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.
Why Recipe For Frozen Chicken Breast In Instant Pot Works
- No thawing required: Yes that is correct, cook from frozen! You will never be stuck wondering what is for dinner because you forgot to thaw chicken in the morning!
- Quick: Ready to use as is for dinner or in a recipe in less than 25 minutes.
- 2 ingredients: Only the frozen chicken and water, so easy.
- Juicy breasts: All the steam and moisture is locked in in the pressure cooker resulting in the most juicy chicken breast ever. If you follow the recipe of course, I promise!
- Perfect for meal prep: Use all week in a variety of healthy dishes! If you are meal prepping, shredded chicken will be where you need to go!
How Much Chicken Per Person
For a meal where the chicken breast is the star, I like to serve 1 chicken breast per person. However, for recipes that call for cutting up the chicken breast you usually need less.
Id say 2 chicken breasts for 3 people is about right for most recipes. Of course, if you have a household of big eaters theyll want more.
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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.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot
You can literally place a frozen chicken breast, frozen chicken thigh meat is fine too, directly into your instant pot, along with butter, garlic, seasoning and chicken stock and you are good to go!
Now, will this become the main way I cook chicken? No. But when youre in a pinch and dont have the time, this is a great recipe to try! Also, the chicken came out juicy but did need more seasoning so I love this method for chicken you can easily use for a cobb salad, chicken tacos or taquitos, a chicken sandwich, pasta, basically anytime you need cooked chicken breast, you should try this Instant Pot recipe.
- 2cupschicken stockplus more if needed
- 1tablespoonlow sodium soy sauce or Worcestershire Sauce
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Frozen Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
Time needed: 12 minutes.
Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot
Put frozen chicken breasts inside your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Add liquid, I used chicken broth .If you wanted to add some seasonings and/or diced onions too you certainly could.
Lock the lid and set valve to sealing. Set to manual, pressure, high, for 4 frozen chicken breasts = 12 minutesOR if cooking 2 frozen chicken breasts = 10 minutes
Allow for a 1 minute natural release then do a quick release to cook the chicken. Always ensure internal temperature is 165 degrees after pressure cooking.
Season with salt and pepper, or better yet shred right in the pot and add sauce to make shredded chicken for sliders or atop rice
I will say after making many easy Instant Pot chicken recipes that I like this method of cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot when adding sauce or shredding the chicken but not for just eating the breast as is.
For me personally I prefer the texture if its defrosted and then cooked but that is just me.
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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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.
Step Four: Cook On High Pressure According To The Cook Times Below
- The cook time will remain the same whether you have a small amount of chicken or a lot, but the time the Instant Pot takes to come to pressure will increase the more chicken you have. The time it takes to come to pressure will also be longer if youre cooking frozen chicken.
The below cook times are based upon average weights. If your chicken is smaller, decrease the cook time by 1 to 2 minutes depending upon the extent of the size variation. If they are larger, increase the cook time by 1 to 2 minutes. When in doubt, error on the side of less time. You can always cook the chicken for longer, but once its overcooked , you cant reverse the process.
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Why Do You Rinse It
I rinse frozen chicken so oil and then spices will stick to it. Otherwise, spices will end up at the bottom of the pot and you will burn fingers with the frost.
It is absolutely OK to rinse raw chicken imho. If you carefully rinse raw meat in the sink, then wash sink with a cloth and dish soap, then wash your hands with hand soap it is safe. I also recommend to place dish cloth and kitchen towel into laundry after handling raw meat each time. You may find these basic food safety guidelines helpful for years to come.
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.
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Instant Pot Parts And Accessories
The first thing youll want to do is wash the parts of your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot lid, steam release valve and stainless steel inner pot are dishwasher safe however, I wash mine by hand. The base unit is not dishwasher safe never immerse the base unit in water.
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.
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Should I Add Seasoning To My Chicken
Chicken breasts in the instant pot can be customized to whatever dish you are planning to put them in. Mexican food? Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Italian dish? Add some Italian seasoning or garlic. Or consider topping them with a simple teriyaki sauce.
For simple, versatile, chicken breast that can be used in meal prep, salad, etc, just add some salt and pepper along with your chicken broth or water. You can also use different juices for your liquid for some added sweetness to the chicken.
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
The process for cooking frozen chicken is not much different than cooking thawed or fresh chicken breast. But there are 2 things to keep in mind.
- You will need to add 4 minutes to the cooking time.
- If your chicken breasts are frozen together, I suggest placing them in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes until you can break them apart into individual breasts. They need to be separated, not frozen together, or you will end up with chicken that is not cooked evenly.
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Why This Recipe Is So Good
- An Instant Pot makes cooking perfectly tender and seasoned chicken breast ridiculously easy. Just season your chicken, pour in some broth and cook.
- We love that this recipe uses frozen chicken breasts no thawing needed! Theres almost no prep when it comes to cooking your chicken breasts in an Instant Pot.
- This method is perfect for cooking chicken for dinner, but also for recipes that require cooked chicken. We love it for meal prep, too!
Do I Need To Use A Trivet
If you have the trivet that the instant pot comes with, it is best to cook the breasts in a layer on top of it. This will ensure the chicken is steamed and kept juicy instead of boiling in the liquid. But, if you are without a trivet, putting the chicken breasts directly into the liquid will work just fine, or you can make a rope of aluminum foil and use that as a make-shift rack on the bottom of the pot.
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Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot
If you have an Instant Pot, then you probably already know that it is the little machine that can. It has literally transformed the way that so many of us cook , but I think that my favorite thing about the Instant Pot to date is the fact that it can cook meat from frozen.
Being able to cook a protein from frozen means that if I forget to move my frozen chicken from the freezer to the fridge to start thawing before I leave for work , dinner doesnt have to be completely scrapped for takeout! Instead, I can come home, pop that frozen chicken right into my Instant Pot, and continue on with my dinner plan.
What To Serve Alongside Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
These Instant Pot chicken thighs are super versatile and neutral. This means they can be served with a variety of different side dishes and the leftovers can be repurposed into many different dishes. Serve them with a roasted beet salad with goat cheese for a healthy lunch. Or, make a classic, well-rounded American meal of green beans and mashed potatoes. If you happen to have any leftovers, shred the chicken for tacos, quesadillas, or burritos.
Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breasts
Chicken is a staple in most meals and this easy instant pot recipe will make it a staple in your life as well. Tender, juicy, mouthwatering chicken prepared and ready to serve in 30 minutes thanks to the instant pot? Sign me up.
Ive made chicken many different ways and I must say chicken breast is probably one of the hardest that I notice people struggle with because most of the time it ends up dry. Cooking it in the Instant Pot, you are pretty much guaranteed with a moist and juicy chicken breast every single time.
Will The Instant Pot Whole Chicken Have Crispy Skin
No it will absolutely not have crispy skin! In these pictures, the appearance of crispy skin is due to the fact that smoked paprika browns beautifully. This chicken has essentially been cooked using water power and has no chance of crisping.
If you really want crispy skin, you can place it in an oven safe pan and stick in under the broiler for a few minutes until it reaches your prefered level of crispiness.
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How To Cook A Frozen Whole Chicken In An Instant Pot
Cooking a Frozen Whole Chicken in your Instant Pot is SO easy. This is a perfect recipe even for pressure cooker beginners. There is no need to defrost the meat, so you can get dinner made quickly.
Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links.
My recipe for cooking an Instant Pot Whole Chicken has been one of the most popular posts on this site. And, readers often ask if they can cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in their Instant Pot.
I decided to experiment and found that its SUPER easy to cook a frozen whole chicken in an Instant Pot. It just takes a little bit more time and a slightly different technique.
As youre reading this post, please keep in mind that this is more of a technique most than an exact recipe. Youll get to season the chicken with your favorite spices. Plus, youll want to make sure that you calculate the cooking time based upon the size of your chicken also making sure that your chicken is small enough to fit inside your Instant Pot.
Ingredients For Pressure Cooker Frozen Chicken
- Chicken: Frozen whole chicken, about 3 6 lbs or more, depending on the size of pressure cooker you have.
If your chicken has giblets: You can cook frozen whole chicken with giblets inside and remove after cooking. Most giblets are in a paper bag . If you buy fresh whole chicken, you can remove giblets before freezing. If you find out after cooking giblets were in the plastic, it is best to discard the chicken. Thats why, I recommend to use familiar to you brand of chicken for this recipe.
- Oil: Any mild tasting oil like olive oil, avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- Smoked paprika: Gives lots of flavor and roasted look.
- Garlic powder: Dried powder will stick to frozen chicken better than fresh grated garlic.
- Dried oregano: Any dried herb like basil, rosemary , Italian seasoning can be substituted
- Salt and pepper: To bring out flavors in all ingredients.
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How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:
I know that this is such an easy recipe that most of you probably dont need tips on how to make shredded chicken, but there are a few things that I think are key so Im going to drop some hints anyway!
Do with them what you will
- Make sure you add enough liquid. The liquid is what makes for a tender, flavorful shredded or pulled chicken. Broth adds so much more flavor than water, and more liquid = more moisture in your chicken!
- Season well. You dont want to go overboard, but keep in mind that meat is best seasoned during the cooking process and not after . You will drain most of the liquid afterward, so you will not be consuming the full amount of salt, etc. as is listed in the recipe.
- Breasts or thighs? You can use either boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or throw some of each in all together! Thighs have a richer flavor, and breasts are leaner. You choose.
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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