air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

1. Preparing the Drumsticks

  1. Clean and Dry: Rinse the chicken drumsticks under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture helps achieve a crispier skin in the air fryer.
  2. Marinate: In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Add the chicken drumsticks to the bowl and toss them thoroughly to coat with the marinade. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator for deeper flavor.

2. Air Frying the Drumsticks

  1. Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (193°C). This step is crucial for starting the cooking process with high heat, which helps to crisp up the skin.
  2. Arrange the Drumsticks: Place the chicken drumsticks in the air fryer basket. Make sure to arrange them in a single layer with space between each drumstick for optimal air circulation.
  3. Cooking Time: Cook the drumsticks for about 25 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the drumsticks to ensure even cooking and crisping.

3. Ensuring Doneness

  1. Check Internal Temperature: The safest way to check if the chicken is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach at least 165°F (74°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the drumstick, not touching the bone.

4. Serving

  1. Rest Before Serving: Let the drumsticks rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it juicier.
  2. Serving Suggestions: Serve your air fryer chicken drumsticks with a side of coleslaw, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad. They also pair wonderfully with dipping sauces like barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or a creamy garlic dip.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

  • Do Not Overcrowd: Ensure there is enough space around each drumstick to allow the hot air to circulate freely. This is key to achieving crispy and evenly cooked chicken.
  • Seasoning Variations: Feel free to experiment with different seasonings based on your preferences. Try adding herbs like thyme or rosemary, or use a BBQ rub for a smoky flavor.
  • Skin-On: Cooking the drumsticks with the skin on helps keep the meat moist and provides a crispy exterior. If you prefer a less fatty option, you can remove the skin, but you might want to brush them with a bit more oil to prevent drying out.


Air fryer chicken drumsticks are an easy, delicious, and healthier way to enjoy the flavor and texture of fried chicken. With this straightforward recipe and a few simple tips, you can serve up a meal that is sure to delight everyone at your table. Enjoy the convenience of quick prep and clean-up, making this dish perfect for a fuss-free weeknight dinner or a casual weekend gathering.

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