Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Quick Tips
How Long To Cook Frozen Whole Chicken
The time it takes to cook a whole frozen bird in the Instant Pot depends on its weight, according to Yule.
But a good rule of thumb is to cook a frozen whole chicken for 10 minutes per pound. For example, a 4-pound frozen chicken will take 40 minutes in the Instant Pot on high pressure.
Allow for natural pressure release once cooking is done dont turn the steam release valve.
How To Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker
While Ive included a bunch of tips below, theres really only four steps you have to worry about. These four steps will give you PERFECT pasta:
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Easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe
Did you know you can cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot in a fraction of the time it takes in the oven? This Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe makes for an incredibly easy and quick dinner.
One of the things I make the most in the oven is a whole roasted chicken. But it takes quite a while to cook a whole chicken in the oven. So when I got my Instant Pot, a whole chicken was one of the first things I made.
Whole chicken not only provides a delicious meal, it also ensures we have left over chicken for sandwiches and salads throughout the week.
You will likely be very surprised by how little time it takes to make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. The first time I did it, I was more than a little skeptical that it would actually get cooked all the way through in such a short time. But it worked a charm.
For a fresh chicken that is not frozen, it takes approximately 6 minutes per pound to cook. I usually cook a 3 pound chicken, so its a total of 18 minutes. Be sure to check the weight of your chicken before setting the timer.
18 minutes! Thats a HUGE time savings over roasting a chicken in the oven, which takes at least 45 minutes.
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What Can You Not Cook In Instant Pot
11 things you should never cook in an Instant Pot Shop: Instant Pot Duo 6-quart, $79 Fried Foods. If you re looking for a nice crispy piece of fried chicken or golden fried mozzarella sticks, you re going to want to try good old frying . Quick cooking foods. Stir-fry. Creamy sauces. Bread. Cookies. Steak.
Read Also: What Is Natural Release On Instant Pot Mean
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Size Matters With Pressure Cooking
People often want to know if you have to double the cook time when you double a recipe in the Instant Pot. The answer is no.
However, the size of each individual chicken breast does matter. Larger chicken breasts will require a longer cook time than smaller chicken breasts because the thicker pieces take longer to cook through.
You can use a kitchen scale to find out the weight of your chicken breasts. Or, take the total weight of your package of chicken and divide it by the number of chicken breasts. For example, if your package of chicken weighs 1.5 pounds and contains 3 similarly sized chicken breasts, each breast weighs about 8 ounces.
How To Store Instant Pot Chicken
- Leftover cooked, shredded, or diced Instant Pot chicken can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight.
- Shredded Instant Pot Chicken is IDEAL for meal prep. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week, divide into individual containers, then use it all week long.
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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.
How To Cook A Whole Chicken In The Instant Pot:
Prepare Chicken: Separate the skin over the chicken breast using a spoon.
Set up Instant Pot: Place the trivet inside the instant pot and pour in 1 cup chicken broth. Add the chicken breast-side-up and stuff the cavity with garlic cloves and half of the squeezed lemon.
Make Butter Sauce: Combine melted butter with all of the seasonings. Pour half of the mixture under the skin and pour the remaining mixture all over the outside of the chicken.
Pressure Cook Chicken: Cover with the lid, set the lever to sealing position, cook on high pressure for 6 minutes per pound followed by 15-minute natural pressure release before manually releasing remaining pressure.
Broil for Crisp Browned Skin: Transfer chicken to a foiled lined baking sheet, season with more salt, pepper, and paprika and broil in the center of the oven 4-5 minutes or until the desired color is reached.
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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs & Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
I havent tested cooking them to 30 minutes but in theory they should be just fine because if the whole leg is fine up to that time the individual parts should be, too.
My goal testing was finding the minimum time, clearly. Chicken thighs at 10 minutes high pressure + 5 minutes natural pressure release got me the 165 F but with slightly pink fluid and very hard to remove from the bone. Extremely weird texture.
At 15 minutes high pressure they become extremely tender and fall-off the bone. I myself have cooked them for up to 22 minutes and full natural pressure release and they were still divine. Super soft and juicy.
For drumsticks, I noticed that 15 minutes seems to be the absolute minimum for starting to soften down. Anything under may make it to safe temp but not fall-off the bone. I myself have cooked to up to 22 minutes and just like the thighs they were divine. Super soft and juicy.
15-30 minutes High Pressure + 5 or more minutes Natural Pressure Release
Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
I love this recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Breasts because I can use fresh or frozen chicken, its completely hands off, and yields perfectly cooked chicken in about 25 minutes.
Have you tried cooking chicken breast in your Instant Pot yet? It is so easy and yields juicy chicken breast you can enjoy for dinner, meal prepping, or use in any recipes that call for cooked or shredded chicken. Once you try it, theres a good chance you wont go back!
For this recipe Ive simply seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper but you can add whatever seasonings or spices that will enhance the flavor of the dish you are preparing.
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Adjusting For Softer Or Firmer Pasta
I recommend starting with the formula above for the first time you make pasta in your Instant Pot. Then the next time, if you want a bit more bite, subtract a minute from the cook time. If you want it softer, add a minute until you get your perfect texture.
After a few times making pasta, youll know the perfect timing to cook your brand of pasta to your preferred taste.
Instant Pot Chicken Leg
The whole leg or just thighs and drumsticks are a lot easier to cook. AND, they taste amazing pressure cooked. Not like the breasts. They become super tender and delicious!
There is a much higher margin for success. Where breasts shouldnt be overcooked or they become mega dry, all the bone-in parts are way more forgiving and actually benefit from overcooking because the longer they cook the softer they get and the easier they are to pull apart from the bone. Of course, there is an upper time-limit but its REALLY high.
So the least amount of time whole legs seem to need to get to the safe 165F is 18 minutes but its hard to remove the meat from the bone after such a short time. The longer you cook it the more tender it becomes and more fall-off-the bone. Ive cooked it at 22 and even 30 minutes and at around the 22-minute mark it becomes really tender and still at 30 minutes they were great. So Id say 22 minutes is great if youre cooking them alone but you can go all the way to 30 minutes if youre cooking them with whole sweet potatoes that need that long or wild rice for example.
22-30 minutes High Pressure + 5 or more minutes Natural Pressure Release
What If The Chicken Is Not Cooked
Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before safe to consume.
Once your cook time has elapsed and pressure has been released, check the internal temperature of your chicken breast. If less than 160 degrees, place the lid back on the pressure cooker and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes on high pressure.
If the chicken has reached 160 degrees, it will reach 165 degrees as it rests.
Instant Pot Chicken & Rice
If there’s one thing we find magical about Instant Pots, it’s how quickly and perfectly they cook chicken and rice. The rice is the perfect texture and the chicken is insanely tender. This is the meal we cook in the Instant Pot the most often.
IMPORTANT! If using newer versions of Instant Pot, especially 8-quart capacity models, we recommend removing the inner pot after sautéing and letting it cool off for 5 to 10 minutes before moving on to the pressure cooking stage. This will help prevent a potential burn warning.
Looking to try out even more recipes in your Instant Pot? Look no further!
Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
This introduction was updated recently to include more information about the dish.
boneless skinless chicken breasts
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
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Cooking Tips For The Best Instant Pot Roast Chicken
- Use a dry rub to season the chicken before cooking, and try to get some of the rub under the skin on the chicken breasts. The spice rub in this whole chicken recipe is a simple blend of seasonings and it is so good! My kids cannot get enough of it! You can easily use your favorite seasonings if you prefer.
- Sear the chicken before pressure cooking. You can do this right in your Instant Pot using sauté mode! Browning the chicken adds so much flavor!
- The easiest way to flip the chicken. Turning the chicken over in the Instant Pot after browning it on the first side can be a little tricky. Heres what Ive found works best: stick a long handled spoon or tongs into the cavity and then use another long spoon to turn the chicken first onto its side and then flip it over. The smaller your chicken, the easier it will be to flip over in the pot. The chicken in the photos in this post was 5.5 pounds and it just barely fit in my Instant Pot. Flipping it was not easy but I got it done!
- Flavor from the inside out. After searing the chicken, fill the cavity with half of a fresh lemon, half an onion, and fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme. While this is optional, it will infuse your chicken with extra flavor as it cooks!
- Broil for crispy skin. You can put your chicken under the broiler in your oven for 4-5 minutes after it is done cooking to crisp up the skin. Honestly, I dont bother with this because we dont eat the skin but it is up to you!
Tips For Cooking Chicken In The Instant Pot
- In order for the 6 quart Instant Pot to work, it needs a minimum of 1 cup of liquid. If you have an 8 quart Instant Pot, it needs at least 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
- Because chicken breast is so easy to overcook, we always use the quick release method. Quick release is when you turn the pressure release valve to open or venting at the completion of the cooking cycle. This forces the steam to release from the Instant Pot quickly.
- Do not stack chicken when cooking in the Instant Pot. It will cook unevenly. This is especially true for frozen chicken. Try to spread it out evenly along the bottom as much as you can.
- Use a meat thermometer like the one we recommend here to determine doneness. All poultry must cook to the safe temperature of 165°F internally . But, you dont want to cook it longer than that and get dried out.
- If cooking chicken from frozen, make sure to read our post about how to prepare and cook freezer meals in the Instant Pot. Seriously, dont skip it.
- If you have more questions about the Instant Pot, swing by and browse Instant Pot 101.
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How To Achieve Crispy Skin
When cooking whole chickens in the pressure cooker, the chicken skin will not have a chance to crisp up. For me, that is not a problem because I remove the skin before eating the chicken or use it in recipes that call for pre-cooked chicken. BUT if you would like crispy skin on this chicken, you can either opt to broil your chicken or use an air fryer lid to crisp up the skin.
- Broiling Option: Cook the chicken as directed in your pressure cooker. After removing the chicken from your instant pot, transfer it to a baking sheet. Brush with oil and place under broiler for 2-4 minutes, watching closely as to not burn the chicken.
- Air Fryer Lid Option: After pressure cooking, use an air fryer lid on your pressure cooker to crisp up the skin. Set to 400 degrees and air fry for 3-4 minutes or until the skin is crispy.
Whole Chicken Cut Into Pieces
To cook a whole chicken cut into pieces in a pressure cooker, lightly fry it in butter and oil like this creamy chicken recipe then add the liquids and pressure it for 15 minutes or season the chicken cuts with cinnamon stick, onions, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and salt then cover with water and pressure for 20 minutes.