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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. I made this for my family yesterday and it was sooo good. I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to eat healthier during Covid-19. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. Just checking….recipe says 3 TABLESPOONS of BAKING POWDER. It seems like a lot but if that is correct, that’s what I’ll use. Just wanted to double-check. Can you verify? Thanks!

    1. Yes, that is correct. You actually will end up shaking the drumsticks off. There will be some leftover in the bag after shaking it off. You won’t be able to taste it or anything like that.

  5. I loved this! My daughter is on a GF diet so I substituted in almond flour and gf baking powder. We all loved it!

    1. My family loves this. I make this every fortnight now. So glad i found your recipe. Can i substitute drumsticks with chicken breast instead?

      1. You could use bone-in, skin on chicken breast. It wouldn’t work as well with boneless chicken breast.

    1. If you want to do it without the skin, don’t bother with the flour and baking powder because they are to crisp up the skin. the seasonings will still work though.

  6. Loved it! I was hesitant at first wondering if it would turn out crispy but omg it turned out delicious. Definitely going to be making this again.

  7. tried it loved it, gonna do always like this from now on,
    seen friends in air fryer and they just dont evenly crisp chicken all around,
    oven rules!
    loved the baking soda trick!

      1. The recipe says baking powder, but his comment said he used baking soda. Which is the correct ingredient?

    1. The flour is what gives the crispy coating. You could use only baking powder but I don’t know how well that will work. I haven’t tried gluten free either, however it would be worth a shot.

      1. Kristen, the chicken legs turned out to be absolutely delicious. The temp was a little over what you recommend, but they were still juice. You obviously know your stuff. Thanks for sharing.
        Tony

        1. Thank you Tony! Ovens do vary so that could cause the discrepancy in temperature. But it’s really hard to overcook this type of chicken. Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Thank you for this! I love oven fried chicken and the baking powder trick is so cool. THESE make a suitably great replacement to fried chicken …in our household. We have Company are on the way over (as I am typing) and a platter of drumsticks will be served … along with my black beans/rice and a dinner salad!

    1. You are so welcome Susan, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave some positive feedback.

  9. My husband always frys his chicken. I used your recipe a few weeks ago and today my family asked me to make this again. Thanks for a recipe that my children as for instead of dads.

  10. I attempted the recipe for your oven baked crispy drumsticks and the breading would not get crispy and I don’t know why. Could it have been because I over sprayed it?

  11. We loved this. We had bbq marinated chicken from the store, so I just coated it with the cooking spray(no butter spray just cooking spray) and used the cookie sheet and cooling rack as suggested. No flour though. It came out so great! All the skin was nice and crispy on both sides! Really any seasoning as long as you use the cooling rack and the cooking spray/butter spray. We now love making this when before I’d only buy it if we were using the bbq. Thank you!

  12. These were great… everyone liked them and the flavor was rite on !!! Thanks so much My guy is doing keto so we didn’t add the flour and used double the baking powder but still great results… this will go into our rotation meals for sure !!

  13. I’m going to try it today hopefully it will turn out good I’m not a good cook thatI will let you know how much I liked it thank you

  14. I tried it and it tastes perfectly. I used gluten free self raising flour instead as my daughter is allergic to gluten. It turns out to be super tasty

  15. My hubby & Son love it! We first tried the drumsticks and I was scared to do 3 tbspns of baking powder but tonight we are trying my favorite ….Thighs. We will see how that goes. Full recipe We Love it. I did however add some grilling chicken spice to the recipe! You Rock chic

      1. What is the purpose of the baking powder? Thanks. Looking forward to trying this. Love simple recipes.

          1. We usually skin our chicken legs to avoid the fat. Do you you think it will still work on heavily floured chicken legs? I hope so. Will try. Thanks. FM

  16. I have to make 70 drumsticks for a homeless organization. Would this recipe work for such a large amount of chicken?

    1. Yes I think it would work. I’d say work in batches, but if you have an industrial size oven you could cook more at a time.

      1. Kristin, on a lark, I only have 3 drumsticks and 5 thighs so I cut ( using the Chinese butcher knife) each thigh in half. I marinade them with some garlic powder, onion powder and a pinch of salt. Then, I proceed as usual using your yummy coating ingredients. In my humble opinion, the yumminess was elevated to another level! Your seasoning is spot on! I shared your recipe with my daughter, my neighbors …..Thank you very much again!

  17. Hey Kristin!! I’m super excited to try these out tonight!! I was wanting to brush on a sweet and spicy sticky sauce I bought. Do you think I should do in mid cooking or when they are done?? Can you tell I’m new to wings and drumsticks? haha Thanks in advance!

  18. Hi! Thank you for the recipe! I’ll be making it tomorrow , just wondering. Do you cover the chicken with aluminum foil when it’s in the oven? Or will it cook ok uncovered? Thanks again!

  19. Hi Dear Kirstin, Thanks for this delicious recipe..I have it cooking now and it smells very good indeed.. x

  20. Hi Dear Kristin, Delighted to discover your crispy chicken with Psprika/Chilli powder earlier…it’s cooking now and I can tell it will be delicious…Thanks in advance. P.S. It’s a lovely change for me..generally cooking chicken with sauces

  21. Hi I just finished making this crispy chicken legs and I set oven 425 and within half hour they were done… I live up here in canada

  22. Can’t wait to try your recipe tonight’s supper. Read over about 10 and yours sounded more enticing. I’ll let u know after supper ,

  23. Super crispy and the chicken was moist and delicious! I cooked them for a bit longer just to get an even crisp on both sides. Fiancé loved them as well definitely our new go to chicken drumstick recipe! Trying your wing recipe next!
    Thank you for sharing!!

  24. Thank you for this recipe! May I comment on the step involving the ziplock bag? It sounds very convenient, but I presume few people disinfect and reuse these. So this method for marinading food generates plastic waste that could be avoided- for example, by using dishwasher safe tupperware instead (IKEA sells cheap ones made of glass, even). Given the degree of plastic pollution in our oceans etc, might be worth a try.

  25. LOOKS SO GOOD, I AM GOING TO TRY IT TODAY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR RECIPE ON THIS SITE.

    GAYLE

  26. I’ve necer heard of using baking powder in a coating for chicken. I am excited to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. For any chicken recipe calling for baking POWDER (mind you, NOT BAKING SODA) MAKE SURE YOU USE ALUMINUM FREE BAKING POWDER. Normal baking powder has aluminum in it and doesn’t work well as it tastes funny. Argo brand is aluminum free which I’ve found at Walmart. There are other brands as well. The baking powder changes the pH of the meat and helps to crisp it up.

  27. Hmmm… Not sure what went wrong. I used boneless breasts but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. No flavor at all. Went with the backup plan and applied bbq sauce and the family ate it up. I didn’t expect a crispy exterior but I thought the dredge would provide enough flavor. The only thing I can think of is that the ingredients list kosher salt seperatly from salt but no quantity. Was I supposed to add more salt?

  28. Decided to try this for dinner tonight and the drumsticks turned out great – really crispy and yummy! However I did notice some parts of the chicken tasted a bit powdery. Should I have shaken the flour off a bit before putting the pieces on the pan? I didn’t use cooking spray as suggested because I didn’t have any on hand but instead brushed olive oil. I’d love to do this recipe because it was gooood! TIA!

  29. in the ingredient list you only list chili powder but in the directions you mention paprika… so do you use chili powder or paprika? I feel there’s a definite difference between tastes depending on what you use!

    1. Good catch Carrie! I’ve used both, so when I wrote it I probably was thinking of both. I prefer paprika, but chili powder works great too.

  30. Holy smokes these came out crispy! Next time I’ll be more prepared and have buttermilk (and at least a couple extra hours) on hand, but I brushed these with a little homemade ‘hot chicken paste’ just after removing from the oven and they could not have turned out more terrific.

    10 out 10!

    1. By far amaze balls! I hate to be he turd that adjusts and posts. But only thing I did was I didn’t g ave flour. So I super blended Pablo and added a sprinkle of sugar. But wholly cow, spot on on cooking time and spraying the oil. What a clever idea! Thank you!