Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Legs are the perfect simple recipe! Minimal prep time with maximum flavor. Perfect for busy weeknights and an excellent addition to any game day celebration.
Air fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are one of the easiest chicken recipes to air fry. With a quick cooking time and simple instructions, there's no reason to ever think about deep frying your chicken ever again.
Save yourself the calories from deep frying and boost your protein intake easily with these BBQ chicken legs in the air fryer.
This barbecue chicken is made using simple spices and ingredients that really allow for the tender and juicy chicken to be the star of the show. Don't forget to change the type of BBQ sauce used to change how these air fryer chicken drumsticks taste.
Air fryer recipes are always a hit in my house, as they're a great option for a main dish or side dish, too. If you like air fryer chicken as we do, check out our Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, Air Fryer Grilled Chicken, and our Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breasts.
Why We Love BBQ Chicken Legs in Air Fryer:
- This recipe makes juicy chicken legs with crispy skin the whole family will love
- It's faster than cooking chicken legs in the oven
- You can change the flavor of these air fryer chicken legs easily
Ingredients and Notes
Here's what you need to make a super delicious Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe:
- Chicken legs - I used 6 bone-in chicken legs with skin.
- Spices - I use this spice mix but feel free to add your favorite bbq spice rub.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Red chili powder/Cayenne pepper - for heat.
- BBQ sauce - A cup of barbecue sauce will go a long way to coat the chicken. Use your favorite bbq sauce.
How To Cook Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Legs
⁕Scroll below for the printable recipe card and ingredient measurements.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
Trim off any excess fat and pat the chicken legs dry with paper towels.
In a large bowl, add the olive oil and chicken legs. Mix the seasonings in a small bowl and then add the spice mix to the chicken.
Place the chicken legs in the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes.
Tip: Make sure that you add chicken legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket so that they crisp up and cook completely.
Brush the chicken with BBQ sauce and then cook for another 5 minutes.
Turn or flip the chicken with tongs and then add more BBQ sauce. Air fry for another 5 minutes until the skin is lightly charred and crispy. The internal temperature should also be 170 degrees.
Brush with more BBQ sauce and serve warm.
- Spices - You can add the spices listed in the recipe card or simply add salt and black pepper. Substitute cayenne pepper with smoked paprika for less heat.
- Barbecue sauce - I use Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. The following brands are good options too.
- Bulls Eye BBQ sauce
- Primal BBQ sauce for a keto/low-carb/sugar-free option
How to Store And Reheat
Store leftover chicken legs in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 3-4 days.
Reheat the chicken legs in the air fryer at 380 degrees F until warm. You could also reheat in the oven, on a grill, or in a microwave until warmed all the way through.
Freeze the legs for longer storage. Add them to a freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Your Questions Answered
The cook time will vary, but typically 15-20 minutes. The best way to tell that the chicken is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer.
Keep the probe away from the bones, as this will give a false heat reading.
For the chicken to be fully cooked, the inside temperature of the chicken should read at least 170 degrees F.
Yes, it's best to flip the bone-in chicken so that all sides are cooked evenly. This is true for an air fryer, baking sheet, and other cooking methods.
You can. The hot air of the air fryer will cook the chicken completely so don't worry about putting raw chicken in the air fryer.
If you're worried about a mess, you can actually place foil or parchment paper in the air fryer first so that clean-up is a breeze.
The best way to reheat chicken drumsticks is in the Air fryer. Unlike the microwave, reheating in the air fryer makes food crispy and tastes fresh.
To reheat chicken drumsticks preheat air fryer to 380˚F. You need a lower temperature because the chicken is already cooked. Place the chicken in the air fryer and heat for 4-5 minutes until warm.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes You'll Love:
If you like this recipe, I’d love it if you can give me a rating and comment! Share it with your family and friends! ❤️
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Legs
- 6 chicken legs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon red chili powder/cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- Preheat Air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Trim excess fat and pat chicken legs dry.
- In a large bowl add chicken legs and olive oil. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Add the spice mix to the chicken. Mix chicken legs with oil and spices until well coated.
- Place chicken legs in the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes.
- Brush the chicken with plenty of barbecue sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn or flip the chicken with tongs and brush it with more barbecue sauce. Air fry chicken legs for another 5 minutes until the skin is crispy and lightly charred. Or until the internal temperature is 170˚F.
- Brush with more barbecue sauce and serve warm.