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Air fryer turkey legs have become a huge trend and it’s easy to see why. They are tender, flavorful and require very little oil. You can find them at theme parks, renaissance festivals and even certain restaurants.
Air-frying is a great way to cook turkey legs. This healthy cooking method creates a golden brown skin and juicy meat. See our step-by-step instructions for how to bake turkey legs in the air fryer below.
Are Turkey Legs Healthy?
You betcha! Turkey is lean meat, no matter what cut you eat. They give you a nice dose of protein as well! And if you eat low carb or keto, a turkey leg only has 1 gram of carbohydrates!
Can You Cook Turkey Legs In An Air Fryer?
You can! But the trick is to not get legs that are too large. They have to actually fit into your air fryer basket. Typically, you’ll need to make one at a time because of their larger size. So plan for that for the number of people you are cooking for.
Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Legs
The secret to a crispy outside on your air fryer turkey legs is to make sure you pat your turkey legs very dry with a paper towel or two before cooking or adding anything to them.
Should You Brine Turkey Legs Before Air Frying?
You don’t have to. This recipe does not include brining and the legs turn out perfectly delicious without it. However, if that’s your preference, you are welcome to do so.
Where To Buy Turkey Legs
Also called “turkey drumsticks”, you can usually find these in the meat department of any grocery store. You are more likely to find them just prior to Thanksgiving, but some stores carry them year round. So talk to your local butcher to see what they carry and when.
How Many Turkey Legs Will Fit In An Air Fryer?
The number of legs you can cook at one time will depend on the size of your turkey legs. With smaller legs, you can usually get two legs cooked at one time. But it’s more typically to only be able to cook one at a time. (These aren’t chicken legs!) The size of your air fryer will also dictate how many you can cook at one time.
How To Check If The Meat Is Fully Cooked
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg. Stay close to the bone without being directly up against it. It should reach a minimum of 165 degrees F. in order to be safe to eat.
How Long Does A Turkey Drumstick Cook In An Air Fryer?
How do you know when your turkey legs are done? By always checking the internal temp of each leg you cook. The length of time you need to cook for depends on a few factors.
- Your air fryer.
- The size and thickness of your turkey legs.
- The recipe.
Because there are a number of factors that go into cooking turkey legs, you’ll never truly be able to cook them for the same amount of time, twice. Each turkey leg can require just a small difference in cooking time based on the above three factors. So your best bet is to follow the cooking time the recipe calls for, and then check the internal temperature of your turkey leg with a meat thermometer. Only when it reaches the proper internal temperature is it safe to eat.
Seasoning and Marinade
You can marinate the turkey legs first, if you wish. They will still cook just fine according to the directions below. Just remember to check the temperature of any meat you cook with a meat thermometer before eating it. Turkey legs should be a minimum of 165 degrees F. at the deepest, thickest part of the leg.
As for seasoning mixes, you can get creative here! If the suggested asada spice combination doesn’t work for you, try one of these suggestions instead:
- Dry ranch mix
- Cajun seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Turkey rub
- Poultry seasoning
- Fajita seasoning
- Creole seasoning
- Greek dry rub
- Tuscan seasoning
- Jamaican curry seasoning
- Blackened seasoning
Singular spices can also be used. Try:
- salt and black pepper
What To Serve With Your Air Fryer Turkey Legs?
A good side dish is veggies and/or rice. Consider a salad of any kind such as a green salad, pasta salad, rice salad or even quinoa salad. They will all pair nicely with these.
You can also dip these in sauces such as:
- melted butter
- seasoned butter
- ranch dressing
- thousand island dressing
- blue cheese dressing
- Italian dressing
How Long Does It Take To Make Turkey Legs?
For this recipe, you’ll need about 5 minutes of prep time, and about 15 minutes of cook time, for a total time of 20 minutes. Keep in mind, however, that the cook time can vary based on the factors mentioned above. Remember, it’s critical to check the internal temperature of each leg before eating them. You want the inside to be fully cooked before you dig in!
About The Ingredients
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground pepper
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 medium turkey legs – they need to fit in your air fryer basket!
Note: if you can’t get the spices to easily stick to your turkey leg, simply spritz them with a bit of olive oil from an oil sprayer and then add the spices. A little oil will help with crispiness too.
How To Make Air Fryer Turkey Legs
In a small bowl, mix together all the spices.
Dry turkey leg and rub the seasoning mix all over the entire leg.
Place turkey leg in air fryer basket and spray with oil. You might need to cook one leg at a time depending on the size of either the legs or the air fryer basket.
Cook on 380 for 15 minutes or until internal temperature measures 165°f
How To Store Air Fryer Turkey Leg Leftovers
Wrap them well in plastic wrap or in a zipper-top food storage bag. Any airtight container will work. Store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How To Reheat Turkey Legs In An Air Fryer
To reheat a turkey leg, place it into a preheated air fryer at 400 degrees F. for at least 4 minutes. Depending on their size, they can take a few minutes more than this. Cook until warmed through.
How To Freeze Air Fryer Turkey Legs
Wrap each leg tightly in plastic wrap, and then place them together in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 4 months.
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For this, you’ll need a good air fryer such as an Instant Vortex Pro or a Cosori air fryer. And, of course, a mixing bowl for your spices. Either of these air fryers are great for cooking turkey wings or turkey thighs as well!
More Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Turkey Legs Recipe Card
Air Fryer Turkey Legs
- 1 Air Fryer
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 medium turkey legs (they need to fit in your air fryer basket!)
- In a small bowl, mix together all the spices.
- Dry turkey leg and rub the seasoning mix all over the entire leg.
- Place turkey leg in air fryer basket and spray with oil. You might need to cook one leg at a time depending on the size of either the legs or the air fryer basket.
- Cook on 380 for 15 minutes or until internal temperature measures 165°f