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Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks 

Easy dinner
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Indulge in the irresistible flavors of Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks! Each bite is a delightful balance of caramelized brown sugar, garlic butter, and umami-rich soy sauce. This recipe is perfectly cooked in the air fryer creating a crispy golden-brown skin and a juicy tender inside. It’s delicious, quick, easy to assemble, and ideal for busy weeknight dinners or weekends. For an extra touch of freshness, garnish with cilantro – yum!

This recipe for Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks is versatile and excellent for any occasion. It’s a fantastic choice for a quick and flavorful weeknight dinner when you need a fuss-free meal. Additionally, it’s great for gatherings and parties, from casual get-togethers with friends or a backyard barbecue. They are guaranteed to be crowd-pleaser with their crispy exterior and irresistible flavors.

recipe for Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

More Air Fryer Recipes: Air Fryer Cheeseburger Hand Pies Meat Puffs and Air Fryer Pancake Mix Pulled Pork Fritters, Vegan Air Fryer Banana Bread Cookies Recipe.

Why Everyone Will Love Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks 

  • They’re a crowd pleasing recipe for any occasion like family dinner or a dinner party.
  • Great way to elevate your weeknight dinner or impress your guests.
  • A fuss free easy-to-make dish.
  • Combination of brown sugar and garlic is both sweet and savory and absolutely mouthwatering.
  • Air fryer creates a crispy exterior without excess oil. 
  • All you need is  a handful of ingredients and minimal preparation time. 

Air Frying Cooking Tips & Hacks For This Recipe  

recipe for Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

More chicken recipes to try: Rice Flour Chicken Wings With Egg Whites

Here are some cooking tips to help you prepare the Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe:

Properly dry the chicken: Before marinating, make sure to rinse the chicken drumsticks and pat them dry with paper towels. This step helps the marinade and seasoning adhere better to the chicken.

recipe for Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Marinating time: For maximum flavor, marinate the chicken drumsticks in the soy sauce and lemon juice mixture for at least 4 hours, or even overnight if possible. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.

Use a flat surface for seasoning: When it’s time to season the drumsticks, lay them on a flat surface to make it easier to coat them evenly with the olive oil, spice rub, and brown sugar mixture. This ensures that every piece is well-seasoned.

Line the air fryer basket with foil: To make cleaning up easier, line the air fryer basket with foil before placing the chicken drumsticks in it. This helps prevent any drippings from sticking to the basket and makes cleanup a breeze.

Easy dinner

Preheat the air fryer: Before cooking the Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the drumsticks cook evenly and develop a crispy exterior.

Cook in batches if necessary: It’s important not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. If all the drumsticks don’t fit comfortably in a single layer, cook them in batches to ensure proper air circulation and even cooking.

Baste with the garlic butter mixture: During the cooking process, turn the drumsticks over halfway through and baste them with some of the garlic butter mixture. This adds extra flavor and helps keep the chicken moist.

Finishing touch: In the final minutes of cooking, pour the remaining garlic butter sauce over the chicken drumsticks to create a luscious glaze. This adds richness and enhances the overall flavor.

recipe for Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

What Can I Serve With Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks?

  1. Roast some seasonal vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts in the oven or air fryer for a healthy side. 
  2. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic choice that complements the savory flavors of the drumsticks. 
  3. Coleslaw: A refreshing coleslaw made with cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing provides a nice contrast to the richness of the drumsticks.
  4. Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob adds a touch of sweetness and a pop of color to the plate. 
  5. Rice or Quinoa: Serve the drumsticks over a bed of fluffy white rice or nutty quinoa for a satisfying and complete meal.
  6. Salad: A crisp and refreshing salad, such as a mixed green salad or a cucumber tomato salad.
  7. Baked Beans: Classic baked beans make for a comforting and hearty side dish.
  8. Garlic Bread: Whip up some garlic bread or dinner rolls to accompany the drumsticks. The buttery, garlicky flavors complement the Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks recipe perfectly.
Easy dinner

Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
The flavors of Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are absolutely irresistible! They’re so easy to make too and perfect for a family meal or potluck! 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Drumsticks


  • Air Fryer
  • Basting Brush
  • Sheet of foil


  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp BBQ spice rub
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup garlic butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon or orange juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Cilantro – optional garnish


  • Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels
  • Marinate it in the soy sauce and orange juice in a container or plastic bag for 4 hours up to overnight
  • Lay the drumsticks on a flat surface
  • Rub down with the olive oil
  • Combine the spice rub and brown sugar and coat the chicken all over with the spice rub
  • Line the air fryer basket with foil
  • Preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees F
  • Place the chicken on the foil in the air fryer basket (don’t over crowd them or pile them on top of each other- cook them in batches if necessary)
  • Combine the garlic butter and the rest of the marinade and whisk together
  • Cook for 10 minutes then turn them over and baste with some of the garlic butter mixture
  • Cook for 5 minutes then pour the rest of the garlic butter sauce on top of the chicken and cook another 5 minutes
  • Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if you like


Keyword Air Fryer, chicken, chicken drumsticks

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Storage Tips & Hacks

Before storing, allow the drumsticks to cool down to room temperature. This helps prevent condensation buildup inside the storage container. Separate them from the bone. This not only makes them easier to store but also helps them cool more quickly and evenly. Transfer the drumsticks to an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Make sure the container or wrap is designed to keep air out to maintain freshness and prevent any odors from spreading to other foods in the refrigerator.

Place the container or wrapped drumsticks in the refrigerator promptly after they have cooled down. It’s important to refrigerate them within two hours of cooking to ensure food safety. Store the drumsticks in the refrigerator, where they can be kept for up to three to four days. It’s important to consume them within this timeframe to ensure the Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe quality and safety.

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