Chicken is perhaps one of the most popular recipes on the planet, with a variety of exciting ways to enjoy it. Some people would also agree that cooking chicken is relatively easy, but when it comes to cooking chicken using the Instant Pot, timing is typically an issue that brings up a lot of confusion.
“How long should I cook my chicken?” “How long should I wait to release pressure after cooking?” “Does the chicken part I’m cooking affect the cooking duration?” If these are questions you find yourself asking when you decide on Instant Pot chicken for dinner, then fret no more.
This article will provide you with all the tips and tricks to get the timing right when cooking chicken in an Instant Pot. We also advise that you take note of our cooking guidelines in order to get the best results.
Chicken Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Chicken in an Instant Pot
Cooking chicken in an Instant Pot is a quick and easy process. However, there are a number of helpful tips to keep in mind to ensure that you get the best results:
Ideal amount of water to use – Keep the following sizes and quantities in mind:
- For a 3-quart instant pot, use ¾ cup of water
- For a 6-quart instant pot, use 1 cup of water
- For an 8-quart instant pot, use 1½ cup of water
Timing your cooking – The cook times shown in the table below are based on typical chicken weights used in most recipes. Ideally, you should reduce the cooking duration by 1 to 2 minutes if you’re working with a smaller chicken, depending on the degree to which the size varies. Also lengthen the cooking time by 1 or 2 minutes if the chicken pieces are larger.
When in doubt, go for a shorter cooking duration. If your chicken is undercooked, there’s always the option of cooking the chicken for longer, but you can’t undo the procedure if the chicken is overcooked (especially with boneless, skinless chicken breasts).
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Cooking Time for Chicken in an Instant Pot
The ideal cooking time for chicken in an Instant Pot typically varies based on what part of the chicken you’re cooking, whether the chicken has its skin on or off, whether or not the bones have been taken out, as well as whether you’re cooking fresh or frozen chicken.
Based on the different specifications, the ideal cooking time for chicken has been described in the table below:
|Type of chicken||Cooking time for fresh chicken||Cooking time for frozen chicken|
|Boneless and skinless chicken thighs||6 minutes (if you’re cooking 3 ounces of chicken); vent immediately afterwards to release pressure||12 minutes (if you’re cooking 3 ounces of chicken); vent immediately afterwards to release pressure|
|Bone-in chicken thighs (with or without the skin on)||10 minutes (if you’re cooking 6 ounces of chicken); vent immediately afterwards to release pressure||15 minutes (if you’re cooking 6 ounces of chicken); vent immediately afterwards to release pressure|
|Boneless and skinless chicken breasts||8 minutes (if you’re cooking 10 ounces of chicken); vent immediately afterwards to release pressure||12 minutes (if you’re cooking 10 ounces of chicken); vent immediately afterwards to release pressure|
|Bone-in chicken breasts (with or without the skin on)||10 minutes (if you’re cooking 12 ounces of chicken); natural release for 5 minutes||25 minutes (if you’re cooking 12 ounces of chicken); vent immediately afterwards to release pressure|
- 2 pounds of chicken breasts (chicken thighs will also work; you can choose to use fresh or frozen, skin on or skin off, boneless or bone-in)
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, include other seasonings if desired
- Pour in a cup of water into a 6-quart Instant Pot. Place the trivet on top. In the same pot, add the chicken. Ensure that the pieces of chicken are split loose and not left in a solid block if you’re working with frozen chicken.
- If desired, you can also season your chicken.
- Depending on the sort of chicken you’re cooking, set the Instant Pot to high pressure for the time given in the table above. The amount of time it will take to cook the chicken should not change based on the amount of chicken you use (whether you’re cooking 1 pound of chicken or 3 pounds) or the size of your Instant Pot. It will merely change the time it takes for the pot to reach pressure and for the countdown to begin.
- As soon as the cooking time is complete, you can either vent immediately or wait for 5 minutes for the pressure in the Instant Pot to naturally release. (Depending on the kind of chicken you’re cooking, go to the release instructions stated in the article above.)
- Carefully open the Instant Pot’s lid and insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest portion of the chicken to verify the internal temperature. Ensure during this process that the thermometer does not touch the bone if you’re cooking bone-in chicken. The temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and cook for a few minutes longer if the temperature is less than 160 degrees F. If the chicken reaches 160 degrees F but not 165, cover it with the lid and let it rest for another 5 minutes, or until the desired temperature of 165 degrees F is achieved.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board and set aside. Allow to cool until you can handle it.
- Shred or dice the cooked chicken as desired as soon as it gets cool enough to handle. You could also choose to remove the trivet and extract the remaining cooking liquid from the Instant Pot, then return the cooked chicken into the Instant pot and shred it quickly and effortlessly with a hand mixer.
- Afterwards, use your chicken as you see fit in any recipe of your choosing.
This recipe is a quick and easy one to achieve, but it is particularly important to pay attention to the timing instructions in order to obtain the best possible results. Take particular note of the fact that the cooking time depends on the type of chicken you’re using.
If you would like to see more ideas for cooking chicken in an Instant Pot, then we recommend that you check out this video recipe.