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Chicken/ Summer Lovin'

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

October 19, 2020 (Last Updated: June 15, 2022) by Chris Collins

These Chicken Drumsticks are easy to make and bursting with flavour. They’re also baked in the oven for a no fuss lunch or dinner!

These drumsticks are slightly sweet, a little sticky, they’ve got a kick of spice and they’re a whole ‘lotta nice. And that ladies and gentlemen is where my rhyming career ends 😂 But you get the gist. Follow me…

overhead shot of holding chicken drumstick close to camera with more blurred in background

Preparing Chicken Drumsticks

I did promise a ‘no fuss’ recipe, and that I still do promise. BUT, we do need to coat the drumsticks in some sort of seasoning. In order to do that you’ll want to create a quick ‘flavour paste’ to slather over the chicken. This simple paste consisting of olive oil, smoked paprika, brown sugar, thyme, onion/garlic powder, salt & cayenne/black pepper is what really brings these drumsticks to life.

Brown Sugar Chicken Drumsticks

I know it might sound a little odd to slather your chicken in sugar, but it really is a game-changing ingredient. As the drumsticks bake the sugar caramelizes and helps crisp up the skin. The sweetness also helps balance out the spice and salt in the flavour paste too. You get a nice sticky, BBQ flavour with help from the smoked paprika.

Chicken Drumsticks Marinade

If you want to prep the drumsticks ahead of time and marinate them, you absolutely can. In fact this will help inject some of the flavour into the chicken. If you’re doing this I recommend adding a touch of acidity, something like lemon or lime juice. This will not only help thin out the paste, but will also help tenderize the chicken as it marinates.

Process shots: add seasoning and oil to small pot (photo 1), stir to combine (photo 2), pour over chicken drumsticks (photo 3), stir to combine (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to season chicken drumsticks

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Once you’ve coated the drumsticks, it’s time to throw them in the oven. As you can imagine, this step is incredibly simple. There’s a few tips I recommend which will help along the way.

Using a wire rack

This isn’t a deal breaker, but using a wire rack will help the heat circulate around the drumsticks and allow them to cook and crisp up a little more evenly. Just ensure you place a tray underneath to catch any juices that fall.

Space them out

Whether you use a rack or tray, just ensure you space them out. If the drumsticks are crammed together they’re likely to steam instead of roast. And we both know there’s nothing worse than soggy chicken skin 😭

Using all the flavour paste

Once you’ve spaced out all the drumsticks, you’ll more than likely notice a little seasoning/oil left in the mixing bowl. I recommend grabbing a brush and brushing it over the drumsticks. Waste not want not and all that!

Process shots: space out drumsticks on rack (photo 1), collect leftover oil/seasoning (photo 2), brush over drumsticks (photo 3), bake in the oven (photo 4), allow to cool for a couple mins then serve up (photo 5).

5 step by step photos showing how to bake chicken drumsticks

Chicken Drumsticks FAQ

At what temperature should I cook drumsticks in the oven?

You can cook them at any temp between 180C/356F – 220C/425F, you’ll just need to adjust the timings accordingly. For the best ratio of juiciness and crispiness I like to roast them nice and hot (220C/425F), just to get a slight charring and extra crispy skin.

How long to bake chicken drumsticks?

Again, depends on the temp. But for 220C/425F, depending on the size of your drumsticks, I find around 35mins to hit the sweet spot.

What temperature is chicken cooked?

In all instances make sure the internal temp of the chicken is 165F/75C, with the juices running clear when pierced.

What should I serve with chicken drumsticks?

The awesome thing about drumsticks is they’re so versatile. Here I’ve just served with ranch ‘n’ rice, but most side dishes will work great! Also check out my potato category, because, well, potato.

overhead shot of 3 drumsticks on white plate served with rice, ranch and lime wedges

And that’s all the tips and trick I got for you on this one! It’s a really simple recipe but one I know will become of of your staples 😋

For another delicious and easy baked chicken leg recipe check out my Roasted Leg Quarters!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties too:

Baked Chicken Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these baked chicken drumsticks shall we?!

drumstick being dunked into small glass pot of ranch

How to Bake Chicken Drumsticks (Full Recipe & Video)

drumstick being dunked into small glass pot of ranch

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

These Chicken Drumsticks are easy to make and bursting with flavour. They're also baked in the oven for a no fuss lunch or dinner!
5 from 7 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 10 drumsticks
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Universal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories per serving: 107kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $3


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Pot (for seasoning)
  • Large Baking Tray & Foil
  • Wire Rack
  • Brush
  • Tongs

Ingredients (check list):

  • 2lb / 1kg Chicken Drumsticks (approx 9-10)
  • 2.5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1.5 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika (can sub regular paprika if that's all you have)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Dried Thyme (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper (or to spice preference)


  • In a small pot add brown sugar, smoked paprika, onion & garlic powder, thyme, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper and olive oil and combine until a paste forms. Add a dash more oil if you need to loosen up the paste slightly.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine chicken with the seasoning paste. I recommend using your hand, just to get as even coverage as possible.
  • On an oiled wire rack above a baking tray with foil space out the chicken drumsticks, ensuring the meatiest part with the most skin is facing up. Grab a brush and brush over all of the leftover seasoning/oil in the mixing bowl.
  • Pop in the oven at 220C/425F for 35mins or until crispy, lightly charred and piping hot through the centre (a thermometer at the thickest part next to the bone should read 75C/165F). You can flip them with 10-15mins cooking time to go to crisp the underneaths if you wish.

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Marinade - You can prep these ahead of time, which will actually help inject some of the flavour into the chicken. Just tightly cover the mixing bowl and leave in the fridge (up to overnight) then bring to room temp and cook as instructed. I recommend 1 tbsp acidity if you're doing this, just to help tenderize the chicken. I find flavour-wise lime juice works the best!
b) Can I use other cuts of chicken? - Yup! This seasoning ratio works great with other cuts of chicken. If you're using similar sized thighs (and bone in/skin on) the timing & temp will be similar (just be vigilant). If you're using whole legs then drop the temp down to 210C/410F and cook for 45-50mins (again, just be vigilant). Boneless skinless chicken breasts work best at 200C/390F for 20mins. In all cases just make sure you're using the same weight (2lb/1kg) and ensure the inside of the chicken at the thickest part gets up to safe temp with the juices running clear.
c) Thyme - I have updated the recipe to suggest 1/2 - 1 tsp, instead of 1 tsp. I like thyme, but it's fairly prominent in this recipe. If you're not keen or unsure I'd opt for 1/2 tsp and adjust next time. Oregano also works really well if you prefer that flavour!
d) Cayenne - 1/2 tsp gives a really nice gentle kick, but certainly nothing overbearing. If you're REALLY not good with spice reduce to 1/4 tsp (but don't omit - it adds a lovely flavour).
e) What to serve with chicken drumsticks - Here I've served with rice and ranch. But honestly chicken drumsticks go with just about everything. Check out all my sides, namely the potato section!!
e) Calories - Based on using 10 drumsticks (calories per drumstick).

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Amount Per Serving
Calories 107 Calories from Fat 69
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.62g12%
Saturated Fat 1.594g8%
Trans Fat 0.023g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.284g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.162g
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 281mg12%
Potassium 110mg3%
Carbohydrates 1.13g0%
Fiber 0.2g1%
Sugar 0.73g1%
Protein 8.29g17%
Vitamin A 252IU5%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.47mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    Kelly Algera
    April 16, 2024 at 2:01 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious recipe only used 1/2 the thyme curious now to try full blast Thank you for a keeper recipe

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 16, 2024 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Kelly! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    5 stars
    My new favorite chicken drumstick recipe thank you they were awesome. Maybe next time I might add a little more cayenne I love spicy

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 4, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Debbie! Glad to hear they went down well 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t usually leave recipe reviews, but now that I’ve made this recipe at least 10 times, I think it’s time 🙂 This is a foolproof perfect recipe. My only change is I use about half the thyme because I don’t love thyme. I make this at least twice a month!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 20, 2022 at 10:29 am

      Hey Alli, that’s so awesome to hear! Thanks so much for popping back for a review 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Jade Lasley
    July 15, 2022 at 5:17 am

    Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, regards.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 15, 2022 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks Jade!

  • Reply
    Elsa Otte
    September 20, 2021 at 1:18 am

    5 stars
    I adjusted this a little. I didn’t have the cayenne so used chili powder. I also didn’t use the oil. I just put the chicken in a gallon bag and poured the mixed seasoning on top and then shook and moved the seasoning around in the bag until the drumsticks were covered with the seasoning. I cooked as directed (I didn’t flip them). They tasted delicious. My husband even commented on how good the seasoning tasted. Thanks for the recipe. I will be saving this one.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 20, 2021 at 1:45 pm

      Great to hear they went down well, Elsa! Thanks so much for popping back for a review 🙂 C. x

  • Reply
    July 15, 2021 at 4:10 am

    5 stars
    The hubby really enjoyed these! They were nice and crisp – tangy and smokey with a touch of sweet! Will make again!

    What is the sauce you are dipping your drumstick in?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 15, 2021 at 9:30 am

      That’s great to hear, Dianna! I’m dunking them into Ranch in the video 🙂

  • Reply
    Beverly J Miley
    June 18, 2021 at 2:13 am

    5 stars
    These drumsticks were amazing. They were everything you want in a drumstick, crispy on the outside, moist and delicious. We had to cook one chicken breast for my husband, as he doesn’t like meat with skin on it. I cooked that for about 10-15 minutes less and it was equally delicious. Thank you so much for a delicious drumstick with great flavor and just the perfect touch of zing.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      June 18, 2021 at 10:06 am

      So glad they went down well, and happy to hear it worked for you with breast too! Thanks so much for popping back for a review 🙂 C.x

  • Reply
    April 8, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    5 stars
    Best drumsticks ever!!