How to Cook Drumsticks in a Pan

Drumsticks are another name for the lower portion of chicken or turkey legs. Some people prefer the drumstick to the white meat of poultry because it offers more taste and dries out less quickly. Seasoning and avoiding overcooking are really the keys to perfectly preparing this dark meat. Using a meat thermometer and cooking the meat in a pan with a liquid will ensure it cooks evenly to a safe temperature while retaining its moisture.

Drumsticks with chicken stock cooking in a frying pan. Credit: marcobir/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Rinse the meat well under cold, running water. Pat the meat dry with paper towels.

Step 2

Season the outside of the meat liberally with the seasonings of your choice.

Step 3

Bring 4 tbsp. of oil to medium-high heat in a large skillet. Place your seasoned drumsticks in the oil with the meatiest part of the leg facing the center of the skillet.

Step 4

Cook the drumsticks for 5 minutes on each side, browning the outside of the meat all the way around.

Step 5

Pour 2 cups of chicken stock in the pan with the drumsticks. Place the lid on the pan.

Step 6

Cook the drumsticks for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the type of bird.

Step 7

Remove the lid from the pan and insert the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, making sure you are not hitting bone or the bottom of the skillet. Remove the meat from the heat once the temperature has reached 160 F.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken or turkey drumsticks

  • Paper towels

  • Seasoning

  • Olive or vegetable oil

  • Large skillet

  • Lid to cover

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • Meat thermometer


Omit the oil and use barbecue sauce as the braising liquid for a tangy variation.


Check each drumstick individually for doneness before serving.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.