These crispy-skinned BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Legs are tangy, tender, and delicious. You’ll love how easy it is to prepare this flavorful chicken recipe with a homemade spice mix and BBQ sauce in your air fryer.
Air fryer BBQ chicken legs
Air fryer BBQ chicken legs are absolutely delicious! Moist and tender, the meat is cooked to perfection in the air fryer so it’s never dry. I love how the meat practically falls off the bones of these chicken legs. The simple spice mix includes flavorful, balanced ingredients that will give your chicken a smoky, intense flavor. This recipe wouldn’t be complete without the tangy, sweet BBQ sauce that these legs are smothered in. We like serving these BBQ chicken legs with some of our favorite sides – creamy mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and buttermilk biscuits. Yum!
Here’s what you’ll need
To make these BBQ Air fryer chicken legs, you will need Chicken legs (skin on) and BBQ sauce. For the spice rub, you’ll use Smoked Paprika, Garlic powder, Brown sugar, Salt, and Pepper. Avocado oil coats the chicken and helps the spices adhere to it.
How to make chicken legs in the air fryer
- Preheat the air fryer. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes.
- Make the spice rub. Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Dry the chicken legs. Using paper towels, pat the legs dry of excess moisture.
- Toss the chicken. Place the chicken legs in a large bowl and add the avocado oil and spices. Toss everything until the chicken is well coated.
- Bake. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket and cook it for 10 minutes. Then flip it over and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add BBQ sauce. Smother the chicken legs with BBQ sauce and then cook them in the air fryer for another 3 minutes. Serve.
- Pat the chicken dry- Pat the chicken with paper towels because the drier the skin, the more crispy it will become as it cooks.
- Preheat the air fryer- Getting the air fryer up to temperature means it will be hot enough to cook the chicken until it’s crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.
- Don’t overcrowd- Be careful of overcrowding the air fryer basket because this can lead to uneven cooking, undercooked chicken, and skin that isn’t crispy.
- Make this 4 ingredient BBQ sauce– Store-bought sauce is fine for this recipe, but if you want to make these BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Legs even better, try this simple homemade sauce that has lots of flavor.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare these BBQ chicken legs ahead of time. Prepare the spice rub and combine it with the chicken and oil. Allow the chicken legs to marinate overnight and then cook them on the day you want to serve them.
More air fryer recipes
- Air fryer chicken wings
- Crispy air fryer Brussels sprouts
- Perfect air fryer bacon
- Air fryer broccoli
- Crispy fryer pork chops (video)
- Juicy air fryer steak
BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Legs
Always pre-heat the air fryer
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes.
Make the seasoning
- In a small bowl combine 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Then use paper towels to pat 8 chicken legs dry.
Coat the chicken and cook in the air fryer
- Then add them to a large bowl along with 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and the spice mix. Toss until all the chicken drumsticks are coated.
- Then carefully place them onto the air fry basket and cook for 10 minutes. Then flip them over and cook for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit. I always use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature.
Smother in BBQ sauce
- Then smother them with barbecue sauce and cook for another 3 minutes.