An easy keto and low carb friendly approach to getting crispy, flavorful, BBQ chicken drumsticks without having to use a fryer!
I have been living in one of the bigger BBQ cities in the U.S (Kansas City). There is no short supply of BBQ here and I definitely have a serious love for it. That being said, I wanted to create an easy recipe for anyone to make crispy, flavorful BBQ drumsticks using the oven (or the grill) to fit all cooking levels and abilities.
Believe it or not, you CAN get really crispy chicken drumsticks just from baking. That’s right, you do NOT need a fryer (and all that oil) to achieve a perfect crispy BBQ drumstick. Not to mention, this Keto Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce is a total game changer too!
You can find the full recipe for my BBQ drummies below and I highly suggest reading through for all the helpful tips and tricks to achieving the perfect crispy piece of chicken!
- Paper Towels
- Storage Container/ Mixing Bowl
- Baking Sheet & Baking Rack
- Pastry Brush/ Grill Brush (for sauce)
How to get crispy chicken skin without using a fryer (or air fryer):
When ever I bake chicken (especially chicken that still has skin), I want the outside to be crispy and crunchy and the inside to be tender and juicy. My number one tip to anyone who is preparing to oven roast or grill chicken is to remove as much moisture as possible. The more water or juice that remains on the chicken drumsticks the less likely the skin will crisp up in the oven.
Getting crispy skin is a two step process.
1. Drying The Skin– Start by patting the drumsticks dry with a paper towel. Next, toss the drumsticks in some baking powder. Yes, I said baking powder.
Baking powder naturally dries out the skin, making this ideal for situations where you do not want to deal with a fryer (unless you have an air fryer).
In order for this to work the best, I find letting the baking powder sit on the skin (in the fridge) for a few hours. This prevents the skin from getting rubbery too!
2. Seasoning/ Flavor- Before I plan on baking or grilling my drumsticks, I just like to add some dry rub seasoning as well to the outside. This way both the chicken and my sauce are seasoned. This could be as simple as salt and pepper, a (keto friendly( pre-made BBQ rub of your choice, or a mixture of seasonings from your own spice cabinet.
Baking / Grilling & Saucing:
Here is where the magic happens! To get crispy skin, I preheat my oven (or my grill) to 425 F. If you are grilling, make sure your grill is set for indirect heat or you will burn your chicken.
When I bake the chicken, I like to bake it on a greased elevated baking rack (pictured). This helps circulate the air under the chicken, ensuring the entire drumstick is crispy. Cooking at a higher temperature too ensures a nice crunchy skin!
I bake/grill my drumsticks for about 40-45 minutes or so, this will vary so definitely keep an eye on it). You want the chicken to reach a temperature of 165 internally for it to be safely cooked.
Typically around the 150F mark I’ll brush a nice even coat of my Low Carb Smoky BBQ Sauce over the top and pop it back in the oven (or grill) and let it finish cooking. Remove it from the oven and finish the drumsticks off with another layer of that yummy smoky BBQ sauce!
Don’t you love how simple this recipe is? Me too! I hope you give these a try! If you’re a chicken fan make sure you all check out my other keto favorites –
- 12 Chicken Drumsticks
- 2 tbsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 cup Low Carb Smoky BBQ Sauce
- Dry Rub For Chicken (optional):
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Pepper
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Cumin
- 1/4 tsp. Cayenne
- Start by drying the drumsticks with a paper towel to remove all excess moisture. Once they are dry, coat the drumsticks in the 2 tbsp. of baking powder. Let the baking powder sit and absorb the moisture on the skin for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven or grill to 425 F. If you are grilling, set your grill for indirect heat. If baking, place foil on a baking sheet and place a baking rack on the baking sheet to allow hot air to penetrate under the chicken. Spray the rack to prevent the chicken from sticking.
- In a bowl, combine the seasonings listed above or use your ow bbq rub. Coat the chicken in the seasoning and place on the grill or on the elevated rack on the baking sheet.
- The drumsticks should cook like this until they reach an internal temperature of 150 F. Sauce the drumsticks and continue to cook until the internal temperature hits 165 F. This should take approximately 40-45 minutes. Make sure you are checking your chicken with a thermometer for accuracy.
- Before serving, add more sauce over the top and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 465mgCarbohydrates: 1gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 22g