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Extra Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

by victor

These Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Drumsticks are chicken wing killers. Once you try them, you will forget about chicken wings. Extra crispy, just like deep-fried!

These baked chicken drumsticks are chicken wing killers. Figuratively speaking, of course. I can almost guarantee it that most of you, if not all, will be making these drumsticks in place of chicken wings at least on occasion. Most likely on many occasions. I know I will. And guess what I will be serving at the next Super Bowl party? That’s right, my super crispy, deep-fried-like, baked chicken drumsticks.

Seeing how popular my extra crispy baked chicken wings recipe has been, I decided to try it on chicken drumsticks. The only change I made was to bump the baking temperature up from 425F to 450F as my experiments gave me the best results for drumsticks at this temperature. The results far exceeded my expectations. I would be very surprised if even the most discerning chicken drumstick lovers did not like this recipe.

The atomic drumsticks taste just like high quality chicken wings and have a similar texture. I suspect that it’s because of the way they are baked – at a very high temperature with an oven fan (convection) on, which crisps up the skin really well while leaving the meat inside tender and succulent.  Just look at those gorgeous crispy drummies below.

Prior to baking, drumsticks are dusted with baking powder (NOT baking soda) to help the skin crisp up really nicely. That’s very important.

baked chicken drumsticks extra crispy

There will be some white residue left on the drumsticks after baking but THAT’S ABSOLUTELY FINE. You won’t taste it and once you toss your drumsticks with a hot sauce you will forget it was ever there.

 

You see, conventionally baked drumsticks, no matter how good a recipe is, will have a somewhat greasy, soft and slightly rubbery skin at the end of the bake. Sure, you can turn on the broiler and crisp them up a bit, but the skin won’t come even close to the results you will get with this method. This method will give you a THIN, RIDICULOUSLY CRISPY, CRACKLY skin. Just take a look below, do you see how the skin crackled after I poked it slightly with a fork?

These atomic baked chicken drumsticks are chicken wing killers. Once you try them, you will forget about chicken wings. Extra crispy, just like deep-fried!

Still not convinced? Alright, take a look at this short video I’ve made for all you skeptics.

These Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Drumsticks are chicken wing killers. Once you try them, you will forget about chicken wings. Extra crispy, just like deep-fried!

What sauce you use doesn’t really matter as long  as it’s your favorite sauce. My personal favorites are Duff’s Hot Sauce and Duff’s Char-B-Q sauce. A mix of these two does the trick for me on both wings and drumsticks. I have yet to find a better sauce, but that’s me. I am sure you have your own favorite sauce that nothing else comes even close to. So use that one.

baked chicken drumsticks extra crispy

Inside, the drumsticks are fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy. They are cooked to perfection. For me, drumsticks taste under-cooked until they hit 185F internal temperature or more.

Of course, to get that wonderfully crispy skin they need to be in the oven for the whole 35 minutes at 450F convection. They will hit 185F way before you will be pulling them out of the oven. But that’s TOTALLY FINE! The drumsticks will still be tender and juicy inside. They won’t taste under-cooked even one bit, but they won’t be over-cooked either. They will be JUST PERFECT!

These Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Drumsticks are chicken wing killers. Once you try them, you will forget about chicken wings. Extra crispy, just like deep-fried!

And did I mention fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy inside? These baked chicken drumsticks are the bomb!

These Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Drumsticks are chicken wing killers. Once you try them, you will forget about chicken wings. Extra crispy, just like deep-fried!

baked chicken drumsticks extra crispy

Extra Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Victor

Ingredients

  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 Tbsp BAKING POWDER do not use baking soda!!!
  • 2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 cup favorite BBQ sauce for tossing or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp favorite hot wing sauce for tossing or to taste
  • I prefer Duff's Wing and Char-B-Q sauces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Pat chicken drumsticks dry with paper towels really well and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle the baking powder all over the drumsticks and toss well to ensure even coverage.
  • Line a large (15" x 21" is ideal) baking sheet with aluminum foil then parchment paper. I use foil strictly to avoid cleaning the baking sheet after baking but you may have a different view on this.
  • Lay the drumsticks on the baking sheet, spacing them out generously, about 1-2 inches apart.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven. Set the oven to 450F convection. Bake the chicken drumsticks for 30-35 minutes, until they are nicely browned and crisp. Baking time may be different for you as different ovens bake differently. Start checking at 25 minutes.
  • Remove the drumsticks from the oven, place in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the Buffalo sauce, toss well and serve immediately while they are hot.

 

 

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Leave a Comment

 

25 comments

Michelle November 3, 2019 - 11:45 am

CAN I USE THE BAKING POWDER TO DRY OUT THE SKIN AND THEN DREDGE FOR ‘FRIED’ CHICKEN?”

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victor November 3, 2019 - 12:10 pm

I don’t think that will work as to dry the skin you will need air flow. As soon as you dredge the drumsticks you will create a barrier that will lock the moisture in. But I have a better idea, quickly sear them first, that will render the fat out from the skin and crisp it up. Then dredge and fry. I am actually going to try that myself.

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Michelle November 3, 2019 - 2:55 pm

Thank you, I might give that a shot tonight as well!

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victor November 3, 2019 - 3:45 pm

It actually works very well, I tried searing then baking or roasting in a few recipes, roasted chicken leg quarters, roasted chicken breast, to name a couple. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out.

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Betsy Wisto June 9, 2019 - 1:38 pm

Definitely going to try these. Been going to Duff’s forever and their sauce is the best!

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DebraL. February 6, 2019 - 10:44 am

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I tried the recipe as written on Super Bowl Sunday! I, too, was a skeptic with the baking powder, but it turned out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Super easy and super delicious!

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victor February 6, 2019 - 11:10 am

Happy to hear that, Debra. I know, baking powder is an odd ingredient to put on chicken but it works magically. I use it all the time now: on wings, thighs, legs, drumsticks. Never fails. Always crispy without any oil.

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Lars Patenaude February 3, 2019 - 12:29 pm

$0.69/lb or $2.40/lb? Drumsticks, thanks!

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Hudson Jack November 29, 2018 - 12:06 pm

I love this idea… chicken legs and thighs are ALWAYS on sale and I’m always looking for recipes that help with the weekly budget! We’re entertaining for a football party this weekend so I’m going to make these… winning… both reasonably priced and full, of yummy flavors! 🍗 🍗 🍗

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victor November 29, 2018 - 1:12 pm

The first thought that crossed my mind when I tried one of these drumsticks was ‘these taste just like wings’, or something like that. I am sure your buddies and you will love them.

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Patsy November 17, 2018 - 12:37 pm

Doesn’t the sauce make the “crispy skin” not crispy?

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victor November 17, 2018 - 2:15 pm

It does. Skip the sauce if you want to keep it that way. Let the thighs rest for 5 minutes before applying the sauce and it will keep most of the crispiness. Or use the sauce as a dip. Bottom line, starting with a crispy skin even after applying the sauce and losing some of the crispiness still beats soggy skin that is common with regularly baked drumsticks.

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Pam March 1, 2018 - 3:37 am

Has anybody tried these in a gas oven?

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Bridget February 25, 2018 - 1:36 pm

I tried these. They were delicious. I used a basic oven. Husband enjoyed them. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbeque Sauce and Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce. It is a must to use enough baking powder. Yummy! Goes good with a side dish of cabbage.

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victor February 25, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Bridget. Much appreciated.

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Maxine November 15, 2017 - 1:16 pm

Not quite sure when you say “keep a close eye after you put the sauce on. Do I put the drumsticks back in the oven? Or sauce up and serve immediately?

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victor November 15, 2017 - 1:29 pm

Sorry for not being very clear. Yes, you put them back in for the sauce to set and caramelize. It’s MUCH better that way.

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Christine Ronan October 28, 2017 - 8:11 pm

These look amazing! Quick question… my oven can do both basic bake as well as convection. When I put the temperature into the convection mode it automatically bumps the temperature down 25 degrees. Should I set it for 475 then so that it will infact bake at 450 or set it at 450 and let it bump down to 425?

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victor October 28, 2017 - 10:06 pm

I would say go with 475F but keep an close eye on the drumsticks after you put the sauce on. You may need see them browning sooner. Everyone’s oven / voltage supplied to the house is different so ovens bake slightly differently. Keep an eye the first time, make adjustments as needed and then follow that routine.

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Ben Myhre October 9, 2017 - 7:09 am

Cool… I am going to have to try your baking powder technique. Wings are going to have a high bone percentage, but I wonder if those stats take into account cartilage, as drumsticks, particularly those big ones, tend to have quite a bit of that miscellaneous fatty bites.

Either way… these look really good.

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victor October 9, 2017 - 7:58 am

Good question, they don’t describe their method so hard to say. Nevertheless, do give them a try and you will see what I am talking about.

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Bob L October 7, 2017 - 8:23 pm

Will it work in a regular oven or do you have to add additional baking time

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victor October 7, 2017 - 8:34 pm

You should get similar results in a regular oven, albeit it will take a bit longer to bake, if you use the following method from America’s Test Kitchen:

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Arrange drumsticks in single layer on a wire rack placed over a backing sheet. Bake drumsticks on lower-middle oven rack for 30 minutes. Move to upper-middle rack, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees, and roast until the drumsticks are golden brown and crisp, 40-50 minutes longer, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove sheet from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer drumsticks to bowl with wing sauce of your choice, toss to coat, and serve.

I swear by my method though 😉

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Rhonda October 7, 2017 - 7:31 pm

Looks so juicy and appetizing.

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Todd October 7, 2017 - 9:56 am

I couldn’t wait till next Super Bowl so I made these last night LOL. I think you are onto something. They do taste awesome and I can totally see how you could serve these in place of wings as they have similar texture and are very easy to eat as the meat comes off the bone very easily. This recipe is a keeper.

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