Make dinner quick and easy tonight with this Instant Pot chicken drumsticks recipe. Made with basic seasonings and your handy kitchen appliance, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.
We love using our instant pot whenever we get the chance, we've had ours for years and it's still one of our favorite kitchen appliances! It's given us gems like Instant Pot Boxed Au Gratin Potatoes, Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs, and Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs. And of course, quick and tender chicken.
This chicken drumsticks recipe is perfect for a simpler meal in less time. From the crispy seasoned skin to the tender meat inside, every bite will have you wanting to go back for another.
Don't have chicken legs? Check out this recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Quarters. Perfect for those larger cuts of meat with the thighs too.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's simple. This recipe is super easy and simple enough that anyone could follow along. Just add seasonings, cook the sides of the legs a little, and then let the instant pot do the rest. It's almost as easy as Boiled Chicken Legs.
- It's delicious. From the homemade seasoning blend (using basic pantry staple seasonings) to the juicy chicken, everything about this meal is perfect for any night of the week.
- They go great with anything. Serve up this chicken recipe with summer side dishes like Creamy Orange Fluff Salad or comfort dishes like Creamy Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes.
Drumsticks- Use chicken drumsticks that have been fully thawed and are at room temperature. You can use up to a dozen chicken legs and be just fine. Note frozen legs may take longer to cook.
Seasonings- We will need to use paprika, garlic powder, Oregano (or Italian seasoning), salt, and black pepper for the tasty seasoning blend on this chicken.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Oregano: You can use Italian seasoning instead of oregano if desired. This will give some great flavors, and it includes oregano in the blend. I often use Italian seasoning whenever I can.
Paprika: Regular paprika works fine here, but feel free to swap it out for smokey paprika for a deeper flavor that's perfect for summer.
Water: You will need 1 cup of water for a 4 quart or 6 quart instant pot or 1.5 cups of water for a bigger instant pot (8qt and bigger). You can swap it out for chicken broth or even beer if desired.
🔪 Instructions for Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
Step 1: Add your seasonings to a bowl.
Step 2: Mix together to combine.
Step 3: Add your seasoning mixture to the raw chicken legs.
Step 4: Toss well and rub to cover all of the chicken.
Step 5: Add olive oil to the instant pot. Heat instant pot to Saute. Allow to preheat for a minute or two or until the oil is sizzling.
Step 6: Place the drumsticks into the heated instant pot. Work in batches if needed. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until browned.
Step 7: Remove all of the legs from the instant pot.
Step 8: Add in the water and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
This means stirring up any hard bits that may be stuck to the pan as a result of the chicken. The liquid will help them to come up more easily.
Step 9: Add the trivet and place all of the chicken legs on top.
Step 10: Close and seal the lid. Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes. Do a 5 minute Natural Pressure Release.
Step 11: Then check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should register at least 165 degrees F.
If not, place the chicken on a baking sheet and broil on High in the oven for a few minutes until the temperature has been reached and the skin is crispy.
🍴 Recipe Tips
Make sure to just lightly brown the skin of the chicken before cooking it in the instant pot. This is what helps to seal in the juices and it gives a nicer texture to the skin as well.
Because the instant pot doesn't have a crisper on it, if you would like a crispy skin, place the drumsticks on a baking sheet and broil on high for 1-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them though as they can easily become burnt or charred.
Reheat your chicken legs 1 or 2 at a time on a microwave safe plate for about 1 to 1.5 minutes in the microwave. Sometimes loosely adding a paper towel on top can help to prevent any chicken oils from splattering around in the microwave too.
💭 Recipe FAQs
You can cook up to 12 chicken legs (5lbs) in the instant pot at once without needing to increase the cooking time. This is great for cooking up larger batches for a big family meal.
Yes, if you are cooking chicken legs from frozen, you will want to increase the cooking time by another 4 or 5 minutes—so cook at High pressure for 14-15 minutes before a 5 minute natural pressure release.
If you find that your chicken is coming out rubbery after cooking in the instant pot, there is a good chance that this is actually because you didn't cook your chicken long enough. Different sized cuts and slightly frozen meat can have this result after cooking.
❤️ More Delicious Instant Pot Recipes
If you tried these Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- 1 teaspoon Paprika ($0.08)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder ($0.08)
- 1 teaspoon Oregano or Italian seasoning ($0.08)
- ½ teaspoon Salt ($0.01)
- ¼ teaspoon Ground black pepper ($0.02)
- 5 pounds Chicken drumsticks (about 12 legs) ($5.97)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil ($0.14)
- 1 cup Water ($0.00)
- Add your seasonings to a bowl.
- Mix together to combine.
- Add your seasoning mixture to the raw chicken legs.
- Toss well and rub to cover all of the chicken.
- Add olive oil to the instant pot. Heat instant pot to Saute. Allow to preheat for a minute or two or until the oil is sizzling.
- Place the drumsticks into the heated instant pot. Work in batches if needed. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until browned.
- Remove all of the legs from the instant pot.
- Add in the water and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
- This means stir up any hard bits that may be stuck to the pan as a result of the chicken. The liquid will help them to come up easier.
- Add the trivet and place all of the chicken legs on top.
- Close and seal the lid. Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes. Do a 5 minute Natural Pressure Release.
- Then check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should register at least 165 degrees F.
- If not, place the chicken on a baking sheet and broil on High in the oven for a few minutes until the temperature has been reached and the skin is crispy.
- Substitute Italian seasoning for oregano and consider using smoky paprika for a richer flavor.
- Adjust water quantities based on instant pot size, with the option of using chicken broth or beer.
- You can brown the chicken skin, using a baking sheet to achieve crispiness, Broil on high for about 3 minutes and cook up to 12 legs at once.
- For frozen legs, add 4-5 minutes of High-pressure cooking time. Reheat 1-2 legs in the microwave for 1-1.5 minutes, using a paper towel to prevent splattering.
- Store leftover chicken in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days; reheat before use or incorporate into new meals.