Air Fryer Chicken Legs

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Air fryer chicken legs can be served for a weeknight dinner or game day snack. Create a mouthwatering marinade with just 4 simple ingredients!

Making chicken legs in the air fryer is not only quick and easy, but you get perfectly crispy skin every time.

Plus, skipping the oven keeps your kitchen cool during the hotter months!

Love the flavor of these buffalo chicken legs? Enjoy it in a variety of ways, from pasta salad and party dip to sandwiches and meatballs!

titled collage for air fryer chicken legs

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Legs

In just two easy steps, you’ll have tender, juicy meat with plenty of kick! Be sure to start early enough to allow time for the drumsticks to sit in the refrigerator.

Serve them up with your favorite ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping and a simple green salad or veggie sticks to round out your plate.

  1. Marinate the meat. Combine the sauce ingredients in a large storage bag, then add the poultry. Transfer to the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  2. Cook. Lift the drumsticks out of the marinade, reserving the liquid for basting. Place the chicken legs in the air fryer and cook until done, flipping halfway through.
ingredients on counter for air fryer chicken drumsticks

Ingredient Notes

I like to use Frank’s in all of my recipes, but you can easily use whichever brand is your favorite.

Check the label for the list of ingredients – if vinegar is one of the first ones listed, you may want to reduce the amount in the recipe so the flavor isn’t too overpowering.

To make these spicier, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the marinade.

If you like your air fryer chicken legs extra saucy, double the ingredients. Use half of the sauce for the marinade and use the other half to toss with the drumsticks after they have been cooked.

chicken marinade in zip top bag

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drumsticks in air fryer

FAQ – Common Recipe Questions

What temperature should I cook buffalo chicken legs to?

Any type of poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165°F for food safety reasons. Feel free to use a digital meat thermometer to be sure, but you can also check for doneness by cutting into the meat itself.

Slice into the meat, about halfway to the bone, and gently separate the two sides. The poultry should no longer be pink or translucent, and the juices should run clear.

If it doesn’t appear done, pop the drumsticks back in for a few more minutes.

chicken legs in air fryer

Can I make this air fryer chicken legs recipe with wings instead?

Absolutely! The cooking time will be different, so check out this post for tips and instructions.

If you need a big batch to feed a crowd, I would recommend using my crock pot recipe instead. It uses honey to create a sweet and sticky glaze, but there’s still plenty of heat to tantalize your taste buds!


With love from our simple kitchen to yours.

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air fried chicken legs, close up

Air Fryer Chicken Legs

Donna Elick
Air fryer chicken legs can be served for a weeknight dinner or game day snack. Create a mouthwatering marinade with just 4 simple ingredients!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 1 hr 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Air Fryer
Servings 4


  • 1/2 cup buffalo hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 chicken legs


  • In a large Ziploc bag, combine the buffalo sauce, butter, vinegar, and garlic powder. Close the bag and shake until all the ingredients get incorporated.
  • Add the chicken legs into a Ziploc bag and place in the fridge raider for 1 hour to marinate.
  • Place the chicken legs into the basket of the air fryer, save the remaining marinade for later. Set the air fryer to 400° for 25 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time.
  • If you wish to brush the chicken with the remaining marinade, simply transfer it to a pot over medium-high heat and boil until the marinade is reduced (thickened).


Serving: 1 | Calories: 468cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 1128mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for air fryer chicken legs

Originally published May 2021

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