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Breaded crispy fried chicken drumsticks served in a basket

How to Make Ultra-Crispy Chicken Drumsticks

For soul-satisfying, party-worthy, and homestyle meals, battered and deep-fried chicken drumsticks will never go out of style. Both kids and adults enjoy biting into these golden treats from breakfast to dinner, proving just how versatile they can be. Add it to your silog, coat it in sauces (Korean style perhaps?), or pair it with rolls and a hearty salad for a candlelit dinner. But while this well-loved dish seems simple to put together, getting that skin to a satisfying crunch can be a labor of love.

Do you want to learn to cook fried chicken drumsticks while avoiding common pitfalls like soggy skins, dry meat, or bland crusts? Now’s your chance! Turn to this guide for all the steps to ensure the coating stays crisp. Yes, it’s possible, even if you prepare it as baon for the kids or drench it in gravy. Plus, get a list of ingredients you’ll need to nail that chicken drumstick recipe you’ve always wanted to try at home. Are you ready for some schooling?

The Best Cooking Tips for Crispy Chicken Drumsticks

Close-up of chicken skin fried to a crisp

The secret to ultra-crispy fried chicken drumsticks is less about the ingredients and more about precise techniques. Follow these cooking tips for ace results, even when preparing other fried dishes, like crispy calamari or pork katsu

Pat chicken dry before dredging.

Remember to pat your drumsticks dry before dipping them in an egg wash or buttermilk and starch. This will help achieve an even coating – no bulges or empty pockets. Also, get into the nooks and crannies of any loose chicken skin. They will fry up into delicious, crisp bites! After each dredge, shake off any excess starch to avoid a thick and dense crust. You want to keep things light, especially at this stage.

Double-fry your drumsticks. 

Yes, double-frying provides outstanding results every time! First, deep-fry your chicken until cooked through. Let it rest for 15 minutes, then deep-fry it again for another 3 to 4 minutes. This step will give you that loud, satisfying crunch in every bite. It will also help retain the crispiness once you pack it for baon or coat it in buffalo sauce

Don’t overcrowd the pan. 

Be patient and fry your chicken legs in batches. Some pieces might take up more space in the pan, so don’t feel tempted to cook everything in one go. Adding too many drumsticks will lower the oil’s temperature, resulting in soggy chicken. Similarly, if you opt to bake, roast, or air-fry your meat, leave lots of room in the pan to encourage more toasting action.

Cook using the right temperature. 

Always fry at the right temperature, which means making sure your oil is always hot enough! One good way to test this is by adding a pinch of flour to your oil. If you see a strong sizzle, you can start cooking. When baking or roasting, turn up your oven to broil in the last 5 minutes to get that nice crunch on the skin. 

Drain pieces on a cooling rack. 

One common cause for soggy chicken is draining the pieces straight on paper towels. Hot fried food will “sweat” as it cools, trapping steam on the underside and turning the coating into mush. Any additional moisture is a big no-no! Instead, let your just-fried drumsticks drain on a cooling rack or sieve to keep each piece crispy.

4 Ingredients to Perfect Your Chicken Drumstick Recipe

Roasted chicken drumsticks with rosemary

Use the right ingredients to nail that chicken drumstick recipe. Here’s a list of must-haves:

1. Brine 

Brine is a high-concentration mixture of salt and water, often mixed with aromatics and sugar. Let your drumsticks sit in the solution overnight to help make the meat extra tasty and juicy.

2. Flour, potato starch, or cornstarch

While flour is the go-to for most fried recipes, potato starch and cornstarch can produce light and crisp crusts, too. You can even combine two kinds to achieve your desired breading. 

3. Seasoning and spices

Don’t hold back on seasoning your batter base. Use salt, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano, or crushed Knorr Chicken Cubes to bring your chicken to the next level. Every bite will be an explosion of flavor!

4. Peanut or vegetable oil 

Use neutral-tasting oils, like peanut or vegetable oil, when pan- or deep-frying. They have high smoke points, which means they help fry your chicken to a crisp in hot temperatures. 

The best method to achieve ultra-crispy chicken drumsticks is the one you’re most comfortable with. So even if you choose roasting or air-frying over deep-frying, you’ll still get excellent results, especially if you follow these tips. Roll up your sleeves and put them to the test!

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