BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
By :Dr. Karen Lee
Votes: 73
Rating: 3.53
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 15-30 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Chicken, Spices
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
4-6 servings
  • 4-10 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 15-30 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Chicken, Spices
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
4-6 servings
  • 4-10 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Votes: 73
Rating: 3.53
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
  1. Add 3/4 cup of water in the Instant Pot. Place the trivet inside.
  2. Place the chicken drumsticks on the trivet. Close the lid tightly and close the vent.
  3. Press Poultry or Pressure Cook function on the Instant Pot and set the time to 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to Broil. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. When the timer goes off, release pressure naturally. Open the lid and take out the drumsticks.
  6. Coat the drumsticks with the BBQ rub evenly.
  7. Place the drumsticks on the lined cookie sheet. Broil the drumsticks for 2 minutes per side or until the skin is browned. Be careful not to burn them.
  8. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes
89 replies
  1. DanaCyca
    DanaCyca says:

    There are many problems with this recipe. I do not think small drumettes should be cooked in the Insta pot. The meat fell off the bone. You do not want that with a chicken wing. And the instructions to place the chicken wings on parchment then under a broiler is incorrect. The parchment paper just burns immediately causing my smoke detector to go off. If you dare to try this recipe use tinfoil.

  2. IPLover
    IPLover says:

    Loved this recipe! I was worried about what the previous commenter said but then realized she used drummetes and not “drumsticks!” My drumsticks came out “fall off the bone” tender! And with my own BBQ sauce, it came out perfect!

  3. Shannon Hodgins
    Shannon Hodgins says:

    You can just use your manual or pressure cook button with whatever the time it asks you to use.

  4. Kimseanmurphy
    Kimseanmurphy says:

    Love this recipe! Only left out the cayenne because i made them for my kids. They still found the skin spicy, but they loved the meat! Definitely making again!

  5. Hoinschef
    Hoinschef says:

    Loved this recipe! The drumsticks turned out great and was very delicious. Going to leave out the cayenne pepper next time. Was a little too spicy!

  6. Pmcknight
    Pmcknight says:

    Chicken was moist and cooked well spice mix was alright kids thought it was spicy. As a newbie to instant pot though i did not expect the 20mins of pressure release at the end of the recipe.

  7. dacapnstew
    dacapnstew says:

    Really simple and tasty! Only reason for not giving 5 stars, having to use the oven also. Well worth it though.

  8. Busydigits
    Busydigits says:

    Great recipe. Left the cayenne pepper out. Easy and tastes great. Found time for IP to be perfect—Fall off bone perfect! Thank you for posting!

  9. Rick Knudsen
    Rick Knudsen says:

    My wife and I just finished our first batch. What I love most about this recipe is the flexibility. You can use any rub or sauce of your choice. Very moist and so simple.

  10. CWassing
    CWassing says:

    Way too much cayenne! My husband loves spicy food & even he was running to the fridge for milk!

  11. fmvillanueva
    fmvillanueva says:

    I used full size skin-on drumsticks. The rub was SUPER spicy. I followed the recipe (except I had to double the rub recipe as I was making 12 drumsticks) and the rub just made the outside really dry and spicy. The chicken itself was very tender.

  12. Blackcelticrose
    Blackcelticrose says:

    Very tasty. Cut down the pepper and couldnt fathom why youd put 1 tbsp salt in! Wow! So omitted that too. After broiling a while i coated a few in bbq sauce which made it yummier.

  13. GrandmaGeek
    GrandmaGeek says:

    I was looking for a way to pre-cook drumsticks to barbeque. This is perfect. My drumsticks were little ones, so the meat was falling of the bone, which I didn’t want, but I think with larger legs, this would work perfectly. For small legs, I would cook a shorter time.

  14. Jokarski
    Jokarski says:

    It was tasty… But I was not expecting it to be extremely spicy. I made this for my family and I didn’t realize that the cayenne pepper would be overwhelming. Surprisingly my young kids ate it all but I don’t think I would be making this again. Especially since the rub was still super powdery. And I followed the directions…

  15. Jokarski
    Jokarski says:

    I don’t know how to go back and edit my review, but as for people stating that the chicken fell off the bones… That happens when you use the instant pot. Anytime I have any recipe that requires using chicken in instant pot it comes out fall off the bone. But I just wanted to find a rub that would come out delicious.

  16. ALCouple
    ALCouple says:

    Way too salty. I would leave out the celery salt and cut the salt down by at least half or non at all if using celery salt

  17. says:

    I love this recipe, its a great use of drum sticks and i didnt have to guess if the drumsticks were cooked through for the first time ever.
    Super easy, quick and spices i always have on hand so a great quick throw together dinner!

  18. Jamiec91
    Jamiec91 says:

    I made this tonight and was rather easy. I didnt use every ingredient, so I made it my own a bit. I only used salt, pepper, cumen, paprika, and garlic powder. The drum stick was good and broiled two minutes each side. That is why i didnt give 5 stars. It needs much longer then 2 mins each side. I dont broil often so i followed instructions. Next time im going to broil longer.

  19. Gsage
    Gsage says:

    Great way to cook drumsticks!
    – half the salt & celery salt
    – omitted cayenne
    – no poultry setting, just use manual pressure cooking setting.
    – broil on high with oven door open for 4min/side.

  20. Tennismum
    Tennismum says:

    I should’ve read the reviews before making. As others have mentioned, way too salty and spicy. I doubled the amount of chicken and there was still a lot of rub leftover. I’d omit the salt and cut the rub amounts by 2/3, or find another rub recipe altogether. The chicken cooked via the poultry setting was easy and use those directions again.

  21. DolphinNurse
    DolphinNurse says:

    This recipe was not intended for the Instant Pot that I purchased. So far, very disappointed with it!

  22. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    I tried this last night and the chicken came out moist and tender. I was just confused with the measurements. Does the 4 1/2 tsp black pepper actually mean 2 tsp (4 of 1/2 tsp) because 4.5 tsp seems too much? I only put 1 tsp black pepper and I cut the rest of the spices and salt to 1/2. I don’t have dry mustard, celery salt, and cayenne so I eliminated those, added chili instead. The spiciness came out well. I added barbecue sauce when broiling it. I will try this again with the correct spices.

  23. Snipersgirl
    Snipersgirl says:

    Made this last night. Chicken was falling off the bone. The spices were way too hot for me. My husband loved it. It should be titled Spicy BBQ Chicken Legs.

  24. D-G
    D-G says:

    Salty, WAY too spicy (even for my husband who loves spicy) and overcooked. Also, the recipe made way too much seasoning for the anount of drumsticks. Dinner was a dissapoontment :/

  25. SabrinaTse
    SabrinaTse says:

    Since so many had the same complaints about the dry rub I decided to just make my own so I can’t speak to the saltiness or spiciness of it. However, the cooking directions for the drumsticks themselves was perfect. Meat was tender and juicy and practically fell off the bone. As for the broiling, I found that I needed to double the time to really crisp the skin but that could just be my oven.

  26. mrsmcelwee
    mrsmcelwee says:

    The drumsticks cooked well in the IP. I agree with other reviewers, the rub was too spicy. Next time I’d leave out the cayenne, and use a BBQ sauce, too. My oven has a high and low broiler setting, and low was definitely the better choice. Also, foil on the pan is easier than parchment paper.

  27. Ekeller84
    Ekeller84 says:

    We made this for dinner and it was a huge hit! We mixed a dry ranch packet with our bbq rub for the little pallets in our house and everyone wanted seconds.

  28. surfandsand
    surfandsand says:

    Used my own rub… sea salt,brown sugar,red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika Other then that everything came out as expected. Yep, meat falls off the bones, but then again we do not eat legs with our hands too much anyway. Did have to broil for a bit longer however

  29. slane2120
    slane2120 says:

    Chicken cooked great! Used my own bbq sauce tho, and added in most of the spices mentioned (in smaller increments) minus the cayenne. And it waa fantastic!

  30. FreedomToCook
    FreedomToCook says:

    This was my first IP meal! Drumsticks were large and thick so I cooked them 17 minutes. Rolled in spices they went in the broiler for a short time, also with BBQ sauce on them as folks suggested. Totally yummy!

  31. MarQuetteM
    MarQuetteM says:

    My Family loved this.

    Changes I made:
    Instead of using Drumsticks I used 6 Thighs, that’s what I had.

    Instead of using Pepper and Garlic Powder I used
    2 1/2 tsp Garlic & Pepper Seasoning
    Also added
    1tsp Original Mrs Dash
    1tsp of Minced Onion

    (I ended up with too much seasoning. Was also too peppery, 1tsp of Garlic Pepper next time. I spread a little chili paste over my husband’s before broiling and he loved it.)

  32. Kymberli83
    Kymberli83 says:

    Love the taste! Depending on what mest you use, it may be too much seasoning. I will keep experimenting with this receipe.

  33. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    Calling this “Chicken on Fire” because the parchment caught on fire in the oven, but gave the drumsticks an awesome smoky flavor:) . Everyone loved it. Cut the salt to 2 tsp. Used onion salt from Trader Joes instead of celery salt. Also cut the cayenne down to 1/4 tsp.

  34. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    The parchment paper shouldn’t have caught on fire as it is made to be heat, grease, and moister resistant. Is it possible that you were using wax paper? They almost look similar except that wax paper cannot be used in the oven and will catch on fire since it’s not heat-safe.

  35. Altined1
    Altined1 says:

    why did I have to buy all the spices if I was just supposed to put barbecue sauce on it after I cooked it in the instapot???

  36. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Altined1,

    We apologize for the confusion. The spices combined and coated onto the chicken (or meat) is referred to as a BBQ dry rub or BBQ rub for short.

  37. Shannon W
    Shannon W says:

    I made this rub without the cayenne pepper (instead substituting more sweet paprika), and even so it was too hot and spicy for a child. I added 1 Tbs dried marjoram. I put about 2/3rds of it into a barbecue sauce made from 1 can of tomato paste, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 or 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 or 2 Tbs olive oil and enough water to thin it to a good spreading consistency. This gives about 1 cup of barbecue sauce.

    I put the chicken legs in the Instant Pot upside down (toe ends up) and it cooked the drumsticks very well. The meat did come easily off the bone, but not so much that it was unworkable. Then I brushed with barbecue sauce. I turned each once and brushed again where needed. Use the broiler High setting if there is one. 2 minutes was not enough time for this BBQ sauce version. I did 5 minutes on each side.

  38. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    This recipe calls to brown meat under a boiler.

    The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker cooks with wet heat so it doesn’t brown by itself.

  39. ammmshermmm
    ammmshermmm says:

    The chicken was so tender and yummy! I didnt broil in the oven (due to how hot my house was). I fried it in a pan with the rub coating the chicken. Will make again!

  40. says:

    Chicken is Fall-Off-The-Bone. Cant eat like the traditional chicken legs i am use to. Way to much paprika, next time i will cut in half. The first batch i put the cooked legs in a bag with the rub, bad idea. Way to much rub on chicken and chicken fell off the bone. Second batch i put rub in a shaker and springled on legs. Be careful not to use alot of rub, use sparingly. When i opened the cooker the legs were at 210°F, chicken should be at 165° to 170°. reduce the cook/rest time by 25%.

  41. says:

    Legs were Fall-Off-The-Bone. Way over cooked. Legs cooked to 210°, should be 170°. Next time i will reduce cooking/rest time by 25%. Way to spicy. Use your own rub. Tried putting legs in bag with rub, bad idea. Just sprinkle on legs.

  42. Boyd2000
    Boyd2000 says:

    I should haVe realized from the ingredients and read the other reviews before making this, but I made a double recipe with a family pack of drumsticks. The drumsticks fell apart and the spices were overwhelming! It did taste good though, if we scraped off most of the spices and consumed mass quantities of water and beer with it. On the plus side, it did clean out much of my many years old spice pantry.

  43. Dlaney
    Dlaney says:

    I’m making it now but have a question. How long do you let it naturally release? It just says to release then open.
    Thanks for your help

  44. Cinders
    Cinders says:

    Water looked boring to me so I used wine (beer, cider or apple juice would work); a whole clove, a whole allspice, a few peppercorns and some smoked paprika, pressure cooked for 12 minutes, then broiled with good quality bbq sauce. The seasonings were infused into the meat giving a very good flavour to the chicken thighs.

  45. says:

    The one should be removed . Time is wrong, the chicken is way over cooked and falls off the bone. Not usable.

  46. LittleMama4
    LittleMama4 says:

    Meat fell off bone, litterally. We ate it but this recipe sucks. The test kitchen needs to retest. Maybe chicken legs used to be bigger. Maybe this would work well if you were cooking from frozen.

  47. Maxsplace
    Maxsplace says:

    I tried this recipe and it was great. I love that the meat was falling off the bone. I added my own Caribbean spices. I marinated the legs overnight. I am going to try it next time with chicken breast.

  48. GreenAdam
    GreenAdam says:

    Like others have said, 20 minutes is TOO LONG. I went with 17 minutes and vented the steam after only a few minutes of wait time. Perfect.
    Didn’t use the rub based on the reviews, so no feedback on that

  49. Schlista
    Schlista says:

    It wasn’t taste BBQ at all!! But tasted just spice. It was easy spicy and my kids were not able to eat. No one liked the taste of this recipe 🙁

  50. MDEsposito
    MDEsposito says:

    My husband made this tonight and it ended up tasting too salty and I’m now waiting for my toast to have for dinner because the chicken was inedible. This recipe is too spicy and too salty. I told him to look at the comments before making something new.

  51. Bizzy B
    Bizzy B says:

    Followed directions to the letter, but could not eat it; too spicy and coating was extremely dry and powdery. Chicken itself had no taste at all.

  52. Blightfamily
    Blightfamily says:

    We really enjoyed this one!!
    I had some chicken breasts that i had thawed, and used the leftover rub on them and baked in the oven. So good.

  53. Lela
    Lela says:

    Don’t waist your chicken and your time by making this recipe. The 20 minutes time in the instant pot is way to much to cook the chicken. The meet was falling off the bones. Was very difficult to transfer the chicken from the pot to the pan to put it under the broiler. In addition, I found the chicken to be very dry and the quantity of spices was way to much. For example, 4 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper for 10 drumsticks is excessive. I could go on and on regarding the quantities. If you ever cooked before you realize that something is not right. As a matter of fact I did not use the same quantities of spices and my chicken was tasty. So, in conclusion save your time and chicken and try to find a different recipe. I won’t make this again. Sorry Dr. Karen Lee.

  54. Lela
    Lela says:

    Save your time and chicken and don’t make this recipe. The quantities of spices are to much. The cooking time is way to long. 20 minutes in the instant pot makes the chicken to fall off the bones. There is a difference between tender chicken and chicken that falls off the bones and you have to pick up little bites to reconstruct the drumstick. I had a hard time to transfer the chicken from the pot to a pan to put it under the broiler. In conclusion, search a different recipe and save your time and chicken.

  55. Vijaysrchoksi
    Vijaysrchoksi says:

    This is way too spicy and the rub tastes nothing like BBQ – DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR YOUR DRUMSTICKS!

  56. Ri66s
    Ri66s says:

    The rub is spicy, I will omit the Cayenne if I make it again. And I will use foil, not parchment paper.

  57. Hank K
    Hank K says:

    Whoa! Way too much spice.
    As I mixed my drumsticks I thought I have way too much seasoning. As I turned the chicken around to coat the other side I thought again I have way too much seasoning. I should set aside some of this.
    I had 14 very large drumsticks
    When I took them out of the oven I could smell the seasoning and thought hmmm overkill. Took one bite and spit it out. I had to gargle with water to rinse my mouth.
    I rinsed the drumsticks in a collander to save the meal. Kids thought it was good after I rinsed them. It’s two hours later and my taste buds are still reeling from the spices.
    Won’t use this blend for future recipes.

  58. Warren Woodard Woodard
    Warren Woodard Woodard says:

    If I’m going to have to use the oven anyway, why am I bothering with the Instantpot? Just more dishes!

  59. Carol Tansen
    Carol Tansen says:

    The Instant pot is a blast to use. The chicken drumstick receipt was wonderful. Common sense goes along ways. Some of these ingredients are spicy so just don’t put a ton of it in your receipe. Same thing with salt, put less in. This is what I did and it turned out great.

  60. Rose
    Rose says:

    After reading all comments, looking at homemade BBQ recipes, and drawing on my own experiences with cooking, I did the following and got tender chicken legs with meat that stayed on the bone. It was not salty. I can’t speak to whether it tasted like a BBQ dry rub. I purchased celery seed and dry mustard for this recipe, which probably wasn’t necessary.

    1. Put 1/4 – 1/2 cup wine/apple juice, fresh garlic, splash lemon juice in bottom of pressure cooker.
    2. Liberally season 6-8 chicken legs with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
    3. Mix seasonings in a bowl, then sprinkle all over the chicken legs:
    2 T smoked paprika
    2 t celery seed
    1 t dry mustard
    1/2 t garlic powder
    1/2 t cinnamon
    1/4 t cloves
    1/4 t nutmeg
    1/4 t salt
    1/4 t cayenne

    4. Cook using the Manual setting for 14 minutes. Natural release for 5 minutes then quick release.
    5. Broil 5 minutes each side or until crispy.

    Changes I would make next time:
    – Add a bit more salt to the coating to bring out the flavors more, maybe 1/2 tsp total in the coating.
    – I sprinkled some of the coating on the chicken legs before putting them in the pressure cooker, then the rest before broiling; instead I would put all of the coating on before pressure cooking to avoid its dryness/powderiness.

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