These delicious Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Legs are perfectly seasoned, incredibly juicy, and are ready in just 20 minutes! This flavorful drumstick recipe will be a favorite for the whole family.
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
Tasty Air Fryer Chicken Legs are a fan favorite for a reason! These saucy, juicy drumsticks are easy to hold for little hands and quick to cook for busy weeknights. The seasoning mix can be tossed together ahead of time for a super fast dinner!
Dinner will be on the table in 20 minutes with this easy chicken dinner. This recipe makes a great meal prepping option as drumsticks freeze and reheat perfectly. This simple chicken recipe is easy to make low-carb, too!
Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card.
- Chicken Legs – Bone-in, skin-on chicken legs work best in this recipe. You can remove the skin if you prefer, but I wouldn’t recommend it; it helps keep the chicken juicy. You might need to cook a minute or two less if you’re not keeping the skin on.
- Brown Sugar Sweetener – This balances out the great spices we’re going to use, and it works great with the BBQ sauce. You can easily swap this out for golden monk fruit, brown sugar Stevia, or your preferred sugar-free sweetener.
- Chili Powder, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Salt, and Pepper – This delicious seasoning blend perfectly complements the chicken drumsticks and barbecue sauce! You can easily double or triple this recipe and store the extras in the spice cabinet for your next chicken recipe.
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil holds up best to the heat, or you could replace it with avocado oil.
- BBQ Sauce – We love the G Hughes barbecue sauce. It’s gluten free and sugar free, so it can work for some low-carb diets as well.
How to make BBQ Chicken Legs in the Air Fryer
This easy chicken recipe is simple enough for beginners and busy families! Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help your chicken drumsticks turn out perfectly juicy and bursting with flavor.
While the air fryer is preheating, mix together the seasonings and sweetener in a small bowl. Pat the chicken legs dry, then toss with seasonings until well coated.
Add the chicken legs into the preheated air fryer and immediately lower the temperature to 380 degrees F. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 3 minutes.
Brush with sauce
Open the air fryer and brush the legs with BBQ sauce. Close the air fryer and continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer.
Major sauce fans will love these with some extra BBQ sauce handy! Dip in some Jalapeno Ranch or top with Smoked Queso for an extra punch of flavor. Allow legs to sit for about 5 minutes before serving so that the juice is well distributed throughout each drumstick.
Allow any leftovers to completely cool before storing in an airtight container. These will stay fresh in the fridge up to 4 days.
Place completely cooled chicken legs on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching one another. Freeze like this for 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag. Pull out the number you need and thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
You can reheat these chicken drumsticks in the microwave, air fryer, or oven. The quickest method is the microwave–Just blast for 30-second increment until warmed throughout. This method can get the skin soggy, but otherwise works well. For crispy skin and a quick method, air fry at 360 degrees F for about 5 minutes. This could potentially dry out the legs, though, so check frequently.
The arguably best reheating method isn’t the quickest–The oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the chicken legs in a baking dish with about a tablespoon of water. Cover the dish tightly with foil and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes.
If you like these chicken legs, you’ll love these other air fryer chicken recipes!
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Wings – These quick wings are great for parties and game nights! The skin gets SO perfectly crispy while the inside stays nice and juicy.
- Easy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts – No need to worry about overcooked or dry chicken breasts because this recipe keeps them wonderfully juicy!
- Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats – These are great for family dinners and are quick enough for busy weeknights.
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets – These tasty chicken bites are coated in a gluten-free and low-carb breading made of pork rinds! These are pretty addictive and have a nice crunch.
- Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breasts – The creamy, spicy filling in this stuffed chicken is beyond delicious! This is impressive enough for company but easy enough to prep for a quick meal.
FAQ’s about Air Fryer Chicken Legs
It’s best to cook chicken legs with the skin on. This protects the meat from overcooking and drying out. The fat from the skin adds a ton of extra flavor, too!
Once chicken reaches 165 degrees F in the middle, it is safe to eat. Your meat thermometer should not be touching bone when measuring, however. Make sure to check the center of the largest drumstick before removing.
Yes, chicken legs are great on the keto diet. There are no carbs, and the skin is high in fat for a great source of energy! Chicken drumsticks work great for keto dieters.
Yes. I know that most air fryer manufacturers say that you don’t need to preheat, but taking just 3-5 minutes to preheat your machine will give you a more even cook. For this recipe, it’s even more important — You want to heat up the air fryer to 390 degrees, then drop the temperature to 380 for the actual cooking time. This method helps quickly cook without overcooking the chicken.
BBQ Chicken Legs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar (or brown sugar monkfruit if keto)
- 1/2 tablespoon EACH chili powder and paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds chicken legs approximately 6
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce*
- Combine the spices in a small bowl or jar, and mix well.
- Add the drumsticks to a bowl and toss with olive oil and spices, coat well.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F for 3 minutes.
- Add the coated drumsticks to the air fryer and lower the temperature to 380 degrees F cook the chicken for 10 minutes, flip, and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Open the air fryer, brush the drumsticks with BBQ sauce, and air fry for 2-3 more minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.