Lazy Stove Top Chicken Drumsticks (4-Ingredient Recipe)

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This easy stove top chicken drumsticks recipe will make your taste buds go wild!

It’s made with a few simple ingredients that blend into a symphony of flavors in less than 30 minutes.

Once you try it out, you’ll say goodbye to fast food and late night takeaways. And your waistline will be grateful for it.

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a stack of five pan fried chicken drumsticks on a baking parchment

What makes this stove top chicken drumsticks recipe so easy?

I simply love making this stove top chicken drumsticks recipe because I can prepare it when I feel lazy and still end up with a great dinner.

It’s also a healthier alternative to deep fried chicken and I can combine it with my homemade mild Buffalo wing sauce.

At this point, it has become a staple meal in our household since my husband can’t get enough of it.

And I can’t deny that I also share his adoration for this pan fried chicken recipe.

Anyways, you don’t need any extraordinary tricks or fancy spices to pull this recipe off.

The spices I typically use when making it are paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.

The secret ingredient that makes these seemingly boring spices click together is beer.

Unlike water, beer has the ability to penetrate fats and mix with them.

This makes it quite useful at infusing the entire chicken with the aroma of the spices.


  • Chicken drumsticks are the main ingredient in this dish. It’s best to choose evenly-sized chicken legs so they can finish cooking at the same time. This recipe is made with bone-in, skin-on drumsticks, but you can also use skinless drumsticks as a healthier alternative. With skinless drumsticks you won’t get the crispy effect.
  • Paprika gives the drumsticks a delicate smoky flavor.
  • Beer will penetrate deep into the meat and carry the aroma of the spices. You can also use stock or water, but the chicken will lose some of its flavor.
  • Garlic powder is used to heighten the taste of the other ingredients and add a touch of umami.
  • Onion powder will further enhance the flavor profile of this dish by blending with the garlic powder.

all the ingredients for chicken drumsticks made on a stove top

How to Prepare It

Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for detailed, step-by-step instructions.

  1. Mix all of the spices in a small bowl until they’re well combined.

    a bowl of dry ingredients mix needed for the stove top chicken drumsticks

  2. Remove the excess moisture from the raw drumsticks with a paper towel. This will help the skin become crispy and reduce cooking time.

    a hand removing excessive moisture from the raw chicken drumsticks by using kitchen paper

  3. Place the chicken in a large bowl and coat it with the spice mix. Use your hands to gently rub in the spices.

    a bowl with raw chicken drumsticks evenly covered in the dry mix of ingredient

  4. Heat the oil in a skillet or a frying pan over medium heat.

    six seasoned raw chicken drumsticks in a non-stick frying pan beginning to cook

  5. Pan fry the drumsticks for 4 minutes then flip them over to cook the other side.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and add the beer to the pan.
  7. Simmer the drumsticks on both sides until they’re ready.

six chicken drumsticks with crispy skin in a frying pan being done and ready to take off the stove top

How long to fry chicken drumsticks on the stove?

The time it takes to fry chicken drumsticks on the stove, generally depends on their size.

Medium sized drumsticks take roughly 30 minutes to cook on both sides, but larger pieces require a few more minutes.

The best way to check if chicken legs are done is to measure their temperature with a food thermometer.

If your drumsticks are ready, they should have an internal temperature of 165°F which equals 74°C. These internal temperatures are also valid when you’re cooking other cuts of dark chicken meat such as the thighs, even when you’re just boiling them.

In case you don’t have a food thermometer at hand, you can pierce them with a fork to check if their juices run clear.

close up of pan fried chicken drumstick showing the nice golden coloration and crispy skin they should have when ready


  • Spicy – Bring up the heat by adding some cayenne pepper and chili powder to the spice mix.
  • Honey Lemon – You can substitute the beer with a honey lemon sauce for a lighter taste. To prepare the sauce, simply mix three crushed garlic cloves with 1/4 cup lemon juice and four tablespoons of honey. Alternatively you can prepare my super simple honey hot chicken wing sauce and let everyon add according to their taste.
  • Buttery – If you want to make these drumsticks taste even richer, you can add some unsalted butter and replace the beer with chicken stock. Just remember to melt the butter before adding the stock.
  • Serve with a garlic parmesan Buffalo Wing sauce or other chicken wing sauces – Since chicken drumsticks are essential the same type of muscle meat as chicken wings, they go very well with most of the popular wing sauces. I already linked to my mild wing sauce earlier in this article but if you want another variation for a great homemade sauce – try my garlic parmesan Buffalo Wild Wing sauce!

Alternatively, if you’re a fan of easy chicken dinner recipes that are easy to follow you can try my convection oven roasted whole chicken recipe and my Crockpot garlic parmesan chicken pasta next time. Both recipes are tasty and are simple to prepare even if you’re completely new to cooking.


In case you have any leftovers (which I highly doubt), you can store these pan-fried chicken drumsticks in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.

And since I’m obligated to mention it – for longer storage, you can place the chicken in a ziploc bag and keep it in the freezer for up to 6 months. But who would wait for so long to finish this deliciousness?

a fork with a pan fried chicken drumstick cut showing the meat being juicy on the inside while having a crispy outside

Anyway, if you’ve stored your drumsticks in the fridge, you can reheat them on the stove with a cup of water over medium heat.

5 from 1 vote

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Lazy Stove Top Chicken Drumsticks (4-Ingredient Recipe)

This simple recipe proves that cooking chicken drumsticks on the stove top doesn't require much effort. It's made with a few ingredients and doesn't take more than 30 minutes to cook. That's why it's one of my favorite lazy meals for busy weekdays.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
by: Aya
Servings: 3
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, British


  • 6 medium chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lager beer


  • Mix all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl until they're well combined.
  • Remove the excess moisture from the chicken drumsticks with a paper towel.
  • Place the drumsticks in a bowl and coat them with the spice mixture.
  • Use a skillet or a frying pan and heat the oil over medium heat. Carefully place all of the drumsticks, without overcrowding the pan.
  • Pan fry each drumstick for 4 minutes on each side.
  • Turn the heat down to low and pour the beer into the pan. Simmer the drumsticks for 13 minutes under a lid, then flip them over to cook the other side. The cooking time may vary depending on the size of the drumsticks.
  • The drumsticks will be ready when their meat is entirely white without any pink discoloration. You can also use an internal thermometer to check their temperature. Cooked drumsticks should have an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • Repeat the process if you have a smaller pan or more drumsticks.


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Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 1149IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide you with the nutritional information for recipes but I'm not a certified nutritionist. The nutritional information provided should only be treated as an estimate since it will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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