How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken Breast In Instant Pot

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

Apply 10 minutes on the poultry setting and begin cooking on high.

Test Kitchen tip: Cooking time does depend on the size of the chicken breasts. If they are on the larger side, or if youre cooking them as a frozen chunk, we recommend adding 10 extra minutes to the cooking time to ensure theyre fully cooked.

Got questions about all the buttons on your Instant Pot? We decode them all.

Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn

  • A BURN warning on an Instant Pot occurs when the heat sensor reads a high temperature on the bottom of the pot, which can indicate scorching. This causes the pot to stop heating until it is resolved.
  • Make sure you are using the required amount of water for your Instant Pot model. You shouldnt have a problem with this if you follow the instructions here, because this method uses enough water to prevent the warning.

Why Cook Frozen Chicken Breast In Instant Pot For That Long

The main reason why it takes 10-15 minutes to cook frozen chicken breasts in an instant pot is its weight. Moreover, as the chicken is frozen, it takes more time to heat up and get cooked. But, frozen chicken cooked in an instant pot becomes unbelievably moist and delicious!

You can stock up on chicken breasts while theyre on sale and freeze them for later once you know how to cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot. You can cook the chicken straight from the freezer when youre ready. Its incredibly simple and quick to do.

Before you begin cooking frozen chicken breasts, ensure that your chicken breasts arent all frozen together. If they are, the chicken will not cook evenly, resulting in overdone edges and uncooked chicken in the centre. You can place frozen chicken breasts in cold water until they get separated, and then cook them.

Allow 10 minutes for natural pressure release after the cooking time has expired. During this period, the chicken will keep cooking. Its always a good idea to verify that the internal temperature of the thickest section of the chicken has reached a safe 165 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer.

Cook for another 2 or 3 minutes at high pressure if your chicken is less than 165 degrees F when you check it after cooking. Because the Instant Pot is already hot, it will come to pressure significantly faster the second time. Close the lid and set the steam release valve to seal.

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Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Quick Tips

  • Get a digital scale. I use one similar to this*.
  • If you are cooking more than one chicken breast choose ones that are similar size and thickness. If you cook a large chicken breast with a small chicken breast one will be overdone and one will be underdone. Cook chicken breasts of similar size to get consistent results every time.
  • For FROZEN chicken: Weigh your chicken breasts. Lets say your chicken breast weighs 12 ounces. Youll use a pressure cooking time of 12 minutes. If youre cooking more than one chicken breast and the average weight of the breasts is 12 ounces youll still only cook it for 12 minutes. The one minute per ounce rule is for sliceable chicken. If you want shreddable chicken then add 3 minutes to the total cooking time. So in the example I just used you would cook the chicken for 15 minutes for shreddable chicken.
  • For FRESH chicken: use the formula in step 3 but subtract 2-3 minutes of cooking time .
  • Use a 5 minute natural pressure release for frozen or fresh chicken. This means when the time is up you let the pot sit there for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting.
  • Use 1 cup of broth or water in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Use a trivet, if possible. Lay the chicken on top of the trivet. For even cooking stack your chicken breasts on top of each other cross ways. Or if possible lay the chicken in one even layer on the trivet. If you dont have a trivet you can lay your chicken directly in the bottom of the pot with the liquid.
  • Why Make This Recipe

    How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot ...
    • its made with simple pantry staples and budget friendly.
    • ready in less than 20 minutes.
    • can be made with fresh or frozen meat.
    • Can be added to soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, lunchboxes and more.
    • great for meal prep and freezer friendly.
    • Diet trends Suitable for Gluten free, Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 diets, or any diet with a focus on lean proteins and unprocessed foods.

    Ready to learn how to make chicken breast instant pot? Gather up the ingredients and I will show you

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    Is It Safe To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot

    Yes, as long as you do it correctly.

    If you use the pressure cooking function not slow cooker and ensure that the chicken reaches the minimum safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be safe, Yule says.

    Frozen chicken naturally takes longer to cook, because it first has to thaw out before the actual cooking process starts. Thats why the FDA warns against putting frozen chicken in a slow cooker, because it keeps the chicken in the bacterial danger zone for too long.

    Pressure cooking, however, takes approximately 30 percent less time than traditional methods because it traps the moisture that would normally evaporate while cooking on the stovetop or in the oven.

    This speeds up the chemical processes that happen during cooking, so your food reaches safe temperatures faster.

    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs

    These turn out fantastic as well. The cheapest part of the bird usually, I use them often because of their price, how tender they get, the fact they offer tons of flavor and the list goes on.

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    How To Get Brown Chicken Breasts:

    The Instant Pot pressure mode will not brown the chicken breasts. If you want the chicken browned then you can do that after they finish cooking in the IP.

    To brown the chicken, you will want to put some oil in a skillet and heat the skillet over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, place the chicken breasts in it and sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

    Of course, this will give the chicken breasts some additional cook time and could dry them out if they get over-cooked. You could always reduce the cooking time in the Instant Pot by 1 minute if you plan to sear the chicken in a skillet for a beautiful brown color.

    If you live above 3,000 feet you will need to adjust the cooking time.

    • At 3000 feet add 1 minute to the high-pressure cooking time.
    • Between 4000 to 5000 feet add 2 minutes to the cooking time.

    How To Shred Chicken With A Mixer

    How to Cook Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast for Soups, Salad, Casseroles & More

    Want to do a little less manual labor? You can also make shredded chicken with a mixer!

    Both a hand mixer or a stand mixer works, whichever you have handy. Just be aware that you might send little pieces of chicken flying around the kitchen.

    That is why I prefer the fork method. It may take a little bit more time and the chicken shreds are less fine but I wont find any chicken bits stuck to the window. On most days, at least.

    To make it easier on your mixed, cut up the chicken breast into smaller pieces. If possible, cover the bowl you are shredding the chicken.

    PS: the least messy version of preparing shredded chicken is to put frozen chicken in pressure cooker and let it sit for a few hours. But you will need a pretty rich broth and some vegetables to fill it up. Otherwise, the chicken might disappear completely.

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    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.

    What If My Chicken Isnt Cooked To 165 Degrees

    After you release the pressure and open the pressure cooker, be sure to check for doneness. The best way to do this is with a meat thermometer.

    If your chicken breast isnt at 165 degrees, you can place the lid back on the Instant Pot and cook on high for another couple of minutes to finish cooking the chicken to the right temperature.

    It wont take long since the Instant Pot is already warmed up.

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    Can I Cook Frozen Meat Under Pressure

    It is possible to apply pressure to prepare smaller pieces of frozen meat and frozen poultry. You can also easily press boil frozen vegetables. For the pressure cook thick pieces of frozen meat, like roast beef or pork, this will take up to a third longer than the normal cooking time and the results will not be very good.

    How To Make Juicy Boneless Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot

    How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot ...

    The key to getting perfectly juicy boneless chicken breasts is to cook them on a trivet, above the liquid. I find that this results in a better texture than cooking them on the bottom of the pot.

    I also think their texture is best when you quickly release the pressure, rather than letting it naturally release.

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    Chicken Thigh Instant Pot Cook Times


    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


    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

    Frozen Whole Chicken In The Instant Pot

    These pressure cooker cook times are handy when youve forgotten to defrost your meat. In pieces it doesnt take a whole lot longer than if it was fresh really. BUT if you want to cook an Instant Pot frozen whole chicken you can do that too! Comes out fork tender and ready to shred or slice for dinner.

    • Yesall of this is possible yall!

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    Cooking Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot

    Using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook any ingredientespecially when youre meal prepping nutritious meals is a time saving game changer.

    Using a pressure cooker shaves off valuable hands-on cooking time, and unlike cooking on the stove top, theres no monitoring with a watchful eye for liquids boiling over, or turning the temp down, or even stirringinstead, cooking can be a completely hands-off affair.

    But the real beauty of cooking chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is you can use either fresh or still frozen chicken breasts and literally toss them into the Instant Pot with no defrosting needed.

    Thats why this method has been my whats for dinner meal saver more than once.

    see more: 20 Healthy Dinners to Make In the Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Wings

    How to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot

    This part of the bird is similar to when you cook frozen chicken breasts which means NO meal prep time and done in under 20 minutes flat!

    You literally throw them right in with something like barbecue sauce and some water and it is that easy!!

    I dont make wings really any other way now. If you want them with a little crispiness to them you can just pop them under the broiler. 4 minutes or so is perfect.

    Instant Pot frozen chicken wings turn out fall off the bone delicious.

    • If you want a crispier skin you can throw them on a cookie sheet under your broiler for like 3 minutes and it will crisp them up well

    This is what I did when we made these Instant Pot chicken legs. I also did this when making our pressure cooker beer can chicken.

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    Can I Put Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot

    When I first got it I wondered this a lot. YES you can!! Not only can you, but they come every cut comes out tender and delicious when theyre done cooking. From thighs, to legs, to Instant Pot frozen chicken tenders theyre all great.

    It took a bit of trial and error at first to get it perfect. I wouldnt share anything here unless it came out great each and every time I tried it. That wouldnt be cool.

    I started with: How do I cook frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot? This will be answered here. With just a bit of liquid you can go from rock solid to perfectly shredded chicken in no time.

    What About Shredded Chicken

    If you want to shred the chicken breasts, you will need to add some cooking time to break down the fibers and make them fall apart easily. When you cook chicken breasts long enough for them to become shreddable, they will loose some of their moisture. That isnt usually a problem because you can stir in sauce or the juices that the chicken was cooked in.

    Ideas for shredded chicken:

    • Nachos

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    What To Do If Your Chicken Is Not Cooked

    If your chicken is less than 165 degrees F when you check it after cooking, cook it for another 1-2 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will come to pressure much more quickly the second time since it is already hot. Remember to close the lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.

    Cooking Tips For Instant Pot Frozen Chicken

    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
    • 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

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    Some Tips And Tricks For Cooking Frozen Chicken Breasts In Instant Pot

    • Instant Pot size matters: I have tested these cook times in 6 and 8 quart Instant Pot. I recommend to add 3 minutes cook time to 3 quart models because it comes to pressure faster.
    • Turn into Instant Pot shredded chicken: Save a bit of cooking liquid to rehydrate when shredding. You can shred with forks or in a bowl of stand mixer.
    • Jazz it up: After cooking frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot, your chicken is essentially a blank canvas for mixing with barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, creamy sauce, you name it! Thats why not much seasonings for cooking are necessary. Even adding salt and pepper on cooked plain poultry tastes different than adding it before try it!
    • Freeze for later: Cool completely then freeze in freezer safe bags for up to 3 months for easy meals again. I like to cube or shred before freezing. Perfect way to meal prep.
    • Do not discard broth: Use it to make healthy soups, further cook in Instant Pot chicken stock or save for everyday cooking.

    How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken Breast

    I would say frozen chicken breasts under 2.5 thick in the thickest part need 15 minutes of cook time on High Pressure. Over 2.5 thick add 3 minutes totalling 18 minutes of cooking time.

    Contrary to popular belief, cooking frozen meat in Instant Pot does not need longer cooking time. Electric pressure cooker just takes longer to come to pressure because inside inner pot temperature is lower.

    How long to cook 1 lb, 2 lbs, or 3 lbs for? The same amount of time! With 99% of all Instant Pot recipes it is not about the amount of food but rather its thickness.

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    Can I Refrigerate Chicken After Cooking

    Allow the chicken to completely cool and store in airtight containers or freezer bags free from air. Make sure to use it up within two days to be safe and to maintain the best flavor and texture.

    I hope we answered the question: Can you put frozen meat in an Instant Pot for you here!!

    To be completely honest, it is BEST to use thawed fresh meats but these tips are great when youre in a bind.

    • If youre making something like a soup or our VERY well known Instant Pot chili you probably wouldnt know the difference. Fresh or defrosted hamburger using this method work great. Frozen ground sausage works too with this technique.

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    I hope this helps you make a lot more new InstaPot recipes.

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