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Get dinner on the table fast with this simple and easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe. With only 5 ingredients needed, your family can enjoy tasty drumsticks in minutes in the pressure cooker.

Cooked Chicken Drumsticks on a white platter
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Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Do you love drumsticks but need a quicker way to make them? This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe will change dinner time at your home. Pick your favorite BBQ sauce and you will be surprised how tender and juice they are.

You can easily make these tender and flavorful drumsticks with very little effort. Everything goes into the pressure cooker for an amazing meal in minutes.

From family dinner to Game Day and parties, this instant pot recipe is so simple and perfect for any occasion. Everyone will go crazy over this delicious recipe.

Cooked Chicken Drumsticks on a white platter topped with fresh parsley

Instant Pot Chicken Legs Variation Ideas:

This recipe can easily be changed for what your family likes.

  • Plain – Occasional I will just make plain drumsticks. One of my kids doesn’t care for BBQ sauce so he is extremely happy when I make some without any sauce.
  • Buffalo Sauce – You can add in Buffalo sauce instead of BBQ sauce. We love buffalo sauce at my house so occasional I will make BBQ and Buffalo drumsticks.
  • Air Fryer Chicken – You can also put chicken drumsticks in your air fryer. They come out just as crispy.

Instant Pot is a game changer!

We rarely have time to stand over the stove and fry anything around here but everyone loves chicken drumsticks. The instant pot is the solution! You can easily make the best chicken legs in the instant pot drumsticks. The pressure cooker does all the work.

Once they are finished cooking, simple put them in the oven for a few minutes to broil them. This will give you that amazing crispy outside everyone loves without any of the work of frying!

Everyone devoured these and now this is the only way I make them. This recipe is so easy and delicious.

We know you will love these Chicken Drumsticks:

  • Easy Dinner Idea – These drumsticks are easy to make and you can have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
  • Everything cooks in the Instant Pot – We love that you had all the ingredients to the Instant Pot so it easy clean up.
  • Kid Approved – The whole family loves when I make these BBQ Chicken Drumsticks. Even my picky eaters.
Ingredients to make Instant Pot Drumsticks

Ingredients for BBQ Drumsticks:

  • Chicken Drumsticks
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Salt or Garlic Powder
  • BBQ Sauce

How to make Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs:

  • Mixed together seasoning – In a small bowl combine the paprika, cumin, and garlic salt.
  • Rub on Chicken – Next, sprinkle the seasoning over the drum sticks. You want to rub it all over each piece of chicken.
The chicken legs covered in the seasonings
  • Add the water (or chicken broth) to the instant pot. You don’t want the drumsticks touching the bottom so use the rack that came with the instant pot.
  • Place the lid on top and set the valve to pressure to begin cooking the chicken.
The chicken legs in the Instant Pot with the BBQ sauce poured over the top of the chicken legs
  • Pressure Cook the Chicken – Set the pressure cook to 15 minutes to cook the chicken drumsticks. Do a quick release to natural pressure release. In just minutes, you will have the best chicken!
  • Put Chicken on Baking Sheet – Once they are finished cooking, place on a baking sheet lined with foil.
The cooked chicken drumsticks placed on a foil ready to broil
  • Brush with BBQ sauce and broil in the oven for that nice crispy outside. It will take about 1-5 minutes. Cooking time will vary.
  • Remove from oven, flip the drumsticks. Brush with remaining BBQ sauce.
  • Broil another 1-5 minutes until brown.
  • Serve and Enjoy – These drumsticks are perfect when served warm.
Cooked Chicken Drumsticks on a white platter

Can I use Different Chicken?

Yes, you can use other cuts of chicken. My kids when I make this recipe with chicken drumsticks, but other chicken works great too.

Try different cuts of chicken. Chicken Breast, Chicken Wings or Chicken Thighs. We love chicken recipes.

How to Make homemade BBQ sauce:

You can certainly use store bought BBQ sauce. But it is very simple to learn how to make homemade barbecue sauce with very little effort! If you like more of a sweet barbecue sauce, add a little brown sugar to the slow cooker chicken.

Chicken drumstick recipes can be prepared so easily and without much work. We love this meal and have fun trying different variations. We have even cut up chicken breast or used regular chicken legs with this recipe. Chicken thighs are also delicious.

Instant Pot Chicken Drumstick Tips:

  • These drumsticks can be eaten plan and right out of the instant pot. We just like to broil them to get that crispy texture.
  • Let chicken rest before tossing with BBQ sauce. This helps to lock-in the juices.
  • Make sure to use the trivet in your instant pot so your drumsticks don’t burn.
Close up of the cooked Chicken Drumsticks on a white platter

What to serve with Chicken Legs:

BBQ chicken drumsticks can be served as an appetizer or as a main meal. When we have friends over we usually serve as an appetizer.

  • They are great to be served with a raw veggie tray.
  • Another favorite side dish is homemade macaroni and cheese
  • Creamed corn or Steamed broccoli to complete your meal
  • Potato Salad is a family favorite
  • Corn muffins or corn bread would pair nicely
  • If eating the chicken drumsticks plain, add your favorite dipping sauce. We recommend ranch and honey mustard.

The chicken legs work great as a main meal or as an appetizer. If serving as a main meal, add a vegetable and a potato. I just feel better knowing that my family is getting a complete meal.

Can you use frozen drumsticks?

No worries if you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer. I have done this multiple times. That is why I love my instant pot so much. Rather your meal is frozen or thawed the instant pot does all the work.

If they are frozen, I would coat the drumsticks with the seasoning to ensure that the seasoning doesn’t fall off. You probably will need increase your time 5 minutes to make sure they are cooked thoroughly.

How to use Leftovers:

  • Make a Soup –  Shredding the chicken and adding it to a soup, make it so full of flavor.
  • Sandwiches – Shred the chicken and use it to make BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. This would be perfect for a Saturday lunch or for work the next day.
  • Make Quesadilla – Make BBQ Chicken Quesadilla is a great way to use leftovers. Shred chicken and place in between two tortilla’s and heat.
  • Buffalo Wraps – We love to make BBQ Chicken Wraps. We drizzle ranch dressing and add in the shredded chicken and top with lettuce. It makes the perfect wrap.
Close up of a cooked Chicken Drumsticks with a white platter full of chicken legs in the back ground

Perfect Game Day Chicken:

No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen and this recipe will get dinner on the table fast. You can spend more time with your family and less time in the kitchen.

We also love to serve this for parties or game day. You can have delicious BBQ chicken legs with very little effort!

It is so quick and easy for a great meal. With so few ingredients and hardly any work, this is the perfect meal for any day of the week!

Print Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe:

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

4.92 from 85 votes
Get dinner on the table fast with easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe. With just a few ingredients, your family can enjoy drumsticks in minutes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Calories 610


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  • In a small bowl combine the paprika, cumin, and garlic salt. Stir to combine
  • Sprinkle over the drum sticks and rub all over.
  • Pour the water in the Instant pot. Make sure you use the rack that came with the Instant pot to keep the drumsticks from touching the bottom.
  • Place the lid on top and set the valve to pressure.
  • Set the pressure to 15 minutes. Do a quick release to release the pressure.
  • When finished place the chicken on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
  • Brush half of the bbq sauce on the drum sticks. Broil for 1-5 minutes until it begins to brown.
  • Remove from oven, flip the drumsticks, and brush with the remaining bbq sauce.
  • Broil another 1-5 minutes until brown.
  • Serve hot. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 610kcal, Carbohydrates 30g, Protein 54g, Fat 28g, Saturated Fat 7g, Cholesterol 279mg, Sodium 1442mg, Potassium 876mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 23g, Vitamin A 875IU, Vitamin C 0.4mg, Calcium 62mg, Iron 2.8mg

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More chicken drumstick recipes:

Get dinner on the table fast with easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks recipe. With only 5 ingredients, you will love these easy instant pot chicken legs.  These simple BBQ bone-in chicken drumsticks are super easy to make and can be made from fresh or frozen.  #eatingonadime #drumstickrecipes #instantpotrecipes #chickenlegs

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

4.92 from 85 votes (78 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Carrie Barnard says:

    YAY! I’m so glad you loved it. We love this.

  2. Jenny says:

    5 stars
    Perfect! This is now my go-to recipe for BBQ drumsticks. They came out of the Instapot SO moist and cooked through. Thank you!

  3. Peter says:

    5 stars

    I added some sweet chili Thai sauce in with the BBQ sauce.
    Will definitely make again!

  4. Carmen B says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for posting this recipe. I used it for my first cook in my new slo pro breville. It took 15 mins to preheat but cooked beautifully. Did the oven thing at the end but they didn’t get crispy, I might need to put it on the grill setting instead of the regular. Used the highest pressure cook (80)

    I also added the 3/4 cup of rice to the left over juices but it didn’t go to the minimum level line so added some boiled water. Put it on rice setting but it didn’t absorb all the water so was a bit like a wet risotto! Haha. Will add more rice next time instead of water.

    Delicious recipe, thank you

  5. Shirley Lang says:

    All I want to do is put chicken legs & BBQ sauce in the IP. Husband doesn’t like anything fancier. Legs are frozen. So I’m thinking put legs in a bowl, cover with BBq sauce, put into IP with a bit of water, on trivet & cook.
    How long?..10-15 minutes pressure high…or some other way.
    *love the idea of using the water for rice afterwards*

  6. Carrie says:

    I hope you enjoy them!

  7. Darleme says:

    Making these today
    Will let you know how much I like them.

  8. Amanda Smith says:

    Do you have a crockpot version of this? I don’t have an instant pot.

  9. Carrie says:

    If the drumsticks are frozen, I would add 3-5 minutes to the cook time based on how many drumsticks you are making and yes, adding potatoes will work great!

  10. bree says:

    How much time do I add if there frozen and can I add potatoes

  11. Carrie says:

    I would use the rack and stack them on top of themselves and it should work great!

  12. Miriam Morgan says:

    How long do I cook my drumsticks if I am cooking 15 and do I just lie them on the rack that came with,the pot and stack them on top of each other?

  13. Carrie says:

    I stacked mine and it worked great!

  14. Eva says:

    Can I stack the drumsticks or should I cook them in a single layer twice?

  15. SNOOKERJOE says:

    5 stars
    I too, used the idea of adding white rice to the left-over liquid after the chicken was done….. WOW.. not only the chicken very good, would have been better if i had made my own BBQ sauce, rather than store-bought stuff I had to modify,……….. the the rice was absolutely wonderful………. I could have made a meal with the rice alone….LOL
    Excellent idea…………….. I’ll do it again for sure………………thank you for the suggestion IMNOTANUMBER

  16. Carrie says:

    Great idea with using the liquid to make rice. I love it and thanks for sharing!

  17. IMNotanumber says:

    I made this exactly like the recipe said. When the chicken was done in the instant pot, there were 1.5 cups of broth left in the bottom, so I added 3/4 cups of white rice and pushed the rice setting on my instant pot (after closing the vent again). Oh, MY GOODNESS!! Amazing chicken paired with super- flavorful rice! Great recipe!!

  18. IMNotanumber says:

    5 stars
    I made this exactly like the recipe said. When the chicken was done in the instant pot, there were 1.5 cups of broth left in the bottom, so I added 3/4 cups of white rice and pushed the rice setting on my instant pot (water closing the vent again). Oh, MY GOODNESS!! Amazing chicken paired with super- flavorful rice! Great recipe!!

  19. Carrie says:

    Yes, this can be made in the crock pot. I would cook on low for 4-6 hours and then broil for 5-10 minutes once they are done. Thank you!

  20. Stelisa says:

    Can i make in crock pot? How long should I cook?

  21. Courtney McGrale says:

    5 stars
    This is a FANTASTIC recipe. Thank you! I’m making it for the second time tonight. Last time I finished under the broiler; tonight I’m going to try the barbecue!

  22. Joanne says:

    I am going to use my 8 quart IP for the first time but I only have 2 lbs of drumsticks do I need to make an adjustment?

  23. Incitatus says:

    Thank you for the recipe. 🙂

    Should I reduce the cooking time if I only make 3lbs of drumsticks?

  24. Carrie says:

    Yes that should work!

  25. Carrie says:

    High pressure. Thank you!

  26. Carrie says:

    I use high pressure.

  27. rf says:

    Do you use low pressure or high pressure to cook the BBQ drumsticks?

  28. Judy says:

    What setting do I use for this recipe?

  29. Rebecca Beard says:

    Should we add 5 mins if using frozen drumsticks?

  30. Carrie says:

    I’m so glad you loved it! Thank you!

  31. Dorothy says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner. Very tasty, and easy. I didn’t change a thing. Thank you for a great recipe.

  32. Nancy says:

    My legs are partially frozen? Same time?

  33. Lily says:

    If I’m using frozen drumsticks how long should I cook for?

  34. Carrie says:

    It browns them and caramelizes the sauce. It’s definitely worth it!

  35. Michelle says:

    why did you broil them after the IP?