Go Back
+ servings
A close up of a platter of BBQ Chicken Drumsticks in front of parsley.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy, sticky Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are a super fast and easy choice for a busy weeknight dinner. Chicken legs are seasoned, basted with BBQ sauce, and air fried to tender perfection.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 pieces
Calories: 159kcal



  • 6 chicken drumsticks approximately 1 ½ to 2 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce
  • propellant-free nonstick cooking spray like Chosen Avocado Oil Spray

BBQ Spice Mix

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to tate
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste


  • Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F. for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the oil and toss again to coat the drumsticks well. Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken and toss until the chicken is well coated on all sides. Set aside.
  • Spritz the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray (be sure it’s propellant free - see Notes). Place the seasoned chicken drumsticks in the basket in one layer with a little space in between and cook for 10 minutes at 380 degrees F. Use tongs to flip the chicken and cook for an additional 8 minutes.
  • Pull the basket out and baste the chicken liberally on all sides with BBQ sauce. Cook at 380 degrees F for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165 F and the BBQ sauce is slightly caramelized.



Always use a propellant free nonstick cooking spray or a refillable oil mister when air frying as sprays that contain propellants can cause the nonstick lining of your air fryer basket to peel over time. Refined avocado oil has a high smoke point and is an excellent choice for air frying up to 500 degrees F.
To Double the Recipe
Place the first batch on a parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet and transfer to a 200 degree F oven to keep warm while you cook the second batch.
Make-Ahead Tips
Up to 24 hours in advance, toss the chicken drumsticks with the oil and seasoning mix in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Using Other Cuts of Chicken
You can substitute all or some of the chicken drumsticks with any other cuts of chicken you like. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or breasts are a great choice. The nice thing about the air fryer method is you have the ability to pull the basket out and check the temperature throughout the cooking time. Smaller pieces will cook faster than larger pieces and can be removed from the air fryer first.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 493mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 411IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg