How To Cook Chicken From Frozen In The Instant Pot
Cooking times are based on 1-2 pounds of frozen medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
We found frozen chicken breasts are at a safe cooking temperature at 15-20 minutes using a quick release method. We always use the manual function . When cooking food from frozen in the Instant Pot, we recommend starting at the shorter end of the time range and then adding more minutes if its not done.
The only variation to this cooking time is when chicken is in a soup. We found that because it takes so much longer for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, the chicken takes LESS time to cook. Likely 5-6 minutes. It feels a bit counter intuitive since there is more in the pot when cooking a soup recipe but we consistently found that chicken was done quicker this way.
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Chicken Thigh Instant Pot Cook Times
BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN THIGHS
Fresh Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 6 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 3-ounce boneless chicken thighs
Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 12 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 3-ounce boneless chicken thighs
BONE-IN CHICKEN THIGHS
Fresh Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- 10 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 6-ounce bone-in chicken thighs
Frozen Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- 15 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 6-ounce bone-in chicken thighs
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How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot
Ever find yourself at 6pm staring into your refrigerator and freezer and wondering: What can I cook for dinner, and quick? Im pretty sure weve all been there, and its no fun. But on those nights, our Instant Pot has become our best friend, for being able to whip up a quick and delicious dinner. And today were talking all about How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot. Made in partnership with my friends at Farmer Focus.
Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Is A Meal Prep Staple
Its versatile recipe that you can enjoy in many different and tasty ways. Salads, soups, stews & more!
Having cooked shredded chicken on hand makes weekday and weeknight cooking a breeze. Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is delicious, quick to make and can easily be added to soups, stews, salads, stir-fries, casseroles and the list goes on. It truly is one of my weekend meal prep staples and a recipe I include with almost every meal prep. In this post I show you exactly how to make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken with an easy to follow, step-by-step photo tutorial. So if youre one of those who are intimidated by your new Instant Pot and its been in the box ever since the day you purchased it , its time to dust it off and give it a try! For those of you thinking about purchasing on Instant, below is the one that I own and its is the perfect size for families up to 4-5 members.
How to Easy Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Full recipe below.
Place chicken breast in the Instant Pot with broth and a generous amount of seasonings of your choice. I like the Primal Palate Spice Blends such as Garlic & Herb or Adobo. For extra juicy shredded chicken, add a mix of boneless breasts and thighs.
Once the time is up, turn the Instant Pot to keep warm/cancel and turn the valve on the lid to venting. After the pressure is released entirely, remove the lid and transfer the chicken from the Instant Pot to a large pan.
Shred the chicken with whatever method you prefer. I use two forks.
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Instant Pot Chicken Is So Easy
Cooking chicken in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot works similarly to poaching. The biggest difference is that you use less liquid and you can press a button and step away while the pot is doing its thing.
The chicken cooks in water, seasoned with salt, bay leaves, and garlic for a little bit of extra flavor. You can add any aromatic spices or vegetables to the water, really, depending on how you want to flavor the meat. Ginger and green onion would be nice if you plan to use the chicken on top of an Asian-style salad, for instance.
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timers Guide.
A Note On Removing Frozen Chicken From Packages
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 Freeze Leftovers From A Cooked Whole Chicken
Got leftover chicken and dont know what to do with it?
This is when its time to break out the freezer bag and some good old-fashioned Tupperware! This is how you can freeze cooked chicken from chicken thighs to breasts, chicken quarters, chicken drumsticks, or legs.
- Place a couple pieces of paper towel in a freezer bag or airtight container. If youre freezing more than one piece of chicken, place them all close together on the paper towels for easier thawing.
- Cover the top of each breast with another piece of paper towel or plastic wrap, followed by foil.
Does Cook Time Change If I Have A Smaller Or Larger Instant Pot
- No matter which size model Instant Pot you have, the number of minutes you select on the Instant Pot remains the same.
The capacity of each Instant Pot and the amount of time the differently sized pots take to come to pressure will vary, but youll always set it for the same number of minutes, regardless of its size.
If you have a different brand other than Instant Pot and are wondering how long to cook chicken in a pressure cooker, the times listed above should still be accurate for other electric pressure cooker models.
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Chicken Thighs Are Much More Forgiving Than Breasts
While all cuts of chicken are fair game for the Instant Pot, thighs are the most forgiving. Because chicken breast is so lean, just a couple of extra minutes of cook time turns them from juicy to overcooked and dry. Thighs, on the other hand, are a fattier cut, and not prone to dry out as quickly even after an extra minute or two of cooking.
What To Do If The Chicken Isnt Done
- If your chicken doesnt read 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer when you open up the Instant Pot but is pretty close , close the lid and let it rest for another 5 minutes before checking the temperature again. Often this rest is enough to get the chicken up to a safe temperature.
- If its still not done, you can recover the Instant Pot and set for an additional 2 minutes of pressure cook time.
- Last, if you prefer, you can finish cooking the chicken in a 350 degree F oven.
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Instant Pot Chicken Breast Cook Time
Chicken breasts come in a variety of sizes, here is a helpful guide to follow based on the size you are using :-10 minutes at high pressure / manual for chicken breasts that are 4 to 7 ounces in size.-12 minutes at high pressure/ manual for chicken breasts that are 8 to 12 ounces in size.-15 minutes at high pressure / manual for chicken breasts that are 13 to 16 ounces in size.
How Long To Cook Instant Pot Chicken Breast:
- Dont overcook overcooked chicken breast is not anyones favorite thing, but is somewhat difficult to do in the Instant Pot because the steam provides such a moist environment for the chicken to cook in.
- Dont undercook undercooked chicken breast is just plain dangerous! Be sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure its at least 165 degrees F.
- The exact cook time is going to depend on a variety of things, including the size and shape , and also the model of Instant Pot you have, as some run hotter or cooler. My recipes are tested in the 6 quart model with Bluetooth. Its important to take these these factors into consideration but I find a cook time of 8-10 minutes is always perfect and juicy for the chicken
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Instant Pot Chicken Breast Variations:
- Chicken is one of my favorite proteins because it can take on a wide variety of spices, seasonings and sauces! Mix things up with your seasoning blend or use a bottled blend that you love for a new flair.
- Slice and toss in barbecue sauce for easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken.
- This seasoning blend and cooking method works just as well for a combination or breasts and thighs if you have a chicken thigh lover, toss in some boneless, skinless chicken thighs with your breasts and everyone is happy!
Can You Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot
Its possible to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot, you just need to have the right instructions. When it comes to frozen chicken, the IP is a great tool. It takes a little longer for frozen meat to come to pressure in the Instant Pot though. Because it takes longer for the chicken to come to pressure in the IP, it does cook faster.
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How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
We place the raw chicken right in the Instant Pot pressure cooker before seasoning with salt and pepper, and then shred the cooked chicken in the Instant Pot before serving any way you like.
Instant Pot shredded chicken couldnt be easier and more convenient and its super tender. The trick was figuring out a perfect cook time to pressure cook and weve done it. Check out all of our tips for shredded chicken breast recipes in the Instant Pot below!
Well also walk you through how to make Instant Pot shredded chicken with both fresh and frozen chicken breasts.
Aways Pair Like Cuts Together
My motto for cooking chicken in the Instant Pot is to pair like things together. For the best results and evenly cooked chicken, avoid mixing white and dark meat, or bone-in and boneless cuts. Meaty thighs and drumsticks, as well as bone-in cuts, require a little more cook time than their lean and boneless counterparts.
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How Long Does It Take To Cook 2 Chicken Breasts In An Instant Pot
For perfectly juicy chicken breast: Cook the chicken on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes and quick release the pressure. Seal the cooker and make sure the pressure valve is closed. Set to HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. For fresh chicken, it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
Seasoning The Chicken Breasts
We have seasoned the chicken breasts with our all-purpose spice mix that is a bit reminiscent of rotisserie chicken. Its the same one that we use in our Instant Pot Whole Chicken. It calls for salt, pepper, dried thyme, and paprika. Its a classic taste, but there is a ton of room to get creative and switch that up if you want! Stick with the recommended amount of salt and pepper, and then change up to any seasoning you want, or even cook the chicken plain.
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Best Way To Shred Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Shredded Chicken With Stand Mixer: Use my favorite method in your stand mixer! Place fully cooked chicken breasts into the KitchenAid Stand Mixer . With your paddle attachment connected and chicken inside the mixer, turn it on low/medium until shredded! I promise its worth the extra bowl to clean! It makes shredding chicken so easy, especially if youre making a big batch!
No stand mixer? No problem
Shredded Chicken Using the Fork Method: You can shred the chicken by hand with two forks!
Serving Recommendations For Cooked Chicken Breast
There are so many ways to answer the question on what to do with cooked chicken breast! Here are a few ways to turn your Instant Pot chicken breast recipe into a meal:
- Shredded: Shred meat with 2 forks, refrigerate and use to make chicken salad or white chicken chili. Or skip sauteing and use instead of ground turkey to make pasta bake.
- Diced: Cube to add protein to vegetarian pasta dish, easy spaghetti recipe or even vegetable soup or borscht. Why not?!
- Low carb meal: Make one of healthy zucchini recipes and enjoy quick dinner entire family will love.
- Meal prep: Refrigerate whole or cubed and use throughout the week for lunches sub out your sandwich deli meat for chicken or use in Cobb salad.
- Freeze for later. When ready to eat, thaw on the counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
Should You Salt Chicken Before Cooking
Should you brine the chicken?
Brining is a cooking process that involves submerging meat in a salt and water solution. Brining is often used as a way to infuse flavor into the chicken.
So many cookbooks rightfully warn you never to salt poultry right before you put it in the oven.
In most cases, salt will draw out the juices and make the uncooked chicken dry and tough.
But, the opposite occurs when you add salt to poultry in boiling water for a brine or when you use a pressure cooker.
So this Southern-style chicken recipe includes a first step of boiling the chicken in salt for more soulful flavoring of the chicken meat to compliment the delicious spices added to the outer skin.
You Can Place Meat In Frozen*
The USDA doesnt like the idea of placing frozen meat in the slow cooker . It can result in the meat sitting at an unsafe temperature for too long, particularly if its a thick roast.
But with the Instant Pot, you have much more freedom with frozen meat. Hamburger, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, steak, you can put it all in completely frozen. You will want to increase your cook time by about 50%, and it will also take longer to attain the proper pressure, but Ive done it a few times and there was no noticeable effect on the end product.
For example, I made the Spinach Artichoke Chicken mentioned above using completely frozen chicken breasts. It took about 45 minutes of cook time. The longer time is what might have caused the slight scorching to the bottom of the pan but it was still yummy!
However, with large roasts, I would still recommend thawing them first. Its not exactly a matter of safely, but flavor and texture. You dont want your roast to be overcooked on the outside and falling apart, while the inside is still tough and chewy.
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Can I Stack Chicken Breasts In Instant Pot
I tend to cook skinless boneless breasts most often, simply for the ease of it. And my method is so simple its scary: Remove the chicken breast from the fridge or freezer and add to the Instant Pot insert. To cook more chicken breasts at once, layer the chicken side by side if frozen or stacked if fresh.
How To Cook Chicken In An Instant Pot
Once you make shredded chicken in your instant pot once, youll get hooked! I always rely on it now. Its become a default for me to keep a container in the freezer, and when its time to cook, I use frozen chicken. Recipes that can be done with it are endless from soups to enchiladas, you name it! Lets get into the easy instant pot recipe.
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Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts
For a few years, you all have been asking us for a recipe on how to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, and we resisted it. Generally speaking, its never a good idea to cook meat from frozen. A rapid change in temperature can make the meat tough, and nobody wants to eat a tough chicken breast, right? However, after so many requests came in, we caved and started working on the recipe. To say WE LOVED this method of cooking frozen chicken is an understatement.
Something magical happens when the frozen chicken breast is cooked in the Instant Pot because it comes out as the most tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken weve ever had. And now that we know that, there is no going back. Were walking you through all you need to know about cooking frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, as well as our not-so-secret sauce to serve with it.