The Crispiest Air Fryer Fried Chicken

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Fried chicken in the air fryer is easy and healthy!

Healthy Air Fryer Fried Chicken

You are going to love today’s air fryer recipe because it’s so crispy and healthy. You read that right, we are making healthy fried chicken right in the air fryer. This is just one of the many reasons why I love my air fryer- I use less oil, which means the food is healthier. And, it tastes better than deep frying.

Follow along as I show you how to make the best fried chicken in the air fryer. OR you can watch me make it in this video:

What You Need to Make Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer

I bet you already have everything you need for this amazing air fryer recipe. It’s quick, easy, and packed with awesome flavors. And the best part, if you aren’t a fan of spicy, then you can reduce the hot sauce to your liking. For this recipe, you need:

  • 1½ cup buttermilk (or 1½ cups of milk with 1½ teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2-3 pounds (8 drumsticks)
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (if you don’t have cornstarch, use a 1/2 cup of flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Avocado oil

How to Make the Best Air Fryer Fried Chicken

First, if you don’t have buttermilk, make your buttermilk mixture. Pour in a measuring cup 1½ cups of milk then add in 1½ teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

Then, mix together all your spices.

Next, make your brine: Pour the buttermilk into a bowl and whisk it with the hot sauce. If you aren’t a fan of hot sauce, then use only about 2 tablespoons of hot sauce. Then stir together half of the spice mixture with the buttermilk and hot sauce.

After your brine is prepared, add the drumsticks to the brine. You can add it in a bowl or a ziplock bag. I recommend using a bag with this handy bag holder, so that the brine can fully envelope the chicken. Let the chicken soak for at least 1-2 hours. You can even let it soak overnight.

How to Air Fry Chicken

Before you air fry your chicken you need to make the dredge. Shake together in a different zip lock bag the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder, and the rest of the spices.

Once the chicken has finished soaking, you are going to double dip the chicken:

  1. Place three drumsticks in the dredge.
  2. Shake it around then place the drumsticks on a plate
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all the drumsticks are covered
  4. Pour the remaining buttermilk mixture in a bowl
  5. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk mixture
  6. Shake 2-3 drumsticks in the dredge ziplock then put back on the plate
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all drumsticks have been double drudged

Your chicken is now ready for the air fryer… well almost. Spray your chicken with a little bit of avocado oil, I love using my misto sprayer.  The oil will help the dredge adhere to chicken and will make your chicken super crunchy. You don’t need a lot, just enough to cover your chicken.

Preheat your air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes.

Spray the air fryer basket with oil and place 4 drumsticks inside. Cook for 15 minutes at 380°F, flipping at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

I can’t wait for you to try this air fryer chicken! Ever since I made this recipe, it has quickly become a new favorite in our home. We love this one and air fryer chicken tenders! What’s your home’s favorite air fryer recipe? Share with us in the comments below!

More of our family favorite air fryer recipes

I’m here to help you use your air fryer, check out these guides for more info!

Fried chicken in the air fryer is easy and healthy!

The Crispiest Air Fryer Fried Chicken

The healthiest and crispiest fried chicken in the air fryer!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Serves: 4
Adjust Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup buttermilk or 1.5 cups of milk with 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2-3 pounds 8 drumsticks
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch if you don’t have cornstarch, use a 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Avocado oil

Instructions

  • Mix the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl
  • Make the brine: whisk together hot sauce, buttermilk, and half of the spice mixture
  • Add drumsticks and brine in a plastic bag. Let it soak for at least 1-2 hours or overnight
  • Make the dredge: add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and the rest of the spices in a plastic bag and shake to mix everything together
  • After the chicken has finished soaking, add up to 3 drumsticks at a time into the dredge bag. Coat the drumsticks by shaking the bag. Take the drumsticks out of the bag and set on a plate. Repeat this for all the drumsticks
  • Pour the remaining buttermilk mixture from the brine bag into a bowl and double dredge the drumsticks in the brine and then in the dredge.
  • Let the drumsticks rest for 10 minutes
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400˚F/204˚C for 5 minutes
  • Spray the drumsticks with oil to help the dredge adhere to the chicken. This will also crispen the chicken.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil and place 4 drumstick to the basket
  • Cook for 15 minutes at 380˚F/193˚C, flipping once at the halfway point

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 2495mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g

Ingredients: Avocado oil, Buttermilk, Chicken, Cornstarch, Flour
Meal Type: Main Dish, Popular, #StayHome, 4th of July, Back to School, Father's Day, Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, Spring, St. Patrick's Day, Summer, Super Bowl Party, Winter, Egg Free
Categories: Healthy, Meat and Poultry, Air Fryer

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