These air fryer drumsticks are tossed in garlic and paired with sweet and smokey paprika. Every bite is juicy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection. These mouthwatering air fryer chicken legs are oh so crispy on the outside while being unbelievably tender on the inside – warning you might just need a bib to eat them!
Is your mouth watering yet?! I know mine is! This air fryer chicken drumstick recipe is perfect for a family dinner, game day or even for a midday snack. These legs are easy to make, and they taste absolutely delicious with just the right amount of seasoning!
Smoked paprika and garlic come together for a delightfully unexpected flavor combo that really enhances the dark meat we all love on a chicken drumstick!
If you’ve been looking for a new way to cook your drumsticks, this air fryer drumstick recipe is a must try. This recipe is so easy and can be made in less than 25 minutes. The prep work includes tossing your drumsticks with a little olive oil, pepper, flour, garlic and paprika before popping them into the air fryer.
In just about 18-20 minutes, they’ll come out smelling like heaven and tasting even better- it’s almost impossible not to eat them right away!
Why You’ll Love These Air Fryer Garlic & Paprika Chicken Drumsticks
- Quick and easy – The air fryer does 99% of the work for you here!
- Kid-friendly! Even the pickiest of eaters can’t turn down these drumsticks.
- Practically mess-free. No stove, oven, or grill is required. It’s a “one-basket” air fryer recipe that doesn’t require a ton of cleanup time!
- Budget-friendly, chicken drumsticks are usually inexpensive and can be found anywhere.
Equipment You’ll Need To Make These Air Fryer Drumsticks
- Air fryer
- Large plastic sealable bag
- Digital meat thermometer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Serving dish
Ingredients You’ll Need To Make These Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Chicken drumsticks
- Olive oil
- Baking powder
- Ground black pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Rinse and then pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel.
Add the drumsticks into a large plastic sealable bag. Add in olive oil and seal the bag. Toss the drumsticks with the olive oil until they are completely coated.
Open bag and add baking powder, flour, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Seal the bag and then toss until the chicken legs are coated with the seasoning mixture.
Prepare the air fryer basket with nonstick spray or brush with olive oil before cooking to keep the drumsticks from sticking to the air fryer basket.
Place the seasoned drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry the chicken legs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes. Flip chicken drumsticks halfway through the cooking time.
Carefully remove the drumsticks from the air fryer once a digital thermometer has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the off chance you have any leftovers (these drumsticks are just that good!) You’ll want to store them in an airtight container. Air fryer garlic chicken legs can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
The best way to reheat leftover drumsticks and get them back to their crispy state is to put them back in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.
To freeze leftover chicken legs simply wrap individual drumsticks tightly in foil to prevent freezer burn and then combine in a freezer bag. Frozen drumsticks are good for 3-4 months.
To reheat frozen precooked drumsticks, thaw in the refrigerator first and then follow the directions above!
Tips For Making the Perfect Air Fryer Paprika & Garlic Chicken Legs
- Make sure not to overfill your air fryer basket. Overfilling the air fryer basket will not allow air to circulate properly and will result in unevenly cooked chicken.
- Leave your chicken legs out for 20-30 minutes before cooking to let them come to room temperature for a moisture drumstick.
What To Serve/Pair With Your Air Fryer Chicken Legs
The possibilities are endless with these drumsticks. Everything from vegetables to mac and cheese to salads, I don’t think there is anything that won’t taste amazing with these air fryer garlic chicken legs. You’ll already have the air fryer out, so check out my air fryer asparagus recipe here for a delicious side that’s ready in less than 10 minutes!
For dessert, try some oreo cookie fudge!
Garlic and Smoked Paprika Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks FAQs
Can I use any part of the chicken for this recipe?
What if I don’t have smoked paprika? What can I substitute?
If you checked your pantry and realized you don’t have smoked paprika, no worries! You can substitute it for regular old paprika and it will be just fine (it will just be lacking that smokey taste). If you happen to have some chipotle powder on hand go with it!
If you like your drumsticks spicey you can also use cayenne pepper in place of the smoked paprika.
Can I use my oven instead of the air fryer for this recipe?
You can absolutely use your oven instead of the air fryer. Just grease a baking sheet and roast them for about 30 minutes at 400F or until they are golden brown on top. You might have to make some adjustments to cooking time, but it will work out just fine if you don’t happen to own an air fryer!
Would this recipe work with frozen chicken?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken, however, I wouldn’t suggest it. Frozen chicken is very difficult to coat properly with oil, flour, and seasonings. The end result wouldn’t turn out to be as crispy, juicy, and flavorful as they should. If frozen drumsticks are absolutely the only option I would highly suggest thawing completely before coating with oil.
Do I need to preheat my air fryer before cooking my garlic chicken legs?
Yes. Preheat to 400 degrees for 2 or 3 minutes before adding drumsticks.
Are garlic and smoked paprika chicken drumsticks gluten-free?
Yes and no. That is going to depend on what brand of flour you use. If you have a gluten intolerance just be sure to use gluten-free flour to make this recipe completely gluten-free.
Do I have to have a meat thermometer?
Yes. It is always a good idea to have a meat thermometer on hand. All air fryers cook a little differently, so making sure the meat is cooked at a safe temperature is recommended.
Other Air Fryer Chicken Recipes You’re Sure To Love
- Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
- Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas
- Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Chicken
- Air Fryer Copycat KFC Chicken
- Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
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Garlic & Smoked Paprika Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Air Fryer
- 5-6 chicken drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Rinse and then pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel.
- Add the drumsticks into a large plastic sealable bag. Add in olive oil and seal the bag. Toss the drumsticks with the olive oil until they are completely coated.
- Open bag and add baking powder, flour, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Seal the bag and then toss until the chicken legs are coated with the seasoning mixture.
- Prepare the air fryer basket with nonstick spray or brush with olive oil before cooking to keep the drumsticks from sticking to the air fryer basket.
- Place the seasoned drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry the chicken legs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes. Flip chicken drumsticks halfway through the cooking time.
- Carefully remove the drumsticks from the air fryer once a digital thermometer has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
*Nutritional information is a calculated guesstimate. Please note that this can change with different brands and modifications you may make to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements you’re using with each recipe.