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There is something about eating a juicy, saucy chicken drumstick that brings me back to my childhood! I usually sous vide them at 148ºF (64.4°C) for 4 to 6 hours and they turn out perfectly. You can also go up to 165ºF (73.9°C) for 8 to 12 hours if you want them shreddable.
As I've grown up I've generally gotten better manners at a lot of things...but eating chicken legs is not one of them! I still get so much joy from grabbing a sticky, sauced drumstick and gnawing on it. Luckily, I usually stick to eating them at home, where my wife is used to it!
Legs aren't too hard to cook traditionally because they are very forgiving, but making sous vide drumsticks allows you to use a lower temperature, resulting in meat that is much more moist. Plus I know it's perfectly cooked and completely safe every single time!
Dark meat is handled very similarly to the white meat except for a slight increase in temperature and cooking time. My recommended sous vide chicken leg temperature is 148ºF (64.4°C) and I cook it for 4 to 6 hours. This turns out moist and tender, but still has a lot of bite to it.
If you want shredded legs then the more tender, but less moist result of 165ºF (73.9°C) for 8 to 12 hours, should work very well.
Due to the moisture present in sous vide cooking any skin that was in the pouch can be difficult to make crispy. If you really want skin that is crunchy, then it's ideal to take it off the leg before cooking the meat sous vide. Then before serving place the skin on a baking pan and place it into a 375ºF oven for a few minutes to crisp it up.
Of course! Just add an extra 30 to 45 minutes and your frozen sous vided chicken legs should turn out great! They may try to float though, so be sure to weight them down.
One of my favorite uses of sous vide chicken legs is to pre-cook them, then chill them and reheat them as needed. They are easy to just sauce and through on the grill or under the broiler, making getting dinner on the a snap.
You can also reheat them in the sous vide machine, it should only take 30 to 60 minutes as long as they are in a single layer.
My favorite way to cook sous vide chicken legs is to finish them with a sweet and sticky sauce. First season the drumksticks with salt and any spice rub you may want. Then place them in the sous vide bag and seal it.
Place the bag in a water bath set to 148°F (64°C) or whichever sous vide chicken leg temperature you decided on. Let them cook for 4 to 6 hours until pasteurized and slightly tenderized.
Remove the cooked drumsticks and dry them off well. Place them on a wire rack and let sit in the refridgerator for several hours, or over night.
Heat a grill to high, or pre-heat your broiler. Place the drumsticks on the grill and cook under the sauce begins to caramelize. You can usually turn the drumsticks and apply another layer of sauce before they will be fully heated back through.
At this point, the drumsticks and done and you can dive in!
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Do you have experience cooking drumstick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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