How to Microwave Chicken Drumsticks

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Chicken parts cook thoroughly and quickly in the microwave, making it an easy way to throw together a quick dinner. Microwave cooking won't produce browned, crispy drumsticks, but you can season your drumsticks prior to cooking to give them a more appetizing appearance.

Prepping the Drumsticks

If you are microwaving skin-on drumsticks, pierce the skin of each drumstick in two or three places. Use a fork or the point of a sharp knife. Piercing the skin prevents it from exploding in the microwave. Marinate, coat in a seasoning rub, or cook the drumsticks in a sauce to give the meat more flavor and a more pleasing appearance.


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Marinade Tips

Marinate the drumsticks for 20 minutes to 24 hours in the fridge to give the meat more flavor. Marinade ideas include:

  • A mix of fresh herbs and spices, such as rosemary and minced garlic;
  • A seasoning blend, such as Montreal Steak Spices;
  • Your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing, such as a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.


Seasoning Rub Tips

Coat drumsticks in a mix of seasoned breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs and herbs and spices to give the chicken a browner appearance. Microwaved chicken can have a grey-white appearance; seasonings add not only flavor but also color.


Mix bread crumbs or panko crumbs with:

  • Dried herbs such as rosemary, basil or oregano;
  • Ground and powdered spices, such as garlic powder, cumin or cayenne powder;
  • Seasoning salts, such as onion salt;
  • Cheese, such as grated Parmesan.


To coat the drumsticks, toss them in a sealed plastic bag with a 2/3 cup of coating mix per drumstick.

Sauce Ideas

Cooking drumsticks in sauce not only adds flavor and color, it keeps the drumsticks moist. This cooking method is especially useful if you are cooking large quantities of drumsticks.


Sauce ideas include using a brown sauce or gravy or canned or leftover soups. For example, cream of mushroom soup, mixed with drumsticks, makes a satisfying and hearty meal.

Microwaving Drumsticks

Things You'll Need

  • Microwave-safe dish

  • Microwave-safe plastic wrap (optional)

  • Microwave-safe plastic drip tray (optional)

Step 1

Place the drumsticks on a microwave safe dish.


Step 2

Cover the dish with microwave-safe plastic wrap if the drumsticks have been marinated or are being cooked in a sauce. Keep one corner of the dish uncovered so steam can escape. Place the drumsticks on a microwave-safe plastic tray over top of the dish if you have coated your drumsticks with a seasoning mix. The elevation helps keep the coating crisp during cooking.


Step 3

Close the microwave door firmly and cook the drumsticks on high for 8 to 9 minutes per pound. If you are cooking more than a 1/2-pound of drumsticks at once, rotate the drumsticks halfway during cooking so they heat evenly.

Step 4

Let the drumsticks rest for 3 to 5 minutes before testing for doneness. When fully cooked, the drumsticks have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit as measured by a quick read thermometer.


Store leftover microwaved chicken in the fridge or freezer. Store in an airtight container for three to four days in the fridge, and upwards of 4 months in an airtight container in the freezer.


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