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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

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These air fryer BBQ chicken drumsticks are not only a budget friendly meal, they are delicious and quick to make. Only 2 ingredients are needed to make these chicken legs. This recipe makes juicy chicken slathered in a finger licking BBQ sauce.

air fryer chicken legs on a plate.
Delicious air fryer chicken

Love my air fryer BBQ chicken drumsticks? Try my Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Caesar Wraps and my Air Fryer Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast for more delicious chicken air fryer recipes!

There’s no need to wait until summertime to enjoy barbecued food! It’s delicious year round. With the use of the air fryer you don’t have to go outside in the cold weather to brave the grill.

This recipe is perfect for drumsticks with the skin on or off, with chicken breast, thighs, wings or any chicken you like.

air fryer chicken drumsticks with bbq sauce.
Air fryer chicken drumsticks with bbq sauce

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Air fryer BBQ chicken drumsticks are a fast and easy choice for a busy weeknight dinner.
  • They’re ready in about 30 minutes!
  • Crispy, juicy, and everything amazing with air fried food.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken Drumsticks – I use 5 drumsticks for this recipe.
  • BBQ Sauce – Use your favorite barbecue sauce and flavor. I use Sweet Baby Rays original BBQ sauce.

How To Make This Recipe

four image process making air fryer bbq chicken drumsticks.
Air fryer bbq chicken drumsticks

Step 1:

Place the chicken legs in a large bowl and add a small bottle of BBQ sauce. Let the chicken marinate in the BBQ sauce for 30 minutes.

Step 2:

Spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray, or use parchment paper liners. You can also brush olive oil to coat the basket to prevent sticking.

Step 3:

Cook on 370°F for 30 minutes. Flipping at the halfway mark. Use a meat thermometer to confirm internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 

air fried chicken drumsticks with bbq sauce.
Air fried chicken drumsticks with bbq sauce

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. This can cause the chicken to cook uneven or be undercooked. It can also prevent the skin from getting crispy.
  • Pat the chicken dry before tossing with the BBQ. The drier the skin, the crispier the chicken will be.
  • This recipe is easy to double to feed more people.
  • Preheat the air fryer to get a more even cook on the drumsticks.
  • Don’t skip the marinating process. This allows the chicken to soak in more flavor.

Variations

  • Try different cuts of meat. Pork can also be used for this recipe.
  • Coat the drumsticks in a spice rub before marinating in the BBQ sauce for more flavor.
  • Love some spice? Add a dash of hot sauce, sriracha or red pepper flakes to your sauce.
  • Add more sauce for saucier drumsticks.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Cool, then place in an airtight container or zip top bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freezing: Cool drumsticks, then place in a freezer safe zip top bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Reheating: Reheat the chicken in the air fryer. Preheat to 350°F by letting it warm up for a few minutes. Cook the chicken until it is hot, about 4 minutes. About 6 minutes if it’s frozen.

FAQ

What type of BBQ sauce do I use to make chicken legs? 

You can use your favorite sauce and flavor you like. I think Sweet Baby Ray’s is the best barbecue sauce.

Do I have to use chicken drumsticks for this recipe?

No, this recipe is also delicious with wings and chicken breast too. However cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.

Can I remove the skin from the chicken first?

Yes, if you don’t like the skin on feel free to remove it.

Do I need to flip chicken in the air fryer?

Flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking time allows the chicken to cook more evenly.

What can I serve with BBQ Chicken?

There are so many great sides with BBQ chicken. Salads, vegetables and potatoes are all great side dishes.

Can I cook frozen drumsticks in the air fryer?

You can, but you will need to cook them longer. You will want to add about 10 minutes, 5 minutes per side.

Yield: 5 Servings

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

air fryer chicken drumsticks with bbq sauce.

These air fryer BBQ chicken drumsticks are not only a budget friendly meal, they are delicious and quick to make. Only 2 ingredients are needed to make these chicken legs. This recipe makes juicy chicken slathered in a finger licking BBQ sauce.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 18 ounces Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ, or your favorite brand and flavor

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken legs in a large bowl and add a small bottle of BBQ sauce. Let the chicken marinate in the BBQ sauce for 30 minutes.
  2. Spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray, or use parchment paper liners. You can also brush olive oil to coat the basket to prevent sticking.
  3. Cook on 370° for 30 minutes. Flipping at the halfway mark. Use a meat thermometer to confirm internal temperature of 165°.

Notes

Different air fryer brands may cook at different rates, so be sure to keep on eye on food.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 153mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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