Pressure cooker, Uncategorized, Weeknight dinner
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Pressure Cooker State Fair Turkey Drumsticks

Pressure Cooker State Fair Turkey Drumsticks

Pressure Cooker State Fair Turkey Drumsticks

Are those my favorite turkey legs?

This recipe is late.

This was supposed to be my Thanksgiving pressure cooker recipe – State Fair Turkey Drumsticks. But I got distracted the night I was cooking it, and only took pictures of the beginning of the recipe, up to locking the pressure cooker lid. 3 Everyone loved the big drumsticks, but I had other recipes ready, so I let it go, thinking “Maybe next Thanksgiving?”

Then I kept hearing from my wife. Multiple holiday turkeys were served, and with each one, she said: “These are good drumsticks – but not as good as the ones you made in the pressure cooker. When can we have those again?”

Here they are: my wife’s favorite turkey drumsticks. 4

Recipe: Pressure Cooker State Fair Turkey Drumsticks


  • 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot Duo electric pressure cooker)


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Pressure Cooker State Fair Turkey Drumsticks

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Pressure Cooker State Fair Turkey Drumsticks recipe – massive turkey legs, like you get at the amusement park.


  • 6 turkey drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 packed teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce


  1. Season the drumsticks: Mix the salt, brown sugar, pepper, and garlic powder, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar. Sprinkle evenly over the turkey drumsticks.
  2. Everything in the pot: Pour the water and soy sauce into the pot, then add the drumsticks.
  3. Pressure cook the drumsticks: Lock the lid and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes stovetop/25 minutes electric PC, then let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes, and quick release any remaining pressure.
  4. Serve: Lift the drumsticks out of the pot with tongs – be careful, they are fall-apart tender. If you have the time, pour the pot liquid in a fat strainer, let the fat float to the top, and pass the de-fatted liquid at the table as a sauce.


If you want to crisp up the turkey skin, brush the drumsticks with the sauce from the pot, then run them under the broiler until browned. (I don’t bother, and serve them as-is).

  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
Everything in the pot - stack the legs as best you can

Everything in the pot – stack the legs as best you can




  • 6 drumsticks fit in my 6 quart Instant Pot…but it depends on the length of the bones. Shorter legs stack in there without any problem, but longer bones don’t fit in there flat, and I have to work them in like a jigsaw puzzle. Don’t worry about the max fill line; there is plenty of air in the pot. As long as the lid will lock, the drumsticks fit.
  • The cooking liquid is delicious poured over baked potatoes. Just sayin’.

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Turkey Noodle Soup with Vegetables
Pressure Cooker Chicken Broth and Shredded Chicken
My pressure cooker recipe list


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  1. I’m very late to the party, but want to try this tonight with two turkey legs. I’m a newbie IP owner, have made 10 meals in two weeks, more cooking than I’d done in two months. Three. More.

    Question: my husband isn’t a big soy sauce/Chinese food fan (though I am!). My sense is the soy sauce won’t be a prominent flavor, however, or this recipe would be named something else, not State Fair. Your take?
    Thanks for the clear instructions and the explanation of why more legs does not = more time. Need to find your other recipes/blog/etc.

    • The soy sauce adds a hint of meaty flavor; you can skip it if you want, but I don’t think anyone will think it tastes “soy saucy”.

  2. Susan says

    Excellent! Tender turkey legs, with delicious spices!

  3. Colleen Voiles says

    I know it’s an entirely different ingredient, but realized last second I have no brown sugar. I put turbinado sugar instead. I realize it doesnt quite melt like brown does but was worth a go. Turkeyegs are cheap! Will report back.

  4. Julia says

    I found turkey drumsticks on sale at the grocery store, not knowing how I was going to prepare them. I found this recipe, and was doubtful about it, but decided to try it out since I had all of the ingredients on hand.


    So good!

    I used my instant pot. I didn’t have enough soy sauce, so I added a little bit of teriyaki sauce as well.

    Thanks so much for this recipe!

  5. Teresa Sandel says

    Hi Mike, do I use the cooking rack on the bottom for this recipe?

  6. Tonya says

    Madewith turkey wings and thighs. I was soooo good my hubby does not like turkey except at Thanksgiving, but he loved this. It will be a go to recipe for my new PC.

  7. Could you let me know how I would need to tweak the amount of liquid/cooking time if I were to put 8 turkey legs (about 5.5 lbs total) into a 6 qt instant pot?

    • As long as they fit, and are a little loose (not squeezed tight together to fit them all in the pot), then the liquid and cooking time do not change.

      Details: Cooking time is determined by the thickness of each leg, not the number of legs. Heat has to penetrate to the middle of each leg, so more legs doesn’t increase the time. Except… if you really have to squeeze them in there, and they are mashed tightly together, the heat has to penetrate through what is effectively a large hunk of turkey leg, and it will take longer. (Not sure how much.)

      Also – the turkey legs will shrink a little while cooking, so if they are lightly touching, you’ll still be fine.

  8. Laurie Craig says

    Made this with chicken thighs tonight. Best thighs ever! I placed a potato on top for hubby and it was perfectly cooked for mashing. This is a keeper and I will use for Thanksgiving turkey drumsticks. Thank you!

  9. These filled a turkey leg sized hole in my very being. My wife isn’t a big turkey fan, so I threw some chicken drumsticks in there as well. Both turned out delicious. I did the broiling, mashed some sweet potatoes (also cooked in the pressure cooker), and had Thanksgiving early! Good stuff!

  10. Jorge says

    Man, was a little scared about doing this one.
    I really liked serious eats wine braised turkey leg I did in the instant pot, but I wanted to try this one.
    What was I thinking doubting you?
    I only had 3 drumsticks, and I ended up browning 2 of them.
    I had sweet potatos that I was going to crisp up in the broiler with the sticks, but I overcooked them, so I decided to make a puree.
    The heavy cream was a little old so I just used the turkey gravy in the sweet potatos, (which was magically delicious)
    It was awesome!
    Although, I did leave the sticks in the broiler a little too long.
    My wife, who doesn’t like turkey, ate her whole drumstick. Although, I almost through her out of the house when she said she didn’t like the gravy. It was divine, she’s got problems.

  11. Karen says

    I had one large turkey drumstick 2.32 lbs. I used the soy sauce and water recommendation levels, and halved the other seasonings. I kept it on high pressure in my 7 qt. stovetop Kuhn Rikon and the timing was perfect. Though I found this recipe looking for the BBQ sauce drumsticks that I get at our county fair, this was a great recipe! I did not finish it off in the oven, but I’m guessing that would be the time to add the sauce for that “fair” feel. Served with white rice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower. This is so easy and a keeper!

  12. LaVonne says

    Thanks, could these be made ahead and reheated ? Have you tried that? Thinking of serving on Thanksgiving.

  13. Michael H. says

    We just got an Instant Pot and have decided to try this recipe for our first meal! I’m having difficulty finding turkey, however, so how would you adjust the cooking time to make this recipe using chicken legs? Just wondering if it makes a difference since turkey legs are much bigger (as is the bone). Thanks!

  14. Mike says

    When making these do you use the rack? I can’t tell if there is a rack at the bottom. Looks like no. Also in general (am a PC noob), when do you use the rack and when don’t you or does it matter? Does the meat that is actually in the water or touching the bottom of the pot cook quicker than those that are not? I would think they cook slightly more during the warmup/cooldown time.

    • I don’t use the rack. (I almost never do). Yes, the parts in the water will cook a little quicker, but in general, it’s not enough of a difference to matter. (Especially with the long-cooking things that work best in a pressure cooker.)

  15. These are delicious thank you for an awesome recipe. I cook for 2 so made 3 legs tweaked the recipe and used 1/2 cup soy sauce with no water and gave a healthy splash of liquid smoke in the pot. Cutting back on the liquid I didn’t have any problem with building up pressure

  16. Rachel says

    Question: I have two turkey legs that I would be interested in trying this recipe with. I know that the cooking time does not need to be changed, but what about the seasoning and soy sauce amounts? For only 2 turkey legs, would I be better served by adding more water/broth and reducing the amount of soy sauce at the very least?

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Cut back on the seasoning (salt, pepper, sugar, garlic), but leave the water and soy as they are. You need the liquid in the pot to help it come up to pressure, and extra sauce won’t change the way the recipe tastes.

  17. Dottie says

    Hi.I only have three legs since I am feeding for two people. Do I need to shorten the cooking time? (I use the electric pressure cooker) Thanks Mike!

  18. Tarcela says

    Thanks for this recipe. Prepared it tonight and my family enjoyed the tenderness of the meat. I wondered if the rack was needed but I opted to not use it and it cooked as desired. While this was cooking I made a pot of rice in an old rice cooker and used the gravy/juice over the rice. Added a green salad and dinner was set. Again, thank you and I look forward to more of your recipes.

    • I haven’t tried it, but they should work fine. I’d give them an extra 5 minutes, becuase they’re a bit bigger – so, 30 minutes in my electric PC.

  19. Thanks for this one, Mike. These turkey drumsticks will be on this week’s menu plan if I can find some. Do you do anything special with the tendons, or do they pull out easily after cooking?

    • I don’t do anything special – they do pull out easily after cooking; the drumsticks are meltingly tender.

      • Thanks for the quick reply, Mike. I’m looking forward to this one. I’m thinking a side of curried or other Asian-flavored rice might be nice with these, preferably with vegetables included.

        • Very nice indeed, Mike. Your 20-minute timing for my drumsticks, weighing 10.1 oz to 13.1 ounces each, in my Kuhn-Rikon 5-quart stovetop cooker, was perfect and the meat was tender. After pressure release, I did broil-crisp the skins 8″ from the heat and liked the results and caramelized flavor — it was worth the little extra attention.

          For the braising liquid (I couldn’t help myself), I only did 2 minor things: I added 3 quarter-sized slices of ginger, smashed, and was very pleased with that, and I used chicken broth instead of the water. I wound up with about 2 cups of fantastic, rich broth after defatting it. After dinner, I know I have enough of the wonderful broth left to use as a stir-fry sauce which I’ll thicken with a little cornstarch. I forgot to insert the trivet and the drumsticks cooked well without it.

          Thank you for the unusual and delicious recipe. Certainly worth repeat performances.

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