How to boil chicken legs on the stove (+5 simple steps)

In this brief guide we will address the question, “How to boil chicken legs on the stove” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like the tips for boiling.

How to boil chicken legs on the stove

The standard time required to completely boil chicken legs on the stove is around 30-40 minutes. Anything less than this will inevitably leave your chicken legs undercooked. There are some tips to speed up your boiling process, but be sure to use them wisely and according to the situation. These tips will be discussed in the later part of this blog. Here are the simple steps that you need to follow when boiling chicken legs

  1. Clean your chicken legs properly and thoroughly. You can also rinse them under running tap water before you put them in the container. 
  2. Add the chicken legs and water in a large pot. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pot and leave some space for the chicken legs. The level of water should be such that the chicken legs are completely submerged in water.
  3. Start boiling the water. Once it has reached a boil, lower the heat and let the chicken legs simmer for a good 30-40 minutes. 
  4. You can also add onions, carrots, black pepper, and bay leaves for seasoning. I would recommend that you should avoid artificial chicken cubes or anything like that for flavouring. 
  5. Keep checking the broth for the taste you would want your chicken legs to have. You can also add salt to add more taste to your dish. Once the internal temperature of the thickest part is 165F or above, your chicken legs are boiled.

Boiling Hacks (Tips for boiling)

If you cook regularly, knowing when and how to boil is an essential part of your cooking regime. Boiling is a quick way to clean and disinfect food items. Not to mention that it retains original flavour while also eliminating the harmful microorganisms that may be inhabiting your food product. 

Boiling is a moist-heat cooking method when the temperature of the liquid reaches 212F. The food product is completely submerged in water for even heat distribution. It is an explosive phase change between liquid state and a gas state.

It is one of the safest and most reliable methods for cooking till date, and a lot of health professionals recommend boiling water before using it. Here are some tips that will facilitate you in boiling any food product. 

Use a food thermometer. 

Well, this is the oldest trick in the book. When boiling any particular food product, you need to make sure that the temperature is neither too low nor too high. A quick and effective way to solve this problem is by using a food thermometer. A temperature of 212F is just right for you to boil any food product. But wait! Shouldn’t the temperature be different for different food products? Well, not really.

Since the technique in itself revolves around the use of water, and you are using that heat to boil your food product, it remains pretty much the same for all food items. Of course, there can be minor changes in the temperature range, but 212F is a benchmark. 

Use salt for quick boiling

The reason you should use salt is because salt actually lowers the boiling point of water, which in turns speeds up your boiling process. It does add some salty taste to your dish, and most of the dishes use salt inevitably. So it is not really a problem unless you don’t like salt or have hypertension

It is important to note that you should not unnecessarily add salt to shorten your boiling time when it comes to chicken, because adding extra salt will harden the surface of the chicken and it will not be as tender as it can be without the addition of salt.

Use pots reasonably

Boiling involves cooking in water, therefore you need to know when to use which pot. This actually saves you a lot of time because if you are just boiling an egg in 1 litre of water, you are just using more water than needed. Moreover, it will require more time to reach the boil. 

When boiling, make sure that your pots can be covered – avoid using pans. Using deeper pots actually help to keep the food submerged properly and evenly distribute the heat. Afterall, it is the water that is cooking! 

Other facts about boiling

On top of it being the best way to cook food, boiling actually concentrates the flavour of your food. It also allows you to cook a large amount of food with ease. Although some nutrients leach out in the water that is used in boiling, boiling does not affect the nutritional status of the food product. Just use the water that you boiled in along with the dish and you will not lose any nutrients while cooking! 

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

How long to cook chicken breast in the toaster oven?

How to cook chicken leg quarters on the stovetop?

Can you fry cooked chicken?


In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “How to boil chicken legs on the stove?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like the tips for boiling.


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