Tender, juicy, and incredibly easy to cook, chicken drumsticks the low-key MVPs of the kitchen. While they are often upstaged by the popular breast and wings, drumsticks, like chicken thighs are versatile, affordable, and incredibly tasty if cooked correctly.
Like all dark chicken meat, drumsticks are pretty forgiving and less prone to drying out than breasts. However, there are still benefits to cooking them using Suvie and sous vide. Sous vide adds a layer of control and precision that allows you to prepare chicken drumsticks to the exact level of doneness you prefer.
Temperature and cooking times for chicken drumsticks
|155°F*||1-3 hours||Very juicy, firm|
|160°F||1-3 hours||Tender and juicy|
|165°F||1-2 hours||Extremely tender but less juicy|
Like most sous vide meats, the longer you cook, the more tender your meat will become. Chicken drumsticks, like thighs, are one of the most forgiving meats to sous vide so they are a great place to start for beginners.
Follow this link to find out more information about Suvie cooking times and temperatures.
Ingredients and Tools
- Chicken drumsticks
- Fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary or sage
- Vegetable oil
- Suvie or sous vide wand
- A large pot (if using a sous vide wand)
- Vacuum sealer and bags or Freezer safe sealable plastic bags
If you’re using a sous vide wand, pre-heat your water bath to the desired temperature
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
Place chicken in a plastic bag, add any herbs you intend on using and vacuum-seal.
Follow our guide if you are using the water displacement method.
If you are using Suvie, use the following settings:
My Cook > Multi-Zone Settings
Protein: 155-165 degrees, 1 hour- 3 hours (or follow our Protein Cooking Guide)
Vegetable: 0 minutes
Starch: 0 minutes
Once the cook is finished, remove the chicken from the water bath or pan.
Remove the chicken from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel.
If you’re using your Suvie, place the chicken drumsticks in your protein pan and place them under the broiler for 10 minutes on each side. If you prefer extra crispy skin broil for an additional 10 minutes, checking often to ensure that the chicken doesn’t burn.
Alternatively, heat some vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll want to use an oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil while avoiding olive oil if possible.
Place the chicken drumsticks in the hot pan being careful to avoid any splashing oil. Press the chicken down with a spatula or with your fingers to make sure as much of the skin is making contact with the pan as possible.
Cook until the skin is crispy, about 5 minutes each side.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipes to try
Is it safe to cook chicken below 165°F?
The USFDA recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F. Foodborne bacteria will be killed almost immediately at this temperature which makes it the safest. However, chicken cooked to lower temperatures for longer periods of time are just as safe. If you want a slight moister chicken thigh you can safely cook it to 155°F provided it stays at that temperature for at least 2 minutes.
Can I use any type of plastic bag?
You can, however, make sure that they are made from polyethylene. Some branded bags are made using polyethylene which is a BPA and dioxin free plastic that can safely handle sous vide cooking temperatures up to 190°F. Some generic branded plastic bags are made using cheaper polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which cannot handle high temps and contains chemicals that can leach into food.
Can I use frozen chicken?
Yes! This technique will work with frozen chicken pieces. If you’re cooking straight from the freezer just add an additional hour to the sous vide time.
Will this method work with whole chicken legs?
It will! This technique will work with any dark chicken meat pieces such as thighs and whole chicken legs.
Can I refrigerate the chicken after the sous vide process and sear it later
For food safety reasons, we recommend consuming your chicken soon after cooking.