Skip to Content

How Long to Pressure Cook Chicken Breasts

If you’re as fond of chicken breast as we are, then you’re always looking for more ways to make them. But have you ever considered using a pressure cooker? Surprisingly, it’s an easy and speedy way to prepare the chicken breast for any recipe. And you can prepare more than one piece, meaning you get more done in less time.

Still, you may shy from the idea, thinking such a method means relearning cooking time for poultry. And while this statement is true, it doesn’t mean the recipe takes a toll on your mind. Pressure-cooking chicken breasts are easy, and the time it takes is even easier to master. So if you haven’t subscribed to this technique, you’ll want to keep reading and learn about it.

Chicken Breasts Nutrition Facts

How Long to Pressure Cook Chicken Breasts (2)

Prepare the Pressure Cooker

Set the inner pot, followed by the trivet. The first goes into the pressure cooker while the trivet sits at the bottom. The trivet allows you to steam the chicken, giving you an impressive amount of moisture without it seeming soggy.

Once you’ve set the equipment, add some liquid to the inner pot. Many prefer water as it allows you to adjust the flavor of the meat. But you can also consider any broth or juice you prefer.

Season the Chicken Breasts

Any combination of flavors will work in this recipe. However, you can consider sprinkling a generous helping of the classic chicken seasoning or a Mexican spice blend if you prefer such flavors. Other options include Old Bay seasoning, Italian seasoning, and even BBQ spices.

Liquid condiments like hot sauce can also work for your pressure cooker chicken breast and soy sauce. You can also use liquid seasoning or teriyaki sauce to boost the overall flavor of the recipe. But if you’d prefer a balanced flavor that’ll work in any recipe, consider the simple salt and pepper mix.

While water is the commonly used liquid base in instant pot chicken breasts, other flavorful options can also work. For more umami, think of chicken or vegetable broth as the liquid base. You can also use any juice from pineapple to grape or apple for a sweeter touch.

Cooking Time for Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

Regardless of how much chicken breast you have in the pressure cooker, the doneness time remains the same. Normally, it takes about eight to 10 minutes to cook fresh or thawed chicken breasts thoroughly. If you’re handling frozen ones, consider 10 to 12 minutes for the recipe.

Note that the cooking time isn’t determined by how many chicken breasts you’re cooking, but their sizes. To help, note these estimated times for different measurements;

  • Breasts below two inches thick- eight minutes
  • Breasts of two inches and above- 10 minutes

Frozen chicken breasts of either size will need extra two minutes based to cook thoroughly.

Cover the pressure cooker and seal the lid and vent. Then, program the pot to HIGH for the allotted time you choose. You’ll need to read the internal doneness with a meat thermometer, so you’ll know when the chicken breasts reach 165F. Anything less and it can’t be considered safe to eat.

Once it’s done, leave the pot for five minutes, so the pressure releases naturally release. Afterward, unseal the vent, and so the remaining steam escape, and remove the chicken breasts.

More Tips

You can also cook the breast in the instant pot without the trivet by dropping them directly inside the broth or juice. The results would still be as tasty as expected, and you’ll get almost the same texture. But if you’re skeptical about it, consider forging a makeshift rack from ropes of aluminum foil. Then, place it in the pot and lay the breast on the rack instead.

It’s best to use an instant pot with enough size to house the chicken breasts in a single layer. But for smaller pots, you may run the risk of overcrowding, so consider cooking in batches. The trick is to leave about half the pot upwards empty, so enough room for pressure building is allowed. And large pots mean more space and more time to reach pressure. But once it’s attained, the cooking time remains the same.

The ‘Poultry’ setting on your pressure cooker is designed only to cook average-sized chicken breast. So, if you have smaller or larger pieces, it may overcook or undercook them respectively. So it’s why you need to consider the recommended times above before using an instant pot.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Pressure Cooker Chicken Breasts (4 Servings)

  • Author: Bobby


  • Three pounds chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, each 2 inches thick
  • One cup broth
  • One teaspoon salt
  • Half teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground


  1. Set the inner pot and trivet, then pour in the broth. Arrange the breasts on the trivet in one layer and sprinkle with pepper and salt.
  2. Cover and silver the lid and vent. Then, program the pot to cook on HIGH for 10 minutes. When it reaches an internal temperature of 165F, leave the pot for five minutes to naturally relieve pressure. Then, release the seal, so the remaining steam escapes, and take the chicken out.
  3. Let the chicken rest for five more minutes outside the pot. You can do this tented or uncovered, but the juice will redistribute regardless. Once it’s rested, use as you desire on ay recipe.

More suggestions can be found here.

Subscribe to Blog Chef for the easiest recipes and cooking tips. Signing up gives your consent to emails and personalized ads. See privacy policy.