Looking for an easy way to make turkey legs? Try these Instant Pot Turkey Legs! Learn how to make tender, juicy turkey legs in your instant pot. This recipe is simple, straightforward, and sure to please your guests this Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday.
Turkey is a poultry dish that is typically served during the holiday season. It is usually roasted in an oven, which can take several hours. This can be difficult for many home cooks, as it is easy to overcook or undercook the turkey. However, cooking a turkey in an instant pot is much easier and yields delicious results!
When cooking a turkey legs in a pressure cooker, there is no need to worry about overcooking or undercooking the meat. The instant pot cooks the turkey evenly and quickly, producing a juicy and tender final product. In addition, the instant pot keeps the turkey moist during cooking, which prevents it from drying out.
🦃Ingredients and Tools
- Pressure Cooker – You’ll need an electric pressure cooker to make this recipe. A popular brand is the Instant Pot, but you can use other brands, including the Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
- Trivet – Adding this cooking tool to the bottom of the instant pot will help to prevent the turkey breast from sticking to the pot and burning.
- Turkey Legs (Drumsticks) – You can find turkey drumsticks in the fresh or frozen section of your grocery store, especially during the holidays!
- Olive Oil – Rub cooking oil on the turkey breast to help ensure even cooking and to help the seasonings stick
- Dried Seasonings – A simple mix of salt, pepper, and garlic powder balance and enhance the natural flavors of turkey breast.
- Water – Added to the bottom of the pressure cooker to ensure the turkey stay moist and steams inside the pot.
🍲How To Cook Turkey Legs In The Instant Pot
1️⃣Prepare the turkey legs: Remove the turkey legs from the package and pat dry with paper towels. Rub them with olive oil on all sides, then sprinkle with dried seasonings. We recommend using a combination of salt, pepper, and garlic powder to start.
2️⃣Add the trivet and water: Place the trivet in the bottom of the instant pot, then add water. We recommend using about ½ cup of water.
3️⃣Place the turkey legs in the Instant Pot: Carefully lower them into the instant pot, ensuring that it is not touching the sides or bottom of the pot.
4️⃣Close and seal the instant pot: Close the instant pot lid and ensure the valve is set to sealing.
5️⃣Cook on high pressure: Set the instant pot to cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
6️⃣Natural release: Once the cook time is up, allow the instant pot to do a natural release for 15 minutes. This means that you will not touch the instant pot for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, release any remaining pressure by opening the valve.
7️⃣Crisp the skin: Carefully transfer the turkey to a baking dish and pat the skin dry. Broil on high for about two minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden brown.
8️⃣Serve: Once the turkey legs have rested, enjoy with your favorite side dishes!
👩🏻🍳Helpful Cooking Tips
- If you are using frozen turkey legs, be sure to thaw them completely before cooking.
- To keep the skin from sticking to the pot, line the instant pot with foil before adding the turkey legs.
- Season the turkey legs generously with your favorite seasonings.
- For crispy skin, broil the turkey breast for a few minutes after cooking.
- Let the turkey legs rest for five minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier final product.
While a simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and garlic powder is all you really need, feel free to get creative with your seasonings. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Herbes de Provence
- Cajun seasoning
- Smoked paprika
- Italian seasoning
- Curry powder
- Lemon Pepper
- Poultry Seasoning
- Liquid Smoke (for smoked turkey legs)
🧊Storage & Freezing
Leftover cooked turkey legs can be stored in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months.
If you want to freeze the cooked turkey legs, allow them to cool completely before transferring them to a freezer-safe container.
When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen turkey breast, thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Can you use frozen turkey legs in the Instant Pot?
This is not recommended as its best to be able to pat the skin dry to season it before cooking so the skin can get crisp afterwards. Let the frozen legs thaw overnight for best results.
Do I need to add water to the Instant Pot when cooking turkey legs?
Yes, you will need to add water (or another liquid) to the Instant Pot when cooking turkey legs. This helps to create steam, which in turn helps to cook the turkey breast evenly.
How long to cook turkey legs in Instant Pot?
Generally, thawed turkey legs will be fully cooked in the Instant Pot in 25 minutes. Use a kitchen thermometer to check that the turkey legs have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.