Instant Pot Drumsticks with Garlic Spice Rub

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Growing up I remember being terrified of my step-mother’s pressure cooker.  It would sit on the stove top and rattle and shake and whistle and scare the hell out of me.  So when my mom offered to buy me an electric pressure cooker a couple of years ago, my automatic reaction was “No!”

Little did I know that when I finally caved and got myself an Instant Pot (after reading too many rave reviews) I would wonder how I lived without it.

You may know that I love my Crock Pots – yes, plural – but there’s one problem.  They cook things slowly, so it takes a long time.  This means I have to plan ahead and think about what we’re having for dinner in the morning.  And while I try to make a weekly meal plan, there are many days when dinner is just whatever I can whip up with what’s on hand.

On this particular Sunday I wanted to make chicken in the Crock Pot, but guess what.  We were actually out of chicken!  That’s unheard of in my house.  It meant I couldn’t start cooking until after I went to the grocery store… definitely not enough time to slow cook.

Instant Pot to the rescue!

Now that I’ve had these drumsticks from the Instant Pot, I will never cook them another way.  They were so tender and flavorful, and it took way less time than a crock pot.

The spice mix I make for this will be enough to make 2 batches of drumsticks or 1 batch of drumsticks and a side.  I used it on parmesan potatoes – recipe coming soon! – we had the same night.  You also get about 16 oz of really yummy chicken stock from the bottom of the pot, great for cooking rice or pasta with some extra flavor.

I know people are split on this, but I suggest not rinsing your chicken for this recipe.  If you insist, don’t dry it completely before adding the spice mixture.  Place the chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle on about 1/2 tbsp seasoning.  Turn or toss the chicken and sprinkle another 1/2 tbsp of spice on in.  Toss it again and then rub the spice into the chicken, including under the skin for an extra flavor boost.

The rest is easy.  Just pour about a cup of water into the Instant Pot, place the trivet inside, and the chicken on top.  Press the poultry button and let it cook!  When it’s done, broil the chicken for 1-2 minutes to get the skin crispy.

Instant Pot Drumsticks with a Garlic Spice Rub
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    Spice Mixture (will yield twice as much as needed for recipe)
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Thyme
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 2-2.5 lbs Chicken Drumsticks (thighs would work, too)


  1. In a small bowl, mix all the spices together. Scoop 1 tbsp of the mixture out, save the rest for another day or recipe.
  2. Place chicken in a large bowl, sprinkle with spices, tossing or turning until each piece has spice on it.
  3. Rub the spices into each drumsticks so they're evenly coated.
  4. Pour 1 cup water into the Instant Pot, then put the trivet inside and pile the chicken on top. Close the lid and press the button for poultry. When the cooking time is complete release the steam.
  5. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot with tongs and place them on a baking sheet with a broiler rack, skin-side up. Broil on the top rack of the oven for 1-2 minutes until the skin is crispy.


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