Serve up super juicy and tender pieces of chicken with this air fryer drumsticks recipe. The lemon garlic marinade shines through when cooking in the air fryer to create mouthwatering pieces of chicken.

close up image of air fryer chicken drumsticks served on a plate topped with lemon slices and parsley

This air fryer drumstick recipe will quickly become a favorite. Not only is it easy to make in the air fryer, but it is also incredibly flavorful.

The air fryer allows the flavors to truly shine through and create a tender, juicy piece of chicken. It takes away all of the unnecessary oils when cooking to make a delicious and light piece of air fryer chicken legs.

close up image of air fryer chicken drumsticks in a an air fryer basket with lemon slices

Air Fryer Drumstick Recipe

Drumsticks are underrated when it comes to chicken. Everyone loves the wings and chicken breasts are great for a weeknight meal. However, the drumsticks are the real star of the show. They are packed with flavor and stay juicy when cooked. It really should be the piece of chicken that everyone is fighting for!

Luckily with this recipe, there will be way more than just two legs. This recipe calls for four drumsticks, making it perfect for dinner any night of the week. It easily can be doubled or tripled, too, if you want to serve a bigger crowd.

The air fryer makes cooking these air fryer chicken drumsticks super simple. Even if you are not a big cook, you will be able to master this recipe. The air fryer allows the chicken to cook to perfection. When you take the drumsticks out, they will be tender with super crispy skin and bursting with lemon garlic flavor from the marinade.

Not a fan of chicken drumsticks in the air fryer? Try out our air fryer chicken breast for a great alternative!

ingredients to make chicken drumsticks

Ingredients To Make Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • 4 chicken legs
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic – add more garlic if cloves are small or not strong enough.
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice and zest – zest the lemon before juicing it to make it much easier.
  • Oregano
  • Brown sugar – use typical brown sugar or muscovado sugar for a sweet, intense caramel flavor.
steps to make air fryer chicken drumsticks

How To Make Mouthwatering Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

  1. Prepare marinade and chicken: In a large bowl or large plastic bag, combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken to the marinade and massage it all over. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for 30 minutes or 1-2 hours if you have the time.
  2. Prepare air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 375.
  3. Cook chicken in air fryer: Once the air fryer is ready, add the chicken to the basket and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the chicken and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Garnish: Garnish the chicken with the extra lemon zest, or slice another lemon. Sprinkle with oregano or parsley.
top down image of air fryer chicken drumsticks served on parchment paper on a plate with lemon wedges and parsley

Quick Tip

Give the drumsticks room in the air dryer basket! If they are overcrowded, the cook on the chicken legs will not be even. Spread them out when cooking!

How To Store Leftover Chicken Drumsticks

Air fryer chicken drumsticks are great leftovers. The drumsticks will last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator, sealed in an airtight container. When you are ready to eat the leftovers, use the air fryer to warm them up. Set them in the basket for about 10 minutes to get that crisp flavor back into the tasty drumsticks.


Can I use other pieces of chicken in this recipe?

Yes! This marinade is great for all pieces of chicken. Substitute 6-7 chicken wings or 4 chicken thighs for the drumsticks. You can also double or triple the marinade recipe to cook more or a whole chicken.

How do you know when the drumsticks are done in the air fryer?

The temperature will be key when cooking with an air fryer. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the drumsticks. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees when done.

Can you freeze the air fryer drumsticks?

Of course! Chicken freezes really well, and it is great to have in the freezer when you need dinner or an extra meal fast. Simply cook the chicken as you would and let it fully cool. Then, seal it in an airtight container and stick it in the freezer. The drumsticks will last 2-3 months.

More Air Fryer Recipes To Try Out

Air Fryer Lemon Garlic Chicken Drumsticks

Serve up juicy and tender pieces of chicken with this air fryer chicken drumstick recipe. The air fryer perfectly cooks the chicken.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 4 chicken legs drumsticks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large lemon juiced, and zests
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar


  • In a large bowl (or you can use a plastic bag), mix all the ingredients together for the marinade.
  • Massage the chicken legs with the marinade and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes or 1-2 hours if you have more time.
  • Preheat air fryer to 375 F according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Once the air fryer is preheated, transfer the chicken into the basket and air fry for 10 minutes (discard the leftover marinade or reheat in a pan until gently simmering to drizzle on top when serving), and flip the chicken for the last 10 minutes. Total air frying time 20 minutes. Chicken should be darkened, browned, and very crisp on the outside.
  • Garnish with extra lemon zest, lemon slices/wedges, and fresh oregano or parsley. Serve with any dipping sauce of your choice.


If you have air fryer basket liners, use them so your air fryer basket can serve you longer. DIY: You can also simply use parchment paper, cut out according to size needed, punch or cut out some holes in it.
Fried food generally doesn’t reheat well. But with an air fryer, you can reheat the chicken once if it got cold (on the same day of making). Reheat in a preheated air fryer at 375 F for 5 minutes.
Oregano – best combination with lemon garlic but other alternatives would be rosemary, basil, thyme. Dried or fresh.


Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

Categories: , , ,

About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.