Extra Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Legs Recipe

Fryit.co is reader-funded. When we link to a product, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more about our editorial process and affiliate disclaimer.

Get ready for a finger-licking experience with these delicious air fryer turkey legs! Juicy and flavorful with crispy skin, they’re the perfect easy-to-make meal that will leave you craving more.

air fried turkey legs, with served on a cast iron plate

Let’s dive in and learn how to cook these juicy wonders in a breeze.

Notes: We are currently in the development and testing stage for this air fryer turkey legs recipe. Stay tuned for more updates. If you have any tips on making this dish even better, please leave us a comment below. We appreciate your input!

Happy frying!

air fryer turkey legs, recipe bite-shot, served on a cast iron plate

Ingredients for air fryer turkey legs

Here are all you need to make extra crispy air fried turkey legs.

  • Turkey legs
  • Kosher salt
  • Avocado oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Ready-made sauce

You can find the exact measurements of the recipe ingredients and customize the serving size in the recipe card after the detailed step-by-step instructions section.

Substitutes:

When it comes to the sauce for your air-fried turkey legs, the choice is entirely yours! Whether you crave the tangy kick of BBQ, the sweet umami of Teriyaki, the rich depth of Honey Garlic, or any other delightful flavor, feel free to take your pick. 

That’s precisely why the seasoning blend for the turkey legs is intentionally kept simple—to complement rather than overpower your chosen sauce. 

Speaking of which…

When it comes to the seasoning blend, you also have options. You can try lemon pepper, cajun seasoning, garlic parmesan, or whatever you have. Just know that if you opt for a flavorful dry rub, skip the sauce and let the spices shine. 

Recipe Video

Here’s a video of a similar recipe that we’re going for.

How to Cook Turkey Legs in an Air Fryer?

Step 1: Brine turkey legs.

Gently pat the turkey legs dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Next, generously sprinkle kosher salt all over the turkey legs and rub it into the meat. Take a moment to massage the salt into the meat, allowing it to penetrate and work magic.

Now, place the seasoned turkey legs on a plate or tray, and here comes the secret to mouthwatering results—let them sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight. This dry brining step will enhance the flavors and produce juicier turkey legs.

By dry brining, the salt draws out some moisture from the meat, especially the skin. Thus, this is the trick to make the turkey legs extra crispy. DO NOT SKIP if you want extra crunch in every bite.

Step 2: Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).

Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 400°F (204°C).

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, set your desired temperature then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.

🚨 Important: Reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C) if you’re using a 4-quart air fryer or smaller. They are hotter due to the heating element being closer to the food.

Step 3: Season the turkey.

Combine the dry seasoning in a bowl — garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper.

Remove the turkey legs from the refrigerator, discard any liquid, and pat them dry again with paper towels. 

Rub the turkey legs with avocado oil, ensuring they’re well coated on all sides.

Sprinkle the seasoning you made on the turkey. Then, massage the turkey legs to evenly distribute the flavor.

Step 4: Air fry the turkey legs for 30 – 40 minutes at 400ºF (204ºC).

Place the seasoned turkey legs in air fryer, ensuring they’re not overcrowded. The general rule of thumb is there’s at least a bit of space to see the bottom of the air fryer. 

This step is crucial because it allows the heat to circulate evenly and ensures proper airflow throughout the cooking process.

Next, air fry at 400ºF (204ºC) for 15 – 20 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, flip the legs and air fry for 15 – 20 minutes or until they’re cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).

🚨 Important: Cooking durations for poultry can vary, and relying solely on cooking time may not be reliable. Even if our tests show the turkey is cooked in 30 minutes, it may differ for you. To ensure the turkey is perfectly cooked, always use an instant-read thermometer to check its internal temperature before serving. This way, you can guarantee a safe and delicious meal every time.

Step 5: Make and Brush Sauce

Stirring Buffalo sauce mixture in a small pot.

While air frying the turkey legs, get creative and whip up your sauce if you’re feeling DIY!

With your DIY sauce (or store-bought), brush it on the turkey legs to further elevate the deliciousness. 

Step 6: Serve & Enjoy!

air fried turkey legs, with served on a cast iron plate

Serve your air fryer turkey legs with your favorite dishes or dipping sauce. Consider pairing them with coleslaw, roasted veggies, or a creamy dip. The possibilities are endless!

Now you have a winning recipe that’s easy to follow, hassle-free, and absolutely delicious! Fry it to believe it!

Freezing & Storage

Freezing: Planning for leftovers or making a big batch for later? You can absolutely freeze air-fried turkey legs! After they’ve cooled down, place them in an airtight container or a freezer bag. They’ll stay good for up to 2 months.

To reheat from frozen, simply pop the turkey legs back into the air fryer at 375ºF (190ºC) for about 10 – 15 minutes or until heated through.

Fridge: If you’ve got some leftovers, they’ll stay in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 350ºF (175ºC) for about 7 – 10 minutes, and they’ll taste just as delightful as the first time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Cook turkey legs in the air fryer for 30 – 40 minutes at 400ºF (204ºC) or until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).

Reheat turkey legs in the preheated air fryer at 375ºF (190ºC) for 7 – 10 minutes until heated through.

Yes, you can air fry turkey legs. Set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, and you’ll have crispy and flavorful results. Always check that the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (74ºC).

Extra Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Get ready for a finger-licking experience with these delicious air fryer turkey legs! Juicy and flavorful with crispy skin, they’re the perfect easy-to-make meal that will leave you craving more.
air fried turkey legs, with served on a cast iron plate
5 from 1 vote
number of servings2

This ingredients checklist is interactive; you can use it as your grocery list.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 turkey legs about 12 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce store-bought

Instructions
 

  • Dry brine the turkey legs the night before you cook them. First, pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle kosher salt evenly over the turkey legs, rubbing it into the meat. Place the turkey legs on a plate or tray and let them sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC) for about 5 minutes.
  • Make the dry rub seasoning. Mix garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • Season the turkey legs. Remove the brined turkey from the fridge and discard any liquid that may have accumulated. Pat them dry with paper towels. Thoroughly rub the turkey with avocado oil. Then, sprinkle and massage the dry rub over the turkey legs. Make sure that all the nooks and crannies are well-seasoned.
  • Air fry the turkey legs. Place the seasoned turkey in the air fryer, ensuring they're not overcrowded. Set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and cook for 30 – 40 minutes. Flip the legs halfway through.
  • Check the internal temperature. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey. They're fully cooked once it reads a minimum temperature of 165ºF (74ºC). Otherwise, continue cooking.
  • Brush the buffalo sauce on the turkey. Once they're done, remove the turkey legs from the air fryer. Then, brush the sauce generously over each leg, coating them with that spicy goodness.
  • Serve and enjoy your air fried turkey legs!

Notes

  • You can use any sauce of your choice. 
  • Remember that cooking durations may differ depending on the chicken’s thickness and your air fryer’s size and model. Before serving, ensure it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
  • If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food. 
  • You can skip preheating by adding 2-4 minutes to your cooking time. Increment gradually to prevent burning the turkey legs.
  • I used a 6-quart (air fryer) to test the turkey legs. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 200mg | Sodium: 4619mg | Potassium: 829mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 504IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 5mg
Keywords: air fryer turkey legs, turkey legs in air fryer

Share or save this recipe for later:

Have you tried making the turkey legs air fryer recipe?

Leave us a note, and give this recipe a star rating. Good or bad, we appreciate your opinion. Let’s improve this air fryer recipe as a community!

Are you on Instagram? Share your photo and tag us at @fryitco. We can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Or you can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel. We’re constantly uploading easy and tasty air fryer recipe videos, ASMR style.

You can also find us on Facebook & Tiktok 🙂. See you there!

Thank you for your support!

Leave a note

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.