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.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breast Instant Pot
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Were walking you through how to cook sliceable and shreddable chicken in your Instant Pot, so that dinner is a breeze
How To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Pressure Cooker
To cook frozen chicken breasts or thighs, use the times given here and follow the basic method for How To Cook Chicken in the Pressure Cooker. In short, youll add the chicken to the pot with some water and seasonings, then close up the pot and cook at high pressure.
Since the chicken goes in the pot frozen, I tack on a few extra minutes to ensure that its cooked through. See the times below for cooking times for boneless and bone-in breasts and thighs.
For extra flavor and to speed up the time the pot takes to come up to pressure, you can also brown the frozen meat in a little bit of oil before adding the liquid, if you like!
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How To Cook Fresh Chicken Breast In Instant Pot
- Add 1 cup water and place trivet on top.
- Lay chicken breasts in a single layer, sprinkle with spices and rub onto each other.
- Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 10 minutes under 2 thickness and 15 minutes over 2 thick breasts.
- Do Natural Release for 5 minutes and then turn pressure valve to Venting.
Instant Pot Bbq Chicken
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is so tender, juicy and full of barbecue flavor. Using Chicken Tenders or Breasts, this BBQ Chicken is extremely versatile. Perfect pulled, sliced or served whole! BBQ Chicken is a perfect, quick weeknight meal that everyone in the family will love! Great all year too, it is just as much of a winter dinner as it is a summer meal.
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Defrosting Chicken In Your Pressure Cooker
This is my very favorite way to quickly take chicken breasts from frozen to recipe-readyI use this method at least once a week!
If your recipe calls for diced, thawed chicken, but you didnt defrost the chicken breasts in advance, theres an easy fix! Pour 1 cup water into your pressure cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom. Balance the frozen chicken breasts on the trivet, stacking crosswise if necessary. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time.
When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release. Remove the chicken from the pot, dice it into small pieces, and continue with the recipe as directed.
Use an instant-read thermometer to verify each chicken breast is at least 165°F in the thickest part of the breast after cooking.
With this method, the chicken will cook a little bit on the outside, but the inside with be thawed, easy to dice, and ready to use in your favorite pressure cooker recipes. You can also use this method to thaw your chicken breasts and then coat the breasts with your favorite barbecue sauce and grill them on the barbecue.
Use this technique with your favorite diced chicken recipes:
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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Instant Pot Chicken Breast From Frozen
How To Cook A Whole Chicken In The Instant Pot
- Sauté. Add your onion to the instant pot and sauté with some extra virgin olive oil until the onion starts to soften along with the garlic.
- Deglaze. Add some white wine and deglaze the instant pot.
- Prepare. Add the trivet to the instant pot. Add extra virgin olive oil and seasoning to your chicken. Tie up your chicken legs with string.
- Cook. Place the chicken on the trivet and place the lid on the instant pot pressure cooker. Cook for the recommended time for your weight and then do a 15 minute natural pressure release before releasing pressure.
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Tips For Making Cooking From Frozen In Instant Pot
How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken In Pressure Cooker
If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures.
If you dont have an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.
Cooking time varies based on the size of your chicken AND Instant Pot.
Why? Because larger size Instant Pot has larger volume for more pressure to build up. Thus, it takes longer to bring pressure down.
Therefore, 8 quart pressure cooker keeps cooking chicken while bringing down pressure for 40 minutes vs. 6 quart that takes only 15 minutes.
For 6 quart Instant Pot:
- 4 lbs whole chicken 60 minutes.
- 5 lbs whole chicken 70 minutes.
For 8 quart Instant Pot:
- 4 lbs whole chicken 40 minutes.
- 5 lbs whole chicken 50 minutes.
- 6 lbs whole chicken 60 minutes.
Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.
How Do You Add Flavor To Your Instant Pot Chicken
You might like to try something different in your Instant Pot to add more flavor to your chicken. If so, instead of chicken broth in the pressure cooker try using one of these liquids instead:
- white wine I LOVE the flavor wine gives chicken.
- pineapple juice This would be amazing with Teriyaki sauce, vegetables and rice.
- orange juice Another great alternative if you dont have pineapple juice in the fridge.
- apple juice This is next on my list to try!
- tomato juice or V-8 This would be great for shredded chicken added to Italian or tortilla soup.
How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Pressure Cooker
This chart details cooking times for different types of frozen chicken parts. For best results, use a maximum of two pounds of meat, frozen in individual pieces, place it in the pot in a single, even layer, and use at least one cup of liquid.
- Boneless skinless breasts: 15 minutes on high, quick or natural release
- Boneless skinless thighs: 20 minutes on high, quick or natural release
- Bone-in skin-on breasts: 25 to 30 minutes on high, natural release
- Bone-in skin-on thighs: 25 to 30 minutes on high, natural release
- Wings: 20 minutes on high, natural release
- Drumsticks: 25 minutes on high, natural release
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Instant Pot Whole Chicken
It feels like yesterday when we cooked our very first instant pot whole chicken. It was early 2017 and we had only had an instant pot for a couple of months. We were excited about how good a whole chicken would turn out in the instant pot.
But most of all what truly fascinated us about the instant pot whole chicken trend, was how much quicker it is for cooking a whole chicken in the instant pot.
Forget a Sunday dinner taking a couple of hours in the oven with loads of washing up and a roasting tin to scrub, this was the modern way of prepping and cooking your roast.
Fast forward almost five years and we are still as in love with cooking a whole chicken in the instant pot as we was back then.
But what we find the most interesting is the idea that the cook times for a whole chicken is a simple act of science when going from size to size.
Today, we put to test the different whole chicken sizes in the instant pot, to answer once and for all, how long to cook a whole chicken in the instant pot.
How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken In An Instant Pot
|Based on the quantity taken||Time|
|Small frozen chicken||10-12 minutes|
|Medium frozen chicken||13-15 minutes|
|Large frozen chicken||16 & more|
You wont give credence to how flawless moist & mouth-watering frozen chicken seems once you prepare it in your instant pot!!!
You must correctly pack the chicken breasts when you bring them home from the shop. The reason for this is that you cant cook them with a large pile of frozen breasts in the pan. They wont cook evenly in the least. Place your fresh chicken breasts in a single layer in a freezer bag when you arrive home from the grocery store. Place the bag in the freezer flat, leaving enough space around each breast.
You can also freeze them flat on a tray or plate before transferring them to a freezer bag. You can jumble them up and place the bag upright in the freezer after theyve frozen either way. The secret is to keep the breasts apart.
Once a person understands to make frozen chicken in an instant pot, he/she will bump upon chicken pieces once they are on sale & freeze them for subsequent days. Once ready, youll cook the frozen chicken without deicing it first. Its so unchallenging & expeditious!!!!
How To Freeze Chicken Thighs For Cooking From Frozen
Previously, I have told you that you have to freeze the chicken thighs individually in order to later cook them from frozen. This means that you get your chicken thighs home from the store and you take them out of the packaging and put them into a ziptop bag. You then freeze the bag flat such that none of the chicken thighs are touching each other. Once they are frozen, you can give them a toss and then they dont have to stay flat anymore.
However, I have experimented and found out how to cook frozen chicken thighs in the Instant Pot even if theyre frozen in a clump. How amazing is that?
So below I am giving instructions for how to cook chicken thighs whether they were individually frozen or were frozen in a clump.
As to chicken thighs frozen in a clump, you can do at most 10 chicken thighs like this. More that that and the clump is too big and things will not cook evenly.
It is best if the clump is still fairly flat. That is, the chicken thighs are touching on each others sides and not stacked. The less contact between the thighs, the better.
Finally, you must remove any styrofoam or absorbent pads, or any packaging before putting the chicken thighs into the Instant Pot. If you froze the chicken thighs with packaging and if the thighs are stuck to the packaging, then you need to defrost the thighs a little bit so that you can remove the packaging. Head over here to learn different ways to thaw chicken thighs.
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs
But wait there is more!! Want to make Instant Pot frozen chicken legs too? The kids usually say this is their favorite part of the bird so why not?
We have a few more ideas for you here though if you want to start meal planning for the week:
- If youre looking for how to cook Instant Pot frozen salmon, we have done that too!
- Want to cook a frozen roast in Instant Pot too? Seriously this is a game changer too. So tender in very little time.
- Frozen pork loin in Instant Pot instructions are here.
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How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot
The cook time for boneless, skinless chicken breasts depends on the weight and thickness of the chicken breasts. Bone-in chicken will take longer to cook. Always cook chicken at high pressure.
The Instant Pot will take longer to reach pressure when you are cooking frozen foods as compared to non-frozen foods. When the contents of the pot are cold it takes longer to heat up and pressurize. So frozen chicken gets a few extra minutes of cook time while the pot comes to pressure.
When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. The chicken will continue to cook during this time.
Here are the estimated cook times for different sized pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Instant Pot Cooking Times for Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- small frozen chicken breasts cook 11-12 minutes at high pressure, plus 10 minutes natural release
- medium frozen chicken breasts cook 13-14 minutes at high pressure, plus 10 minutes natural release
- large frozen chicken breasts cook 16 minutes at high pressure, plus 10 minutes natural release
It is always good practice to use an instant read thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken has reached a safe 165 degrees F.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot:
If you have frozen chicken breasts and you want to use those to make this in your Instant Pot, follow the directions here, and add in your sauce ingredients after cooking, or see my recipe notes.
Keep in mind that frozen chicken breasts will release significantly more liquid during cooking, so youll want to drain some out before adding in the cream and all of that delicious flavour, otherwise it will be diluted significantly.
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Determine Cook Time Using Thickness Or Weight
One of the most important parts of cooking from frozen is determining the right cook time. This cook time will vary based on the size and thickness of the breasts, as well as whether you plan to slice or shred the finished chicken. When cooking from frozen, do your best to select chicken breasts that are similar in size and thickness.
To determine a cook time by thickness, for sliceable chicken, Ive had good success using 5 to 6 minutes of cook time per inch at the thickest part of the breast.
To determine a cook time by weight, use a food scale to determine how many ounces each breast is. For sliceable chicken, Im a big fan of the Rich Lum method, which recommends adding 1 minute of cook time for each ounce of chicken. If youre cooking multiple breasts, use the average weight.
For shredded chicken breasts, a good rule of thumb is add 3 to 4 minutes to the cook time above for shreddable chicken breasts.