If you’re looking to cook fresh or frozen Instant Pot chicken I have all the cook times that you’ll need to get started with a pressure cooker printable too.
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. 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.
- To start I based the Instant Pot chicken cook times using this printable chart.
Now if you’re new to using a pressure cooker you may be surprised to know that times don’t change dramatically when you’re cooking fresh or frozen chicken.
I follow the guide here and when I have fresh I tend to use the lowest # of minutes listed, and for frozen I use the higher.
Of course it varies slightly depending on how much chicken you’re cooking and in my experiences it isn’t much.
The biggest difference when cooking Instant Pot chicken in my opinion is whether it is bone-in or boneless.
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
- I can cook an entire meal in less than 30 minutes usually including prep and time to reach pressure
- Just makes my busy life easier
I have made a lot of easy Instant Pot chicken recipes I have made so you can see how long each one took and once you make a few of them you’ll get the hang of how to adjust times slightly depending on whether your chicken is fresh or frozen.
- Typically when cooking frozen boneless chicken breasts or thighs the timing is 7-10 minutes on high pressure (depending on how many you’re cooking), that’s a good gauge to keep in mind.
- I have made pressure cooker frozen chicken wings before and I filled it to 3/4 of the way full in my 6 qt. Instant Pot and it took about 20 minutes to become fall off the bone perfect (took longer because I had thick barbecue sauce inside the pot too instead of water)! It would be right on the money with the chart above 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 and 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 and if it isn’t quite done when you lift the lid there is NO problem with 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 with sauce in the pot but other than that I feel like it ends up with an odd texture (and obviously won’t have a crispy skin)
- Use boneless – skinless chicken
- 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
- 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 cook for about 10-14 minutes, depending on how many I’m cooking (but I prefer boneless method above for best results)
Here’s a video showing frozen chicken, fresh chicken, and cubed fresh chicken cooked in my pressure cooker and what I’ve done with it.
If you cut boneless skinless chicken up into bite size pieces it cooks quickly and is great to use for Instant Pot casseroles, here are a few favorite pressure cooker recipes made with diced chicken.
- Instant Pot crack chicken casserole is creamy and delicious.
- Spicy honey Instant Pot chicken is one of my most popular pressure cooker recipes and uses diced chicken breasts.
- 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 in my pressure cooker.
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 amazingly well.
- Instant Pot spicy teriyaki chicken thighs use bone-in thighs, come out tender, and the sauce is what makes this meal so insanely delicious. 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!
- 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 on a baking sheet on broil in the oven when they’re done to crisp them up a bit.
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….and 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.
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