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This Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe is the perfect way to grill BBQ chicken indoors. It uses common pantry spices and homemade bbq sauce. This easy main dish is ready in about 25 minutes and can be paired with air fryer asparagus or any of these low-carb side dishes for chicken to make an easy meal. Enjoy this air fryer chicken legs recipe with the entire family on busy weeknights, for game day, or whenever you want.
Why Make This
- Make grilled chicken drumsticks in the air fryer: this super easy recipe allows you to grill chicken without going outdoors for the grilling season.
- Quick & easy: these BBQ chicken legs require simple ingredients like a few common spices and any bbq sauce. You can even use your favorite BBQ sauce from the grocery store. Just season and cook, and these juicy chicken legs will be ready in about 25 minutes. This is a quicker alternative to making bbq chicken legs in the crockpot.
- Chicken Drumsticks: I’m using fresh, chicken drumsticks. If your chicken is frozen, then thaw it out before cooking.
- Avocado Oil: This is one of my favorite oils to use when air frying. But, you could also substitute olive oil too.
- Spices: This recipe includes common pantry spices like black pepper, smoked paprika, Onion powder, Garlic powder and Sea salt. I also add in some Italian seasoning. For an extra kick, you can use cayenne pepper, if you’d like.
- BBQ Sauce: this determines whether or not the recipe is low-carb. I’m using my bbq sauce that I make with a keto-friendly brown sugar, but any mesquite, hickory or Kansas City style bbq sauce will work in this recipe.
How to Make Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels.
- Add the spices, salt, and oil to a large bowl with the drumsticks. Then, evenly coat the raw chicken with the seasoning and oil.
- Place drumsticks in a single layer inside the air fryer basket skin side up. Air Crisp the thighs at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.
- For best results, flip the chicken & cook it for 5 more minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Use a basting brush to coat both sides of the chicken with bbq sauce. Air crisp on 400 degrees for 5 minutes to cook the chicken through and char the sauce a bit.
Top Cooking Tips & FAQs
- Add the sauce near the end: as I mentioned in my air fried bbq wings and Ninja Foodi BBQ chicken breasts posts, barbecue sauce will burn if left on your meat for the entire cooking process. So, it is best to add the sauce during the last five minutes of cooking. If you prefer, add extra BBQ sauce before serving.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Chicken Drumsticks
The best way to store these air fryer bbq chicken legs is in an airtight container for the next day (up to 3-5 days). Reheat in a 375F air fryer for 5 minutes, or a 375F oven for 10 minutes.
This depends on how large you chicken drumsticks are, but most chicken legs are cooked in the air fryer within 25 minutes.
Season your drumsticks and add them to your air fryer grill or cooking basket. Cook them on 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes. You should flip you meat halfway through and add sauce like barbecue sauce during the last minutes of cooking to prevent burning. This recipe provides more details about the amount of seasoning and sauce.
This recipe includes about 20 minutes of cooking time.
Recipes to Enjoy this with
- Almond Flour Cornbread
- Buttered Cabbage
- Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer
- Keto Side Dishes for BBQ
More Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Recipes
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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
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- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel
- Add the chicken to a large bowl or ziploc bag
- Add the spices, salt and oil to the bowl with the chicken. Then, evenly coat the chicken with the seasoning and oil
- Add the chicken to the air fryer cooking basket.
- Air Crisp the drumsticks at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.
- Flip the chicken & cook it for 5 more minutes at 400 degrees
- Use a baste brush to coat both sides of the chicken with bbq sauce
- Air crisp on 400 degrees for 5 minutes to cook the chicken through and char the sauce a bit.
- Brush with more BBQ sauce if needed
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!