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5 from 7 votes

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Legs

Tender, juicy chicken legs cooked in the air fryer that are perfect seasoned and brushed with BBQ sauce.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time22 minutes
Total Time32 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 433kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce


  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl combine all the spices and herbs, set mixture aside.
  • Place chicken in a plastic resealable bag or bowl. Add olive oil and toss to coat.
  • Add spice mixture to bag or bowl and toss to coat chicken legs.
  • Place chicken drumsticks in an air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Do not stack chicken legs, you may need to do this in batches. You want the air to be able to circulate around them.
  • Flip chicken drumsticks over and cook for an additional 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Brush chicken legs with BBQ sauce on top side, flip and brush chicken legs again. Close the air fryer basket and cook 2-3 more minutes or until BBQ sauce is glazed.
  • Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, if it is not this temperature add a few more minutes of cooking time and check after that. I actually prefer my chicken legs about 180-190 degrees so they fall off the bone and there’s no bloody spots around the bone.



How long do you cook BBQ chicken drumsticks in the air fryer?
I like to cook mine for about 23 to 25 minutes at 400°F. The cooking time will vary depending on how thick the drumsticks are.
Can you put raw drumsticks in an air fryer?
Yes, you can cook raw chicken in the air fryer. Once you are doing cooking clean the air fryer following your model’s instructions.
Can you stack chicken legs in an air fryer?
You shouldn’t stack chicken legs in the air fryer. The hot air needs to be able to circulate around the pieces so they cook evenly so always cook them in a single layer. If needed, cook them in separate batches and keep the cooked drumsticks in a warm oven while you cook the rest.
Should I season drumsticks before cooking?
You don’t have to, but a seasoning rub adds flavor and also helps to crisp up the chicken skin.
How long do they keep?
Leftover BBQ chicken legs will keep well for up to four days in the refrigerator. Keep them in an airtight container for best results. Reheat them in the oven or the microwave. The leftovers are also delicious cold!


Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 1477mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg