Can I Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot

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What Kind Of Chicken To Use

Whole Frozen Chicken (Instant Pot)

The most common options for frozen chicken are:

  • Chicken Tenderloin
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Chicken Thighs

These are the three types of chicken I will cover in this post. No matter which type of chicken you want to use, make sure they are individually frozen .

Chicken tenders, breasts, or thighs are all sold pre-frozen in bags in the freezer section of your grocery store. The label should say “individually frozen” or “ice glazed.” You can typically find them in 3 pound or 5 pound bags.

If you want to freeze your own chicken, you can wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and then place wrapped pieces in a zip-top bag and freeze.

For the best results, I recommend using individually frozen chicken tenders. Frozen chicken tenders are my favorite cut of chicken to use because they are evenly sized. While chicken breast sizes can vary from 6 ounces to 12+ ounces, tenders are much more consistently sized. With large breasts, it can be difficult to get them fully cooked in the thick parts without overcooking smaller pieces.

While you can get good results with any kind of frozen chicken in the Instant Pot, I have consistently had the best luck with tenders! They are pretty much no-fail, and you don’t have to worry about inconsistent sizing.

Cooking Tips For Instant Pot Frozen Chicken

  • Be sure to add the 1 cup of liquid to the Instant Pot. Pressure cooking requires liquid to create steam and pressure in the pot, which cooks your food.
  • If you plan to shred your cooked chicken, add some of the cooking liquid and follow my tips for how to shred chicken.
  • It is not recommended that you freeze food more than once, so if you cook chicken breasts from frozen you should not re-freeze the cooked chicken.
  • Cooked chicken will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Always be sure to turn the steam release valve to the sealing position when pressure cooking in your Instant Pot. Forgetting to do this is a common mistake.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

How To Do An Instant Pot Water Test

  • Make sure that the power cord is firmly connected to your Instant Pot. Plug it into a power outlet in your wall.
  • Place the stainless steel inner pot in the base unit. Add 3 cups of cool water to the inner pot.
  • Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly into the Instant Pot lid. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it clockwise until it is in the closed position. Your Instant Pot will chime each time you close and open the lid .
  • Turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button.
  • Use the +/- buttons to set the time to 5 minutes. Wait for 10 seconds and the Instant Pot display will say On and the cycle will begin.
  • The Instant Pot will take anywhere from 5-15 minutes to reach pressure. Once it reaches pressure the float valve will pop up, the Instant Pot will beep once, and the cook time will begin to count down from 5 minutes. You might notice hissing sounds and some steam escaping from the steam release valve or float valve hole while the pressure builds this is normal. You may also notice a plastic smell the first time you use your Instant Pot. This is also normal and shouldnt happen again.
  • When the float valve drops down remove the Instant Pot lid.
  • Now that you have completed the water test, you are ready to cook in your Instant Pot!

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    Why Cook Chicken In An Instant Pot

    • Its fast and easy!
    • It keeps chicken moist instead of drying it out because its cooked with liquid .
    • Makes meal prep super easy so you can prepare lots of chicken for a week of meals.
    • Its a hand-off cooking method, so you dont have to constantly check if its done.
    • You can cook frozen chicken fast, no thawing required.
    • An easy way to cook chicken to prep for shredding or dicing.

    A Note On Removing Frozen Chicken From Packages

    Easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken (GF, LC, Paleo, Keto,Whole ...

    It must be said that actually removing the frozen chicken from packaging can be tricky for this recipe. You want to avoid adding pieces of chicken that have been frozen solid together directly inside of the Instant Pot, as the chicken wont cook evenly. The chicken needs to be in individual pieces. We have found that gently submerging chicken packaging in water allows the chicken to slightly defrost just enough around the edges to remove the chicken.

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    How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Breast

    • Place chicken breasts in the inner pot of the instant pot and season with salt and pepper.
    • Add in 1 cup pineapple juice or chicken stock and season with minced garlic or garlic powder.
    • Place lid on instant pot and be sure vent knob is pointed towards sealed.
    • Set pressure cooker to the cooking time based on the size of chicken breasts. NOT how many chicken breasts you are cooking.
    • Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before doing a quick release of pressure. This is key to keeping your chicken breasts tender–don’t be tempted to do a quick release of pressure.
    • Remove the chicken breasts from the liquid and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving or shredding.

    Can You Stack Chicken In The Instant Pot

    Yes, you can definitely stack chicken in the Instant Pot. The only thing youll need to be wary of is to make sure each piece is seasoned well before you stack them on top of one another. Otherwise, you may have unevenly seasoned chicken. If youre planning to just shred the meat anyway, you often cant tell, but something to keep in mind when cooking frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

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    Make Sure Breasts Are Separated

    I cant stress enough how important it is to make sure your frozen chicken breasts are separated. Just like pictured below.

    If you add a blob of frozen breasts stuck together, they will not cook inside and overcook outside.

  • Tray with fresh breasts: Do not stick entire tray with fresh chicken breasts from the store in the freezer. Take a few minutes and line each breast with parchment paper and then freeze in a bag. To quickly remove paper, run under hot water before cooking.
  • Freeze on a baking sheet: If you have room in the freezer, lay chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Once frozen, add to a Ziploc bag.
  • Buy frozen: Frozen chicken breasts are already separated and are cheaper than fresh.
  • How To Use An Instant Pot: What You Need To Know To Get Started With Instant Pot Cooking

    Cook a WHOLE Frozen Chicken to Perfection in the Instant Pot

    There are a few basic things that you need to know when using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Once you use yours a few times, these will be like second nature. Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the buttons may be labeled slightly differently. Consult the manual that came with your Instant Pot.

    Minimum Liquid Required: As a general rule, you want to use at least 1 cup of liquid in your Instant Pot every time you cook with it. The Instant Pot uses steam and pressure to cook food, and you need liquid to create the steam and pressure. Some recipes may call for more or less liquid. I recommend following recipes from a trusted source while you are learning to use your Instant Pot.

    Fill Level: Inside the Instant Pot inner pot, you will see a 1/2 and a 2/3 line marked. Never fill the Instant Pot higher than the 2/3 line with food or liquid . If you are cooking food that will expand during the cook time such as rice, quinoa or beans, do not fill the Instant Pot higher than the 1/2 line.

    Pressure Cook or Manual Button: Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the Pressure Cook button is sometimes labeled Manual and sometimes Pressure Cook. This is the button that you will press to start a pressure cooking cycle. Its your basic pressure cooking button.

    +/- Buttons: Use these buttons to adjust the cook time.

    Keep Warm/Cancel Button: Use this button to end a cooking program or turn on/off the keep warm function.

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    Seasoning For Instant Pot Frozen Chicken

    For my standard frozen chicken breast Instant Pot recipe, I use this seasoning:

    • Paprika
    • Salt
    • Pepper

    This recipe will give you chicken that has flavor, but is not overpowering. If you know you are using the chicken in a specific dish, you can season the chicken to match that particular diash instead of using my suggestions.

    If your goal is to have prepared chicken ready at all times to add protein to a meal, use this basic seasoning recipe and your chicken will go with anything.

    How Many Different Ways Can I Cook My Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot

    I typically do my chicken breasts in one of many different ways.

  • Make it with a marginal amount of seasoning, so I can easily add it to soups and casseroles.
  • Make it for any and all Mexican food by adding a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies and a packet of taco seasoning to it. I usually shred this up and use it in tacos or taco salad.
  • Make it Italian by adding a bottle of Italian dressing to it. You can even make that a whole meal by adding some potatoes and carrots with it.
  • Make BBQ Chicken by adding a bottle of BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken. Usually theres enough liquid that comes out of chicken to not add any more to come to pressure, but if it makes you feel better, add a half cup of water, strain liquid when done, shred chicken and add more BBQ sauce to it.
  • Cook it in soups, and then once its done, remove the chicken and shred. Add back in.
  • Use any spice mixture you like on your chicken, just make sure theres enough liquid to come to pressure. Youll need at least a half cup of some kind of liquid with frozen chicken breasts. It will create a lot of its own liquid as its cooking.
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    Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

    See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

    The best Instant Pot chicken recipes to make dinner quick, easy and delicious! From healthy Instant Pot chicken breast recipes and Instant Pot chicken thigh recipes, to how to cook frozen chicken in your Instant Pot, this list of Instant Pot chicken recipes has it all!

    Your Instant Pot can cook the best moist, tender and juicy chicken breasts and chicken thighs.

    You know how when you cook chicken breasts in your slow cooker they tend to fall apart and often have that slow cooker taste? That is not the case at all with Instant Pot chicken!

    Chicken breasts cooked in an Instant Pot will hold their shape and are perfect for slicing. Unless you cook them for a really long time, of course. In that case you are making shredded chicken.

    If you are looking for new ways to cook chicken in your Instant Pot, youre going to love the Instant Pot chicken recipes in this roundup! Ive included my favorite simple Instant Pot chicken thighs recipe and my most popular Instant Pot chicken breasts recipe. There are one pot casseroles and soups, plus recipes for the basics like shredded chicken for meal prep.

    You are going to want to add so many of these delectable Instant Pot chicken recipes to your collection. Theyre simple, easy, and many of them are healthy.

    What Cooking Liquid To Use

    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs With Lemon And Garlic ...

    To pressure cook in the Instant Pot, you will need one cup of liquid. You can use:

    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup broth
    • 1 cup pineapple juice or apple juice

    Which cooking liquid you want to use really depends on what you plan to do with the chicken and what kind of flavor profile you want. I typically use 1 cup chicken broth because that gives it a little bit of extra flavor.

    Pineapple juice also is quite good if you like a slightly sweet taste.

    In general, chicken broth goes well with almost anything. If you want your chicken to be completely plain, use 1 cup water.

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    How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot If Its Pieces Instead Of Whole

    If you dont have a full chicken, but you have other cuts of meat, heres how to cook frozen chicken cuts. Keep in mind this is only the actual countdown timer, and not the coming up and release of the total time.

    • Frozen whole chicken 10 minutes per pound, 15 minutes natural pressure release.
    • Frozen chicken breasts 15-20 minutes for 1-2 pounds, quick release.
    • Frozen chicken cuts bone in 15-20 minutes for 1-2 pounds, quick release.
    • Frozen chicken cuts bone in 17-22 minutes for 2.5-3 pounds, quick release.

    Make These Creamy Italian Chicken Breasts On The Stove Top:

    To make this chicken breast recipe on the stove top, add the chicken breasts, broth, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to a large, deep pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat until chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

    Whisk together the cream, red peppers, corn starch and pesto and gradually stir into the broth in the pan. Stir continuously until thickened.

    Pin this recipe to save for later

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    How To Make Fresh Chicken Thighs In An Instant Pot

    Cooking perfect Instant Pot chicken thighs is a no-brainer. Check out the recipe overview below:

    • Trim and Season Chicken: Trim any excess fat and skin from your chicken thighs. Massage the seasoning all over the thighs until they are completely coated.
    • Brown the Chicken and Onions: On the sauté setting, brown the outside of the chicken thighs. Remove the chicken. Cut onion into half rings and sauté in the brown bits leftover from browning the chicken.
    • Pressure Cook Chicken: Return the chicken to the Instant Pot, nestling the thighs on top of the onions. Seal and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. Allow the chamber to have a natural release for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

    Frozen Chicken In Instant Pot

    How to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot–Instant Pot Tips

    Instant Pot frozen chicken is juicy and flavorful rotisserie style whole chicken you can make at home with 5 mins prep time. Imagine putting whole frozen chicken in Instant Pot and having tasty chicken in an hour-ish. Even chicken breast comes out juicy. Same goes for Instant Pot turkey breast. Not to mention it is easy to make organic and healthy. I just love my Instant Pot!

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    How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:

    I know that this is such an easy recipe that most of you probably dont need tips on how to make shredded chicken, but there are a few things that I think are key so Im going to drop some hints anyway!

    Do with them what you will

    • Make sure you add enough liquid. The liquid is what makes for a tender, flavorful shredded or pulled chicken. Broth adds so much more flavor than water, and more liquid = more moisture in your chicken!
    • Season well. You dont want to go overboard, but keep in mind that meat is best seasoned during the cooking process and not after . You will drain most of the liquid afterward, so you will not be consuming the full amount of salt, etc. as is listed in the recipe.
    • Breasts or thighs? You can use either boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or throw some of each in all together! Thighs have a richer flavor, and breasts are leaner. You choose.

    For Sliceable Chicken Breast

    We don’t recommend making more than 2 pounds of frozen chicken breast if you’d like your chicken breast to be sliceable. We found that over 2 pounds, the chicken cooks unevenly. You’ll wind up with raw chicken breast in the center and sliceable breast on the outside, and if you continue cooking the outside will shred while the inside is more of a sliceable consistency. So, if you have over 2 pounds of chicken, just cook it to a shreddable consistency, or defrost and bake it!

    As with shreddable chicken, youll simply place the frozen chicken in the Instant Pot along with a cup of water, and set it to cook for a set amount of time. Easy peasy!

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    What Is An Instant Pot

    An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. It is a multi-use appliance that can cook foods quickly at high pressure. Steam pressure builds up inside the pot, which creates a higher temperature environment that cooks foods faster. Unlike old fashioned pressure cookers, the Instant Pot has many safety features that make it safe and easy to use.

    An Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, sauté pot, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker and warmer all in one. Ive been amazed at the versatility of my Instant Pot and the flavor and texture of the foods that I am able to cook in it. The high pressure inside the Instant Pot can tenderize even tough cuts of meat. It creates rich, complex flavors seriously, Ive never had better chili than Instant Pot chili!

    If you are not sure which Instant Pot to buy, check out my guide to the Best Instant Pots. Ive also tested out many Instant Pot accessories so that I can share my favorites with you.

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