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Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Air fryer turkey legs are crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. These flavor-packed turkey legs are a foolproof dish the whole family will love.

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Juicy and tender air fryer turkey legs

Every summer, my family and I go to the Renaissance Fair, and we always end up getting giant turkey legs. They’re seriously to die for! It got me thinking, why wait until the summer when I can make a turkey leg in the air fryer all year round?

Just like that, this delicious recipe was born. Now, it’s a family favorite when it comes to dinner time. Crispy on the outside and tender inside, when you air fry turkey legs, you’ll have juicy dark meat that is absolutely irresistible. 

Air fryers are so convenient because they can roast turkey legs like it’s nothing! I love this turkey leg recipe because it’s so easy to execute perfectly, making it a great choice for busy weeknight dinners. 

ingredients for turkey legs cooked in air fryer
Air Fryer I recommend: Large, easy to clean, square basket, burner on top and bottom. Click to see it.

How to Cook Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

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STEP ONE: Start by preheating your air fryer to 390 degrees F. 

STEP TWO: Grab a bowl and mix together the melted butter, Cajun and poultry seasoning, garlic salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika. 

STEP THREE: Before you air fry the turkey legs, baste them with the seasoned butter. Make sure to get the top, bottom, and sides — this helps to create the crispy skin. 

baste seasoning on turkey legs

STEP FOUR: Place turkey legs in the air fryer and cook for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove when they’ve reached your desired crispiness, but make sure they have hit a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

STEP FIVE: Once your air fried turkey legs are cooked to perfection, they’re ready to enjoy!

turkey legs in air fryer

Tips to Make the Best Air Fryer Turkey Legs

  • It’s not the best idea to air fry frozen turkey legs. If you’re using frozen turkey legs, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then cook them following the instructions above.
  • If you have extra time to invest in this delicious recipe, you can brine your turkey legs by soaking them in salted water for 3-4 hours or overnight. This prevents the air fryer turkey from losing moisture while cooking. 

Make sure not to stack or overlap the turkey legs in the air fryer basket. This could result in uneven cooking, and the skin won’t get crispy anywhere the air fryer turkey legs are touching.

cooked turkey legs in air fryer

Variations to Air Fried Turkey Legs

  • For a richer smoky flavor, you can try using smoked turkey legs. If you do, there’s no need to season the air fryer turkey legs with anything extra! 
  • If you don’t have garlic salt on hand, you can make your own by mixing garlic powder with regular salt. You can start with a 1:3 ratio of garlic powder to salt and adjust to your taste. 
  • If you prefer a less intense seasoning, seasoned salt is a great alternative to the traditional spices used in this turkey leg recipe. 
  • For a sweeter glaze, combine brown sugar, melted butter, a hint of cinnamon, and a touch of nutmeg.

What to Serve with Turkey Legs

cooked turkey legs in air fryer

How Long to Cook Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer

When placing your turkey leg in the air fryer, the cooking time really depends on if you’re working with a small or large turkey leg.

I usually find that between 25 and 30 minutes does the trick for me. 

But here’s the golden rule: make sure the air fried turkey leg’s internal temperature hits 165 degrees F so it’s safe to eat. To do this, place a meat thermometer in the thickest point of the turkey drumsticks.

If you’re planning on air frying pre cooked turkey legs, check out my Air Fryer Turkey Wings recipe for directions!

More Easy Air Fryer Dinner Ideas

cooked turkey legs in air fryer

How to Reheat a Turkey Leg in the Air Fryer

To reheat turkey legs, start by preheating the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Arrange your turkey legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry the turkey legs for approximately 5 minutes, making sure they’re thoroughly heated.

Store any leftover turkey in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. 

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turkey legs in air fryer

Easy Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Samantha Erb
Craving something meaty & delicious? Sink your teeth into these air fryer turkey legs! Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, & ready in just 30 minutes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Air Fryer Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 3 servings
Calories 681 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F.
  • Add the melted butter, cajun and poultry seasoning, garlic salt, pepper, and paprika in a bowl and mix.
  • Baste the seasoned butter all over the turkey legs top and bottom and sides.
  • Place the turkey legs in the air fryer basket and cook for 25-30 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the turkey legs from the air fryer and enjoy!

Notes

How to Reheat Turkey Legs in the Air Fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the turkey legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 681kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 78gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 371mgSodium: 923mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

5 thoughts on “Air Fryer Turkey Legs”

  1. What size turkey leg would you recommend for this recipe? Some are quite large and may require a different cooking time.

    Reply
    • You bring up a great point, depending on the size of the turkey leg you may need to make cooking time adjustments. The best way to ensure your turkey legs are cooked to perfection is by monitoring the internal temperature until it reaches 165 degrees at the thickest point of the turkey leg. I hope that answers your question, happy cooking!

  2. The 5 minute time for reheating is definitely off, unless you’re “reheating” them from already hot. Refrigerated overnight and in a 350° preheated air fryer, you’ll be at 55-60 degrees internal temp at best after 5 minutes.

    Reply
    • This is the reheating time for a basket air fryer. The oven-style air fryer will take a few extra minutes, but I’ve reheated turkey legs in an air fryer basket, and they’re heated through within 5 minutes. If you’re placing them into a cold air fryer or not fully preheated one, it will definitely take longer.

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