How Long To Boil Chicken Drumsticks? (FOR SOUP, GRILLING, FRYING)

Learning how to boil chicken drumsticks is a step beyond boneless chicken. Bone-in meat has more flavor and is guaranteed to bring more flavor and juiciness to your shredded chicken sandwiches or even the potluck dinner.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks
How long to boil drumsticks

You can learn how long to boil chicken drumsticks before you grill, fry, or even bake them to perfection.

This article is all about how long to boil chicken drumsticks, keeping an eye on their doneness and related signs. Knowing how long to boil chicken legs for grilling, baking, frying, or for precooking to make soups and broths can provide a delicious meal every time. It is best to boil chicken drumsticks for 30 minutes but if you are cooking the frozen variety then the recipe shall need definite tweaks. Each method depends on the end result you require from your dish.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks?

This is an essential point and one must realize that internal doneness is the main marker for this boiling time.

Chicken is rendered safe to eat at an internal temperature of 165 F. It takes, generally, 20 minutes to make boiled chicken drumsticks.

Smoked Chicken Temp And Time (Tips & Chart)

This time may increase if you are dealing with frozen chicken legs, a larger bird, whereas, the boiling time may even decrease if you want to poach your chicken drumsticks for the most tender texture.

Boiling vs. Simmering:

An essential concept to break down is the debate between boiling and simmering the chicken drumsticks. When recipes call for a low boil or a boil even, it basically means a constant simmer.

Chicken drumsticks need to be simmered at least for 30 minutes to get that perfect, juicy inside without facing any hard threads of meat in it.

Poaching chicken Drumsticks:

The time for boiling chicken drumsticks totally depends on the end result that you require. Some people like a dry texture while others want their chicken shreds to be soft as butter.

The most tender and moist chicken drumsticks are harnessed through the method of poaching.

For a delicious aroma, add vegetables or chicken stock to the water and generously season the chicken drumsticks with salt and pepper on both sides. Then, add the chicken drumsticks to the boiling stock. Turn on the heat and bring the stock to a simmer, and allow the chicken to poach for approx. 12 to 15 minutes.

The trick is not to let them completely cook through. You may even tenderize the drumsticks if you are working with a larger bird with the help of wine or juice for a quicker cook.

If you want a crispy outlook, finish off this moist meat on the grill or skillet.

Is stewing or braising the drumstick worth it?

If you are working with a leathery and hard bird, it’s best to take the longer route. Tenderize before you boil the chicken drumsticks.

You may tenderize it in wine, vinegar, broth, or stock to up the flavor, however, keep in mind that this may increase the recipe time up to 2 to 3 hours.

For a chicken drumstick stew, it is important to keep an eye on how long to boil chicken drumsticks.

How to boil chicken drumsticks?

Let’s get down to the very basics of boiling chicken drumsticks.

  1. Do not overstock the pot with drumsticks for better flavor and cook.
  2. Keep the water an inch above your drumsticks for an even cook.
  3. The more vegetables and spices you include in your stockpot the more flavorful your chicken drumsticks will be.
  4. Remember to cover the pot with a lid while you boil the chicken drumsticks to lock in the flavor and aroma.
  5. Put the spices, vegetables, and meat in the pot with an inch of water above them and bring to a steady simmer altogether while being covered with the lid.
  6. Boil the chicken drumsticks for about 20 minutes or until they reach 165 F internal temp.

How will I know if chicken drumsticks are done?

  1. It’s very easy to overcook chicken drumsticks in fear of undercooking the bone. Remember to reach an internal temperature of 165 F to reach doneness.
  2. A meat thermometer is your best friend for checking internal doneness. Insert its probe in the fattest part of the drumstick to check if they are done.
  3. In case you do not own a meat thermometer, you can slice the drumsticks at the thickest part and if you see juices running down along with a moist and white inside, then your chicken drumsticks have definitely been done to perfection.

Remember, no red meat should be present inside when you cut the chicken drumsticks. Unless you are poaching them to finish them off later on the skillet or grill.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks on stove?

It takes 15-20 minutes, usually, to boil chicken drumsticks or legs, depending on what dish you want to have for a quick dinner or lunch.

If you are boiling frozen chicken legs, then you need to add 20-30 minutes to your cooking time. I am going to list down how long to boil chicken drumsticks for various cooking methods.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks before baking?

Now if you want to crisp up your chicken drumsticks through baking then boil chicken drumsticks for 18-20 minutes.

Later, roast them in the oven for a golden crisp outer layer at 425 F for 15-20 minutes. Remember to pre-heat the oven before you place your drumsticks inside.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks before frying?

Most cooks seem to be on edge about this recipe. But if you want the moistness of boiled chicken drumsticks and the crispiness of frying them then this is the one for you.

It should take you a total of 20 minutes for this whole process. To avoid blandness, you can use a rub for tenderizing chicken a day before. After 20 minutes of boiling on a slow simmer, dip them in an egg batter and fry for one minute each.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks before grilling?

This process calls for parboiling, a process wherein chicken drumsticks are not cooked completely through. Before grilling, parboil for 5 minutes for an even and juicy cook. Grilling provides a crispy outer layer to the chicken drumstick.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks for soup?

You may be planning to boil chicken drumsticks to shred them for putting in soup or perhaps to create stock or broth. Whichever option you are going for, both of them require a different approach.

Boiling chicken drumsticks for soup require 20 minutes for a moist shred to add to your delicious soup.

How long to boil chicken drumsticks to make broth?

If your goal is to create broth or stock for soup or other dishes, then it would take a bit longer than 20 minutes.

For flavor, add spices and vegetables and simmer your chicken drumsticks anywhere from one to two hours, depending on how much time you may have. Remember, the more you boil the more flavorful your stock will be.

How long to boil frozen chicken drumsticks?

If you want to boil frozen chicken drumsticks, then plan to boil them for 25-35 minutes at the least until it is cooked thoroughly from the inside.


In all of these cooking times, remember to always check the chicken drumstick doneness with a thermometer. The reading should be 165 F internally to render the chicken safe for consumption.

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