Chicken Adobo Drumsticks in the Pressure Cooker

When I first asked my mom for her adobo recipe, she would say things like, “add a little bit of,” “you could add,”, “maybe this”, “cook until…” Being new to cooking then, it was daunting! I had no idea if a “little bit” was a teaspoon or a cup.

She doesn’t have a recipe for these types of meals, not one that’s written down. Like most good home cooks, her meals are almost purely made on instinct rather than measurements.

This is what I’ve gotten out of her attempts of giving me a recipe. I think it tastes delicious and similar, but there will always be something slightly different about the recipes I’ve copied from her than when she makes them herself. I haven’t figured out why that is quite yet. Maybe I never will.

Nonetheless, this comes very close to the recipe I grew up with. Adobo is a Filipino style of cooking that generally involves vinegar, soy sauce and peppercorns. It’s best made with bone-in meats, in this case bone in chicken drumsticks, though you can also make it with chicken breast. Here’s a recipe on that over here.

You’ll want to remove most of the skin off the chicken. It allows the sauce to really meld into the meat but also soggy chicken skin is gross. You could also fry the chicken skin in some oil or an air fryer which I definitely did– served with a little vinegar for dipping, yum.

This is a true dump and go recipe. Add everything to the pressure cooker and let it cook for 20 minutes. After naturally releasing, add a tbsp of butter to the pot, mix it around a bit and serve. 

Add all ingredients except butter to the Instant Pot. I used 2 lbs of chicken drumsticks, 1/3 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 5 cloves of minced or sliced garlic, 1 chopped onion, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 3 bay leaves, 1 tsp peppercorns and 1 tbsp brown sugar.

Set to manual / high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow to naturally release. Add 1 tbsp butter and stir.

Serve over rice or eat by itself. The meat should be incredibly tender and almost falling off the bone.

Chicken Adobo Drumsticks in the Pressure Cooker

Tender, juicy chicken drumsticks cooked Filipino adobo style with vinegar, soy sauce and peppercorns.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword adobo, chicken, filipino
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Natural Release 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion onion chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Prepare your ingredients. Remove most of the skin off the chicken, mince or slice the garlic, chop the onion. 

  2. This is a true dump and go recipe.

    Add everything to the Instant Pot except the butter. 

  3. Set to manual / high pressure for 20 minutes.

  4. Allow to natural release. Once you can open the lid, add 1 tbsp butter and mix a bit to melt.

  5. Serve with rice.

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