Air fryer drumsticks are quick, easy, and delicious!

Yes, you CAN cook chicken drumsticks from frozen in the air fryer! This recipe delivers hot and tender chicken with a seasoned crispy coating, all within minutes in the air fryer!

chicken drumsticks on a plate

Best Air Fryer Drumsticks

  • When the gang is ready to watch the big game or you’ve got a last-minute party invite, impress everyone with a pile of quick and delicious fried chicken!
  • This recipe lets you season or sauce them any way you like, from sweet to spicy! The air fryer is the best way to reheat them, too!
  • No need to preheat the air fryer when you’re starting from frozen with this super easy method. Simply add extra minutes to cook time and let a meat thermometer be your guide.
ingredients assembled to make air fryer chicken drumsticks from frozen, including frozen chicken legs, garlic powder, olive oil, bbq sauce, and salt and pepper

Ingredients & Variations

Chicken Drumsticks – Use drumsticks that are the same general size so they all cook at the same rate. This recipe will also work for frozen thighs (boneless/bone-in) and wings.

Seasonings – Any dry poultry seasoning, rub, marinade, or bbq sauce can be used to season frozen drumsticks.

How to Make Air Fryer Drumsticks

  1. Toss drumsticks in oil and seasonings and cook in a single layer in the air fryer. Toss them quickly or the oil will freeze on the drumsticks and get clumpy.
  2. Brush with bbq sauce halfway through cooking (as per recipe below) and remove when they reach 165°F.
  3. Let the drumsticks rest before serving.
cooked chicken drumsticks in an air fryer tray

Tips for Crispy Drumsticks

  • Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket or tray. Give the drumsticks enough space for the hot air to circulate around them so they cook evenly and the skin gets crispy.
  • If using an air fryer with a tray, use the lowest rack.
  • Keep cooked batches on a sheet pan in the oven and then place them under the broiler just before serving to get them extra hot and tasty.

Easy Air Fryer Party Snacks

chicken drumsticks on a plate
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Air Fryer Drumsticks from Frozen

No need to wait for the chicken to thaw with this easy Air Fryer frozen chicken drumsticks recipe.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings



  • 2 pounds frozen chicken drumsticks 6-8 drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce


  • Combine olive oil and seasonings. In a large bowl, drizzle drumsticks with the olive mixture and quickly toss to coat.
  • Add the frozen chicken drumsticks to the air fryer basket and turn the air fryer on to 350°F.
  • Cook the drumsticks 20 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce and cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and drumsticks reach 165°F.
  • Remove the basket and let rest 5 minutes.


Toss the drumsticks quickly or the oil will freeze.
5 from 2 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 461mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a mom of 4 with a love for all things air fryer! Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making recipes for the everyday home cook!
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