Fall off the bone spicy barbecue chicken drumsticks that is so tender in under 25 minutes! This instant pot recipe cooks these delicious drumsticks seasoned perfectly with 5 different spices for the best flavor!
This instant pot spicy barbecue chicken recipe is like the ULTIMATE barbecue dish full of sweet and spicy flavor!
For this addicting sauce, you’ll be using 5 different types of seasoning combined with the BEST barbecue sauce mixture to thoroughly glaze each individual drumstick! Can’t you just taste each saucy bite now?
What’s more, this sauce has a MILD spice level perfect to serve at anytime for all guests! Enjoyable and tolerable. Yay!
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this spicy barbecue chicken.
Recipe difficulty: What instant pot recipe is difficult and above beginner level? Not this one!
In under 25 minutes, you’ll have the most flavorful spicy BBQ chicken drumsticks appropriate for all spice levels! Using just 5 seasonings combined with the perfect barbecue sauce mixture (keep reading below for our favorite!), this dish is SO EASY to put together during a busy weeknight or gathering.
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Spicy Barbecue Chicken
Adjust the Seasoning to Preference!
For the ultimate sweet and spicy BBQ chicken, I used 5 different seasonings each at a ½ teaspoon measurement combined!
You have your onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. The result? A MILD kick when combined with the barbecue sauce.
If you would like a STRONGER mix to the seasoning, you can increase the cayenne pepper and paprika to 1 teaspoon each! However, I find that using a ½ teaspoon of each spice gives just the right amount of spice.
Use the Right Type of Barbecue Sauce
For a spicy BBQ sauce combination with the seasoning, we love using the Trader Joe’s Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce. Literally this sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory!
Now you don’t need to stress trying to find this exact flavor, but try to use a barbecue sauce that does have SOME spice to it, such as one that incorporates Sriracha or hot sauce.
For the ultimate Sriracha kick, we love our Party Favorite Sriracha Deviled Eggs with Shredded Parmesan with this recipe!
Broiler Equals Better
Ok, so what do I mean by this?
For a crispy, browned outside that essentially GLAZES the BBQ sauce on the chicken, we stick these tasty drumsticks under the broiler after cooking in the instant pot for 2-3 minutes on each side.
This step is different from our Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo | Fall-off-the-Bone Drumsticks, as the barbecue sauce coats each wing perfectly adding to that crisp texture. The BBQ sauce is combined with honey for a beautiful finish…in case you’re wondering.
Key Ingredients – Spicy Barbecue Chicken
Below are some key ingredients for this recipe:
- Chicken drumsticks: We love using drumsticks for a finger-licking, saucy dish that is super tender in the instant pot. You can make this a spicy barbecue chicken WINGS recipe, however the time in the instant pot may need to be adjusted.
Spicy BBQ Sauce
- Barbecue sauce: We love using the Trader Joe’s Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce to pair with our seasoning. Be generous tossing these chicken drumsticks in the sauce, as our sauce mixture gives plenty.
- Honey: The addition of the honey gives depth to the spicy barbecue chicken as this makes the spice level tolerable for everyone. Plus, it gives a beautiful glaze when broiled similar to our Stovetop Honey Soy Chicken Wings with Ginger!
- Whole grain Dijon mustard: To add a tart texture to the barbecue sauce, a teaspoon of whole grain Dijon mustard gives the right balance. Yellow mustard seeds can also be used instead!
- Worcestershire sauce: 1 teaspoon mixed in with the barbecue sauce is perfect with the hot sauce for a smoky blend.
- Hot sauce: Use your favorite hot sauce here! I typically use Tapatio Hot Sauce in all my sauces as it’s my all-time fave!
Spicy Barbecue Chicken Seasoning
- Onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder: The blend of these spices adds a kick to the chicken and definitely takes this recipe up a notch! As discussed in the Tips section above, we use a ½ teaspoon of each, but this can be adjusted to preference.
More Variations to this Spicy Barbecue Chicken
There are a few ways you can variate this spicy barbecue chicken. Here’s how:
- Change the meat! Try this sauce recipe with wings, thighs, or even a slab or ribs! If you gave this a try, let us know in the comments below!
- Can I use the slow cooker instead? Yes, I have made this recipe in the slow cooker as well! Literally you can toss everything in the slow cooker (except the water, as you don’t need it!) and cook on LOW for 5 hours or until the chicken is cooked. Make sure you don’t skip the broiler step so that the skin can crisp up a bit.
- What can I pair with this dish? These spicy barbecue chicken drumsticks can pair with a lot of great sides for a complete dinner table! Give our 5-Step Easy Garlic Baked French Fries Recipe a try for some comfort food goodness! Or for a healthier alternative, our Spiced Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe with Pecans will pair perfectly due to the common ingredient of honey!
Ready to expand your recipe collection and are interested in Filipino cuisine? Download our Top 5 Crazy-Cheap Ingredients You Need for Filipino Cooking and Where to Find It from my free resource library to get you started!
- Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo | Fall-off-the-Bone Drumsticks
- Filipino Fried Chicken Recipe with Lemon and Fish Sauce
- Party Favorite Sriracha Deviled Eggs with Shredded Parmesan
- 10-Minute Easy Broccoli Stir Fry
Frequently Asked Questions
How to store spicy barbecue chicken?
Store these spicy barbecue chicken drumsticks in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days.
What goes good with BBQ chicken?
BBQ chicken pairs great with deviled eggs, garlic fries, or even sliced vegetables for a healthier option.
Will BBQ sauce burn in Instant Pot?
After cooking the chicken in the instant pot, toss the chicken with the barbecue sauce and then broil in the oven. As barbecue sauce has a high sugar content, it can burn in the instant pot.