to check that the drumsticks' internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F before serving.

What temperature should chicken be cooked in Airfryer? ›

After testing a variety of temperatures, I found that 375 degrees F is the best temperature for air frying chicken. Because the air fryer uses convection heat, you do not need to set it as high as you would an oven (in a regular oven, 425 degrees F is best for baking chicken, like Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast).

How long does raw drumsticks take to cook? ›

Arrange the chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet spaced out enough so they are not touching. You can line the baking sheet in parchment for easier cleanup if desired. Bake the chicken drumsticks for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 175ºF. What is this?

Can I put foil in air fryer? ›

However, it's pretty tempting to throw a little foil in there to catch any drips and make clean-up even easier, but is that allowed? The short answer is yes, you can put aluminum foil in the air fryer.

Is air frying chicken messy? ›

Recipes that use a wet batter, including fried chicken, will end up being very messy if cooked in an air fryer. This is because there won't be enough hot oil to set the batter, and it will likely drip everywhere rather than forming a crunchy coating.

Do you layer in air fryer? ›

Air-fried foods only turn out so temptingly crispy and golden if they're given enough space inside the appliance for the air to circulate. For best results, cook foods in a single layer.

Does chicken cook faster in the air fryer or oven? ›

It's fast: Compared to an oven, chicken cooks quite efficiently in the air fryer. Typically, you'll shave off about 30 percent to 40 percent of the cooking time by using an air fryer. Again, this is thanks to its compact size, which allows hot air to circulate more rapidly.

Can you stack drumsticks in air fryer? ›

To cook the chicken legs, lay them in one flat layer. They can be slighly touching if needed, but don't stack them. We need the air to flow freely around the chicken, so they need some space to cook. Stacking them is not recommend at all.

What is the cooking time and temperature for drumsticks? ›

How long to cook baked chicken drumsticks. Baked chicken drumsticks take about 45 minutes when baked at 400 degrees. This cooking time is typically the same when baking at any temperature between 350 and 425 degrees.

Can you overcook chicken in an air fryer? ›

The #1 tip for the best chicken breasts in an air fryer is: Don't overcook them! Chicken breasts should be cooked to 160°F, but if you cook them all the way to that temperature in the air fryer, carryover cooking will take them beyond that temp and cause them to dry out.

At what temperature are drumsticks done in air fryer? ›

Set the air fryer temperature to 400 degrees. Preheat for 5 minutes, then place the chicken legs in the basket. Cook for 10 minutes, flip the chicken, and continue to cook for 10 minutes. If the chicken has not reached 165 degrees, cook for an additional 3-5 minutes at 400 degrees.

Can I use Pam in my air fryer? ›

Can you use PAM in the air fryer? You should not use nonstick cooking spray such as PAM in an air fryer because it can damage the lining of the air fryer basket. Avoid any pressurized, propellant oil sprays which have chemicals added to them. You can use a non-aerosol pump-style oil spray that has no propellant.

What cooking spray is best for air fryer? ›

Coconut Oil is a favorite for air fryers! It's great at medium to high temperatures and gives a great flavor to your food. While most spray oils don't give off any flavor, coconut oil does. Of course, there is the usual nonstick spray like Pam Cooking Spray.

Is it better to bake drumsticks at 350 or 400? ›

Option #1: Bake chicken legs at a higher temperature – between 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. A lower temp like 350 degrees Fahrenheit won't result in crispy skin, but it will still be juicy and delicious.

Should you wash drumsticks before cooking? ›

Should You Wash Chicken? No. Do not wash chicken (or any other raw meat for that matter). Rinsing raw chicken in the sink can spread harmful bacteria all over and around the sink, as well as spray water droplets outside of the sink and into other areas of your kitchen.

Why are my chicken drumsticks tough? ›

Overcooking might play a role in your chicken's tire-like texture. Leaving chicken in a pan, oven, or grill for just a little too long can suck the moisture right out and leave you with a dry, rubbery bird. Without moisture, the protein fibers in the chicken become elastic.

What can I use in my air fryer if I don't have aluminum foil? ›

Parchment paper is a wonderful alternative to aluminum foil for both oven baking/roasting and air-frying.

Can you cook 2 things at once in air fryer? ›

With an air fryer, you can prepare multiple ingredients at the same time. The separator that some of them come with the appliance will enable you to divide the ingredients in the basket or pan and cook both foods at the same time.

What containers can you use in an air fryer? ›

But before, sticking anything in it, a good tip to know is that you can use any ovenproof dish or container in an air fryer, whether it is made of glass, ceramic, metal or silicone. You are also perfectly fine using metal foil, which can help making cleaning easier.

Why is my chicken rubbery in air fryer? ›

Just follow the instructions and make sure you keep an eye in the temperature of the chicken in the final minutes. Since the Air Fryer works with convection heat, there is no need to cook chicken at very high temperatures, as it may quickly dry out and turn rubbery.

What I wish I knew before I get an air fryer? ›

7 Things You Should Know BEFORE Buying an Air Fryer
  • 1) It's loud.
  • 2) It smokes a lot.
  • 3) It only goes up to 400 degrees.
  • 4) You can't see the food.
  • 5) It won't do batter fried food.
  • 6) You still have to add oil.
  • 7) The inside is entirely coated with non-stick surfaces.
Feb 16, 2019

Why is my air fried chicken not crispy? ›

Oil or fat has not been used correctly

To find out how to use oil in your airfryer correctly, please follow the next tips: Dry the outside of the food properly before you add oil. Do not use too much oil, as this will make the food less crispy and more fattening.

Do you put skin side up or down in air fryer? ›

-You do not need to remove the skin before cooking. Air fry the salmon with the skin side down, on the bottom. -You do not need to flip the salmon while cooking.

Do you still need to flip food in air fryer? ›

Just as you would if you were cooking on a grill or in a skillet, you need to turn foods over so that they brown evenly. Open the air fryer as often as you like to check for doneness.

Do you put fat side up or down in air fryer? ›

Place it FAT SIDE DOWN (if it has a fat cap) and begin air frying. This is the searing stage, and you'll want to leave it in there for 15 minutes to seal in those juices and start to develop that lovely crust on the outside.

Are drumsticks better in the oven or air fryer? ›

You can prep these chicken legs in just a few minutes while your air fryer preheats. Since the air fryer cooks chicken legs much faster than the oven, in less than 30 minutes you'll have the most flavorful drumsticks ready to enjoy! You are going to love cooking chicken legs in the air fryer.

What is the rule of thumb for air fryer? ›

When taking a recipe from oven to air fryer, the general rule is to reduce the temperature by 20ºC – 30ºC, and cook for 20% less time.

Is it better to air fry or bake chicken in the air fryer? ›

Air frying is the best way to cook tender chicken in less time, since there's no preheating the oven. And with my simple seasoning blend, these flavorful chicken breasts not only make an easy weeknight dinner, but they're perfect for meal prep too.

Do you flip chicken halfway in air fryer? ›

The Best Air Fryers

This all may sound self-explanatory, but it's an important fact to remember: Even if your air fryer has top-notch air circulation from its fan, you need to give most larger pieces of food (such as pork chops, burgers, and chicken cutlets) a turn about halfway through cooking.

Can chicken touch each other in the air fryer? ›

Place the pieces of chicken in the air fryer basket, making sure they don't overlap or touch each other to help ensure even cooking.

How long does it take to cook 6 drumsticks in an air fryer? ›

Preheat air fryer to 400ºF. Toss drumsticks with oil and then sprinkle and rub with spices. Place in air fryer in a single layer. Cook for 10 minutes, turn drumsticks over, and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Can you cook drumsticks at 400? ›

In a 400 degree oven baked chicken drumsticks take about 35 to 45 minutes to cook through depending on their size. Here's the how to for this recipe: Move oven rack up one level from center and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Why do drumsticks take so long to cook? ›

white meat. Dark meat, such as chicken thighs or legs, will take longer to cook, because they have a higher fat content and density. Boneless thighs will take 20 to 30 minutes to cook at 350F (dependent on size). Bone-in cuts will require an extra 15 minutes in the oven.

What temp is safe for drumsticks? ›

Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks:

Cook to an internal temperature of 170 degrees F.

What happens if you don t flip chicken in air fryer? ›

If the air fryer is not overcrowded or you don't cook big pieces of meat, then it is not needed to flip the food because the hot air can easily circulate between the food and the food will cook evenly on all sides.

Can you undercook chicken in an air fryer? ›

So the goal of cooking chicken breasts in the air fryer is to cook them just right, quickly, without much oil, and get the most perfect juicy and moist chicken breast! You don't want to overcook them as that can mean dry chicken. You don't want to undercook them, because that, of course, means raw chicken.

Do you flour chicken when air frying? ›

The top section of an air fryer holds a heating mechanism and fan. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and when you turn it on, hot air rushes down and around the food. This rapid circulation makes the food crisp—much like deep-frying, but without the oil.

Do you wash chicken before air fryer? ›

Here are a few simple tips for making chicken breasts in your air fryer! Don't wash chicken breasts - Rinsing chicken adds extra cleanup because it contaminates surfaces in your kitchen. The safest way to remove bacteria from chicken is to cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature.

Why did my chicken burn in the air fryer? ›

The food is too small

Food that is too small in an air fryer basket could slip right through the slots and fall onto a heating element. The pieces will burn quickly, which could fill your food—and your kitchen—with fumes and smoke.

How to tell if air fryer chicken is cooked without thermometer? ›

Poke the meat to see if juices are red or clear

This method applies to chicken specifically. For properly cooked chicken, if you cut into it and the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or have a pinkish color, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.

How long do drumsticks take in air fryer? ›

Drumsticks take 18 to 20 minutes in the air fryer at 400 degrees F. Turn once halfway through. The chicken legs can be ready in the time it takes you to throw together a quick Arugula Salad or side of Sautéed Brussels Sprouts. Simple prep time and cooking time!

What do you eat with chicken drumsticks? ›

Some of the tastiest side dishes for drumsticks include garlic mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and roasted veggies. If you're in the mood for a salad, create a colourful mix of avocado, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber, and drizzle with a zesty lemon-garlic dressing.

How long do chicken drumsticks take at 350? ›

Roast bone-in chicken legs at an oven temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes. You'll know the chicken is ready when its internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long chicken drumsticks at 400 degrees? ›

At 400 degrees, drumsticks should only take around 20-25 minutes to bake all the way through to 165 degrees F. The cooking time may vary, depending on how crowded your oven is, how often you open the oven door and simply the oven itself, so always be sure to use an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness.

Can you overcook drumsticks? ›

Overcooking can cause the chicken to become dry and tough, but it will not necessarily make it unsafe. To avoid this issue, always use a food thermometer and check the internal temperature of the meat before serving. If the temperature is above 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it means that your chicken is overcooked.

Can I put frozen drumsticks in the air fryer? ›

Best of all, you can cook these chicken drumsticks in the air fryer from raw or frozen, in case you find yourself running low on time for defrosting. Just pull them from the freezer and toss them in the air fryer.

Are chicken drumsticks healthy? ›

Chicken drumsticks are an excellent source of protein, essential amino acids and several vitamins and minerals.


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