How To Shred Chicken:
There are a couple ways to shred the chicken once it is cooked. Chicken breasts coming out of your pressure cooker are pretty much falling apart without you having to do anything, so you dont need to get fancy.
I prefer to use two forks, because Im lazy and Im not into extra dishes. They do a fine job!
A lot of people will use a hand mixer or stand mixer to shred chicken, but I think its overkill. Who wants a huge stand mixer bowl to wash just for a few chicken breasts? Maybe if youre doing a few pounds at once, it would be worth it.
Be sure to shred the chicken breast in the liquid as it the chicken will reabsorb some of the broth and seasoning as you are pulling it, and it will give you the best results by far!
How Long To Cook Chicken In The Instant Pot
Boneless chicken breasts and thighs cook in the same amount of timejust 10 minutes at high pressure will do it! Just be sure to arrange the meat in a single, even layer in the pot, as it cooks more evenly that way. It should reach about halfway up the chicken.
This timing works for a 1 1/2 to 2 pound batch of boneless chicken. If youre cooking more meat , increase the cooking time to 15 minutes to ensure that it is cooked through. For a smaller amount of meat , decrease the cooking time to 8 minutes.
How To Make Shredded Chicken In The Instant Pot:
To make this Instant Pot chicken recipe, simply
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Lessons Learnt From Our Instant Pot Chicken Experiment
There were a few things that we noticed when cooking whole chicken in the instant pot.
The first was how silly it looked. We cooked it breast side down and the trivet left a big mark on it where it had rested.
Next was not tying up the legs of the whole chicken. If you dont not only will the chicken not be compact during the cooking process, but the meat is likely to fall off the chicken more.
The most tender whole chicken is achieved with a 15 minute natural pressure release. I cant believe the difference with or without it.
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Juicy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast
There are so many reasons why we believe you would love this recipe. Here are some of them:
- the shredded chicken breast meat is juicy, melt in your mouth delicious, and perfectly cooked
- cooking the meat will only take about 30 minutes
- dairy-free and gluten-free, low-carb too
- this recipe is perfect for a variety of dishes like tacos, pasta, tortillas, sandwiches, dim sum, and more.
- freezer-friendly meal
- the sauce is simple to make and it’s not overpowering, so feel free to adjust the flavor by adding different spices
- a portion has only 266 calories
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How To Actually Shred The Chicken
Once youve opened your Instant Pot, you can drain the remaining water and leave the meat in the pot. Now grab two forks and pull that chicken apart. It should be nice and juicy and pull apart beautifully.
If the old fashion way doesnt suit you, you can also use a hand-held emersion blender or a Kitchen Aid blender, but that seems like unnecessary clean up to me.
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Ways To Use Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Casseroles. Chicken and Biscuits and Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole are classic, comforting, and forever scrumptious. For a different spin, try this Cheesy Corn Quinoa Casserole.
- Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken. A low-carb option thats to-die-for no matter what diet you do follow.
- Chicken Tacos, Chicken Tostadas, Chicken Burritosthe Tex-Mex options are wide and begging for experimentation!
- Chicken Soup. This Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is healthy, comforting, and ready in 30!
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What Type Of Chicken Is Best For Shredding
I strongly prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. Why? Because they are by FAR the easiest and most forgiving cut of meat to cook in the Instant Pot.
Chicken breasts are okay, but they are more likely to dry out if you do not get the cooking time *just* right.
If you have been looking at other Instant Pot shredded chicken recipes, you may notice that the cook times vary a WHOLE lot. Has anybody else noticed that?
Instant Pot official guidelines put chicken breasts somewhere in the range of 8 to 10 minutes, and chicken thighs from 10 to 15 minutes.
But! Some people let their chicken cook thirty minutes or more! That will make them fork tender however they will technically be overcooked and will seem a little string-y in texture.
Those chicken thighs, though.
They come out tender and juicy every time I make them. And there is no need to overcook them to get them tender. What can I say? I love when results are reliably good!
Now another note about cook times in general. Since pressure cooking accelerates the cooking time, that sweet spot is a little bit harder to achieve. When the cooking time is accelerated, that window narrows.
Since chicken thighs are naturally juicy, they are pretty forgiving if you overcook a minute or two.
Chicken breasts? Not so much.
If I still have not convinced you, or perhaps you only have chicken breasts on hand, see the notes in the recipe card below for instructions on how to make Instant Pot shredded chicken with breasts.
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 tenderâdonât 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.
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How Long Does It Take To Cook Chicken In The Instant Pot
Cooking chicken in the Instant Pot can take as little as 10 minutes of high pressure cooking, up to 20 minutes if youre using a frozen chicken breast. The cooking time is determined by how large the individual chicken breasts are.
- 4 to 7 oz. breasts: 10 minutes high pressure
- 8 to 12 oz. breasts: 12 minutes high pressure
- 14 to 16 oz. breasts: 15 minutes high pressure
- Frozen chicken breasts: 20 minutes high pressure
After these pressure cooking cycles, you will always let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, to let the chicken finish cooking.
All of these cooking cycles should have the internal temperature of the chicken reach above 165ºF. In fact, Ive found that chicken is the easiest to shred when it is slightly over-cooked, so these cooking times should do that for you.
Tip: If you want to cook chicken that you wont shred, try my Instant Pot Chicken Breasts tutorial, instead.
What To Make With Shredded Chicken
Before we get on to the super simple recipe instructions, let’s take a moment to consider all the reasons to make a big o’l batch of cooked shredded chicken. With this super easy, healthy protein, you can use it to make the following items in the snap of a finger:
You can also sprinkle it on your dog’s food when he or she gives you that “ugh, kibble again??” look.
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What To Use Shredded Chicken For
The possibilities are truly endless, yall. Shredded chicken can be used in *so* many different ways, and having pre-cooked shredded chicken on hand makes mealtime incredibly easy! Weve listed several different recipes to make great use of your shredded chicken below, and in each of them, youll simply skip the step that calls for cooking the chicken, and sub in your already cooked chicken instead!
Love Chicken And Dumplings But Dont Have A Lot Of Time These Pressure Cooker Chicken And Dumplings Are Quick Easy And Delicious
These Instant Pot pressure cooker chicken and dumplings are home-cooked comfort food at its finest!
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I have a lot of memories of eating at Cracker Barrel. When I was growing up, my grandma would often take my sister and I to the beach for a few days. Cracker Barrel was one of our old standby restaurants.
The one where we were guaranteed to like the food. And also one where we could be easily occupied by perusing the store full of fun toys and gifts.
One of my favorite meals to order at Cracker Barrel is their chicken and dumplings. In my opinion, the best recipes for chicken and dumplings are the ones that are easy to make yet remind you of simple, pleasant times!
There seem to be a couple of different camps when it comes to dumplings.
Some folks like their dumplings more biscuit-like , some like to make Instant Pot chicken and dumplings with canned biscuits, and others prefer the flat almost-noodle type.
Honestly, I like both, but I prefer the flat noodle type that Cracker Barrel sells. I mean, really tender dumplings and chicken wrapped in a savory creamy brothdoes it get much better than that?
Several years ago, when I was a newlywed looking for new meals to prepare, I started making this chicken and dumplings meal.
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First Comes The Chicken Next Comes The Broth
You can get even more bang for your buck by turning your leftover chicken bones into a nutritious and delicious broth.
If youre going to make bone broth save the bones by placing them into a freezer-safe container with a lid or a zip-top bag. They can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or placed in the freezer for longer storage.
We almost always go on to make chicken stock right away heres a tutorial and recipe for that but sometimes we dont have the time so we just toss the bones in the bone bag in the freezer. This bag is also a great place to toss the ends of celery, carrots, and onions so that when youre ready to make stock youre pretty much halfway there.
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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.
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Chicken Breasts Size Matters:
We tend to use organic meat. Since they tend to have a smaller size than non-organic breasts, the cooking time for them is usually lower by 2 minutes in the pressure cooker. The below size can help you determine the appropriate cooking time:
- 6-ounce chicken breasts: 15 minutes on high pressure for fresh/ 20 minutes on high pressure for frozen.
- 8-ounce chicken breasts: 18 minutes on high pressure for fresh/25 minutes on high pressure for frozen.
- 10-ounce chicken breasts: 20 minutes on high pressure for fresh/30 minutes on high pressure for frozen.
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!
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Shredded Chicken For Every Meal
Shredded chicken is such a great meal-prep staple especially when its made in the Instant Pot. We often cook and then shred enough chicken for the weeks lunches and then season and pair them with something different each day.
Think shredded BBQ chicken + sautéed broccoli + rice shredded curry chicken + sautéed pea pods + quinoa shredded chicken with fajita seasoning + sautéed peppers and onions + avocado + a tortilla for tacos or enchiladas or even over greens as a salad!
You get the drill. And now that were able to make Instant Pot shredded chicken, its a real game changer. Ready in under 20 minutes , and truly a one-pot endeavor.
Natural Release Vs Quick Release
A natural release for the Instant Pot is allowing it to decrease the pressure gradually. You dont need to do anything at all to it during this process.
The food in the Instant Pot continues to cook through this process. It can take anywhere from five to 30 minutes depending on how much food is in the pot. A natural relase is great for meat so it can continue to finish cooking and become tender.
Its also necessary if you are cooking anything that will have produced foam, such as rice or soup. The foam will shoot out of the valve if you perform a quick relase.
For a quick release, you will need to flick the valve on the top of the pot. A jet of steam will come out of the valve. This stops the cooking process immediately by eliminating all the steam that creates the pressure and cooks the food in an Instant Pot.
You will always use a quick release when cooking vegetables since you dont want to overcook them, but natural release is great for tender meat. You can consider that the main difference between the two types of pressure releases. You can do a quick release on chicken, but the meat just wont be as juicy or tender. A natural release with chicken typically takes 10 minutes.
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Can I Brown Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Pressure Cooker
We strongly recommend not doing it. Do not attempt to brown frozen meat of any type. Another way to make the chicken tastier is after you cook it, quickly rinse the pot, select Sauté and brown it a few minutes.
What is Natural Pressure Release ?
A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm and wait 10 minutes. After this, you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release.
Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and after that open the valve. A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.
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How To Make Shredded Chicken In Instant Pot
If you are new to Instant Pot, I highly recommend to check out my Instant Pot guide.
- Prep: Add 1 cup water to the bottom of the Instant Pot along with the trivet if you have one. You actually dont even need it.
- Add chicken: Then lay chicken breasts or thighs as many as you can fit in a single layer. You do not want to stack them on top of each other. Season by sprinkling spices on top.
- Cook: Cook on High-pressure. Once you hear the beep, wait 5 minutes and then Quick Release the pressure.
- Shred chicken: If you look around online, there are so many ways to shred chicken or meat in general. You can do so using 2 forks or meat claws. If you are making many lbs of chicken breasts at a time, I have seen people using a hand mixer.
- Rehydrate meat: Add remaining broth in 1/4 cup increments back into the shredded chicken until desired juiciness. It helps a lot!