If you’re looking to cook fresh or frozen Instant Pot chicken, I’m here to help! I’ll share printable cook times you’ll need to get started and easy recipes too.
I will help you learn how to cook chicken in your Instant Pot all different kinds of ways here so you too can enjoy easy Instant Pot recipes day after day. (affiliate links present)
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.
The first thing I made was Instant Pot chicken left whole. Then went from there with frozen chicken breasts and lots of casseroles too.
Let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then LIKE our IP Facebook page for new ideas daily.
- For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
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.
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
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
I have made a lot of easy Instant Pot chicken recipes. You can see how long each one took.
Once you make a few you’ll get the hang it. Just adjust times slightly depending on whether your chicken is fresh or frozen.
- 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.
- 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.
The best way to cook chicken in your Instant Pot
- Use fresh chicken
Frozen works well if you’re shredding it to make pressure cooker sliders. 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, I prefer to dice them as you see here for almost every recipe I make. Shorter cook time and you can ensure the insides will get done!
- 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!
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.
- 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. Or you may need this pressure cooker frozen whole chicken recipe if you forgot to defrost it!
Add a bit of garlic powder, and it makes the best homemade chicken broth ever when it’s done!
- Pressure cooker beer can chicken is another way to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.
- 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.
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 favorite pressure cooker recipes made with diced chicken.
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes is an easy one pot meal that is hearty and delicious.
Spicy honey Instant Pot chicken is one of my most popular pressure cooker recipes and uses diced chicken breasts.
- Cheesy Instant Pot chicken parmesan casserole is a classic but much easier to make.
- Pressure cooker chicken quinoa casserole is great.
I will say unless I’m going to make Instant Pot shredded chicken I don’t typically use whole breasts.