These tender and delicious Instant Pot chicken drumsticks are so easy to make, and an excellent appetizer or main for any meal. Use your favorite seasoning, and make them soft or crispy to suit your preferences.
Why you'll love it
- Juicy, tender chicken drumsticks
- So easy to make
- Make them soft, or with crispy skin
- Customize the seasoning as you like
- Make a big or small batch
- Cheap chicken dinner in the Instant Pot
- Perfect for meal prep
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Chicken drumsticks: This affordable cut of chicken with bones and skin is perfect for appetizers or as an entree. If you're using frozen drumsticks, I recommend defrosting them in a refrigerator overnight before use.
Olive oil: Makes the chicken crispy, and prevents it from sticking to the pot.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Season the chicken drumsticks well with on all sides.
Two: Saute the drumsticks in the Instant Pot until they are golden on all sides. You might have to do this in multiple batches.
Three: Pour water into the bottom of the Instant Pot, and place the drumsticks on a trivet or in a steaming basket. Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Leave the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, before you perform a quick release.
Four: For crispy skin, you can broil the drumsticks for 2-3 minutes before serving, however this is optional.
- You can cook as many chicken drumsticks as you'd like, but don't fill your Instant Pot higher than the max fill line.
- Always scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot to remove any stuck bits before you pressure cook. This ensures that the appliance can reach the necessary pressure.
- This chicken will be fall-off-the-bone tender, and really juicy. It's a great way to meal prep a batch of drumsticks.
- If you want to broil the chicken to crisp up the skin, I highly recommend keeping an eye on it. The drumsticks only need a few minutes.
Pressure cooked drumsticks can be served as an appetizer paired with a dipping sauce, or as an entree for lunch or dinner paired with side dishes. Here are some of my favorites to serve them with:
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- Beetroot and Feta Salad
- Black Bean Corn Salad
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Honey BBQ Sauce
- Healthy Homemade Ranch Dip
Spicy chicken: Add some chili powder or cayenne pepper to the seasoning.
Ranch drumsticks: Replace the seasoning with ranch powder mix, or ranch seasoning. This is an excellent option for a mild and plainer version.
Taco drumsticks: Use any Mexican seasoning mix, such as taco spice packets.
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Alternatively, you can also remove the meat off the bones, and use the shredded chicken in a variety of dishes like soups, salads and more.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can absolutely stack drumsticks in the Instant Pot. Make sure each pieces is seasoned and browned beforehand to give them a great flavor.
Yes, technically you can overcook chicken in an Instant Pot, however this does not happen easily. The steam in the pressure cooker will often keep the meat juicy.
No. Since the pressure cooker is filled with steam, it's impossible to cook chicken crispy. For a crispy result, you can broil or bake the chicken after pressure cooking.
You might also like these recipes
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Air Fryer Drumsticks
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Moroccan Roasted Turkey Drumstick
- Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with paper towels.
- Coat the chicken in seasoning on all sides.
- Heat up the olive oil in your Instant Pot on the SAUTE setting. Brown the drumsticks until they are golden on all sides. You might have to do this in multiple batches.
- Add water to the Instant Pot, and use a wooden spoon or tongs to scrape any stuck pieces loose from the bottom of the pot. Place a trivet or steaming basket in the water.
- Add the browned chicken drumsticks to the trivet, and seal the lid.
- Cook on PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL setting on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, before you perform a quick release according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Use tongs to remove the drumsticks from the Instant Pot. They will be soft and juicy.
- Optionally, if you want to crisp up the skin, broil the chicken drumsticks for 2-3 minutes, or until they have reached your desired result.
- Try with other seasoning combinations, like taco powder, spice rubs, dry ranch seasoning, curry powder and more.
- Store pressure cooked drumsticks in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in an oven, microwave or air fryer, and serve.