How to Cook Chicken Drumsticks in Air Fryer

Chicken drumsticks are a popular and budget-friendly protein that can be easily prepared in a variety of cooking methods. One of the easiest ways to cook chicken drumsticks is in an air fryer. Air fryers are a great appliance that can cook chicken drumsticks to perfection within a shorter time compared to conventional ovens. In this article, we will discuss how to cook chicken drumsticks in an air fryer, step-by-step.

What You’ll Need

Before we begin, it is essential to ensure that you have all the necessary utensils and ingredients for the recipe. Here is what you need:

  • 6-8 Chicken Drumsticks
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have your ingredients let’s dive into how to cook chicken drumsticks in an air fryer.

Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 375°F for five minutes to ensure it’s hot enough to cook your chicken.

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken

Mix the garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Apply the mixture evenly on the chicken drumsticks and pour the olive oil over them. Massage the chicken well to distribute the seasoning and oil evenly.

Step 3: Place the Chicken in Your Air Fryer

Place your seasoned chicken drumsticks in the air fryer basket and make sure that they are well-spaced, with at least a half-inch of space between each piece.

Step 4: Cook the Chicken

Now, it’s time to cook your chicken drumsticks. Set your air fryer to cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the drumsticks. Remember, air fryers cook food faster than traditional ovens because of the circulating hot air.

After 10 minutes of cooking, flip the drumsticks over so that they cook evenly on both sides.

Step 5: Check for Doneness

The best way to check if your chicken drumsticks are cooked is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a meat thermometer, you can pierce the drumstick with a fork. If the juices are clear, the chicken drumstick is cooked.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

  • Ensure that the chicken is at room temperature before cooking.
  • Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking.
  • Allow space between the chicken drumsticks to allow the hot air to circulate.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness rather than relying on the cooking time.
  • Don’t skip the seasoning and oil as they add flavor to the chicken.


Is it okay to cook frozen chicken drumsticks in an air fryer?

It is not recommended to cook frozen chicken drumsticks in an air fryer. Always thaw your chicken in the refrigerator before cooking.

Should I preheat the air fryer before cooking chicken drumsticks?

Yes. Preheating your air fryer ensures that it has reached the desired cooking temperature and is ready to cook your chicken drumsticks to perfection.

How do I store leftover cooked chicken drumsticks?

Allow your cooked chicken drumsticks to cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze them for up to six months in a freezer-safe container.

Can I add BBQ sauce to my chicken drumsticks?

Yes! You can add BBQ sauce to your chicken drumsticks during the last five minutes of cooking. Brush the sauce evenly on the chicken and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Can I use boneless chicken breasts instead of chicken drumsticks?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken breasts to make this recipe, but they will require a shorter cooking time of approximately 12-15 minutes.

In conclusion, cooking chicken drumsticks in an air fryer is a great way to get perfectly cooked chicken with less time and effort. With this step-by-step guide and tips, you can cook delicious chicken drumsticks in an air fryer, easily. Enjoy!