These simple and flavorful baked chicken drumsticks make the perfect last-minute dinner. Coated in a lightly spiced seasoning and baked in the oven until crispy.
You’re going to love my recipe for baked chicken drumsticks. With just a few minutes of prep, you’ll feed the entire family. This recipe is super family friendly – adults and kids alike love chicken drumsticks.
These drumsticks turn out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Plus, they’re coated in a flavorful spice blend. The optional cayenne pepper can be left off for those who prefer a mild flavor.
Oven roasting is a great way to prepare a meal with minimal prep work. Plus, you won’t need to babysit any pots or pans on the stove top.
Check out some of my roasted vegetables that can be made alongside this chicken: Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes, Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts, Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob with Seasoned Butter, and Oven Roasted Cajun Sweet Potato Wedges.
Using a cooling rack to bake chicken
For this recipe, I highly recommend using an oven-safe cooling rack to bake your chicken. Check out my photos above for an example. Using this method helps your chicken to bake up crispy, and also helps drain extra grease away.
First, cover your baking sheet with foil. Then, place an oven-safe cooling rack on top. I do not recommend using a cooling rack coated in nonstick material.
I use a this cooling rack (affiliate link) in the oven frequently, and it works great. Plus, it’s easy to pop in the dishwasher alongside your dinner plates.
If you look closely at my photos, the bottom of the pan is filled with grease and juices. The great part about using a cooling rack is that all of these juices drip right off your drumsticks, so they crisp up beautifully.
Using a cooling rack on top of your baking sheet ensures that as the chicken cooks, the grease drips into the bottom of the pan and away from your chicken.
Baking chicken drumsticks with the skin on
Leaving the skin on your drumsticks insulates the chicken as it bakes, which helps prevent the meat from drying out. The skin helps to keep your chicken juicy. It also gives some leeway if you over-bake it slightly.
Cooking chicken until it is cooked completely through, without over-baking, can be tricky. I always suggest using a meat thermometer to test your chicken. You want to bake it to the magical chicken-is-done temperature, which is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’re welcome to use skinless chicken drumsticks, if you prefer. Or, if you’re trying to cut calories, feel free to remove the skin once it has finished baking.
If you plan to serve your chicken without skin, I suggest rubbing your spices underneath the skin before baking.
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a metal, oven-safe cooling rack. Set aside.
- Pat chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel. This is an important step to help your chicken get crispy when baking.
- In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- In a large bowl, add drumsticks. Drizzle with olive oil. Pour spices over drumsticks and toss to coat.
- Place drumsticks onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy.