Iva Carter
Published by Iva Carter
Last Updated On: August 11, 2023

As a connoisseur of carnivore cuisine and a seasoned home cook with years of experience, I have honed my expertise in the realm of Instant Pot cooking.

This is particularly true when it comes to crafting succulent and flavorful chicken drumsticks.

Here is my go-to Instant Pot chicken recipe for making delicious drumsticks in the pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

Instant pot chicken drumsticks

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 4



  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil or avocado oil)
  • 1/2 cup favorite BBQ sauce (or buffalo sauce for a spicy twist)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (optional, for a slightly sweet flavor)

Dry Rub

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Raw drumsticks in a pot
  1. Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with paper towels. This will help achieve crispy skin. If the drumsticks are frozen, make sure to thaw them before cooking.
  2. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, chili powder, black pepper, and salt to create a flavorful dry rub.
  3. Rub the dry rub mixture evenly over the chicken legs, making sure to coat each piece thoroughly. Allow the seasoned drumsticks to rest for a few minutes to absorb the flavors.
  4. Turn on the Instant Pot and set it to "Sauté" mode. Add olive oil and wait for it to heat up.
  5. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken to the Instant Pot and cook chicken drumsticks for 2-3 minutes on each side. This step adds extra flavor and helps the skin become crispy.
  6. Pour chicken broth into the Instant Pot, and then switch to "Pressure Cook" mode. Set Instant Pot cooking time to 10 minutes on high pressure. Make sure the pressure valve is sealed, and push the pressure cook button.
  7. Once the cooking is complete, you can either perform a quick release by carefully turning the pressure cook valve on the Instant Pot to release the pressure or have the Instant Pot do a natural pressure release for about 5 minutes before quickly releasing the remaining pressure.
  8. Open the Instant Pot, and using a brush, coat each drumstick with your favorite BBQ sauce (or buffalo sauce if using). For a slightly sweet flavor, you can sprinkle some brown sugar on the drumsticks as well.
  9. For extra crispy chicken skin, place the sauced drumsticks on a baking sheet in the oven broiler for 3-4 minutes or until the skin turns golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Raw drumsticks
  • For even more flavor, you can marinate the chicken legs with the dry rub in the fridge overnight.
  • Be sure to cook drumsticks to an internal temperature of 165 °F for food safety [1].
  • You can stack chicken legs in the Instant Pot - they will still cook evenly that way.
  • Adjust the spices and seasoning according to your preference. For example, you can substitute garlic salt for garlic powder.
  • Thaw frozen drumsticks or add an additional 10 minutes of cooking time for frozen chicken.
  • For a spicier version, increase the amount of cayenne or add red pepper flakes to the dry rub.
  • If you prefer boneless meat, you can use boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast (dark or white meat) with this Instant Pot recipe instead of chicken legs. You may need to adjust the timer for a few extra minutes depending on the part of the chicken you are cooking.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days [2]. Reheat them in an air fryer or oven to maintain their crispy texture.

"The convenience and efficiency of electric pressure cookers bring out the best flavors in the meat, making them a must-try for any aspiring home cook."

- Jamie Oliver, British Chef


  • Calories: 280
  • Total Carbs: 6g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Net Carbs: 5g

What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks?

Garlic mashed potatoes

Here are some dishes and sides that go well with this recipe to create a complete meal:

  1. Garlic Mashed Potatoes: The creamy and flavorful garlic mashed potatoes complement the savory Instant Pot chicken legs, creating a comforting and satisfying meal. The creamy texture of the potatoes balances the crispy skin of the Instant Pot drumsticks.
  2. Coleslaw: Coleslaw provides a refreshing and crunchy element to the meal, which contrasts nicely with the tender and juicy chicken drumsticks. The tangy dressing of coleslaw adds a zesty touch to the overall dish.
  3. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn on the cob enhances the BBQ flavors of the tasty drumsticks, providing a smoky and slightly sweet taste. The combination of the juicy Instant Pot chicken with the charred corn adds complexity to the meal.
  4. Roasted Vegetables (Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, or Asparagus): Roasted vegetables offer a nutritious and colorful side that complements even smoked chicken legs. The caramelization from roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, balancing the savory flavors of the chicken.
  5. Baked Sweet Potato Fries: Sweet potato fries add a touch of sweetness to the meal, which complements the smoky flavor of these Instant Pot BBQ chicken drumsticks. The crispy texture of the fries adds contrast to the tender meat.
  6. Steamed Broccoli: Broccoli is a light and healthy side that pairs well with flavorful drumsticks. The vibrant green color of the vegetable adds visual appeal to the dish, and the mild taste complements the robust flavors of the chicken.
  7. Macaroni and Cheese: Macaroni and cheese provide a comforting and indulgent side that complements the hearty chicken legs. The creamy and cheesy pasta balances the spiciness of the BBQ sauce, creating a comforting combination.
  8. Cornbread: Cornbread is a classic pairing with BBQ chicken, as its slightly sweet and crumbly texture complements the smoky flavors of the drumsticks. It adds a touch of Southern charm to the meal.

Also Read: How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks


Does Pressure-Cooking Chicken Longer Make It More Tender?

Yes, pressure-cooking chicken longer can make it more tender. Heat and pressure break down the connective tissues in the meat, and extended cooking allows for more thorough tenderization. However, there is a fine balance; overcooking in the Instant Pot can lead to dry chicken.

Can You Overcook Chicken Drumsticks?

Yes, you can overcook chicken drumsticks. Overcooking Instant Pot chicken drumsticks can result in dry, stringy meat that lacks juiciness. To avoid this, it's essential to keep the chicken nice and juicy, aiming for an internal temperature of 165°F.

Do Drumsticks Take Longer to Cook Than Breasts?

Yes, drumsticks take longer to cook than chicken breasts. Drumsticks contain more connective tissue and bone, which require additional cooking to become tender.

Being leaner and boneless, chicken breast cooks relatively faster in an electric pressure cooker.

The Ultimate Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

You now possess the knowledge and techniques to create mouthwatering pressure cooker chicken legs.

This delicious BBQ chicken drumsticks recipe will impress and delight the whole family.

If you're looking for the best organic chicken options for your cooking endeavors, our list of the best organic meat delivery services provides an insightful guide to finding reputable providers that deliver top-quality organic meat straight to your door.

Explore suppliers that are finer than your local grocery store and ensure you savor the best flavors while supporting a healthier planet.


  1. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/safe-temperature-chart
  2. https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-will-cooked-food-stay-safe-in-the-refrigerator
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