How To Shred Chicken
There are a couple different ways that you can go about shredding chicken, but ultimately, the way you choose to shred it is totally up to you and the equipment you have on hand! Heres a breakdown of our two favorite shredding methods:
- Two forks shredding method: this method calls for dumping all of your cooked chicken into a bowl and using two forks to shred it by hand. We recommend going this route when you have a small to moderate amount of chicken to shred. Shredding with two forks is really easy, but can be a little bit time-consuming if you’re shredding, say, 5 pounds of chicken at a time.
- Stand or hand mixer shredding method: this is definitely our preferred method, and is done by either transferring your cooked chicken to a large bowl or the bowl on your stand mixer, and letting the mixer do the work for you! We like to go this route no matter what, but it is especially helpful when you’re making enough chicken for several meals throughout the week and need an easy way to get it shredded QUICKLY! This method is a real life-saver for Cook Once-style meals!
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 To Make Shredded Chicken In Instant Pot:
First, put the chicken breasts in the pressure cooker. I used this 6 quart electric pressure cooker.
Second, sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper.
Next, add the chicken broth and pour all over the top of the chicken.
Finally, put the lid on and set the lid valve to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
Once it has finished cooking, do a quick release on the pressure by moving the valve on the lid to the venting position.
Take the chicken out of the instant pot and shred.
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Can I Use Frozen Chicken For This Recipe
Yes! You can definitely use frozen chicken for this recipe. The Instant Pot will take a few extra minutes to pressurize because the chicken is frozen, but the cook time will be the same. If, however, your chicken breast are gignormous Id recommend adding another 5-8 minutes to the cook time and let the natural release go another 10 minutes longer to ensure your chicken is cooked through.
Instant Pot Bbq Shredded Chicken
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Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken is a dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe that takes under 30 minutes. Juicy barbecue shredded chicken to pile on a bun or even a bed of rice.
This Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken is my boys new favorite. Which makes it my new favorite too!
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Can You Overcook Chicken In Instant Pot
Interestingly enough, we actually find it really difficult to overcook shredded chicken in the Instant Pot. In fact, the more time that the chicken has to sit in its own juices and break down with pressure, the more tender and shreddable it becomes. Granted, you dont want your chicken to pressure cook for double the time that we recommend in hopes of it becoming ultra-shreddable, but do know that overcooking it is actually more difficult than it may seem.
Tips For Making Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast
- See my post on how to shred chicken quickly and easily.
- Chicken shreds easiest when it is warm.
- Add some of the cooking liquid back to the shredded chicken for moisture and flavor.
- Freeze extra shredded chicken in 1-2 cup portions so you can easily defrost the amount that you need for a meal or recipe.
- If you plan to slice your chicken instead of shredding it, I recommend letting it cool and slicing it against the grain right before you plan to use it.
- If you dont have an Instant Pot, try my Crockpot Shredded Chicken.
Read Also: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breasts From Frozen
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breasts from Frozen is an easy trick that Ive been loving since I got my pot. It makes for very easy dinners all week long! There are a million things you could do with this simple starting point, but if you need some suggestions I think Ive got some things to keep you busy!
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Cuts Down Meal Prep
Tossing chicken into the Instant Pot has become a monthly routine as part of our meal prep. If you aren’t totally into the meal prep thing, picture this
You come home from the grocery store after stocking up on some of your essentials . You immediately want to start putting away your groceries and need to decide where to store them. If you’ve been following along, you know we are huge fans of the freezer to keep foods fresh until it’s time to use them.
As you’re putting food away, pull out the Instant Pot and get the chicken cooking. The crazy thing about the Instant Pot by the time the rest of the groceries are put away, your chicken is cooked and ready to be shredded and put away, too!
Not only that, but you just saved yourself a bunch of time for meal prep in the coming weeks. BAM! That sounds pretty freakin’ fabulous to us!
Now you might have had some bad experiences with cooking chicken in large batches, it’s hard to get it perfectly moist! But this method is pretty fool-proof.
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How To Make Shredded Chicken In The Instant Pot:
To make this Instant Pot chicken recipe, simply
How To Actually Shred The Chicken
Once you’ve 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 doesn’t 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.
How To Store The Leftovers
This recipe makes enough for a crowd, so youll definitely have leftovers. If you plan to reinvent dinner and use the bbq chicken again later in the week Id recommend stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4 days. If youd love to freeze, store in a freezer safe storage bag, make sure all the air is removed and place in the freezer. The shredded bbq chicken will keep for up to 3 months.
How To Shred Instant Pot Chicken
You can shred your chicken with forks or with a mixer.
With Forks: You can shred this chicken simply by pulling apart with two forks. It will be super tender.
With a mixer: My favorite way to shred chicken is by using a mixer. I toss the cooked chicken into my KitchenAid Mixer with the paddle attachment and give it a few whirls. Thats all it takes!
Read Also: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Substitutions For This Shredded Chicken Recipe:
This shredded chicken recipe is pretty versatile here are some of the ways you can customize it.
Broth You can use any kind of broth in this recipe or you can just use water.
Salt/Pepper You dont have to add salt/pepper to this. You can leave the chicken plain and season as you eat, or you can add other spices to it! We have done this with Italian seasoning and it was delicious!
Meat Chicken breasts, thighs, or tenders will all work in this recipe!
2 lbs Increase your cook time by 1 minutes. For 3 lbs, increase your cook time by 2 minutes
Seasoning You can use any seasonings on this. We like to use our Healthy Taco Seasoning on it, but any spice mix will do!
Tomatoes I like to add 1/4 salsa or crushed tomatoes to the pot for flavor.
The Best Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe
Need an easy dinner?! Make this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe , its awesome for a busy day when you need something quick and easy for dinner!
We keep this shredded chicken on hand for some of our favorite recipes. You can use it in our Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps, these Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos, and this yummy Chicken Zucchini Casserole!
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What Youll Need For This Bbq Chicken Recipe
Now this recipe at your mommas recipe. I didnt just put chicken breast in the instant pot, pour bbq sauce over it and call it a day. I added some umami! Its filled with spices, onions, chicken bone broth for depth of flavor and then you top it with your favorite bbq sauce. Heres what youll need:
- Chicken I use both boneless skinless chicken breast and thighs in this recipe. It adds a ton of flavor!
- Spices This is where its at youll need garlic powder, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, cinnamon, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Onion Use yellow or sweet onion here. Just a rough chop is fine because theyll be cooked in the Instant Pot.
- Chicken Broth Youll definitely need some liquid in the instant pot to cook your chicken or things will burn. I choose to use chicken bone broth instead of regular broth. It gives you more nutrients from the bone and more depth.
- BBQ Sauce Go with your favorite BBQ Sauce on this part. I like to use Stubbs or Sweet Baby Rays.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Raw Chicken In Instant Pot
Whether youre looking to cook enough chicken for 1 night of dinner or a larger amount for, say, 3-4 dinners , weve kept the amount of time the same here. The short reason for this? Weve found that 20 minutes is long enough to really tenderize and achieve a shreddable texture in anywhere from 1 to 5 pounds of chicken, and if we can keep things really simple by sticking to one time , thats what were going to do!
Though 20 minutes may seem slightly longer than other Instant Pot shredded chicken recipes that you see on the internet, weve found that giving the chicken a few extra minutes of pressure cooking actually yields a much more shreddable, tender chicken.
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Variations Of This Recipe
- SPICIER As written, I would say this recipe is about a mild heat level. If youd like it spicier, use HOT diced green chiles, add a chopped jalapeno to the ingredients, and/or use a hot salsa.
- BEER For some extra flavor, try using a Mexican beer like Modelo instead of the chicken broth.
- OTHER SALSAS I love the tang that the salsa verde adds to this chicken, but feel free to use your favorite salsa. There are SO many flavors out there the sky is the limit!
- COOKING METHODS this is made for the Instant Pot, but Ive detailed how to make this in a slow cooker or on the stovetop if youd prefer. Those instructions will be down in the recipe notes section of of the recipe card.
- NO FRESH PRODUCE hey, I get it there are times when you may not have a fresh onion or garlic around the house. You can swap in 1/2 Tbsp onion powder and 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder if you prefer.
Storing Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Now that youve made all of this shredded chicken, what do you do with it? Heres how to store shredded chicken thats been made in the Instant Pot:
Refrigerator Place in an airtight container and add the lid. Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days!
Freezer To freeze, place the chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate for an hour. Move to the freezer and store for up to 3 months!
Reheating/Using in Recipes Reheat the chicken in the microwave for best results , adding about 1 Tbsp of broth or water to keep moisture in. You can also reheat the chicken in recipes, such as casseroles, skillet meals, and enchiladas!
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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.
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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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Thighs
This Instant Pot shredded chicken thighs recipe will help you make quick and easy moist, tender and juicy chicken that you can serve any night of the week!
Perfect for meal prep or bulk cooking, this shredded chicken can be used in so many ways throughout the week, you are going to love this simple gluten free, paleo, Whole30 and keto friendly recipe!
How Much Instant Pot Chicken Can You Make
In general, I recommend making no more than four pounds at once, and definitely no more than five.
Five pounds of pressure cooker chicken breast was really pushing it, as it fills up the Instant Pot and it takes a long time to reach pressure. Besides, the chicken starts to cook unevenly if you put in too much, since the pieces sit on top of each other.
Stick with one to four pounds if possible, but if you really want to make five, that will still work just consider it the limit.
When you arrange the chicken in the Instant Pot, try to do so in one layer if possible. If youre making a lot of pressure cooker shredded chicken and cant get the raw chicken in one layer, just disperse it as evenly as you can. This will help it cook more evenly.
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Save Time And Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
It is so easy and you can use fresh or frozen chicken breasts. Feel free to substitute chicken thighs or even mix them together.
I often use what I already have in the freezer or can get on sale at the grocery store. You are going to love how this turns out and how quick it is.
Make extra to freeze and save even more time in the kitchen thanks to this easy recipe. It is an easy way to meal prep. You will not spend hardly anytime cooking and freezing this but the time saved will really add up during busy weeks.
Ingredients For Shredded Chicken
To keep the shredded chicken as versatile as possible, this recipe calls only for the necessities:
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken to start, youll want to grab either boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or tenders. Any of the above will work great! We recommend grabbing 5 pounds of chicken if youre looking to have enough shredded chicken for 12 adult servings meals). If youre not looking to cook that much chicken, feel free to reduce the amount of chicken based on the amount you do need.
- Water or Broth in order for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, youll need to add some kind of liquid to the pot to the pot before securing the lid! 1 cup of water is perfect regardless of the amount of chicken youre using.