Cooking chicken drumsticks in the Instant Pot is an incredibly fast and efficient way to get dinner on the table and they’re so tender!
» You might also like this Instant Pot Jambalaya.
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>> Learn more about the Instant Pot and then try this Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe.
I love cooking in the Instant Pot. It’s so much faster than the oven and it doesn’t require heating up the house to do it. This recipe is so simple, but it results in the most tender chicken drumsticks.
Chicken drumsticks are inexpensive and easy to make. If you have an Instant Pot, you know how quick the process is. If you don’t yet have an Instant Pot, look over this post to see the benefits and reasons I think it’s the best tool in my kitchen.
Drumsticks need to cook for at least 45 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees. During the summer that’s just not something I’m prepared to do. It heats up the house so much. No thanks.
In the Instant Pot, it takes just 10 minutes, plus the pressurizing time. In just 25 minutes, dinner is ready and the house is still nice and cool.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Chicken drumsticks – This recipe calls for 6 drumsticks but you can cook up to 12 at a time without increasing the cooking time.
Dry rub – Adds a layer of flavor. We like to use this dry rub on just about everything.
Chicken broth or water – The Instant Pot needs the liquid to help pressurize. While the chicken doesn’t actually cook in the liquid the broth will add flavor and moisture.
BBQ sauce or glaze – Optional. Try this honey sriracha sauce or this BBQ sauce.
How to Cook Chicken Drumsticks in the Instant Pot
You’ll need the trivet that came with the Instant Pot. If you don’t have one, you can set the chicken directly in the pot. I like the texture of the chicken more when it’s on the trivet. It’s more tender and less dense.
Pour a cup of hot chicken broth (or just plain hot water) into the base of the pot. Add the trivet. Then place the drumsticks evenly on the trivet. You can stack them up, if necessary.
Close the lid and seal the vent. Press the “pressure cook” button and set the time to 10 minutes. After this, allow natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
Be sure to visit our Instant Pot Guide for more tips and great recipes!
At this point, you can serve the drumsticks as is. They are nicely seasoned and tasty. Or you can brush them with bbq sauce (try our killer bourbon bbq sauce recipe), buffalo sauce, or a glaze, like this delicious honey sriracha sauce, which is what I’ve put on the chicken drumsticks that are pictured here.
You can also crisp up the skin in the oven, if you want to. I almost always skip this extra step. It’s just not necessary, in my opinion. Cooking the chicken for longer in the oven isn’t why I choose to use the Instant Pot.
Why Use An Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
If you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. You can also check out our Instant Pot page for more information.
Tips for Cooking Chicken Drumsticks
You can cook the chicken drumsticks from frozen in the Instant Pot, if you want to. It will take about 4 more minutes to cook, so set the time to 14 minutes.
You don’t need to increase the pressure cooking time or the amount of water you put in the Instant Pot if you’re cooking additional chicken drumsticks. This recipe has just 6 drumsticks, because our recipes are geared for 2 people, however you can cook up to 24 drumsticks at a time without increasing the time. If you want to cook more than 24 drumsticks, increase the time to 12 minutes.
I am not able to fit more than 36 small drumsticks in my Instant Pot, without filling past the fill line. If you need to cook more than this, do it in two batches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I put frozen chicken in the Instant Pot?
Yes! It’s one of the great things about the Instant Pot. You don’t have to thaw chicken before cooking. Always check the recipe to see how much time to add. In this case, the drumsticks will need an extra 4 minutes of cooking time for a total of 14 minutes.
How can I make the skin crispy?
You can crisp up the skin in the oven, under the broiler. I almost always skip this extra step. It’s just not necessary, in my opinion. Cooking the chicken for longer in the oven isn’t why I choose to use the Instant Pot.
What to Serve With Drumsticks
I am a huge fan of serving salads with chicken drumsticks. I think this Classic Wedge Salad is perfect. You might also try this crunchy Broccoli Salad.
If you’d rather add some carbs, try our creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese, or this easy Black Bean & Corn Pasta Salad.
If you like to dunk your chicken like I do then you will love this Alabama White BBQ Sauce or this Yum Yum Sauce.
Can’t make up your mind? Check out this list of 10 great summer salads that all pair well with chicken.
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Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon dry rub
- 1 cup chicken broth or water adding it hot reduces pressurizing time
- 1/4 cup bbq sauce or glaze if desired
- Coat the chicken drumsticks with dry rub or seasoning.
- Pour 1 cup hot chicken broth or water into the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Insert the trivet. Place the chicken drumsticks on the trivet. Secure the lid and turn the valve to sealing. Press the pressure cooker button and set the time to 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, allow it to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually.
- Brush the drumsticks with glaze or sauce, if desired.
If you cook the chicken from frozen, add 4 minutes to the cook time.
The skin will not be crispy. If you want to crisp it, broil in the oven for 4-5 minutes.
The drumsticks pictured are coated with our honey sriracha sauce.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.
21 thoughts on “Easy Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks”
I love how easy and quick these are to make. Great recipe…thanks for sharing 🙂
Yummy!! These are so delicious and juicy. I love all the tips that you added.
Definitely passing this along to my cousin in Savannah who is getting an Instant Pot for his new apartment!
That’s a great idea, Gita. He’s gong to love the IP.
I loved the dry rub in this recipe. Thanks it was a winner with my group.
Glad to hear that!
Sounds like a delicious dinner idea! Looks so flavorful
I’m making this with drumsticks but I’m confused if this recipe is for wings or drumsticks. I made it with drumsticks and it’s very good. However, the recipe jumps back and forth between wings and drumsticks.
Sorry about that. It’s a typo. The recipe is for drumsticks, though it can also be used for wings with the same cooking time.
I’m going to make it tonight but unfortunately my kids don’t like BBQ sauce, any other recommendations for kids friendly sauce? (I would love to do the honey Sriracha but too spicy for kiddos)
Hi Adi. You don’t really need a sauce at all, but I bet the kids would love our honey mustard sauce! It’s just mayo, honey, yellow mustard and lemon juice. It’s delish. Just do a search on the site to find the recipe.
Ado, perhaps the kiddos would like something like ranch?
What setting do you set the pressure at? Hi, med/hi, or low?
Sounds great. Will try. Thank you.
Just tried your recipe with my brand new instant pot …. and it turned out good. My family loves it!
Hi Carly, glad your family loved them! I love my instant pot and use it all the time.
How long for 32 drummies? And do you really have to add that much liquid according to the increased drummies?
I’d suggest you add 2 minutes for 24-36 drumsticks, so pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. You don’t need to add any extra water.
WOW this was good!! My husband and son scarfed this down. The chicken was perfectly done and seasoned, exactly as promised. We did broil them for about 5 min. to get some crisp, but it’s mid-November so using the oven isn’t a problem. Come summer, we’ll no doubt skip this step. The honey sriracha glaze had a wonderful kick (my son doesn’t like BBQ sauce, so this was a big hit). This recipe combo is a keeper, for sure!
Be sure to try the honey sriracha sauce with other meats too. It goes with everything!