Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are sweet, juicy and tender. Cooked to perfection in the Air Fryer these drumsticks make the perfect easy dinner! Winner, winner chicken dinner is on the table for tonight.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
These chicken legs are so tender and juicy! Grab the end and start munching.
The marinade uses simple, easy to find ingredients with amazing flavour and the sesame seeds give that crunch for texture.
Chicken Legs or drumsticks are very economical. Cheaper than wings, thighs or breast they make an excellent family dinner option.
Easy with a quick cook time, these Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks will jump onto your weekly meal plan and stay there for life!
The ingredients you need are shown in the photo below, they are all simple and can be found at the local shop (you might already have some of them!)
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Chicken drumsticks (legs)
- BBQ sauce
- sriracha sauce
- salt and pepper (optional)
- sesame seeds (optional)
Tasty Tip: the legs can be marinated and cooked straight away or you can let them marinate up to 24 hours in the fridge before cooking.
Here are the step by step instructions. As you can see in the photos below, the whole recipe involves quick, easy steps!
- Combine marinade ingredients (Photo 1)
- Whisk into marinade (Photo 2)
- Brush over chicken drumsticks (Photo 3)
- Flip, coat other side (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
Start by making the sweet sticky BBQ sauce to smother the chicken in. Do this by combining the BBQ sauce, honey and sriracha sauce.
A pastry brush is the easiest way to coat the chicken drumsticks in sauce. If you don't have one, another method to try is adding the legs to a zip lock bag, pouring in the sauce and massaging the sauce around the chicken to coat.
You can have a look at that method in my Honey Garlic Chicken Wings recipe.
- Spray basket or tray with cooking oil (Photo 5)
- Add marinated legs to the Air Fryer and cook for 10 mins (Photo 6)
- Use tongs to flip to the other side and cook for 10 mins (Photo 7)
- Add sesame seeds and cook for 2 - 5 mins (Photo 8)
If you have leftover sauce from the marinade, you can coat the drumsticks again after you have flipped them (even more sauciness!)
I like to sprinkle the sesame seeds onto the legs after the 1st 20 mins of cooking.
They only need a couple of mins to toast to a light golden brown colour and give a delicious texture to the chicken!
Air Fried to the point of deliciousness, the 2 photos above show you what the drumsticks will look like before and after they are cooked!
🛎 Tasty Tips
This is what I have learnt that will help you master the recipe from the 1st time and every following time:
- If you are new to sriracha, only use a teaspoon (hot sauce)
- Make the marinade, coat, then cover and refrigerate till ready to cook
- I don't need to preheat my Air Fryer, but if your model requires this, do as the 1st step
- You can pull the basket out by the handle to check how the drumsticks are cooking along the way
- There are so many sizes and types of Air Fryers that some will cook faster or slower depending on the model.
- The 1st time you make the recipe, check the legs after 5 mins to see how they are cooking!
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
How do you cook Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks?
To cook BBQ Chicken Drumsticks in the Air Fryer, we need to combine our ingredients for the marinate and then coat the chicken.
How long do Drumsticks take in the Air Fryer?
The chicken drumsticks will take 20-25 mins in the Air Fryer which will give you just enough time to slice up some cucumber to serve them with.
You will need a pair of tongs handy.
We cook the chicken legs, flip, then cook them some more.
It is a good idea to spray your Air Fryer basket (or tray) with cooking oil. This will help the clean up as the sauce is sweet and sticky!
Can you put raw Chicken Drumsticks in an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can.
The drumsticks need to be cooked until their juices run clear (not pink).
It is easy to test this with a skewer inserted at the widest part of one of the legs.
If you don't have an Air Fryer, here is the recipe for how to cook Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks in the oven. You can simply follow the oven baked instructions instead!
😍 More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
If you love Air Frying, then check out the following recipes for inspiration:
- Easy Air Fryer Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Portobello Mushroom Pizza
- Air Fryer Stuffed Jalapenos
- Tender Air Fryer Spare Ribs
- Quick Air Fryer Roasted Red Peppers
- Air Fryer Portobello Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- Easy Air Fryer Pita Chips
- Simple Air Fryer Sausage rolls (perfect party food!)
- Air Fryer Cheese on Toast
Or read through all Air Fryer recipes on the blog.
The sauce you see in the photos above and below is the Herbed Yogurt Sauce I like to use for EVERYTHING (using home grown herbs in you have!)
It is optional as the drumsticks already smothered in the Honey BBQ sauce, but my thinking is 'The more sauce, the more sauciness!'
More Easy Chicken Recipes
If chicken legs and wings are your thing, you make like to try the following recipes:
- Chili Lime Chicken Wings (this recipe shows you the bag marinade method)
- Air Fryer Spatchcock Chicken (Butterfly Chicken)
- Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Roast Chicken
- Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Spare Ribs
- Honey Mustard Chicken Wings (to die for!!)
- Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
- Easy Honey Soy Chicken Wings
Try serving them with one of my Roasted Potato Side Dishes for a complete meal!
Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- Air Fryer
- 1 kg chicken legs Note 1
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce Note 2
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- sesame seeds optional, Note 3
- chives optional
- Combine BBQ sauce, honey, sriracha, salt and pepper in a small jug and whisk till consistency mixed.
- Add chicken drumsticks to an large bowl, pour marinade over legs and use a pastry brush to coat. Then use tongs to turn the legs to the other side and repeat brushing to fully marinate the legs.
- Option: marinate in the fridge for 30 mins - overnight
- Spray Air Fryer basket with cooking oil, use tongs to place chicken drumsticks into the Air Fryer basket, spaced in one flat layer, not touching
- Turn the air fryer on to 180°C/350 F for 30 mins (if your Air Fryer needs preheating, you can do this as step 1)
- Cooking the drumsticks for 10 mins, pull the basket out, use tongs to turn each drumstick to the other side, brush leftover marinade over this side and cook for a further 10 mins.
- Pull the basket out, sprinkle sesame seeds over the chicken drumsticks and push the basket back. Cook for a further 2-3 mins. Use a skewer to test one of the legs, pierce it at the widest part, if the juices run clear, they are cooked. If the juices are pink, cook for a further 2-5mins.
- Remove chicken drumsticks from Air Fryer and Serve immediately. Garnish with chopped shallots (optional)
- Note 1 The marinade will cover 800grams - 1kg of chicken legs
- Note 2 Sriracha is a hot chilli sauce and it does have a kick to it. Whilst mellowed when paired with the BBQ sauce and honey, if you are not a fan of heat at all, omit this from the recipe. If you do so, there is no need to substitute another ingredient.
- Note 3 The sesame seeds and chives are for texture and to garnish. If you wish to, you can omit them. Shallots (green onions) are a good substitute for the chives.
- Note serving size (per nutritional info) is 1 chicken leg