Oven Baked Chicken Legs: How To Cook Chicken Drumsticks

Oven baked chicken legs keep well (refrigerated) and are great cold. They are terrific for healthy packed lunches and picnics.

When I was growing up, these chicken drumsticks were a staple of meals, leftovers, and packed lunches. We called this baked chicken "oven fried chicken." The correct term is actually "roasted"!

All you need:

  • a package of raw chicken legs
  • a stove
  • a pan--approximately 12" x 7" for approximately 6 drumsticks
  • oven mitts or potholders
  • tongs (or forks)

I no longer recommend using Pyrex glass baking pans, sadly due to reports of newer pans shattering unpredictably.

I do recommend ceramic, such as Corning Ware or other stoneware. The HIC ceramic lasagna pan pictured here is a highly rated roasting pan.

Read more about choosing a chicken roasting pan

The pan I've chosen for myself is the Emile Henry 13.8" x 10" lasagna pan. It's a well-made, naturally non-stick pan ideal for roasting chicken parts.

Read my full review of the Emile Henry pan

Baking the Oven Baked Chicken Legs

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Arrange the drumsticks in an uncovered roasting pan. The legs should not touch each other.
  • You don't need any cooking spray or fat. The legs will cook in their own fat.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. After 45 minutes, use tongs to turn over each drumstick.

When is Chicken Done?

Pierce the chicken with a fork:

If it is fully cooked, clear juices will run out.

If it isn't done, the juices will be pink or bloody.

You can bake to your desired level of crispiness.

Baking Other Chicken Parts

Cooking time will vary with different pans, ovens, and the size of the parts. Check for doneness with a fork, in the tip above.

Thighs: Bake about an hour at 350 degrees.

Whole Leg (a leg and a thigh): Bake a little more than an hour at 350 degrees.

Chicken breast with bone: Bake about an hour at 350 degrees. 

Boneless chicken breast: Put a pat of butter on top of each breast. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Ideally, boneless chicken breast when done will be a little spongy and pink, seemingly a little undercooked compared to other chicken parts.

Wings: Bake about an hour at 350 degrees--longer if you would like them crispier.


Refrigerate leftovers right away--don't let them cool. They will keep better.

Of course, hot chicken can melt a plastic storage dish. (Let them cool if you are using plastic!) I recommend refrigerating leftovers promptly in Corning Ware or glass casserole dishes. I've found that preserves the taste and quality better than plastic dishes do.

Chicken parts will keep refrigerated for up to four days.

Cold chicken is a great packed lunch or quick dinner!

365 Ways to Cook Chicken

The classic basic chicken cookbook!