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Chicken in Pressure Cooker How Long to Cook

If you’re looking to cook chicken in pressure cooker how long do you set it for so it is tender and not dried out? I’m here to help! I’ll share printable cook times you’ll need to get started and easy recipes. Sharing right out of the freezer like Instant Pot frozen chicken legs to cooking fresh breasts and wings.

chicken in pressure cooker how long to cook

I will help you learn how to cook chicken in Instant Pot all different kinds of ways here so you too can enjoy easy Instant Pot recipes day after day. All cuts are shared whether frozen, fresh, bone-in or boneless skinless we love. (affiliate links present)

Cooking Chicken in Pressure Cooker How Long

I have been using my multi cooker pressure cooker for 2 years now. I bought the very first model that came out and have never looked back. Now I have a Mealthy, Crockpot Express and make a lot of Ninja Foodi recipes now as well.

The first thing I made was Instant Pot chicken left whole. Then I shared my pressure cooker frozen whole chicken recipe because I forgot to defrost it! Then went from there with frozen chicken breasts and lots of casseroles too.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Chicken in Instant Pot How Long

Now if you’re new to using a pressure cooker I’m here to help! You may be surprised to know that times don’t change dramatically when you’re cooking fresh or frozen chicken.

I follow the guide you see below. When I have fresh meat I tend to use the lowest # of minutes listed. For frozen I use the highest.

Instant Pot chicken

Of course it varies slightly depending on how much chicken you’re cooking and in my experiences it isn’t much. To start I based the Instant Pot chicken cook times using this printable chart.

instant pot chicken

Chicken in Ninja Foodi How Long

I have made a lot of easy Instant Pot chicken recipes. You can see how long each one took. Why I use my Instant Pot on a daily basis:

  • There’s less clean up – just one pot for cooking meats, thru to the entire meal
  • I can cook frozen meat in no time at all. And can even season chicken with salt and pepper quickly before I close the lid and turn it on
  • Meal prep is slim to done and I can cook an entire meal in less than 30 minutes.
  • Just makes my busy life easier

Once you make a few you’ll get the hang it. Just adjust times slightly depending on whether your chicken is fresh or frozen.

easy pressure cooker chicken recipes

How Long to Cook Chicken in Pressure Cooker

Typically when cooking frozen boneless breasts or thighs, set the Instant Pot cooking timing for 7-10 minutes on high pressure.

Always depends on how many you’re cooking but that’s a good gauge. Allowing a bit of natural release vs. quick release is better to keep protein moist. I have made pressure cooker frozen chicken wings before and I filled it to 3/4 of the way full. I use my 6 quart Instant Pot for reference. It took about 20 minutes to become fall off the bone perfect.

I had thick barbecue sauce inside the pot too instead of water! It would be right on the money at 10-15 min. if I hadn’t filled it so full.


Chicken Breasts in Pressure Cooker How Long

Frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot take about 10 minutes depending on how many pieces you’re cooking.

I have made fresh Instant Pot chicken legs cooked in barbecue or enchilada sauce. They were a solid 10 minutes, right on the money with the chart above.

With that said, the chart above is a good base to go off of. If you’re cooking quite a bit you may have to give it an educated guess keeping these times in mind

If it isn’t quite done there is NO problem putting the lid back on and adding a few more minutes.

instant pot chicken

How Much Water do You Put in Pressure Cooker for Chicken

Whether you use frozen or use fresh chicken under pressure you don’t need a lot of liquid. Some is a necessity since essentially it’s being steamed but it also emits broth when cooked. Minimum 1/2 cup whether it be broth, liquid from salsa, pepperoncini pepper juice or other choice.

Frozen or fresh cooked chicken breasts works well if you’re shredding it to make pressure cooker sliders or chicken salad. A quick meal at around 15 minutes for sure. Other than that I feel like it ends up with an odd texture (and obviously won’t have a crispy skin).

  • Use boneless & skinless to make tender Instant Pot chicken breasts
    • Cube it into pieces as you see below, fork size
    • Add 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil into your Instant Pot
    • Turn it to saute

Add your chicken pieces to a bowl. I prefer to dice them as you see here for things like Instant Pot black pepper chicken and almost every recipe I make. Shorter cook time and you can ensure the insides will get done!

diced chicken thighs

Pressure Cook Chicken

Cook just the outside until they are no longer pink. Add your favorite sauce (1.5 c. of sauce/liquid typically is the minimum amount) Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes

If using bone-in chicken I follow this same above rule. But I cook them for about 10-14 minutes, depending on how many I have.

I prefer boneless method for best results. Add some creamy elements like we did in our Instant Pot crack chicken pasta and wow!

Instant Pot Crack Chicken Casserole 2

Best way to cook chicken in Instant Pot

In my opinion chicken comes out more tender and cooked evenly when it is diced beforehand. Here are a few exceptions to the rule where I’ve used bone-in chicken for recipes and they’ve come out well.

  1. Instant Pot spicy teriyaki chicken thighs use bone-in thighs. They come out tender and the sauce is what makes this meal so delicious. Serve with brown rice for the best meal ever.

You could really use any sauce recipe you love and use our timing. But if you love sweet and spicy with Asian flavors you’ll love ours. Instant Pot whole chicken is great to have on hand.

Add a bit of garlic powder, and it makes the best homemade chicken broth ever when it’s done!

  1. Pressure cooker beer can chicken is another way to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.
  2. Instant Pot Wings come out well if cooked in a sauce.

Instant Pot Drumsticks / legs work well too. Just throw them under the broiler when they’re done to crisp them up.

And you see…..there are tons of ways to cook Instant Pot chicken depending on your preference. I will recommend boneless and dicing it up with sauce to get some amazing flavors. Then when that is done try a side of Instant Pot brussel sprouts and bacon with it!

For other meats, vegetable and bean cook times you can print out these pressure cooker time charts.

frozen chicken in instant pot
instant pot whole chicken

Pressure cooker recipes made with diced chicken

Here’s a video showing frozen chicken, fresh chicken, and cubed fresh chicken cooked in my pressure cooker. If you cut boneless skinless chicken up into bite size pieces it cooks quickly. It is great to use for Instant Pot casseroles too. Here are a few favorites.

I will say unless I’m going to make Instant Pot shredded chicken I don’t typically use whole breasts. If you cook frozen chicken breasts they are always boneless skinless and shred nicely when done. They only need about 12 minutes of cooking either way. The video in this post shows you how easy that is.

spicy honey instant pot chicken

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Chicken in Pressure Cooker How Long

How long to cook chicken in pressure cooker frozen or fresh so it is tender and juicy. Use Instant Pot, Crockpot Express or Ninja Foodi to make any of these.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, crockpot express, instant pot, ninja foodi, shredded chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 248kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Place chicken on the bottom with seasonings sprinkled on top, then pour on liquids and pepperoncinis in the pot. Place butter on the top.
  • Close lid and steam valve to sealing. Set to high pressure for 10 minutes with a 15 minute natural release. Lift, use two forks to shred meat and serve on rolls or over rice.


Nutrition Facts
Chicken in Pressure Cooker How Long
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 248 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 112mg37%
Sodium 821mg36%
Potassium 604mg17%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 0.4g0%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 277IU6%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Instant Pot Chicken 2
Recipe Rating

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Wednesday 30th of December 2020

I AM A QUAD IN A WHEELCHAIR, SO JUST PUTTING EVERYTHING INTO 1 POT, LOCKIN ON THE LID AND PUSHING A BUTTON IS PERFECT FOR ME !!! And we LOVE 'easy for me', it allows me to be more independent and to participate in family/kitchen stuff. THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!

The Typical Mom

Thursday 31st of December 2020

So glad

Jennifer Banz

Wednesday 26th of September 2018

I love using my instant pot for so many different ways to make dinner an easy task!

Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Wednesday 26th of September 2018

This has helped me a lot with cooking chicken in the instant pot, I love my instant pot and can't wait to try more recipes!

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