How Long to Bake Chicken Drumsticks at 400

When it comes to whipping up a quick and flavorful meal on a busy weeknight, chicken drumsticks are a fantastic option. Baking them in the oven is an easy and efficient way to ensure they turn out moist, tender, and delicious with every bite. This article will walk you through the optimal temperatures and cooking durations for baking chicken drumsticks, as well as offer tips on how to achieve that gorgeous golden-brown color. So, let’s dive in and get ready to discover your new go-to chicken recipe!

chicken drumsticks in oven

Key Takeaways

  • Baking drumsticks at 400°F offers faster cooking and a golden-brown exterior, while 350°F is slightly slower but still effective.
  • Keeping the insides moist and tender is achieved through proper cooking times and temperatures.
  • This easy recipe will become a favorite for quick, satisfying meals on busy weeknights.

How Long to Bake Chicken Legs

Baking chicken legs can depend on their size and thickness, so the cooking time might vary. To get the best results, here are a few popular temperature options and reasons for choosing one over another. Remember, it’s a good idea to go for organic chicken, as cage-free birds provide leaner, more flavorful, and tender meat.

  • Option 1: Bake at a lower temperature such as 350°F (175°C) for about 45-50 minutes. This will provide a more tender final product, but it might take a bit longer to cook.
  • Option 2: Cook at a higher temperature like 400°F (200°C) for about 35-40 minutes. This could lead to a crispier skin and faster cooking, but make sure you keep an eye on the chicken to avoid overcooking.

In any case, always check the internal temperature of the chicken legs, aiming for 165°F (74°C). This ensures that your chicken is cooked thoroughly for both taste and safety. Make sure to enjoy your delicious and perfectly-baked chicken legs!

Bake Drumsticks at 400

To prepare delicious chicken drumsticks, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Baking them at this temperature for about 35 to 40 minutes should cook them thoroughly. However, the cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the drumsticks. Lollipop chicken drumsticks, where some meat is removed, take around 20 minutes to cook. Make sure to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat, ensuring it reaches 165 degrees F for safe consumption. Enjoy your perfectly cooked drumsticks!

How Long to Bake Drumsticks at 350

For cooking drumsticks at 350°F, it usually takes around 40-45 minutes. Baking them at a lower temperature is a great strategy, especially if you’re using a sauce. To get tender drumsticks, cover them with foil initially, then let them crisp up towards the end.

Sprinkle some black pepper, lemon, and other seasonings to enhance the flavors. However, to achieve a crispy exterior on your drumsticks, you might need to broil or air fry them for a few minutes at the end. This is because the lower temperature can leave the skin soft. If you don’t eat the skin, this step isn’t necessary. Enjoy your delicious drumsticks!

Fall Off the Bone Chicken Drumsticks in Oven

To achieve tender and flavorful chicken drumsticks, adding a sauce like teriyaki can amp up the moisture and taste. Baking chicken legs at 400°F gets them done faster while ensuring a crispy skin. For even crispier skin, switch to broil briefly at the end. Make sure to keep the skin on, and don’t forget to check the internal temperature, ensuring it reaches a safe point for consumption. Rest your juicy and moist chicken thighs for a while, allowing them to become even juicier before serving. Enjoy your delicious, fall-off-the-bone drumsticks!

chicken drum stick

How to Properly Bake Chicken Legs in the Oven

To achieve the tastiest baked chicken legs, you should allocate around 45 minutes for cooking. It’s crucial to use uniform sized pieces – be it chicken drumsticks, chicken breast, chicken wings, or baked chicken thighs. This ensures even cooking so that everyone can enjoy their meal together.

Using smaller pieces might result in quicker cooking, but the thicker parts may still be undercooked. The type of cooking method, whether it’s baking, using an Instant Pot, or an air fryer, won’t make a significant difference in this case.

For the finest results, go for medium-sized, skin-on, cage-free chicken pieces. This small attention to detail will lead you to serve delectable baked chicken legs for everyone to enjoy. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to cooking perfect chicken dishes.

Baked Chicken Drumstick Calories

When preparing baked chicken drumsticks, you might be curious about the calorie count. Different brands of chicken legs vary in their calorie content due to varying fat levels. To find the most accurate calorie count, check the packaging and consider adding the calories from the sauce.

To make your baked chicken drumsticks, gather the following ingredients:

  • 6-8 medium-sized defrosted chicken legs
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder for seasoning
  • 4 tbsp of cold, diced butter (or a dairy-free alternative)

Place the seasoned chicken legs on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Coat with cooking spray to ensure easy removal after cooking. If you prefer, you can also use an air fryer for a crispier texture. In addition to calories, baked chicken drumsticks provide essential nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and sugar. However, take note of the saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium content.

BBQ Chicken Sauce

A delightful BBQ chicken sauce begins with ketchup, enhanced by a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Add some brown sugar for sweetness, and use water or chicken broth as needed. Mix in a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce for extra depth. Alternatively, consider using bottled barbecue sauce or a lemon pepper chicken marinade.

Follow the same directions for baked, skin-on chicken thighs, ensuring a crispy skin with flavorful seasoning. For boneless chicken breasts, adjust the cooking time to 25-30 minutes, depending on thickness. Enjoy your delicious, marinated, baked chicken!

Roast chicken drumsticks

Baked BBQ Chicken Legs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and pat dry your chicken drumsticks with paper towels to remove excess moisture from the skin for crispiness. Place the drumsticks in a baking dish, seasoning them with salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder according to your taste.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, water, sugar, and smoked paprika. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Drizzle 3/4 of the sauce over the chicken legs, reserving the remaining sauce in a separate baking dish.

Next, distribute small pieces of cold butter on top of the chicken legs. Cover your baking dish with foil and place it in the preheated oven. Cook the chicken for 25 minutes with the foil and then an additional 10-12 minutes without foil, or until they reach your desired level of browning (cooking time may vary depending on their size).

For ultra-crispy skin, switch your oven to broil for the last 2 minutes of cooking or place the chicken legs in an air fryer preheated to 400 degrees with a light spray of olive oil for a few minutes. After removing the chicken from the oven or air fryer, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, ensuring it reaches 165 F before consumption.

Finally, serve your baked BBQ chicken legs with a drizzle of the reserved sauce and enjoy alongside your favorite side dish. If you’re looking for a quicker alternative, consider trying a Ninja Foodi chicken legs recipe. Happy cooking!

How to Preserve Leftover Cooked Chicken Legs

Saving leftover chicken legs is a great way to minimize food waste. To ensure that your chicken remains moist, store it in a freezer bag, which is the best option. You can place the chicken legs directly in the bag, and remove any excess air before sealing it. Then, when you’re ready to enjoy them, simply reheat the chicken in the microwave.

Alternatively, you can remove the meat from the bones and cut it into smaller pieces, especially if you plan to use it in a casserole or another dish. Place the pieces in a smaller airtight container or freezer bag for storage. When it’s time to use it, just add the cooked chicken directly to your pot, and you’ve got a tasty base for your next meal.

Consider pairing your leftover chicken with delicious side dishes like roasted vegetables, potato salad, or a fresh, crisp salad seasoned with kosher salt. Remember to keep your cooked sides properly stored as well – refrigerate them in airtight containers to maintain freshness. With these tips, you can effortlessly transform your remaining chicken legs into satisfying and delightful meals.

How Long to Bake Chicken Drumsticks at 400


  • Baking dish
  • Saucepan
  • Meat thermometer
  • Optional: Air fryer


Chicken drumsticks (defrosted)6-8
Salt1/2 tsp
Pepper1/4 tsp
Cold butter (diced)4 tbsp
BBQ Chicken Sauce
Ketchup5 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar1 tsp
Brown sugar1 tbsp
Water or chicken broth3 tbsp
Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp
Paprika1/2 tsp


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Rinse and pat dry the chicken drumsticks using paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Place them in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Feel free to add any other spices you fancy.
  2. To make the BBQ sauce, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, water (or chicken broth), brown sugar, and paprika in a saucepan. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Drizzle 3/4 of the sauce over the drumsticks and pour the remaining sauce into a separate dish.
  3. Add pieces of cold diced butter on top of the chicken legs. Cover the baking dish with foil and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes with the foil on, then another 10-12 minutes without foil, or until the chicken reaches the desired level of browning (cooking time may vary depending on the size of the drumsticks).
  4. For extra crispy skin, consider broiling the drumsticks for the last 2 minutes of cooking time or placing them in a preheated air fryer at 400°F for a couple of minutes.
  5. Be sure to check that the drumsticks are thoroughly cooked by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, ensuring it reaches a safe temperature of 165°F. Serve the drumsticks hot, topped with the reserved BBQ sauce.


You can also find a step-by-step video tutorial online for this baking method to help guide you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Baking Drumsticks at 400°F Wrapped in Foil

To bake drumsticks at 400°F wrapped in foil, you should typically cook them for about 25-30 minutes. Be sure to check the internal temperature, which should reach 165°F before consuming.

Cooking Drumsticks at 350°F

If you prefer to cook your drumsticks at 350°F, plan on baking them for 45-50 minutes. Remember that the chicken’s internal temperature should be 165°F to ensure it’s safe to eat.

Baking Chicken Legs at 400°F Uncovered

For uncovered chicken legs at 400°F, you’ll want to bake them for approximately 35-40 minutes. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F before enjoying.

Deciding Between Baking at 400°F or 425°F

The decision between baking at 400°F or 425°F may depend on your preference for crispier skin. Cooking at 425°F will brown and crisp the chicken faster, while 400°F provides a more gradual, even cook.

Comparing Baking at 350°F or 400°F

Baking at 350°F will take longer, but it allows for more tender chicken. Baking at 400°F will cook the chicken faster and provide a slightly crispy skin. Choose whichever option best fits your taste preference.

Time to Cook Fully Cooked Drumsticks

For fully cooked drumsticks, you only need to heat them to an internal temperature of 165°F. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes at 400°F, but always check the temperature for safety.

chicken drumsticks in oven

How Long to Bake Chicken Drumsticks at 400

Here's a simple recipe for chicken drumsticks in the oven:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 277 kcal


  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  • Rinse the chicken drumsticks and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  • Brush the chicken drumsticks with the spice mixture, making sure to coat them evenly.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Bake the chicken drumsticks in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Remove the chicken drumsticks from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.


Calories: 277kcal
Keyword how long to bake chicken drumsticks at 400
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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