These crispy-skinned 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.
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Air Fryer Chicken Legs Recipe Details
These Air Fryer Chicken Legs are absolutely delicious! I love this recipe because the meat is practically falling off the bone and the spice rub and sauce are so flavorful.
- TASTE: These chicken legs are sweet, smoky, and tangy. You’re going to love this spice rub mix.
- TEXTURE: Moist and juicy, these Air Fryer Chicken Legs are smothered in homemade BBQ sauce.
- TIME: This recipe will only take about 25 minutes, and most of that is cook time in the air fryer.
- EASE: These Air Fryer Chicken Legs couldn’t be easier. You’ll be using simple ingredients and prep takes just 5 minutes.
What You’ll Need
- Chicken legs
- Spice rub- Smoked paprika, Brown sugar, Garlic powder, Black pepper, and Salt
- Avocado oil
- BBQ sauce
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- 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.
Pro Tip: Pat the chicken legs dry so the oil and spice rub will stick better and stay on during frying.
- 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 Air Fryer Chicken Legs even better, try this simple homemade sauce that has lots of flavor.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Use different cuts of meat- Chicken wings, breasts, thighs, and even other meats, such as pork can be used with this recipe.
- Substitute other spices- Make this spice rub your own by tweaking it with your favorite spices. Try Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, sage, or cumin.
- Add some heat- If you want spicy chicken legs, then add some hot sauce or Sriracha to your sauce, or some red pepper flakes to the spice rub.
- Marinate the chicken- For even more tenderness and flavor, soak the chicken in your favorite marinade before frying.
With the air fryer temperature set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, they will take about 20 minutes to be fully cooked. Flip them halfway through for even cooking.
Yes, you can air fry frozen chicken. Cook it for 25-30 minutes (flipping halfway), checking to see if it is done with a meat thermometer. The length of time depends on the size of the drumsticks, so check every five minutes until the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees.
This Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe is so versatile, you can serve it with tons of other dishes. Here are a few ideas:
- Meats: Serve these chicken legs at your next get-together with Buffalo Baked Chicken Wings and Barbecue Pork Ribs.
- Salad: This flavorful Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe goes great with Classic Creamy Pasta Salad, Potato Salad with Baked Salmon, and Spinach Pomegranate Salad.
- Sides: Serve this with a classic fried chicken side dish, such as Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Mac and Cheese, and Buttermilk Biscuits.
- Vegetables: Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, and Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts go great with this chicken.
Make These Air Fryer Chicken Legs in Advance
Make ahead: 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.
Storing: Store these Air Fryer Chicken Legs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freeze: You can freeze these chicken legs in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat them in the air fryer, oven, or microwave.
More Tasty Air Fryer Dishes!
- Air fryer Chicken Wings
- Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Perfect Air Fryer Bacon
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Crispy Air Fryer Pork Chops (video)
- Juicy Air Fryer Steak
Full Recipe Instructions
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Then smother them with barbecue sauce and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Can I use frozen chicken?
- How to make it ahead of time?
- Add-ins and substitutes