How to Cook Chicken Drumsticks on The Stove

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a man teaching a woman how to cook chicken drumsticks on the stove

Do you know how to cook chicken drumsticks on the stove? There is this misconception out there that chicken needs to be baked. This is truly not the case. Chicken can be extremely tasty when it is grilled and especially when it is pan-fried on a stove.

If you have never tried cooking chicken drumsticks on the stove, now is the time to learn. This is a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will love. What’s even better is that cooking drumsticks on the stove are much healthier than frying them. 

How To Cook Chicken Legs On The Stove

Chicken legs are relatively easy to cook on the stove if you follow these simple steps. 

Step 1: Clean and Prep Chicken

Anytime you cook chicken, you should always clean it first. Take the chicken drumsticks out of the packaging and run them under some warm water. When they are finished being washed, place them on paper towels to dry. Leave the chicken on the bone. 

Step 2: Season

Next, you are going to want to season your chicken. The great thing about cooking chicken legs is that they will easily take on the taste of whatever spices you decide to use.

You can make these chicken drumsticks with an Asian flavor, Mexican even Italian if you choose. The possibilities are endless; however, you will want to use some spice

Step 3: Oil and Cook

Next, you will need to add about a tablespoon of oil to your frying pan. You do not want your chicken drumsticks to cook in a large pool of oil. This is not necessary and will cause them to cook unevenly. Simple put in a tablespoon and set the drumsticks in. 

We recommend using medium heat to start. You may need to turn it up or down a little depending on your stove and how the chicken reacts. You want to avoid the skins of the chicken cooking too fast and causing issues. 

You will need to flip the drumsticks every few minutes. Some people like to turn them pretty consistently and try and get an even cook.

If you get the right temperature, you should only have to turn them about three times before they cooked all the way through. It will take about twenty to thirty minutes to cook chicken drumsticks this way. Keep a close eye on them, so you know when they are done. 

We like to keep a kitchen thermometer close by to check the chicken next to the bone to make sure it is right around 165 degrees. You also should see the meat, and it should be white with no pink juice. 

Pan-Fried Chicken Recipes

There are lots of ways to prepare pan-fried chicken; however, when you work with drumsticks, things change just a little bit. Since you are cooking these with the bone in and people will most likely be eating them while holding the bone, we tend to stay away from sauces while cooking pan-fried chicken drumsticks.

Here are three ways that we have tried making drumsticks on the stovetop, and they have all turned out quite well. 

BBQ Pan Fried Chicken Drumsticks

You can follow our same steps from above to put together some really excellent BBQ pan friend chicken drumsticks. Simply coat the drumsticks in the BBQ sauce prior to cooking; while you are cooking, you may have to reapply a bit of the sauce; the pan will end up being pretty well coated. Don’t be afraid to cook these a little bit lower, nothing worst than burnt BBQ. 

Simple Spice Drumsticks

We all know that cooking can get a bit complicated. If you like to keep things simple, try coating your drumsticks with salt, pepper, and garlic powder prior to cooking.

This is a classic combination and will leave you with a very well rounded cooked piece of chicken. Something like this pairs perfectly with rice, vegetables, and even potatoes. 

Mexican Pan Fried Chicken Drumsticks

If you like your food a bit spicier and you want something that can help you kick up the heat on a boring dish, try using a little taco seasoning on your drumsticks. We love this paired with some rice or fajita vegetables.

The taco seasoning usually has a bit of chili powder, cumin, and paprika to make it a well-balanced flavor. You can’t go wrong with all the possibilities on these pan-fried chicken legs. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long do drumsticks take to cook on the stove?

It will take about 20 to 25 minutes for your drumsticks to fully cook on the stove. The amount of time it takes depends on the heat and the size of the drumsticks as well. Remember, cooking drumsticks on the stove takes a little bit of extra attention. Keep a close eye on them so that they do not overcook. 

How do you boil chicken drumsticks on the stove?

If you find a great deal on chicken drumsticks, you may want to use some of the meat for soup. Boiling the drumsticks and then removing the chicken is a great way to do this.

When you boil chicken drumsticks on the stove, you must remember not to boil them for too long or at too hot of a temperature. When you boil chicken too long, it gets very chewy.

Always keep the water at barely a simmer and let the chicken slowly boil. This will allow the meat to become tender but also not overcook it. 

Can you overcook chicken legs?

Overcooking chicken legs is one of the biggest mistakes that chefs make. Once a chicken leg is overcooked, there is no going back. Your meat will be dry and not nearly as tender.

Sometimes an overcooked chicken leg can also be chewy. You will have to pay attention to your chicken legs as you cook them to avoid overcooking. 

How can you tell if chicken drumsticks are cooked?

The outside of a chicken drumstick is going to look cooked much sooner than the inside. The point of the meat directly next to the bone is an essential part to check. You will want to see if the meat looks like it is white, and you can also do a temperature check. 

Cooked chicken will need to be at a minimum of 160 degrees before it is safe to eat. Keeping a small kitchen thermometer next to you while you cook is a smart idea. 

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, you now feel better equipped to complete the process of cooking drumsticks on the stove. For some reason, this concept doesn’t seem as natural to some home chefs; however, it is really just as simple and easy as baking or frying.

The great thing about cooking chicken drumsticks is that they are usually a much cheaper cut of chicken to purchase. If you can find the right spice blend, you may come up with a new favorite weeknight meal. Chicken drumsticks pair well with so many sides you can really turn this into a well-rounded meal. 

Try some of our other kitchen hacks and tips to save time in the kitchen.