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 recipe! Simple to whip up and so much healthier than frying, these crispy chicken legs will be your new go-to for dinner.

platter with crispy chicken drumsticks

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

Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

I’ve had lots of people ask how the baked chicken wings recipe would translate to larger pieces, like drumsticks. This recipe is a family favorite, easy to make, and completely kid-friendly!

Get crispy, juicy chicken legs without frying, using my tried and true tips and my Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks recipe. It’s great for a busy weeknight and uses pantry staples you already have on hand.

For more ways to cook chicken legs try my recipes for Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Drumsticks, Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks, and Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken Drumsticks.

Ingredients for Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

  • Chicken Drumsticks – In order to get crispy skin, you need bone-in, skin-on chicken. You can trim some of the larger pieces of skin if needed.
  • Coating – All-purpose flour and baking powder. The baking powder reacts with the skin and draws out the moisture, which in turns helps the skin get nice and crispy.
  • Chicken Seasoning Kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.
ingredients for oven baked chicken

How to Make Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Legs

Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.

You’re just three steps away from crispy, juicy chicken legs!

  1. Pat the chicken as dry as possible with paper towels. The drier the skin, the crispier it will get. Coat chicken in flour/baking powder/seasonings.
  2. Arrange chicken in a single layer on a wire baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to ensure even cooking. 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. 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.
collage of images showing how to make crispy oven baked chicken drumsticks
close up of chicken drumsticks on baking rack

FAQs

How long does it take to cook drumsticks in the oven?

Bake chicken legs for about 40-45 minutes, or until the juices are clear and the internal temperature registers 165-170°F.

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. However, it’s common to hear drumsticks referred to as “legs.”

Variations

  • All-purpose seasoning – The coating is a simple mix of basic seasonings, flour and baking powder. You could easily swap out the spices I used for anything you like, or add a little onion powder or seasoned salt.
  • Poultry seasoning – If you have poultry seasoning on hand that would certainly taste amazing. Poultry seasoning has lots of herbs, like sage, rosemary and marjoram.
  • Spicy – Increase the heat level by adding some chili powder or cayenne pepper to the seasoning blend. You could also brush on some buffalo sauce towards the end and broil them.

Serving Suggestions

This recipe for Baked Chicken Drumsticks uses an all-purpose seasoning and goes with just about anything. These are some of our favorite side dishes to serve with chicken.

chicken leg with a bite in it

Storage and Reheating

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Sometimes I’ll cook extra just for the leftovers, and pull the meat off to use for sandwiches and salads.
  • Freezing: You can free cooked drumsticks for up to 6 months in an airtight, freezer safe container. Thaw completely before reheating.
  • Reheating: If you want to warm up the leftovers, you can heat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, but keep in mind the skin will not be crispy. I recommend heating at 350°F for 5-10 in the oven or in an air fryer. You can also just eat it cold!

Expert Tips

  • My best tip for getting crispy skin is to really pat the chicken dry with paper towels. The less moisture in the skin, the crispier it will get. If you have the time, pat the drumsticks dry and lay the out on a baking sheet and pop them in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight.
  • The baking powder is a key ingredient for crispiness. Don’t omit it.
  • Make sure to shake off the excess flour mixture after coating.
  • For easy clean up, line the sheet pan with aluminum foil before adding the baking rack.
  • For a nice, golden color, spray with a little olive oil cooking spray and broil for a few minutes towards the end.
tongs picking up a baked chicken leg

More Delicious Chicken Leg Recipes

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Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Get crispy baked chicken drumsticks in 3 easy steps. These juicy, flavorful baked chicken legs will be your new go-to chicken recipe!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 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 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

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 the chicken dry with paper towels. This is really important to get super crispy skin.
  • 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.
  • Bake in the preheated 425 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, turning over after 30 minutes. Juices should be clear and temperature should register 165-170 degrees. For a more golden color, spray with olive oil cooking spray and turn on the broiler for a few minutes, watching closely to ensure the chicken doesn't burn.
  • Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Sometimes I’ll cook extra just for the leftovers, and pull the meat off to use for sandwiches and salads.
  • Freezing: You can free cooked drumsticks for up to 6 months in an airtight, freezer safe container. Thaw completely before reheating.
  • Reheating: If you want to warm up the leftovers, you can heat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, but keep in mind the skin will not be crispy. I recommend heating at 350℉ for 5-10 in the oven or in an air fryer. You can also just eat it cold!

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. I have made this recipe seven times now, exactly as it is written. I am so in love with this dish I now make drumsticks every two weeks! I\They are so flavorful, crispy and not oily. You can’t go wrong here!!!!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

      1. Hi Vera, I’ve never had this problem, and always cook chicken (dark and white meat) to 165 degrees. But, it’s your personal preference.

  4. 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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