Easy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Learn how to bake chicken legs in the oven in three easy steps with my Easy, Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks! Simple to whip up and so much healthier than frying, these crispy chicken legs will be your new go-to for dinner.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! We love chicken for dinner and have lots of different methods on the site, from baked chicken breasts to grilled chicken thighs, to stovetop chicken. Everyone loves my Crispy Baked Chicken Wings so we put that method to the test to make these juicy baked chicken legs!

A close up of chicken drumsticks

CRISPY BAKED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

Growing up, fried chicken was always a staple for dinner. I remember how much my grandma loved her fried chicken and mashed potatoes. She’d make it for dinner at least once a month, and the family would come running. What’s not to love? Crispy, crunchy, juicy and flavorful fried chicken is pretty much the bomb diggity of chicken.

Unfortunately, fried chicken isn’t exactly the healthiest, though not too bad in moderation. But if you’re like us and want to enjoy that crispy, juicy chicken more often, my Easy Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks recipe is the way to go.

baked chicken legs on a wire baking rack over a baking sheet in the oven in three easy steps with this Easy, Crispy Oven Baked Chicken recipe! So simple and healthier than frying!

Tons of people who love my Crispy Baked Chicken Wings have asked how the recipe would translate to larger pieces, like drumsticks. Well I’m here to tell you it works and it is delicious! I didn’t change the recipe much other than increasing the ingredients to account for the larger pieces of chicken. I also swapped out the paprika for chili powder because it’s what I had available.

chicken drumsticks in a red basket with paper

How to make Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Legs in three easy steps:

  1. Coat chicken in flour/baking powder/seasonings. The baking powder reacts with the skin and draws out the moisture, which in turns helps the skin get nice and crispy.
  2. Use a wire baking rack oven a cookie sheet to ensure even crisping. If you don’t have a wire rack, you can place the chicken legs right on the foil that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. The wire rack helps air to circulate around the pieces of chicken so they can cook more evenly.
  3. Spray with butter flavor cooking spray before baking for that golden skin. I recommend the butter one here for the flavor factor, but you can use regular cooking spray, or avocado, coconut, etc.

Easy Customization

  • The coating is a simple mix of basic seasonings, flour and baking powder. You could easily swap out the seasonings I used for anything you like. If you have poultry seasoning on hand that would certainly taste (and small) amazing on these baked chicken legs.
  • I like to keep my recipes simple, not requiring a ton of steps, but for even juicier chicken you could soak the drumsticks for a couple of hours in buttermilk.

chicken legs on a wire baking rack. 1 has a bite taken out of it.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR DRUMSTICKS TO COOK IN THE OVEN?

While the coating will help the chicken retain some crispiness, I sprayed my drumsticks with a butter based cooking spray to help them get nice and golden and crispy and laid them on a baking rack over a cookie sheet. Spraying them instead of coating them in butter helps to keep the calories and fat down which is always a plus, especially when you’re talking about fried chicken!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake the chicken drumsticks for about 40-45 minutes, turning them over after about 30 minutes. You’ll know they are done when the meat is no longer pink at the bone and the juices are clear. A meat thermometer inserted near the bone should register 165 degrees.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHICKEN LEGS AND DRUMSTICKS?

A chicken leg refers to the entire upper leg portion of the chicken, which is the drumstick and thigh. A drumstick is strictly the lower leg.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH BAKED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

We love to serve our crispy baked chicken drumsticks with classic comfort food recipes:

 

Chicken drumsticks in a basket

For more easy and delicious baked chicken recipes, try this one:

Eat More Chicken!

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A close up of chicken drumsticks

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, these oven baked drumsticks are everyone's favorite!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 289kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pounds chicken drumsticks bone-in, skin-on
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • butter flavor nonstick cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack on top if you have one. If you don’t have a baking rack just spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Pat chicken dry, leaving skin in tact, and set aside.
  • In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper. Place the chicken in the bag a few pieces at a time and shake to coat. Set chicken pieces skin side down on the baking rack that has been placed on top of the baking sheet (or on the foil lined baking sheet that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray). Place larger pieces toward the outside; pieces can be close together but should not touch. Spray pieces generously and evenly with butter flavored non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake in the preheated 425 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, turning over after 30 minutes. Spray again with the cooking spray after turning. Juices should be clear and temperature should register 165 degrees. If you are not happy with the color you can turn on the broiler for a few minutes, just watch closely to ensure the chicken doesn't burn.
  • Cool slightly before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 2drumsticksCalories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 28gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 745mgPotassium: 831mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 439IUCalcium: 213mgIron: 2mg
Keyword baked drumsticks

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Bring baking powder to a new level in cooking. Just cooked 8 chicken drumsticks improvised with this recipe, I added a little sugar, used chicken powder and less salt. I also pulled back the skin so more meat got coated with the mix for a few minutes, then pulled up the skin again. However, in ding so, my fingers got stuck with some of the moist mix. But if I did it with the plastic bag in between, or perhaps using gloves might avoid the mess on the fingers and losing some of the mix. Just shared one piece with my fiance, he absolutely loved it! I found to adjust to the individual oven temperature is paramount. I only cooked 30 minutes.The meat came away from the bone beautifully. This recipe will be in my collection, thank you for sharing. xx

  2. It was good but we thought the spray on butter gave it a strange taste. Think next time I will try without spray on or else maybe melt a little butter and drip it on.

        1. Hi Donale, You can marinate chicken breast instead of the legs and it will be delicious, but the cook time will be different, and will also depend on if you are using bone-in breasts or boneless.

  3. Great lil recipe and it tasted really good… I added an additional 2 teaspoons of poultry/steak seasoning and it woke up the flavor even more… I used to oven fry like this And it’s so much healthier than oil frying!

    Also I found that I had to cook it and additional 15-21 minutes! It was one hour and 11 minutes but worth it! Just check internal temp every oven is different!

    I’m going to try it on the gas grill next!! And I’ll get back to you.

    Thanks again

    Tommy

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