Air Fryer Fried Chicken

This Air Fryer Fried Chicken recipe results in golden, crispy chicken drumsticks that are juicy and full of delicious flavour. You’ll love this fried chicken that uses no oil, and isn’t greasy. It’s the best crispy air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe ever!

fried chicken drumsticks on brown paper on a table

If you’ve been debating on whether or not to get an Air Fryer, this Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe (also, air fryer chicken legs) would absolutely convince you to get this popular kitchen appliance.

This is one such time that I wish I could include taste in an article, because WOW. You would swear that it was fried in oil.

Yet this Fried Chicken recipe uses no oil and results in the most crispy, delicious skin ever. Inside, the chicken is juicy and tender to perfection.

This Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe is made with a buttermilk marinade plus a coating; I would hesitate to ever make chicken drumsticks another way again, and especially air frying them.

The result is the best air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe with crispy skin.

pieces of fried chicken drumsticks on a white plate with a bowl of salad and plates

Ingredients Required

You’ll need the following simple ingredients to make this air fryer drumsticks, a great alternative to traditional fried chicken.

The full instructions and printable recipe card for this delicious recipe are below.

  • Chicken Legs / Chicken Drumsticks – use any you’d like
  • Cooking Spray (nonstick spray) – Canola, Peanut, Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
  • Buttermilk
  • Hot Sauce
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Corn Starch
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika

How to Make Air Fryer Crispy Juicy Chicken

First, you will want to marinate your chicken in a buttermilk mixture for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours.

The buttermilk helps to keep the chicken juicy on the inside, while the hot sauce adds flavour yet doesn’t result in a spicy chicken.

When it comes time to cook, you place the marinated chicken pieces in a flour mixture that consists of flour, corn starch, and tasty seasonings (in a shallow bowl).

If you’d like a more robust taste, feel free to increase the seasoning amounts in the dry mixture a little to suit your preference.

Then you cook the chicken in an Air Fryer, placing each piece of chicken inside so they don’t overlap.

You may need to cook more than one batch of chicken pieces depending on the size of your Air Fryer.

When my second batch of crunchy fried chicken was finished cooking, the waiting first batch pieces were still warm, for those concerned about batch cooking.

fried chicken drumsticks on brown paper with parsley

The chicken is cooked on an Air Fryer temperature of 350 degrees, and for a cooking time of about 30 minutes, pausing half-way to turn each piece.

They are cooked when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees and they are golden brown in colour.

What we all adored most about this Air Fryer Chicken recipe is just how crispy the chicken turned out.

It’s way better than your favourite fried chicken takeout restaurant, and without the use of a deep fryer.

Usually I have to blot fried chicken quite a bit on paper towel, yet with this recipe you don’t have to at all.

It produces the same (if not better) taste with less oil, and that just might be the best part!

Tips & Tricks

  • Do not overlap meat when using the Air Fryer. It’s best to have the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and not touching. An Air fryer works by circulating hot air around food to cook so it’s important not only in cooking but getting that crispy outside.
  • When pausing cooking half-way, I spray the dried flour parts of the chicken, turn and spray again. This ensures the coating doesn’t taste like dried flour, but also helps to get that signature golden colour. I use canola oil spray; yet you can use olive, peanut or vegetable spray as well.
  • Some people line the Air Fryer rack with parchment paper, yet I have yet to experience the coating sticking to the rack so I don’t think it’s necessary.
  • Depending on the size and brand of your air fryer, cook time will vary slightly. Use a meat thermometer.
  • This chicken tastes best when served after cooking on the same day Yet you can easily enjoy leftovers by reheating the chicken in the Air Fryer for about 10 minutes on 350 degrees.
  • Technically you can use the same marinade and coating to make air fryer chicken breast as well, so you could add this to your boneless chicken breasts recipes too.


Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

To have crispy leftovers, it’s best to reheat the chicken pieces in the air fryer. To do so, cook for 4 minutes at 375º F.

As well, you can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 months.

a piece of fried chicken being picked up by tongs over a plate of fried chicken pieces

This crispy fried recipe is so perfect for summer. Not only will you not heat the house by using the oven, like when making Baked BBQ Chicken Legs.

Yet this easy recipe is always a hit when it comes to summer fun and enjoying the outdoors.

Whether you’re dining on the deck after a long day, or having a picnic – this Air Fryer Fried Chicken is a recipe that everyone will love. It’s a family favorite, even with the picky eaters. I’d even make and pack this chicken for a day at the beach!

Serve this air fryer chicken with french fries, a side salad or your favourite chicken side. Sometimes we like to enjoy this with Homemade Cornbread.

This is a wonderful great recipe and main dish to add to your favorite air fryer recipes collection, and and one of our favourite easy chicken recipes of all time. Our whole family agrees that the taste is amazing.

FAQs for Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken

You can use this recipe for air fryer drumsticks, or chicken thighs. You can also make air fryer chicken breasts with this recipe.

We love to serve this air fryer fried chicken recipe with biscuits and vegetables. A simple side salad will do or you can serve carrots or green beans.

Fried chicken will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure it’s placed in an airtight contianer, sealed container, or covered with plastic wrap.

Place cooked fried chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Reheat at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 minutes.

More Easy Dinner Recipes to Try:

fried chicken drumsticks on brown paper on a table

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

How to make the BEST AIR FYER FRIED CHICKEN with a buttermilk marinade and tasty coating in under 45 minutes. Super crispy on the outside and tender and juicy inside.


  • 8 Chicken Drumsticks
  • Cooking Spray - Canola, Peanut, Vegetable or Olive


  • 1.5 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder


  • 1.5 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Corn Starch
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag and place chicken drumsticks in. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  2. Pre-heat an Air Fryer to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the coating ingredients.
  4. Take 1 chicken drumstick out of the marinade and place into coating bowl, turning chicken until completely covered with dried mixture. Press dried mixture onto the chicken skin if needed.
  5. Transfer drumstick into a pre-heated air fryer basket.
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 until you have chicken pieces in a single layer in the basket, without overlapping the chicken.
  7. Place basket back into the Air Fryer and set timer for 30 minutes, and start cooking. At 15 minute mark, pause the air fryer and take out the basket. Spray cooking oil on any parts of the chicken that look like dried flour. Using tongs, turn chicken over and spray again.
  8. Place basket back into the air fryer and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 with remaining drumsticks as needed.
  10. Enjoy!


  • cooking time depends on size and brand of Air Fryer
  • Adjust seasoning amounts to preference.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 637Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 235mgSodium: 960mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 53g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

fried chicken drumsticks with text

Created by Tammi Roy

Tammi Roy is the founder of My Organized Chaos, a Canadian food and lifestyle blog. She lives in Alberta, Canada and is the mom of three beautiful teenage girls. Tammi’s passions are her family, creating and sharing delicious recipes, travelling and photography. Learn more about Tammi.


  1. My favorite chicken recipe is Ritz chicken fingers.
    Crumble ritz crackers, add spices. Cut chicken into strips. Dip into buttermilk, egg, flour and then the ritz crumbs then deep fry.

  2. I don’t have Chicken Recipes. I just throw a bunch of spices or BBQ sauce on there and I am good. I don’t make sandwiches or salads or anything else, just strait up Chicken

  3. My favorite chicken recipe is butter chicken. I buy the butter chicken sauce from Costco and cut the chicken into cubes. I cook them together and enjoy it with rice and naan bread.

  4. My absolute favourite meal is our chicken vindaloo with my home made garlic naan and a bottle of red. Its spicy and delicious and always puts me in a great mood!

  5. My fav chicken recipe is Easy Chicken Enchiladas – if I don’t want to make wraps I make it as a casserole with rice.

    Easy Chicken Enchiladas
    1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 cup Salsa Sauce
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    2 cups chopped cooked chicken
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    6 (6-inch) flour tortilla, warmed
    1 small tomato, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    1/2 tsp salt

    Heat the oven to 350°F. Stir the soup, sour cream, picante sauce, salt and chili powder in a medium bowl.
    Stir 1 cup soup mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
    Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side down in an 11 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. Pour the remaining soup mixture over the filled tortillas. Cover the baking dish.
    Bake for 40 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot. Top with the tomato and some cheese.

  6. With school lockdowns: getting inspired trying new ideas for quick and healthy meals. Just recently I bought Ranch Cheez-It’s. So I placed 1/2 in a Ziploc bag – used my rolling pin and crunched them into minutes crumbs – coated a few chicken breasts and grilled on my stove. Well it was delicious. New fave.

  7. My fave chicken recipe is chicken enchiladas. They are a little bit of work, but absolutely delicious

  8. I smoke bone in skin on chicken breasts with hickory and coat them in bbq sauce until the whole breast is saturated in bbq sauce

  9. I love chicken and I have recently been enjoying chicken legs smothered in sauce on the BBQ.

  10. So many good recipes out there! I can’t pick my favourite.
    The coconut curry chicken looks delish!

  11. Omg – definitely the Grilled Chicken Salad with Corn and Feta. First one I saw and man — that looks delicious.

  12. My top favourite is my dad’s barbecued chicken. The Broccoli & Chicken Casserole recipe from the website looks really good too.

  13. We have the original air fryer and I like to make chicken wings. I wash and pat dry the wings. Add oil. Salt and pepper. Then I add chopped green onion and fresh herbs from my garden, Basil, Thyme, Sage & Rosemary! Oops forgot about the chopped garlic! They are a family favourite!

  14. I love making chicken Caesar salad wraps! So tasty with garden fresh tomatoes thrown in.

  15. I love bbq chicken on the grill with some seasonings and our favourite bbq sauce to finish it off

  16. My favorite chicken recipe is my bacon wrapped, stuffed chicken breasts. Sauté chopped onions, mushrooms, tiny bits of frozen broccoli in butter. Make pocket in chicken breasts and place the onions, mushrooms and broccoli in pocket. Salt and pepper lightly inside and out and season with poultry seasoning of choice. Wrap bacon around chicken breasts (about 2-3 slices per breast.) Place in foil covered greased or sprayed pan or glass dish to bake in oven. Bake at 375 degree’s for 25-30 min. Remove top foil and let bacon crisp up for about 5-8 min. All Done. so delish!! and looks great on plate if having company! Can add cheese on top to melt just before serving if you like. I’d love to try this recipe in an air fryer….. been shopping and contemplating on one for quite a while now…. would love to try one for all my meals…

  17. My favorite recipe for chicken is Hawaiian Style Chicken Panang (with macadamia nuts! 🙂
    Thank you for the post!

  18. I love making chicken salad

    Chicken, mayo, onion and salt and pepper

    So easy and super delicious

  19. I am definitely making the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. It sounds delicious and no added fat from deep frying.

  20. My favorite way to cook chicken is as part of a stir fry, with whatever vegetable I have on hand and shanghai noodles.

  21. My favorite way of cooking chicken is as part of a stir fry, along with any vegetables I have on hand, and shanghai noodles.

  22. I love chicken anyway it’s cooked, chicken is my #1 and my most favourite is chicken parmesan!!

  23. My favourite chicken recipe is basic roast chicken with rosemary. I love roast chicken as I can then make a gravy. I also love honey garlic chicken with rice.

  24. love everything made with chicken…it is so versatile. a family favorite has to be Butter Chicken

  25. This sounds like an amazing recipe! I will definitely be trying it!! I am pretty basic when it comes to chicken but love grilling it all summer long. Simple seasons allows everyone to use dips to satisfy their own tastes. Seasoning salt, little bit of garlic powder & pepper. Ranch dip, caesar dip, honey…BBQ sauce…the possibilities are endless.

  26. My favorite chicken recipe is cranberry chicken salad wraps. Cool chicken breast, add diced cucumber, onion and cranberries. Add half mayo and half miracle whip and salt and pepper. Serve on tortilla wraps with lettuce.

  27. One of my family’s favorite chicken dishes is a flavorful Jamaican Jerk Chicken dish 🙂
    Thanks for the chance!

  28. My favourite chicken recipe is “Hurry Up chicken”! So simple and delicious!

  29. One of our new favorites is soaking chicken overnight in italian dressing; lightly flour the next day and put in the air fryer, about 30 mins at 350 depending on what chicken I buy. Once done sprinkle feta and have with or on a salad or we love garlic quinoa & rice.

  30. My favorite chicken recipe is my Grandmas candied chicken. She passed down the recipe to me before she passed. It is so delicious and I have yet to find an recipe quite like this one.

  31. ooo so many great recipes!! The first one I would love to try is the Thai Grilled Chicken Noodle Salad

  32. I’m interested in trying the Chicken Burgers with Ginger Aioli Slaw recipe. Looks delicious!

  33. Chicken Kabobs with fresh pineapple and veggies is one of my favourite chicken recipes. SO easy, fun and delicious!

  34. Our favourite is Classy Chicken or Chicken Divine, chicken, brocolli, curry chicken soup with mayo sauce

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