These 15 minute BBQ Jelly drumsticks are a super easy and super delicious thanks to the pressure cooker! You get all the great flavors of bbq’d chicken without ever having to fire up the grill.
So please tell me you’ve joined the Pressure Cooking revolution by now. Perhaps Santa Amazon brought you one for the holidays or your birthday. I’ve been pressure cooking now for the past few years and honestly it’s changed my life and how I cook dinners. Let’s face it, we’re busier now than ever. We work, some times more than one job, if you have kids they have a million and one activities. We have the gym, school, late meetings, RIDICULOUS traffic and it just seems like more responsibilities. Free time is often a luxury rather than a given. At least that’s how my life is. Perhaps that’s why I gravitate so much towards using the pressure cooker. It’s extremely efficient and instead of spending an hour or so on dinner I can have it all done in a quarter of the time which means that’s 45 free minutes I gained. Plus the benefits of the flavor infusion that the pressure cooker imparts on the food – I’ve never had more tender, more flavorful foods.
Now when I post these recipes I’ll get one of 3 responses:
- Oh awesome! I love pressure cooking!
- I have a pressure cooker but am too afraid to use it.
- I am afraid to buy one because I’m not sure if they are safe.
Okay so let me debunk these items – well not number one as we LOVE to read the #1 responses! Go Team Pressure Cooker!
Numbers 2 and 3 – I’m going to lump them into one response as the reason why most people are afraid to use it or are afraid to buy one is because they are unsure about how incredibly safe they are nowadays.
If you’re like me your Mom put the fear of God in you when it came to going near Pressure Cookers. Like we’re talking no one but her was allowed in the kitchen. Why? Well they’d pretty much blow their lids right off having hot food and steam going everywhere. A few times I witnessed that night’s dinner on the ceiling above the pan while the lid was on the floor upside down and steaming. The old-time pressure cookers weren’t made with much engineering design or safety in mind. They often were made of aluminum versus the newer ones that are made out of steel. Aluminum can often react badly with foods. And when aluminum is put under pressure and or at high heats the metal fatigues due to a limited life. This fatigue can cause explosions. Secondly there were little to no safety precautions for pressure cookers – no locks, gauges or safety features. So yeah I get why you’d be scared of them. But the ones today, those are different!
The ones today are made straight from an engineering and safety standpoint first; aesthetics second. Most have 2 types of locking mechanisms which means you are physically unable to open the lid before all of the pressure is gone. They also have safety pressure release valves – meaning you can do a natural release or a quick release. Now granted when you do a quick release you’re releasing hot steam through some steam holes but it’s controlled – just obviously so you do not get a steam burn. Next the new ones are made out of steel (stainless) which reacts the least with foods. Lastly they have an encapsulated base design (typically a 3-ply metal) which means no hot spots.
See you should now feel better about using your pressure cooker or buying a new one. Below are my 3 recommendations for Pressure Cookers. You can either go with Gas or Electric. Honestly I haven’t seen a real difference in cooking, meaning does one method cook better than the other. Just go with what is within your budget. The one thing I would say is look at the size of it. I prefer the 8 quart size as that holds most dinners to feed a family of 4. Plus if you want to make stuffed peppers, you can cook 4 at once. My 6 quart one I can’t.
Okay enough learnin’, let’s talk about this recipe. So my local butcher shop (which is literally the ONLY good thing about where I live in countrybumpkinville) had the most gorgeous chicken drumsticks on sale for, are you ready for this??? 29 cents a pound! I know, right! That’s INSANE! I picked up a few packages of these badboys just because HELLO, that price! When I got home I decided to whip up some because it was lunch time and the man was hungry. Well he came out to the kitchen and the first thing he says is “Why’d you buy these? You know I’m not a huge fan of these.” Great… I just bought like 10 pounds of them. But I also know him – if I make it, he’ll eat it.
My go-to sauce is some kind of bbq sauce when it comes to pressure cooked chicken but I wanted something more. I had thought about going with maybe a Thai Peanut sauce but that would have been just for me as he’s so not about peanut butter on chicken. Into the fridge I went and it was there I found the grape jelly. Since we’ve all had that chili grape jelly sauce combination, I decided to do a bbq sauce play on that. Making homemade bbq sauce is pretty basic – ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and a few other basic ingredients. To jelly-fy it, all I had to do was add in the grape jelly and let it thicken up. It adds a nice sweet undertone that balances out beautifully with the bbq sauce.
When you make these drumsticks to kick up the flavors I season the water with some spices as well as some of that grape jelly. As the drumsticks cook those flavors are infused into the meat giving it such a moist and delicious flavor.
Once the drumsticks are done in the pressure cooker they are completely cooked. So yes, you can eat them right away (well okay, maybe give them a few minutes to cool down) however if you want to create that charred bbq affect and get that crispy skin you have to broil them. There is no way to get that type of crisp skin from the pressure cooker. Yes I know most pressure cookers these days have a brown or sear function. You could try that but you still really won’t get that same charred effect as you would from the flame of the broiler.
I like mine charred a bit more than most so mine take a bit longer under the broiler. When they were done I plated them up and called Mr. Fantabulous to the table. Although he said he doesn’t care for drumsticks he tries them anyway. Besides he knows that if he really doesn’t like it I would make him something else. He bit into his and immediately his eyes got huge – that bbq jelly sauce hit his lips. It’s a sweet and tangy surprise. He let out a soft groan of yum and continued to eat a few of these in one sitting. Yeah I know, the same man who swore that he “really didn’t like drumsticks” just ate 3 of them without batting an eye. This sauce people… this sauce. I’m telling you it’s something truly special! Now if you didn’t like grape you could easily go with strawberry, blueberry or raspberry. It’s pretty universal.
So when it comes to Pressure Cookers I still recommend these 3:
If you looking for the BEST Gas Pressure cooker out there then I HIGHLY recommend the All-Clad PC8! It’s INCREDIBLE!!!
If you’re looking for an Electric Pressure Cooker I recommend one of these 2 as they both are awesome:
- 8 drumsticks (~3 1/2 pounds)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 Tbl grape jelly
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 3/4 chipotle powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbl brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1 1/2 cups grape jelly
- 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 garlic powder
- 1/2 onion powder
- 1/2 chipotle powder or chili powder
- Add all of the BBQ Jelly sauce ingredients to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk to combine. Bring to a low boil and reduce to a simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes for a thin sauce, 1 hour for a thicker sauce. Set aside.
- In a bowl whisk together the stock, 3 Tbl grape jelly, salt, pepper, chipotle powder, paprika and brown sugar.
- Place the drumsticks in the pressure cooker and pour the mixture over top.
- Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes do a quick release.
- While the drumsticks are cooking, turn on the broiler, rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack in the pan *Note only do the broiler part if you want a crispy skin.
- When the drumsticks are done, remove them from the pressure cooker and place them on the cooling rack lined pan. If you didn't want to broil them you could just baste the chicken in the bbq sauce and eat.
- For a crispy skin, brush one side with bbq sauce and broil for 5-8 minutes or until the bbq sauces starts to caramelize and the skin becomes crisp.
- Remove from the oven and brush the other side with bbq sauce and broil again for 5-8 minutes.
- Once the drumsticks are bbq sauced up and caramelized, remove from the oven.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge.