Ultimate Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

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juicy air fryer chicken drumsticks

Seasoning Chicken Drumsticks

raw chicken drumsticks

One of the joys of cooking chicken drumsticks is the opportunity to experiment with various seasonings.

From classic options like paprika, thyme, and rosemary to more adventurous choices like honey mustard, the possibilities are endless.

Get creative and tailor the seasonings to your taste.

Marinading Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

For an extra burst of flavour, marinate the drumsticks for a few hours before air frying.

This allows the seasonings to penetrate the meat.

air fryer chicken drumsticks


  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Gather Your Ingredients

Before you start to air fry, gather your essentials: fresh chicken drumsticks, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and paprika.

Preparing The Air Fryer Drumsticks

Wash and pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel.

This step ensures that the skin crisps up beautifully during the air frying.

Season or Marinate?

Prepare the seasoning by adding the spices and herbs to a bowl and combine.

Rub some olive oil into the skin of the drumsticks.

Dip each drumstick into the seasoning and coat thoroughly.

For an extra burst of flavour, marinate the Drumsticks for a few hours before air frying.

Preheat Your Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 200C/400F for 5 minutes.

How Long For Chicken Drumsticks In The Air Fryer?

Whether your chicken drumsticks are marinated or just seasoned the cooking time will be the same.

Place the drumsticks in a single layer in the air fryer basket.

Avoid overcrowding to allow proper air circulation.

Air fry the drumsticks at 200C/400F for 20 minutes and turn halfway through for even cooking.

Depending on the size of your air fryer you may have to cook in batches.

How Do You Know When Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Are Cooked?

Use a meat thermometer to check the drumsticks are fully cooked.

Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the drumstick.

The internal temperature should reach 74C/165F when cooked.

If undercooked place back into the air fryer for a few minutes more then check the temperature again.

meat thermometer

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Tips

Achieving Chicken Drumsticks that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside requires a few insider tips:

  • Marinate For Flavour: For an extra burst of flavour, marinate the drumsticks for a few hours before air frying. This allows the seasonings to penetrate the meat.
  • Spray With Oil: Give the drumsticks a light spritz of cooking oil before air frying. This enhances the crispiness of the skin.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: To ensure even cooking, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Cook in batches if needed.
  • Use A Rack: Elevate the Drumsticks on a rack inside the air fryer basket. Using a rack improves air circulation and results in even crispy skin.


While it’s best to use thawed Drumsticks for even cooking, you can cook frozen drumsticks in the air fryer. No need to thaw them first.

Just adjust the cooking time to 190C/380F for approximately 30 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking time.

Always check with your meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the drumstick the temperature reads 74C/165F.

Cooking time can vary based on drumstick size and air fryer model.

On average, it takes about 20-25 minutes at 200C / 400F.

Not drying the drumsticks thoroughly, overcrowding in the air fryer, or insufficient oil can lead to less crispy results.

Yes, preheating is essential for achieving the best results. The drumsticks start cooking immediately when placed in the air fryer.

Absolutely! Boneless Drumsticks will cook a bit faster, so adjust the cooking time accordingly. Remember to check the internal temperature!

Coating the basket with a light layer of oil or using greaseproof paper can help prevent sticking. Using a liner can help and make clean-up easy.

Cooking display with herbs

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Storing Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

air tight containers

Preserving the taste of your air-fried chicken drumsticks begins with proper storage.

Follow these steps when storing your drumsticks:

Cooling Down

Before storing, allow the cooked drumsticks to cool down to room temperature.

Placing hot food directly in the refrigerator can lead to excess moisture and bacteria growth.

Do not leave the drumsticks for more than 2 hours cooling at room temperature as bacteria can form.

Individual Wrapping

To prevent moisture buildup, wrap each chicken drumstick individually in a layer of cling film or aluminium foil. This helps maintain the crispy exterior.

Airtight Containers

If you prefer use an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. Place a piece of greaseproof paper between the drumsticks to prevent sticking.

Your drumsticks, properly wrapped or stored in airtight containers, can be refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days.

How To Freeze Your Air Fryer Drumsticks

With a few steps, you can freeze your leftovers without sacrificing quality:

  1. Flash Freezing: Before placing the drumsticks in the freezer, engage in a process known as flash freezing. Arrange the drumsticks on a baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch. This prevents them from freezing together in a clump.
  2. Pre-Freezing: Allow the drumsticks to pre-freeze for about an hour on the baking sheet. This step prevents ice crystals from forming too quickly and maintains the crispy texture.
  3. Packing: After pre-freezing, transfer the drumsticks to airtight freezer-safe bags or vacuum-sealed bags. Remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Labelling: Labelling is essential for the freezer. Mark the packaging with the date and contents. When stored in the freezer, your air-fried chicken drumsticks can maintain their quality for approximately 2 to 3 months.

Reheating Air Fryer Drumsticks

If frozen remove from the freezer and defrost overnight for the best results.

Refrigerated drumsticks can be reheated straight away in the air fryer.

  1. Air Frying: Preheat the air fryer to 190C /380F, and reheat the drumsticks for about 5-7 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking time for even heating.
  2. Thermometer Test: To ensure your reheated drumsticks are safe to eat, use a food thermometer and check the internal temperature reaches 74C /165F.

Perfect Air Frying Every Time: The Cheat Sheet You Need

The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying, get the correct timings and temperatures for all foods. 

Take the guesswork out of air frying!

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Serving Suggestions Dips and Sides

Once your chicken drumsticks are perfectly cooked and crispy, it’s time to think about serving.

The drumsticks pair with a range of dipping sauces, such as tangy barbecue sauce, creamy ranch dressing, or zesty tzatziki.

Complete the meal with a selection of sides, such as roasted vegetables, fluffy mashed potatoes, or a crisp garden salad.

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