How many calories are in 2 fried drumsticks?

Chicken drumsticks are a popular and delicious part of the chicken. Drumsticks are the lower part of the chicken leg, consisting of the thigh and drumstick bone. They contain more fat than chicken breasts but also have a juicy taste and texture that many people enjoy. When chicken drumsticks are fried, they become even more flavorful but also higher in calories and fat due to the oil or batter used in frying. Knowing the calorie content of fried chicken drumsticks can help you make informed decisions about portion sizes and how often to indulge in this tasty treat. In this article, we will explore how many calories are in 2 fried chicken drumsticks and the factors that affect their calorie content.

Calories in Chicken Drumsticks

The number of calories in a chicken drumstick depends on a few key factors:

  • Size of the drumstick – Larger drumsticks naturally contain more meat and therefore more calories. An average chicken drumstick weighs around 100-150g.
  • Cooking method – Fried chicken drumsticks contain significantly more calories than drumsticks cooked by baking, grilling or roasting due to the oil or batter used.
  • Skin on or skinless – Chicken skin adds significant calories and fat. A skinless chicken drumstick has around 110-170 calories, while a drumstick with skin has around 160-230 calories.
  • Brand and recipe – The exact ingredients and amounts used in marinades, batter or breading impact calorie content.

According to the USDA, one average fried chicken drumstick with skin contains about 185 calories.

So for 2 average sized fried chicken drumsticks with skin, the total calories would be:

185 calories x 2 drumsticks = 370 calories

However, this number may vary depending on the factors mentioned above. Larger, oil-drenched drumsticks can contain over 200 calories each, putting 2 fried drumsticks closer to 400-450 calories. Smaller or less battered drumsticks may be closer to 320-350 calories for 2 pieces.

Calories from Macronutrients

The calories in fried chicken drumsticks come from the macronutrients – protein, carbs and fat:

  • Protein – Chicken drumsticks are a good source of protein. About 30-40% of the calories come from protein.
  • Carbs – Any batter or breading contributes carbohydrate calories, about 20-30% of total calories.
  • Fat – The high fat content of chicken skin and oil used for frying makes up 30-50% of calories in fried drumsticks.

For a 185 calorie drumstick, here is the breakdown:

Macronutrient Calories Percentage of Total Calories
Protein 55-75 calories 30-40%
Carbs 37-56 calories 20-30%
Fat 55-92 calories 30-50%

As you can see, fat provides a significant amount of calories in fried drumsticks.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Fried Chicken Drumsticks

If you want to enjoy fried chicken drumsticks while reducing the calorie count, here are some tips:

  • Remove the chicken skin before or after cooking to eliminate up to 50% of the fat calories.
  • Use healthier frying methods like air frying or baking instead of deep frying to significantly reduce oil and calories.
  • Avoid drizzling, dipping or dunking drumsticks in high calorie sauces and condiments.
  • Use lower-calorie ingredients like egg whites instead of whole eggs when making batter.
  • Opt for lighter breading like panko breadcrumbs rather than heavy batter.
  • Portion control – stick to 1 drumstick instead of 2 to cut calories in half.

With smart modifications and reasonable portions, you can still enjoy the great taste of fried chicken drumsticks as part of a healthy diet.

Health Impact of Fried Chicken Drumsticks

While fried chicken drumsticks taste delicious, consuming them too often can negatively impact your health due to:

  • High calorie content, which can contribute to weight gain
  • Large amounts of saturated and trans fats, which raise bad LDL cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Higher sodium intake, which may exacerbate high blood pressure
  • Low fiber and nutrient density compared to lean meats and vegetables

It’s best to enjoy fried chicken drumsticks in moderation as an occasional indulgence, not a regular part of your meals. Focus on increasing intake of healthier lean proteins, fresh produce, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil.

Healthier Chicken Drumstick Recipes

While fried chicken isn’t the healthiest choice, you can prepare flavorful drumsticks using lower calorie cooking methods:

Baked Drumsticks

Baking drumsticks removes the oil and batter from frying for a healthier option. Try this easy baked drumstick recipe:

  • Season 6 chicken drumsticks with salt, pepper and your choice of herbs and spices.
  • Place drumsticks on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400°F for 45-60 minutes, flipping halfway through, until chicken is cooked through.

Air Fried Drumsticks

Air frying chicken uses at least 70% less oil than deep frying while still providing that crispy texture. Air fry drumsticks at 400°F for 18-22 minutes, shaking halfway through.

Grilled Drumsticks

Grilling brings out delicious savory flavors in chicken while keeping calories and fat low. Grill seasoned drumsticks over medium heat for 12-15 minutes each side until charred and cooked through.

Chicken Drumstick Soup or Stew

Add chicken drumsticks to soups, chilis and stews for extra protein and flavor. The liquid will ensure the meat stays juicy and tender.


Two average sized fried chicken drumsticks with skin contain about 370 calories, with around 50% coming from fat. The high calorie and fat content makes fried drumsticks a high-calorie treat. Removing the skin, choosing healthier cooking methods like baking or air frying, and watching your portions can help reduce the calorie impact. While delicious, enjoy fried chicken drumsticks in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet focused on lean proteins, produce, whole grains and healthy fats. With some nutrition-focused adjustments, you can still satisfy your fried chicken cravings!

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