How to Cook Chicken Drumsticks Quickly

Chicken drumsticks hold up to fast, high-heat cooking methods like grilling and baking.
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Dark-meat chicken drumsticks offer more flavor than white meat cuts such as boneless breasts. Because they contain more fat and connective tissue, drumsticks also offer moister, more tender meat that can hold up to fast, high-heat cooking methods such as baking and grilling, which let you serve up a healthy, flavorful meal within roughly 30 minutes. No matter how you cook them, season or marinate the drumsticks well in advance -- preferably the night before you cook them, so that the flavors can penetrate the meat.

Grilling Chicken Drumsticks

Step 1

Marinate skinless drumsticks for at least two hours or overnight. Although you can use your favorite pre-made marinade, it's easy to make your own. Making your own marinade also allows you to control the quality of the ingredients as well as the amount of sodium and fat that goes into the mix. Combine seasonings such as garlic, freshly squeezed citrus juice, onions, fresh herbs, vinegar such as red wine or balsamic, low-sodium soy sauce and a drizzle of olive or sesame oil.

Step 2

Turn the grill on and set it to medium heat. Brush the grates with a grill brush to clean it and remove any debris before spraying the grates with cooking spray.

Step 3

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the liquid. Place the chicken on the hot grill, cooking it for roughly 15 to 30 minutes, flipping it at least once. Optionally, if you've set extra, unused marinade aside, baste the chicken once or twice with marinade while it grills.

Baking Chicken Drumsticks

Step 1

Preheat your oven to between 450 and 475 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating up, prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.

Step 2

Season the skinless chicken drumsticks with salt and black pepper and whatever additional seasonings you like.

Step 3

Arrange the drumsticks in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake it for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once. When it's done, the chicken should be golden.

Things You'll Need

  • Seasonings

  • Cooking spray

  • Tongs


Inserting an instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat of the drumstick is the surest way to make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked. According to the website, the minimum safe internal temperature for poultry is 165 F.

Create healthy oven-fried chicken legs by dipping each drumstick in egg and then seasoned breadcrumbs. Arrange a wire rack on your baking sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Bake the chicken for roughly 25 minutes at 475 F, until it's crispy and golden.