Succulent, juicy BBQ air fryer drumsticks that’s absolutely full of flavor, and the good news is that you don’t need to fire up the grill to get to enjoy these air fryer chicken drumsticks!
There’s nothing quite like a summer cookout, but sometimes you simply don’t have the time (or the weather!) to stand by your grill for hours on end.
All you need is a handy air fryer and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
This recipe uses chicken drumsticks. However, you can use all parts of the chicken – the breast, thigh, leg, and wing of the chicken, making it not only super affordable but ensuring everyone can pick and choose their favorite cuts.
If your family prefers a certain cut over the others, you can absolutely use just that cut (skin on!) and forget the rest – the recipe will work in exactly the same way.
One thing to bear in mind is that while chicken breast is considered the healthiest option, its lower fat content does mean that it is slightly more prone to drying out.
The BBQ sauce in this recipe should help keep it moist and delicious.
I’d still highly recommend getting breasts with the skin on, as this will allow the meat to crisp up and give it that extra boost of flavor.
Homemade BBQ sauce uses most store cupboard ingredients and is easy to put together if you feel so inclined.
Although you can use store bought sauce to make this recipe; however, this recipe uses our homemade vegan BBQ sauce (mentioned above).
All you’ll need are just a few ingredients to prepare the sauce, and it will allow you to pile on the flavors and can also be made ahead to cut down on the prep time.
- ¾ Cup Organic Ketchup
- ½ Cup Molasses
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic Minced, or about 4 cloves
- ½ Tsp. Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 Sprig Thyme
- 2 Sprigs Parsley
- 1 Basil Leaf
- 1 Sage Leaf
- 1 Small Onion Minced
- Cayenne Pepper Optional; for heat
The BBQ sauce is brushed onto the air fryer chicken drumsticks when they are almost done, along with some extra served alongside.
The timing for this is important, as if you were to add the sauce on at the beginning it would burn onto the outside by the time the chicken was cooked.
Using the dry seasoning on the meat at the beginning of the cook time will help make sure it’s tasty inside and out.
How Do I Know When My Chicken Drumsticks Are Ready?
Every air fryer is different, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your BBQ air fryer chicken drumsticks the first time you make this recipe.
The best way to make sure your Air Fryer BBQ Chicken drumsticks are ready is to use a meat thermometer.
When inserted into the thickest part of the meat, the internal temperature should read 165F for it to be safe to serve.
Turning your air fryer chicken legs over once during cooking will help ensure it is done evenly throughout.
Any classic BBQ sides will go wonderfully with this tasty chicken drumsticks recipe.
You could have it with potato salad, like this southern style potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans or with this instant pot corn on the cob, or simply serve it up with some fries, like this air fryer potato wedges and a fresh green salad.
Simply shred the meat off the bones of any leftovers and the next day you can even rustle up some BBQ chicken sandwiches that the whole family will love.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Absolutely! Follow the steps in the recipe card below to make these BBQ chicken legs perfectly each time.
Wash the chicken thoroughly. Pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, herbs, or with this Haitian Epis seasoning base, and cook for 35 minutes.
The drumsticks will take 35 minutes to fully cook in the air fryer at 360 degrees.
Yes, you can put frozen drumsticks in the air fryer. Adjust the cooking time to 15 minutes more to assure that the chicken is fully cooked.
Yes, you can use foil to help lessen the mess in the air fryer.
More Air Fryer Recipes To Enjoy
If you loved this BBQ air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe, try one of these air fryer recipes next.
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BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- 2 Tbsp. Paprika
- 2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
- 2 Tsp. Cumin
- 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 14 Chicken Legs
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Wash the meat thouroughly and pat dry. Set aside in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Add the mixed seasoning to the chicken, then top with the olive oil.Transfer the meat to the air fryer basket. Cook at 360° for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, use a pastry brush to brush the BBQ sauce to the chicken on all sides. Turn the chicken over, and apply more of the BBQ sauce with a pastry brush.Cook again for 10 minutes at 360°.Add the BBQ sauce to the chicken again on all sides. Then cook for 5 minutes.
- serve warm and enjoy