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Our Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe is a quick and easy way to make delicious chicken legs in the air fryer and they are ready in less than 25 minutes. A healthier version of fried chicken, but still with a crispy and crunchy skin! Our honey soy glaze gives a sweet and salty combo that will keep you coming back for more.
Air Fryer Chicken Drumstick Recipe
If you are looking for a super easy air fryer drumstick recipe, look no further. This recipe is by far my favorite way to enjoy chicken drumsticks. The marinade is so delicious with its sweet and salty flavors. Cooking them in the air fryer ensures they have a nice and crispy skin every time (without the unhealthy frying!)
These are perfect for busy weeknights because they cook in less than 20 minutes. The chicken legs do need time to marinate, so I like to throw the marinade together in the morning and let them sit in it all day. That way when it’s dinner time, I just pop them in the air fryer. My family goes crazy for these, and I know that yours will, too!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy to make
- Honey soy drumsticks
- Kid-friendly and approved
- A quick weeknight dinner
- Delicious homemade marinade recipe
- Flavorful, moist chicken with a crispy skin
- Recipe can be used for other types of chicken
- Air Fryer recipe – healthier alternative than fried chicken
- Ready in less than 20 minutes
- Delicious leftover
- Sweet and salty flavor
- Soy sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Orange zest
- Garlic powder
- Ground ginger
- Red pepper flakes
- Chicken drumsticks
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How to Make Chicken Drumsticks in the Air Fryer
This recipe will come together quickly and easily. Putting together the marinade takes no time at all. I like to do this in the morning and let the chicken marinate all day. Then when we are ready for dinner, I just have to pop the drumsticks into the air fryer.
Whisk together honey, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, zest, garlic powder, ginger, salt, and pepper flakes. Place the drumsticks and marinade into a large plastic bag.
Let marinate 30 minutes to an hour.
Place drumsticks in the air fryer basket.
Cook for 9 minutes at 350 degrees. Brush marinade on top, flip and cook for another 9 minutes.
Garnish with optional toppings before serving.
Variations / Options / Add-ins
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Red or white wine vinegar are great replacements for apple cider vinegar.
- OLIVE OIL: Grapeseed oil is my favorite substitution for olive or other vegetable oils.
- ORANGE ZEST: If you don’t have oranges, but have a similar fruit, like mandarines or tangerines, feel free to try those instead. For less orange flavor, use orange juice instead. You can also use a lemon or lime as a replacement.
- CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS: Chicken thighs or wings will also work with this recipe. If you use another cut of chicken, you may need to adjust the cook time.
- RED PEPPER FLAKES: If you don’t like things spicy, you could leave the pepper flakes out.
- Sauces: Try using our Alabama White Sauce too – it is delicious!
- Do not throw away the marinade until after the drumsticks have finished cooking! You will need this for cooking the drumsticks.
- The cook time will depend on how large your chicken legs are. For smaller legs it will be around 18 minutes. For larger drumsticks it may be closer to 20 minutes. You will want the internet temperature to be 165 degrees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Place these in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also choose to freeze them for 1 month.
You can use any other part of the chicken for this recipe. Just be aware that the cook time may differ. You can also cook these in the instant pot or the slow cooker, but I recommend including the marinade for both of these options. Set the instant pot to high for 10 minutes, and slow cook for 4-6 hours.
If you are new to the Air Fryer world, I’ve got you covered. I answer all the questions, like how to use an Air Fryer, what you can cook in an Air Fryer, and even the best Air Fryers on the market. Make sure to check out my post How to Use An Air Fryer and Great Air Fryer Recipes for all the details.
An air fryer doesn’t actually fry the food. Basically what happens is the air circulates very quickly around the food in a circular fashion and it creates a crispy coating.
Other Easy Air Fryer Recipes
The Best Air Fryer French Fries | Air Fryer Hamburgers | Air Fryer French Toast Sticks | Air Fryer Donuts | Air Fryer Croissants (with Nutella and Chocolate Chip) | Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan | Air Fryer French Bread Pizza | Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp orange zest (About ¼ an orange)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- Optional garnishes: sliced scallions, sesame seeds, additional honey
- Whisk the honey, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, garlic powder, ground ginger, salt, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
- Transfer marinade to a large plastic sealable bag and then place drumsticks in the bag to let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes-1 hour. Reserve the marinade for later.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Place drumsticks in the air fryer basket, spread out so they aren't touching each other.
- Cook in the air fryer for 9 minutes. Brush marinade on top, flip the drumsticks over, and brush marinade on the other side.
- Cook in the air fryer for an additional 9 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. F and are golden brown.
- Garnish with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, and an extra drizzle of honey, optional.
- Plate and serve warm.