The whole family will adore these Sweet Hot Air Fryer Chicken Legs! Chicken legs are air fried until the skin is crispy, then drenched in a sriracha-honey sauce that gives them a flavorful glaze. I like to think of this sauce as an Asian BBQ sauce!
*This post is sponsored by SunButter, a sunflower seed spread perfect for allergy-safe baking and cooking! Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Sunkissed Kitchen running.
- 1 Fast & Absolutely Addictive Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks!
- 2 What You’ll Need
- 3 How to Make Chicken Legs in an Air Fryer
- 4 Which Air Fryer Should I Buy?
- 5 FAQ and Variations on this Recipe
- 6 Other Healthy Air Fryer Recipes
- 7 Sweet Hot Air Fryer Chicken Legs
Fast & Absolutely Addictive Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks!
I adore my air fryer. It’s become a staple appliance in my kitchen.
When my 6 year old is hungry, he needs food quickly! I use my air fryer to get his meals cooked quickly, on the table fast, and it’s a bonus that it’s so easy to clean afterwards.
We cook a variety of meats and vegetables in the air fryer. I have quite a collection of air fryer recipes to browse because it’s something I have found so useful in my kitchen!
Chicken legs are a great meal. They are economical, delicious cooked a variety of ways, and a great sized portion for kids’ plates.
These chicken legs are taken up a notch with a SWEET HOT Asian style sauce. Think of it like a healthier BBQ sauce, sweetened with honey, with an Asian flair. If you love hot chicken wings, I am sure you’ll adore these Air Fryer Chicken Legs!
I love using SunButter in Asian style sauces. It adds a subtle nutty flavor (in an allergy-friendly way!), and also serves as a thickening agent. The sunflower seed butter seizes when mixed with water, so this sauce is nice and thick, no starch needed!
Hop on over to SunButter’s website to see where it’s carried near you!
What You’ll Need
- Chicken Drumsticks (I recommend always buying organic or pastured chicken)
- Avocado Oil
- Baking Powder
- Sea Salt (or Kosher Salt)
- Black Pepper
For the Sweet-Hot Sauce
- SunButter No Sugar Added
- Sriracha (I use a paleo sriracha)
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Coconut Aminos (I buy these at a discount from Thrive Market)
- Ginger Powder
How to Make Chicken Legs in an Air Fryer
Step 1: Sprinkle the chicken legs with baking powder, salt and pepper. Rub the spices into the chicken legs to fully coat them. Allowing them to marinate in the baking powder for about an hour (refrigerated) helps make the skin as crispy as possible, but I skip this step when I am in a hurry.
Step 2: Preheat the air fryer to 390º F. Air fry the chicken legs for 20 minutes, until the skins are golden. If your chicken legs are particularly small or particularly large, you might want to +/- 3 minutes.
Step 3: While the chicken legs are in the air fryer, add all sauce ingredients into a skillet. Whisk the sauce, and bring it to a low simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes. The SunButter will thicken the sauce after it has simmered for a few minutes.
Step 4: Coat the cooked chicken legs in the sauce. Roll them around and dip them twice to get a nice thick layer of sauce on each chicken leg. You can eat them directly from the sauce here.
Step 5: If desired, add the chicken legs back into the air fryer for 3-4 minutes. This concentrates the sauce and makes it extra delicious, similar to making BBQ chicken.
Step 6: Garnish the chicken legs with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
Which Air Fryer Should I Buy?
I use a 4 qt Ninja Air Fryer and it’s perfect for my needs. I am typically only cooking for 2-3 people at a time.
If you have a larger family, I recommend checking out the 8 QT Ninja Foodi.
Air fryers work by circulating very hot air around the food to crisp the outside of the food up by drying it out and heating it quickly. Read reviews on any machine you’re thinking about purchasing!
I use my air fryer several time a week and find it to be worth the space investment in my kitchen!
FAQ and Variations on this Recipe
Is Baking Powder Gluten Free?
Baking powder is made with corn starch (or sometimes potato starch), baking soda, and cream of tartar. All of these ingredients are gluten free. Purchase a certified gluten free baking powder if your sensitive to gluten.
Can I use other types of chicken, like chicken thighs?
Yes! This sauce, similar to a BBQ sauce, can be used to coat any type of chicken you’d like to cook. Use these directions for cooking times for air fryer chicken thighs, but prepare them with the same seasonings and sauce as this recipe.
Can I Make these without an Air Fryer?
Yes! You can make Sweet Hot Chicken Legs in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425º F, and place the chicken legs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 35 minutes, then coat them in the sauce and return them to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
You can also use this sweet-hot sauce on grilled chicken. Brush it on in the last 3-5 minutes of grilling, similar to a BBQ sauce!
Is the sauce spicy?
The sauce is spicy, but it’s not overwhelming. You can cut the amount of sriracha in half if necessary to make these more sweet and less hot.
How Many Calories are in an Air Fryer Chicken Leg?
A chicken leg prepared in an air fryer has 276 kcal, if you eat the skin and the meat. See below for nutrition facts with the sweet-hot sauce.
Can I use my Own BBQ Sauce?
Yes, save time and make BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Legs by using your favorite pre made sauce. Add the sauce to the cooked chicken legs and return to the air fryer for an additional 3 minutes.
Other Healthy Air Fryer Recipes
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Legs (with no sauce)
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes (with crispy skins!)
Sweet Hot Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- 10 chicken legs
- avocado oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat air fryer to 390º F for 5 minutes.
- Spray or drizzle chicken legs with avocado oil. Sprinkle with baking powder, salt and pepper. Rub the seasonings into the chicken legs to evenly coat the skin.
- Air fry the chicken legs for 20 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and crispy.
- Dip the chicken legs in the Sweet Hot sauce to fully coat. I dip them twice for a thicker coating of the sauce.
- Add the chicken legs back into the air fryer, and continue to cook at 390º F for 3 minutes.
Sweet Hot Sauce
- Add all ingredients into a saucepan, and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Continue to whisk occasionally while the sauce simmers for about 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken after a few minutes.