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Instant pot chicken drumsticks on a white plate.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Jeri Walker
Instant Pot chicken drumsticks are the perfect easy weeknight dinner! Thanks to the Instant Pot, this recipe is so simple, and cleanup is a breeze. Just add your chicken drumsticks and seasoning to the pressure cooker, then let it do its thing. In just 30 minutes, you'll have juicy, flavorful chicken cooked to perfection. Cover with sauce and pop it under the broiler for delicious bbq chicken your family will love. Serve with your favorite sides or atop a bed of rice for a complete meal.
5 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Natural release 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 198 kcal


  • Pressure cooker
  • Oven for broiling
  • Basting brush


  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon dry chicken rub, or your favorite rub link for homemade rub is down below in the notes
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • ½-1 cup barbecue sauce


  • In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dry rub.
  • Pat the chicken legs dry with a paper towel. Discard the paper towel.
  • Brush the chicken legs with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle the dry rub evenly on the chicken legs. Use your fingers to push the rub into the chicken.
  • Add one cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot and insert the trivet. Place the chicken legs in a single layer on top of the trivet.
  • Using the pressure cook button, set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Let it go on natural release for another 10 minutes. Then, do a quick release to remove any remaining pressure in the pot before removing the lid.
  • Using tongs, place the cooked drumsticks on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Brush one side of each leg with your favorite BBQ sauce and put the pan of chicken under your broiler for a few minutes, supervising it to ensure nothing burns.
  • Once the top side looks crispy, pull the legs out, flip them, add BBQ sauce to the other side, and repeat. This extra step will give you deliciously crispy skin on your chicken.
  • Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!



Nutritional information is approximate and is meant as a guideline only.
Homemade smoked chicken rub
Fridge: Leftover chicken drumsticks can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Leftover chicken drumsticks can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
If you have lots of leftovers, slice up the chicken and place it in a Ziploc bag, and pop it in the freezer for meal prep for school or work lunches. 
Top Tips:
  • Pat the drumsticks with paper towels before cooking to help the dry rub stick to the skin. This also helps the skin crispen better for tasty drumsticks.
  • Skip the broiling part if crispy skin isn’t that important for you. If you want a beautiful brown color on your drumsticks, though, combine oil and butter for extra flavor.
  • Adding enough liquid to the pot is vital because the Instant Pot primarily uses steam to cook food and retain tender meat.
  • Avoid overfilling your Instant Pot. Be mindful of the maximum fill line inside the pot and leave some room for expansion.
  • Keep an eye on the chicken when broiling, it cooks fast!


Serving: 2drumsticksCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 33.2gProtein: 0.7gFat: 7.3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 550.8mgPotassium: 169.2mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 27.6gVitamin A: 10.1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7.9mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword instant pot chicken drumsticks, instant pot chicken legs, Instant Pot Chicken Recipe
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