The Best Crunchy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

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Juicy, tender, crispy chicken legs that taste fried, right from your oven – crunchy baked chicken drumsticks only use a bit of oil but have an amazing addictive flavor everyone loves!

a hand holding baked chicken drumstick
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chicken drumsticks on a white baking dish

The Best Crunchy Oven Baked Chicken Legs

Chicken drumsticks are crunchy, full of meaty flavor, great to make for parties/cookouts, and are economical – making them an easy pick, especially for families.

This recipe is based off my wildly popular Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks – but I designed this recipe to be insanely adaptable, so you can change it up and add your own sauces, herbs, or spices to fit your tastes!

These chicken legs are insanely decadent with a crispy skin you’ll go wild for – but are made with just salt, black pepper, and butter, along with a few basic herbs and spices.

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

chicken drumsticks sitting in a white dish

How Bake Chicken Drumsticks

To get chicken skin that crackles, there are a few steps to follow to make sure you get it perfect, every time you make chicken drumsticks in the oven.

We are sharing our process – that doesn’t add extra fat or frying – below.

To Make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 4 lb chicken drumsticks (about 12) – pat chicken dry with a paper towel to remove any excess packaging liquid.
  • 2 tsp garlic powder – this will add a rich, earthy flavor to your chicken.
  • 2 tsp onion powder – onion adds a slightly sweet, earthy flavor that brings a nice balance to chicken.
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika – smoked paprika gives a bit of smoky flavor, as well as a red hue.
  • 2 tsp salt – I like to use a coarse sea salt.
  • 1 tsp pepper – I prefer using fresh ground pepper.
  • Garlic butter baste:
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted – butter will help bring a rich, crispy crunch at the end of baking.
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced – this fresh minced garlic will be used at the end of cooking for a bit more flavor just before the chicken is done.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Thoroughly pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, mix together spices (all ingredients but chicken, butter, and minced garlic.)
  • Coat chicken in dry rub, let sit 30 minutes to overnight.
  • Add chicken to oven on a cooling rack sitting atop a baking sheet.
  • Let chicken bake about 40 minutes before adding butter baste – until skin is crispy and fat has started to render.
  • Flip chicken drumsticks every 10 minutes to ensure it crisps evenly on all sides.
  • In a small pot, melt butter with minced garlic on stove until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Do not let garlic burn.
  • With a silicone brush, lightly brush chicken with melted butter and minced garlic, flipping its side each time you add another coat of butter, about every 10 minutes until butter is used up (about 30 minutes.)
  • When chicken is ready, turn on broiler and broil for two minutes on each side to give a little extra crunch to chicken skin.
  • Serve immediately.
 three chicken drumsticks on a plate

Tips To Perfect Crunchy Baked Chicken Legs

I always arrange chicken legs to oven on a cooling rack – not directly on a baking sheet.

This helps to lift your chicken off the baking sheet, so air can move evenly around the chicken and crisp it.

Let chicken bake about 40 minutes at a high heat before adding butter – until skin is crispy, and fat around the drumstick has started to render and melt away.

Try to flip chicken drumsticks every 10 minutes to ensure it crisps evenly on all sides.

I prefer using tongs coated with heat resistant silicone coated tongs so they don’t stick to the chicken skin.

With a silicone brush, lightly brush chicken with melted butter, flipping its side each time you add another coat of butter, about every 10 minutes until butter is used up (which will take about 30 minutes.)

When chicken is fully cooked, turn on broiler, and broil for two minutes on each side to give a little extra crunch to chicken skin.

Remove chicken when skin looks bubbly and shiny – watch closely to make sure it doesn’t burn!

chicken drumsticks with salt and black pepper on top

Recipe FAQs

How do I store this recipe?

Chicken leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator. Always reheat to 165 degrees when serving again.

When are chicken drumsticks cooked?

Chicken is fully cooked when the thickest part of the drumstick registers 165 degrees on a digital thermometer. Be sure to take care to not hit the bone when taking the temperature.

Can I use an herb blend instead of garlic powder and onion powder?

This recipe is suer adaptable – you can use any seasoning blend you love!

Can I make this recipe in an air fryer?

We have a similar air fryer chicken drumstick recipe here.

And don’t forget my favorite way to make french fries at home – my Air Fryer French Fries recipe goes perfectly with delicious chicken legs!

three chicken drumsticks on a plate

Other Drumstick Recipes You’ll Love

If you love these easy chicken recipes, be sure to check out our other simple, delicious favorites the whole family will love:

You can also check out our chicken wing recipe archives and our entire chicken recipe index!

What to Serve With Chicken Drumsticks

If you’re looking for a delicious side that is perfect to serve alongside chicken drumsticks, check out some of our favorites below:

You can find our complete side dish recipe archives here.

chicken drumsticks on a plate

The Best Baked Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

If you love this easy baked chicken legs recipe, please give it a five star review and help me share on Facebook and Pinterest.

chicken drumsticks on a plate

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chicken drumsticks in a white dish
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The Best Crunchy Baked Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

The Best Crunchy Baked Chicken Drumsticks – easy oven baked chicken drumsticks with a tastes like fried crispy crunch – keto and low carb approved!
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword baked chicken legs, crunchy baked chicken drumsticks, garlic butter chicken drumsticks, garlic butter chicken legs, keto chicken drumsticks, keto chicken legs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 327kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 4 lb chicken drumsticks about 12
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Garlic butter baste:
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 tsp garlic minced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Thoroughly pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, mix together spices (all ingredients but chicken, butter, and minced garlic.)
  • Coat chicken in dry rub, let sit 30 minutes to overnight.
  • Add chicken to oven on a cooling rack sitting atop a baking sheet.
  • Let chicken bake about 40 minutes before adding butter baste – until skin is crispy and fat has started to render.
  • Flip chicken drumsticks every 10 minutes to ensure it crisps evenly on all sides.
  • In a small pot, melt butter with minced garlic on stove until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Do not let garlic burn.
  • With a silicone brush, lightly brush chicken with melted butter and minced garlic, flipping its side each time you add another coat of butter, about every 10 minutes until butter is used up (about 30 minutes.)
  • When chicken is ready, turn on broiler and broil for two minutes on each side to give a little extra crunch to chicken skin.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 579mg | Fiber: 1g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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1 Comment

  1. Ivory says:

    Will have this on our dinner table this evening. Can hardly wait. Can almost taste them. Just hope they turn out as amazing as yours looks. Thanks for sharing