If you're looking for an easy, fuss-free, fast, and flavorful family dinner, try this Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks recipe. It's a delicious recipe the whole family will love!
Drumsticks are such a flavorful part of the chicken. We love cooking with drumsticks! We use them all the time in our Instant Pot Chicken Adobo. And they cook up absolutely beautifully in the electric pressure cooker.
Let's face it: we don't usually have a lot of time to cook dinner, especially on busy weeknights. And with the price of food and, well, everything these days, we're trying to save money but still want food with a lot of flavor. Drumsticks are a great answer to both dinner dilemmas!
If you want a super easy way to cook drumsticks that are anything-but-boring, then this recipe is for you. I love how juicy and tender the drumsticks turn out from pressure cooking. And I think you're gonna love it, too!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Hands down, this is my favorite way to make the easiest, tastiest, most tender chicken drumsticks. It's a great way to get a healthy meal on the table, fast. These drumsticks are:
- Easy - I've got step-by-step photos in this post to make the process even easier!
- Fast - The Instant Pot pressure cooker cuts cooking time down significantly. You can whip up a delicious chicken dinner in less time - just about 30 minutes.
- Inexpensive - Drumsticks are usually less expensive than other cuts of chicken, but they are so full of yummy flavor!
- Simple ingredients - You only need a few simple ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store. You probably already have most of the ingredients on hand already!
- Delicious - The chicken drumsticks turn out super moist and tender. If you follow the options for crispy skin and making a gravy, they're even more delicious. They're absolutely irresistible!
🛒 Ingredient notes
One of the best things about this dish is how simply it is. You probably already have these ingredients in your pantry, fridge, and/or freezer.
- Chicken - You'll need 2 pounds of drumsticks. Depending on the size of the drumsticks, this is around 6 to 8 drumsticks.
- Chicken stock - Use homemade stock or store-bought stock.
- Olive oil - Use extra virgin olive oil.
- Herbs & spices - You'll need garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, ground paprika, kosher salt and black pepper.
If you decide to make the gravy, you'll also need some cornstarch.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Full ingredients and instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here's are some photos of the easy steps to help you make this easy Instant Pot recipe.
- Add all the seasonings to a large bowl and whisk together.
- Season the drumsticks on all sides.
3. Select the SAUTE function, then add a tablespoon of olive oil or two to the Instant Pot. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken. Sauté the chicken until it is just browned on all sides. Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate.
4. With the Instant Pot still in Sauté mode, pour in a little bit of the chicken broth. With a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot. This helps avoid the dreaded BURN notice that the Instant Pot does if there are food parts stuck to the bottom of your Instant Pot. Once you've scraped up all of the browned bits, add the remaining chicken broth.
5. Place a trivet or rack into the Instant Pot. Place the drumsticks on top of the trivet or rack. It's okay if they slightly overlap.
6. Turn the Instant Pot on the Pressure Cook (or Manual). Turn the time to 10 minutes. It will take a few minutes to come to pressure. Once pressure cooking is complete, do Natural Release for 5 minutes. Meaning: do nothing, but allow the pressure to release naturally. Then, do a Quick Release, by carefully turning the pressure release valve over to the VENTING position. Once the unit has released all the pressure and the pressure release knob falls all the way down, carefully open the lid.
7. Optional step and different methods for crispy skin: place the drumsticks into your air fryer basket or tray and air fry at 400°F for 3 or 4 minutes, depending on how crispy you want the skin. If you don't have an air fryer, place on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet and broil in the oven for 5 minutes.
Optional step to make gravy: Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot, turn the unit to the Sauté function, add cornstarch. There's usually enough remaining liquid to make a cornstarch slurry in the inner pot, but if not, add a couple tablespoons of water. As the liquid heats up, whisk the cornstarch until it dissolves in the liquid. Continue to whisk and allow the liquid to thicken up to your preferred thickness. Serve with the drumsticks.
👩🏻🍳 Frequently Asked Questions
Also referred to as chicken legs, drumsticks - along with chicken thighs - are considered dark meat. Dark meat typically is higher in calories and fat than white meat, such as lean chicken breast. However, dark meat such as drumsticks are higher in healthy fats, iron, niacin, riboflavin and zinc.
Allow the meat to cool completely, then store drumsticks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three or four days
🍽 Serving ideas
For dinner, serve the drumsticks with:
- Instant Pot Garlic Rice
- Grilled Asparagus in Foil
- Air Fryer Corn Ribs
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Asian Carrot Cucumber Salad
- Air Fryer Broccoli
These drumsticks are also great to make on Meal Prep day!
Whether you decide to make the gravy or not, you could also serve this with barbecue sauce
🍷 🥂 Wine pairings
Pair this delicious Instant Pot chicken drumstick recipe with a dry white wine such as a Chardonnay or a Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio. It's also quite delicious with a Sauvignon Blanc.
If you're in the mood for red wine, this chicken dish pairs well with light-bodied red wines, such as a Pinot Noir.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- Electric pressure cooker - You'll need a 6-quart or 8-quart electric pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi.
- Tongs - Use kitchen tongs to move the chicken to and from the Instant Pot.
- Wooden spoon - You'll need a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the Instant Pot after browning the chicken and before pressure cooking.
- Whisk - Use a whisk to whisk together the seasonings for the chicken. Then again to make the gravy, if you're going to do that optional step (I highly recommend you do!).
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish and lemon wedges for serving.
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon water
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the seasoning ingredients.
- Season the drumsticks with the seasoning mix on all sides.
- Turn the Instant Pot to SEAR/SAUTE. Once heated, add the olive oil. Sauté the chicken just until the chicken is brown on all sides. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Pour a little chicken stock into the pot and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- Place a trivet into the pot, then place the drumsticks onto the trivet. Try to place them in a single layer as possible, but it's also okay if they overlap a bit.
- Secure the lid, ensuring the pressure release valve is in the SEALING position. Set the Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK (or MANUAL) on high pressure for 10 minutes. The unit will take 6-10 minutes to come to pressure, depending on whether you are using a 6-quart or 8-quart pressure cooker, then it will start pressure cooking.
- Once pressure cooking is complete, allow for Natural Release for 5 minutes (meaning: do nothing for 5 minutes). Then do a Quick Release (use tongs or a wooden spoon to carefully move the pressure release valve over to VENTING position).
- At this point, the chicken should be done and can be served as is. But you can also create a gravy to serve over the chicken. Note: chicken is fully cooked when a meat thermometer reads 165°F. If your chicken needs to be cooked for longer, simply turn the SAUTE function on and cook the chicken for a few more minutes on Sauté mode until it reaches 165°F.
Optional: make gravy
- Remove the chicken and the trivet from the pot. Turn the Instant Pot to SEAR/SAUTE. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of water. Pour this cornstarch slurry into the pot and, using a wooden spoon, stir the slurry into the remaining liquid in the pot. Allow it to bubble up and thicken to your preferred consistency. Serve as gravy over the chicken, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.