Instant Pot chicken drumsticks are fast, easy and delicious! The meat is tender and moist, with crispy skin (thanks to a little trick). This recipe is packed with great flavors and cook in 18 minutes!
My childhood love of chicken drumsticks was rekindled when I first made Instant Pot Smoked Paprika & Garlic Chicken Legs.
Like chicken thighs, chicken legs or chicken drumsticks are full of flavor.
Sold with the bone-in and skin-on, they stay moist when cooking and have much more flavor than chicken breasts.
When combined with this Asian-inspired delicious marinade, you’ll be making these on repeat.
Each time I make it I remember why it is a family favorite chicken drumstick recipe!
The marinade (which also turns into the cooking liquid) is the secret weapon of this delicious pressure cooker chicken!
The aroma when they are cooking makes is difficult to wait. Fortunately they cook quickly.
A delicious combination of ingredients create an Asian-inspired flavor that’s lightly spicy, sweet, and salty.
The chicken is cooked to perfection in no time at all. Making this a wonderful dinner option even on the busiest of nights.
- Garlic Cloves
- Soy Sauce (regular or gluten-free)
- fresh Ginger
- Lime Juice
- Brown Sugar
- Vegetable Oil
- Chicken Legs
Marinating Chicken Drumsticks for the Win
Marinating the chicken drumsticks ahead of time yield the best result.
It takes about 5 minutes to put the marinade together. And it’s well worth the time.
Make up the marinade the morning you plan to cook the chicken legs. OR the night before if you want to cook them earlier in the day.
The soaking time in the delicious ingredients is worth it for the end result.
SHORT CUT MARINADE TIP
The only ingredients requiring any prep in the marinade is the garlic and fresh ginger.
If you are in a pinch for time, substitute a prepared stir-in herb, such as Gourmet Garden.
They are available fresh in tubes in the produce department. You’ll get the flavors you need with no prep time.
Cooking Chicken Drumsticks in the Instant Pot – Step-by-Step
Cooking the chicken could not be easier.
They cook much faster than traditional roasting (18 minutes total), are moist and tender when cooked in the Instant Pot.
STEP 1: Place the trivet in the Instant Pot. Remove chicken legs from the marinade (do not discard marinade) and place meaty side down on the trivet (see below).
STEP 2: Pour the marinade into a 1 cup liquid measuring cup. If below 1 cup, add water to make 1 cup liquid and pour into the Instant Pot. If 1 cup or more, pour into the Instant Pot.
STEP 3: Cook on the Poultry (or High Pressure) setting for the default of 15 minutes. Allow a natural release for 5 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.
The Secret Step
The SECRET is to broil them at the end for crisp skin and a wonderful texture!
They taste as though they were oven roasted by doing this step.
STEP 4: While the Instant Pot is releasing, place the top oven rack 4 inches down from the top. Turn the broiler on High.
STEP 5: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Carefully transfer the drumsticks to the baking sheet using tongs taking care not to tear the meat.
Broil for 1 1/2-2 minutes, flip and repeat on the other side to crisp the skin. Monitor and turn earlier is any dark browning begins.
A few things make this recipe a slam dunk:
I prefer tongs with rounded silicone ends (vs metal) for this recipe.
When the chicken drumsticks come out of the Instant Pot they are cooked and tender.
Lifting them carefully onto the baking sheet for broiling is key.
This type of tongs helps do that quickly and easily, without damaging the meat.
More Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love!
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Chili Lime Chicken
- Mango Chicken in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup
- Instant Pot Potato Salad recipe
- Pina Colada Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
Try these Recipes too!
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Instant Pot Ginger Soy Chicken Drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks are marinated in a sweet soy, ginger, garlic, sriracha marinade then cooked in the Instant Pot. Broiling at the end creates moist, tender meat with beautifully crisped skin. Cooking time is only 18 minutes! The Total Time reflects 6 hours for marinating the chicken. Do it the morning you'll be cooking to make actual dinner preparation a breeze.
- 8 Garlic Cloves peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 3 tablespoons Sriracha
- 1/4 cup Soy Sauce (regular or gluten-free)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh peeled, diced Ginger Root
- 2 teaspoons fresh Lime Juice
- 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 3 pounds (about 10) Chicken Drumsticks/Legs
- Optional garnish: torn cilantro leaves, sliced green onion (the green portion only), red pepper flakes
In a small mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the chicken and stir to combine. Preferred method: add the chicken legs to a gallon plastic zipper seal bag and pour marinade over the chicken. Seal, squeezing out the air and massage the bag to cover all the chicken legs with marinade. Refrigerate 6-8 hours.
- When ready to cook the chicken legs: Add the trivet to the Instant Pot. Remove the chicken from the bag (reserve the marinade) and arrange chicken legs standing up, meaty side down (refer to photo), on the trivet.
Pour the marinade into a liquid measuring cup. If there is less than 1 cup total liquid, add water to make 1 cup total. If there is 1 cup or more of marinade, no water needs to be added. Pour into the Instant Pot and lock the lid.
Press the POULTRY button (or High Pressure) and cook for the default time of 15 minutes. When timer beeps, let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure until float valve drops and then unlock lid. Check the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is at least 165°F.
- While the chicken is cooking, line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, dull side up. Spray with non-stick spray.
While pressure is releasing position the top oven rack approximately 4 inches below the broiler and turn on the broiler (on HIGH).
Place chicken legs on the prepared baking sheet using tongs. Cook the chicken 2 minutes on one side (watching closely to ensure no burning), flip with tongs, and cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on the opposite side to crisp the chicken.
Transfer chicken to a serving plate, allow to cool slightly and serve warm.