Instant Pot Chicken: A Culinary Guide to Perfectly Cooked Chicken

Indulge in the convenience and versatility of cooking chicken in an Instant Pot, a revolutionary kitchen appliance that simplifies meal preparation. This comprehensive guide provides detailed instructions and expert tips to ensure perfectly cooked chicken every time.

Do You Need Liquid to Pressure Cook Chicken?

Yes, liquid is essential for pressure cooking chicken. The liquid converts into steam, creating the high-pressure environment that cooks the chicken quickly and evenly. The amount of liquid required varies depending on the size and type of chicken.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Instant Pot Chicken


  • Chicken breasts or thighs (fresh or frozen, bone-in or boneless)
  • Water (1 cup for a 6-quart Instant Pot)
  • Seasonings of your choice (optional)


  1. Prepare the Instant Pot: Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot and insert the trivet.

  2. Add the Chicken: Place the chicken on the trivet. If using frozen chicken, break apart any frozen clumps.

  3. Season (Optional): Sprinkle seasonings of your choice over the chicken.

  4. Set the Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for the following times, depending on the type of chicken:

    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: 8 minutes (fresh), 12 minutes (frozen)
    • Bone-in chicken breasts: 10 minutes (fresh), 25 minutes (frozen)
    • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: 6 minutes (fresh), 12 minutes (frozen)
    • Bone-in chicken thighs: 10 minutes (fresh), 15 minutes (frozen)
  5. Release Pressure: After the cooking time is complete, either vent immediately or let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, depending on the type of chicken.

  6. Check Temperature: Carefully open the lid and check the internal temperature of the chicken with an instant-read thermometer. The chicken should register 165°F at the thickest part. If it’s below 165°F, reseal the Instant Pot and cook for a few additional minutes.

  7. Shred or Dice: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the Instant Pot and shred or dice it as desired.

Tips for Perfect Instant Pot Chicken

  • Use enough liquid: Ensure there is sufficient liquid to create steam and prevent burning.
  • Season to taste: Experiment with different seasonings to enhance the flavor of the chicken.
  • Check the internal temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Don’t overcook: Overcooked chicken can become dry and tough.
  • Use frozen chicken: Frozen chicken cooks just as well as fresh chicken in an Instant Pot.
  • Shred easily: Use a hand mixer to quickly and effortlessly shred the cooked chicken.

Master the art of cooking chicken in an Instant Pot with this comprehensive guide. By following these simple steps and incorporating the expert tips provided, you can consistently achieve perfectly cooked chicken that is juicy, tender, and flavorful.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast–Tender, Juicy, and Perfectly Cooked


Can you cook chicken in a pressure cooker without liquid?

To cook chicken in a pressure cooker, you will need to add at least a small amount of liquid, such as water or broth, to the pot. The exact cooking time will depend on the size and type of chicken pieces you are cooking, as well as the pressure cooker you are using.

Can you pressure cook without liquid?

Can a Pressure Cooker Be Used Without Water? It is important to never run a pressure cooker without water. It cannot cook your food properly without water, and the pressure will build to such an extent that the lid, pressure valve, plugs, and hot food could be thrown all over the kitchen.

Do you need liquid to pressure cook meat?

Pressure cookers cook with steam. No liquid = no steam. You can’t and shouldn’t use your pressure cooker unless you’ve added sufficient liquid. Instructions will let you know the minimum amount and some even tell you how much to use for different items.

Does a pressure cooker dry out chicken?

At 12-15 min range the chicken meat will dry out some, but let it rest in the cooking liquid for a few minutes before cutting and it should be able to re-absorb some of it (or not release more).

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