30 Minute Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Legs

Use your air fryer or Ninja Foodi to cook Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Legs! A quick and easy method for cooking frozen drumsticks without thawing that has a crispy outside and tender, juicy inside in just 30 minutes!

garlic and herb air fryer drumsticks on cooking sheet

Can you air fry frozen chicken legs? Yes, in just 30 minutes between 375-400F degrees, you have perfectly cooked chicken drumsticks with crispy skin and tender meat with little effort! 

The air fryer is one of the best ways to cook frozen foods all the way from meats to vegetables! If you forget to thaw or defrost chicken drumsticks, don’t worry! The air fryer is the best way to cook frozen drumsticks when you need them in a pinch for dinner. 

🥷🏻Ninja Foodi Frozen Chicken Legs

Although there are many air fryers out there, the Ninja Foodi models are the ones I prefer to cook with in my kitchen. Not only are they consistent and durable, but they can have many more functions than just air frying which makes them a staple in any home kitchen for quick and easy meals! 

🍗Ingredients & Equipment

  • Air Fryer: I’ve tried many in the past but my favorite is the Ninja Foodi hands down. It’s an air fryer and pressure cooker all in one and it saves me so much time cooking healthy meals for my family.
  • Chicken Legs Or Drumsticks: This is the part of the chicken leg that has a round top and skinny bottom. Chicken quarters also attach the thigh and would need a longer cooking time. 
  • Olive or Avocado Oil: This is to coat the chicken after it’s been thawed so that it gets crispy enough for the seasonings to stick.
  • Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder: You could use any seasoning you like but this one is pretty standard and simple.

How To Cook Frozen Chicken Legs In Air Fryer

1️⃣ Add them to your air fryer basket in a single even layer. You can grease your basket if you’re worried about it sticking but this rarely happens.

2️⃣ Air fry at 375 for 20 minutes making sure you flip halfway through.

3️⃣ Remove partially cooked drumsticks from the air fryer basket and add to a bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss everything together until seasoning is fully coated on the skin of the chicken.

4️⃣ Return seasoned chicken legs to the air fryer basket and set to 400 degrees cooking for another 10-15 minutes flipping halfway through. Remove and serve.

📊Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Legs Cooking Chart

You can cook frozen chicken legs in air fryer at different temperatures depending on how crispy you like the skin and how much time you have. How long it takes to cook frozen chicken drumsticks in an air fryer will depend on how many you are cooking and at what temperature. The chart below shows a general guideline. Add more cooking time as needed. 

TemperatureTotal Cooking TimeFlip TimeSeasoning Time
350°F28-30 minutesAfter 14 minutesAfter flipping
375°F24-26 minutesAfter 12 minutesAfter flipping
400°F20-22 minutesAfter 10 minutesAfter flipping

NOTE: The last step may take a few minutes MORE or LESS depending on how big your chicken is and how powerful your air fryer is. During the last step, it’s best to check the chicken every 5-7 minutes until they are cooked through with an internal temperature of 165.

👩🏻‍🍳Chef Val’s Cooking Tips

  • This method also works using breaded chicken legs. You may have to cover them with foil at first to keep the breading from getting to brown. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the foil to crisp up the breading. This tip will also work best with southern fried chicken legs. 
  • If you’re cooking legs and thighs together, you may have to remove the chicken drumsticks first, as they will cook quicker than frozen chicken thighs. 
  • When cooking from frozen, the safest way to make sure you have the correct, safe internal temperature is to use a meat thermometer. I love the Meater because it connects to my phone and lets me know when my food is perfectly cooked.
  • Get creative with your seasonings and sauces! During the second half of cooking, sprinkle on both sides with dried BBQ seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning, or your favorite buffalo sauce!
  • Leave space between the frozen pieces of meat, as this will allow enough airflow for the skin to crisp up nicely. 

🐔More Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Recipes

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chicken drumsticks

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Legs

Use your air fryer or Ninja foodi to cook Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Legs! A quick and easy method for cooking frozen drumsticks without thawing that has a crispy outside and tender, juicy inside in just 30 minutes!
4.36 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 322kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Chicken Drumsticks about 5-6 pieces
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil

Instructions

  • Add them to your air fryer basket in a single even layer. You can grease your basket if you’re worried about it sticking but this rarely happens.
  • Air fry at 375 for 20 minutes making sure you flip halfway through.
  • Remove partially cooked drumsticks from the air fryer basket and add to a bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss everything together until seasoning is fully coated on the skin of the chicken.
  • Return seasoned chicken legs to the air fryer basket and set to 400 degrees cooking for another 10-15 minutes flipping halfway through. Remove and serve.

Notes

NOTE: The last step may take a few minutes MORE or LESS depending on how big your chicken is and how powerful your air fryer is. During the last step, it’s best to check the chicken every 5-7 minutes until they are cooked through with an internal temperature of 165.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 536mg

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These chicken legs turned out perfect for us! Tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I made a marinade of merlot red wine (because I didn’t have red wine vinegar) and vegetable oil, along with garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. I let my frozen chicken leg quarters (2) soak in this for about an hour or two. Then I put chicken leg quarters in the air fryer basket and poured the rest of the marinade on top. The marinade sunk down to the bottom of the air fryer pan, so I think it made the frozen chicken more moist. Anyway, I set the Ninja air fryer on 275 for 20 minutes, turning once; and then another 20 minutes at 290, turning once. They looked done at that point, so I checked, and yes, they were fully cooked after 40 minutes. Wow, I couldn’t believe how delicious and moist they were. They were not pink at all; I even think they would have been cooked at 35 minutes this way.

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