We’ve all been in this boat before. You come home to makes dinner or lunch, your family’s waiting, and you realize you didn’t take an essential item out of the freezer. Foods that need thawing before cooking can seem impossible when you forget to. And when it comes to chicken breasts, you may even feel worse.
The good news is you can still make it work if your chicken breasts are frozen solid. You can still meet that dinner time or fix that lunch even when your chicken breasts haven’t heard thawed. And you can do this by cooking it in an instant pot! This secret has become one of the most appreciated by cooks and food enthusiasts all over the world.
Cooking frozen chicken breasts in an instant pot is a timesaver. You can easily make your dinner or lunch without waiting for the meat to thaw. It’s also convenient as the size of the pot allows you to cook as many as you want at the same time. Plus, the steam penetrates the chicken breasts, so you end up with soft, juicy treats when you’re done.
Tips for Cooking Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot
While it’s emphasized that cooking frozen chicken breasts in a pressure cooker is a convenient method, you’ll still need to keep some ideas in mind when doing it.
Separate the Frozen Breasts
If you cook a frozen lump of breasts that way, most of them won’t come out well done. So, make sure they’re separated and put them at the bottom of the pot in units. Store-bought frozen breasts are usually sold separated, but home frozen ones may come out this way.
Add Liquid to Instant Pot
Pour in about a cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot before you cover and turn it on. If you wish to infuse more flavor to your chicken breasts, uses chicken broth instead.
You can add your preferred blend of seasoning and spices at the start of the cooking, right onto the frozen breasts. Many feel this would be ineffective, so they wait until it’s cooked for half the time and open the lid to add the seasoning.
Always Follow Instant Pot User Instructions
Instant pots use a lot of pressure, so you need to be safe when using them for cooking. First, be sure that you turn the steam release valve on the pot to ‘sealing’ after you’ve covered the lid. If you notice steam escaping from the valve during cooking, realign the valve with a long wooden spoon. Don’t use your hand, or you’ll get burned by the steam.
To cook, use the ‘Pressure Cook’ button on the instant pot. Some models come with the ‘Manual’ button instead, which is the same thing. You can set the cooking time you want with the adjustment buttons. They’re the ones with ‘+/-‘ indicators.
Once the cooking time is reached, don’t open the lid immediately (that’s dangerous). Instead, let the steam release by itself for about 10 minutes. Then, turn the steam release valve to ‘venting,’ using a long wooden spoon.
Once the chicken breasts are done, leave them to rest for up to 10 minutes before serving them. While they rest, the juices will be reabsorbed by the meat, and the breasts will come out even moister.
Cooking Time for Frozen Chicken Breast in Pressure Cooker
Different sizes of frozen chicken breasts cook at other times. It’s why you’re advised to make sure each chicken breast is roughly the same weight. Cooking frozen breasts of varying weights will cause some to cook faster than others.
Frozen chicken breasts around 6 to 8 oz will cook for up to 12 minutes. Those around 9 to 10 oz will take about 14 minutes. And larger breasts of about 12 oz will need up to 16 minutes to cook well in the instant pot.
Check the doneness of the frozen chicken breasts with a meat thermometer at the thickest part of the meat. You want your meat to cook internally at 165 degrees F. If this hasn’t been reached, put the chicken breast back in the instant pot and cook for another 2 minutes.Print
- 3 frozen chicken breasts, 8 ounces each
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Seasoning, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Put the frozen chicken breasts inside the pressure cooker and add broth. Sprinkle the seasoning and salt. Close the lid and ‘seal’ the steam release valve.
- Press the ‘Manual’ button and set the cooking time to 12 minutes at high pressure. Leave the instant pot to cook.
- Once the cooking time is reached, allow the pot to release steam by itself for about 10 minutes. Then, ‘vent’ the steam release valve and check the internal temperature of the breasts with an instant-read thermometer. You should expect an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If it’s lower, cook the breasts again for another 2 minutes in the instant pot.
- When the chicken breasts are done, let them sit for about 10 minutes before you serve. You can slice or shred the breasts, depending on how you prefer them.