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Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

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All you need to make these irresistible instant pot chicken drumsticks are some simple seasonings, broth, your favorite barbecue sauce, and about half an hour!

Crispy and tender chicken drumsticks made in instant pot on plate

The beauty of the instant pot is that you can cook as many drumsticks at a time as you can fit in the pot. Once the cook time is up, just toss them in your favorite barbecue sauce, stick them under the broiler for a few minutes if you want them extra crispy, then enjoy!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How to make delicious and easy instant pot BBQ chicken legs
  • The super simple way to get the skin nice and crispy
  • What to do if you want to make frozen drumsticks in the instant pot
  • How to store leftover chicken drumsticks
  • What to serve with instant pot chicken legs

I love how this recipe can take you from raw drumsticks to a fully-prepared meal in about half an hour. And bone-in drumsticks make such great finger food! This instant pot chicken legs recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner the whole family will love.

prepared ingredients for instant pot chicken drumsticks

I made this recipe using my Instant Pot 6-Quart Duo Nova. It’s the perfect size for my family of four and makes releasing the steam so much easier than the standard Instant Pot.

How to Make Instant Pot Drumsticks

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: In a small bowl, mix the salt, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper until well combined.

STEP TWO: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season the drumsticks liberally with the seasoning.

liberally coat drumsticks with seasonings

STEP THREE: Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot, then place the trivet inside. Lay the drumsticks on top of the trivet.

lay seasoned chicken drumsticks on trivet in instant pot

STEP FOUR: Secure instant pot lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on MANUAL HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. 

cook chicken drumsticks in instant pot for 15 minutes

STEP FIVE: Once the cook time is up, perform a quick release of the pressure, but allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before removing it from the pot.

Check your Instant Pot chicken drumsticks using an Instant-Read Thermometer prior to coating with BBQ sauce and eating. If your chicken does not read 165 degrees, place it back in the Instant Pot and bring to pressure for another 2 minutes.

STEP SIX: Place the drumsticks in a large bowl and toss them in your favorite BBQ sauce. I love to use my homemade 2-ingredient BBQ sauce, but also love Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.

OPTIONAL: Set your oven broiler to high. Place the sauced drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 2 to 4 minutes or until browned slightly. Brush on more sauce after removing them from the oven if desired.

You can also use your air fryer lid to crisp up the drumsticks for 2 to 4 minutes as well!

toss cooked chicken drumsticks in bbq sauce and serve

Other Delicious BBQ Chicken Recipes:

Tips for Making Instant Pot Chicken Legs

  • If you can let the drumsticks broil for a few minutes after you sauce them, it’s so worth it! The BBQ will caramelize slightly, giving your drumsticks an amazing, crispy skin.
  • Never fill your instant pot past the Max Fill line. Over-filling the pot can prevent it from coming up to pressure.
  • Pat the chicken as dry as possible before you apply the seasoning. This will help the drumsticks get crispier while cooking.

How Long to Cook Chicken Legs in the Instant Pot

The actual cook time for this recipe will be 15 minutes at high pressure with an extra 5 minutes of rest time after. The instant pot will also take a few minutes to come up to pressure before the cook time begins, which will depend on how full the pot is. Overall, it should take 25 to 30 minutes total.

instant pot chicken drumsticks on plate with bite taken out of one drumstick

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Legs in the Instant Pot

1. In a small bowl, mix the salt, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper until well combined.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season the drumsticks liberally with the seasoning.

3. Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot, then place the trivet inside. Lay the drumsticks on top of the trivet.

4. Secure instant pot lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on MANUAL HIGH pressure for 20 minutes. 

5. Once the cooking time is up, perform a quick release of the pressure, but allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before removing it from the pot.

Check your Instant Pot chicken drumsticks using an Instant-Read Thermometer prior to coating with BBQ sauce and eating.

6. Place the drumsticks in a large bowl and toss them in your favorite BBQ sauce.

OPTIONAL: Set your oven broiler to high. Place the sauced drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 2 to 4 minutes or until browned slightly. Brush on more sauce after removing them from the oven if desired.

You can also use your air fryer lid to crisp up the drumsticks for 2 to 4 minutes.

white plate with several instant pot chicken drumsticks on it

Can You Stack Chicken Drumsticks in the Instant Pot When Cooking?

Yes! One of the nice things about using an instant pot is that stacking your food won’t affect the cooking process, so you can cook more at one time. Just make sure not to stack the ingredients higher than the Max Fill line.

What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Legs

And check out all the air fryer vegetable recipes you can make here!

How to Store Leftovers

If you have any extra Instant Pot chickcne drumsticks, you can store them in an airtight container or plastic gallon bag. They’ll stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days.

instant pot chicken drumsticks with bbq sauce on white plate

How to Reheat Leftover Instant Pot Drumsticks

You can warm up leftover chicken drumsticks in the microwave or in the oven. I recommend using a low temperature so they don’t dry out while warming up.

Alternatively, if you have an air fryer, that’s my favorite way to reheat leftovers! It re-crisps the outside while the meat stays nice and juicy.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  3. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until warmed through.

And if you’re looking to make BBQ drumsticks in the air fryer instead, you can follow our recipe here.

Other Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 6 servings

Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy and tender chicken drumsticks made in instant pot on plate

These easy instant pot chicken drumsticks are cooked to tender perfection and tossed in BBQ sauce for just the right burst of flavor!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds chicken drumsticks (about 6)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine salt, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper, mixing well. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season the drumsticks liberally with the seasoning.
  2. Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot, then place the trivet inside. Place the drumsticks on top of the trivet.
  3. Secure and seal the instant pot lid, and cook on MANUAL HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. Perform a quick release of the pressure at the end of the cook time, but allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before removing it from the pot.
  4. Place the drumsticks in a large bowl and toss them in your favorite BBQ sauce.
  5. OPTIONAL: Set your oven broiler to high. Place the saucy drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 2 to 4 minutes or until browned slightly, brushing on more sauce after removing them from the oven, if desired.

Notes

HOW TO COOK FROZEN CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS IN THE INSTANT POT:

  1. Follow all instructions as written, but pressure cook the drums for 20 minutes instead.

HOW TO REHEAT CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS IN AIR FRYER:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  3. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until warmed through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 241mgSodium: 934mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 46g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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