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Make juicy and flavorful Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks in less than 30 minutes with this easy Ninja Foodi air fryer chicken legs recipe. It features just three ingredients: chicken drumsticks, my homemade dry rub for chicken, and oil. Add my air fryer green beans or air fryer roasted broccoli to make this a quick low-carb, no-fuss meal.
Why Make This
- Quick & Easy: to make these, you simply have to season your chicken drumsticks, place them in the air fryer cooking basket and cook! They’re ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Juicy & flavorful: my homemade chicken dry rub is smoky, garlicky, and a nice mix of heat and salt. When combined with the fat of dark meat (you can use it make dry rub chicken thighs too), you get a juicy and flavorful chicken drumstick that has crispy skin!
- Chicken Drumsticks: I’m using just the drumstick and not chicken leg quarters.
- Dry Rub for Chicken: I make a batch of this and just store it in a spice jar. It includes smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder as well as spices like thyme. It’s the perfect all-in-one seasoning for air fried, grilled, and baked chicken.
- Avocado Oil: I’m using this because it has a high-smoke point. But you could (and I’ve tried successfully) air frying foods with olive oil and coconut oil.
How to Make Dry Rub Chicken Drumsticks
- Add the chicken drumsticks in a bowl with the oil and dry rub seasoning
- Toss the chicken until it is coated evenly
- Add the meat to the air fryer cooking basket
- Air Fry!
Top Cooking Tips & FAQs
- Use 2 tablespoons of dry rub seasoning per pound of meat.
- Flip the chicken drumsticks halfway through to get the most even crisp on the skin
- Season the meat up to one day ahead: If you need more time, you can freeze the meat with the seasonings on it and thaw it in the refrigerator when you’re ready to cook it.
How long does it take for drumsticks to cook in the air fryer?
This depends on the size of your drumsticks and how crisp you’d like them to be. I’ve tried this recipe and crispy air fryer chicken legs several times and find that most drumsticks are cooked within 22 minutes.
One awesome feature of the Ninja Foodi is that you can always pop open the lid and it doesn’t require pre-heating.
This means that you can start checking for doneness at the 20-minute mark and check in every 2 minutes until it suits your preference.
Why isn’t my chicken crispy in the air fryer?
Two common reasons your chicken won’t crisp are:
- Not enough space: crispy skin is the result of high heat surrounding the skin. If your drumsticks are too close together, the air can’t circulate as much
- Chicken too wet: give the crisping process a head start by drying off the meat before seasoning it
You should know that air frying won’t make your chicken exactly as crisp as deep frying because there simply isn’t enough oil or breading.
Why is my chicken dry in the air fryer?
It’s overcooked. You can prevent your meat from overcooking by:
- Cooking it to 160 degrees if you’re letting it sit in the air fryer with the lid closed for 5-10 minutes after cooking.
- Removing the chicken from the air fryer immediately after it’s fully cooked
Recipes to Enjoy this with
You can enjoy dry rub chicken drumsticks with nearly any side dish. Some of my personal favorites include:
- Pressure Cooker Cabbage
- Keto Green Bean Casserole
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Air Fryer Radishes
- Roasted Air Fryer Broccoli
If you try this recipe, please stop back and leave it a star rating and/or a review in the comments. Stay connected & share photos of your creations with me & others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Air Fryer Dry Rub 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 Chicken Dry Rub seasoning and oil to the bowl with the chicken. Then, evenly coat it with the seasoning and oil
- Add the chicken to the air fryer cooking basket
- Air Crisp at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes per side.
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!