These easy Instant Pot chicken drumsticks are juicy, tender, and lightly seasoned with a simple blend of smoked paprika and garlic powder. They're quick to cook, too, ready within 30 minutes! In this post, instructions for cooking thawed chicken legs and how to cook chicken legs from frozen are shared. If you want extra-crispy skin on the outside, just toss the chicken drumsticks under your air-crisp lid or under the broiler.
If you are looking for a kid-friendly meal that the whole family is sure to enjoy, look no further than this Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks recipe.
Personally, I think drumsticks are always a fun meal. They make a family-friendly recipe that both kids and adults love.
Best of all, this Instant Pot chicken leg recipe is so easy. Just season the chicken, then let the electric pressure cooker handle the rest.
The result is fall-off-the-bone tender chicken drumsticks with simple yet irresistibly-delicious flavor.
Make sure you check out my archives for more Instant Pot recipe suggestions. Or head right over to some of my favorites like easy Instant Pot shredded chicken, Instant Pot red potato salad, Instant Pot spaghetti squash, and Instant Pot jasmine rice.
Ingredients for Making Instant Pot Chicken Legs
- Drumsticks — You want about 2 ½ to 3½ pounds of chicken drumsticks with the skin on.
- Broth — I recommend chicken broth. Store-bought is fine, or you can make your own.
- Seasoning — A simple blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper is all you need to bring out the natural flavor of chicken drumsticks in the Instant Pot! For a little heat, add cayenne pepper. Other great additions are onion powder and oregano.
Tips & Tricks
- An Instant Read Thermometer is the best way to tell when the chicken is done. When you make this chicken drumsticks recipe in the Instant Pot, you want to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- If you can, season the chicken a day ahead of time to help dry out the skin and give the meat maximum flavor.
- For the most tender meat, allow all of the pressure to release naturally. This will take a little longer than the quick release method, but it does make a difference if fall off the bone tender meat is what you are looking for. You can do this for any IP chicken recipe where you want super tender meat.
Want to get saucy? Coat the drumsticks in your favorite BBQ Sauce before you place them in the broiler or under your air crisp lid to finish.
- If you’re serving up Instant Pot Chicken Legs as a game day snack, this Homemade Queso Dip is another crowd favorite!
- Add a little green to your plate with Crispy Ninja Foodi Grill Brussels Sprouts that still give you that satisfying crunch. It is my go-to side dish.
- Jalapeno Ranch Dip makes an amazing dipping sauce and comes together in a matter of minutes!
- Spanish Cauliflower Rice is a great low-carb side that the entire family will love.
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese is so full of flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Cook Drumsticks from Frozen?
You bet! In fact, electric pressure cookers are a great way to safely cook frozen foods.
Just increase the cook time to 12 minutes, and keep in mind that the drumsticks will take a little longer to come up to pressure.
How can I make the skin crispy?
Craving that extra crispiness from your drumsticks? Just use an air-crisp lid or broiler for a few minutes before serving.
I used the air crisp lid in this Instant Pot chicken recipe, and you can see how crispy they got!
Can you stack chicken legs in the Instant Pot? How many chicken drumsticks can you fit in an Instant Pot?
It’s completely fine to stack your drumsticks in the pot, meaning you can fit about eight easily.
Unlike baking or air frying where everything needs to be in one layer, Instant Pots are great for cooking stacked foods.
This makes it so convenient for cooking in large batches!
If, however, you are looking to air crisp at the end of cooking this Instant Pot chicken recipe, you may want to work in batches for this portion of the recipe so that the crisper lid can brown all of the chicken.
What is the trivet in the Instant Pot?
The trivet is simply a raised steam rack that you set in the bottom of your Instant Pot. It keeps the food above the liquid to cook via steam instead of boiling. For dishes like this Chicken Drumsticks Instant Pot recipe, steam will give us the most tender meat.
How long does it take to cook drumsticks in an Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks' time to cook is going to depend on how long it takes the appliance to come up to pressure.
The more drumsticks you put in the pot, the longer this will take. Once it reaches pressure, then the cook time is 10 minutes.
After that, I do recommend letting the Instant Pot natural release for at least 5 minutes before using a quick release for the rest of the pressure.
Natural pressure release will give you the most tender drumsticks if you want fall off the bone tender meat to use for meal prep.
Tools Needed to Make Chicken Drumsticks in the Instant Pot
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- Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
- Small bowl
- Air crisp lid or Baking Sheet and broiler (optional)
- Instant Read Thermometer
Chicken drumsticks can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I recommend letting them cool completely to prevent condensation that can make the skin soggy.
Leftovers should be eaten within four days.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Coat the chicken with the seasoning mixture.
Pour the broth in the bottom of the Instant Pot, then set the trivet inside. Place the drumsticks on top of the trivet.
Seal the Instant Pot lid, make sure the valve is set to sealing and set it to high pressure for 10 minutes.
When the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 5 minutes.
If desired, use the air crisp lid or broil to crisp up the skin.
More Instant Pot Recipes to Try
- This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is moist, tender, and great to make ahead for meal prep.
- If risotto is your idea of comfort food, then you’re going to love creamy, cheesy Caramelized Onion Risotto!
- With a tangy sauce and deliciously crunchy slaw, this BBQ Chicken Sandwich recipe is one loved by kids and adults alike.
- Lemony olive oil based dressing and bright flavors make this Instant Pot Red Potato Salad light, delicious, and unlike the heavy potato salads you’re used to!
Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks (Fresh or Frozen)
- 3 ½ pounds chicken drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Coat the chicken with the seasoning mixture.
- Pour the broth into the pot.
- Place a trivet on the bottom of the Instant Pot and place the drumsticks on top of it. Seal the Instant Pot lid and set it to high pressure for 10 minutes. (12-minutes for frozen chicken legs)
- When the time is up allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. (If you want fall off the bone tender meat, allow it to release naturally.) If desired, use the air crisp lid or broiler to crisp up the skin.
This was delicious!
This recipe is AMAZING! Best drumsticks I've ever tasted & sooo easy to make!
I am so glad that you enjoyed it! It is a favorite at our house too!