Instant Pot Chicken Guide (What Instant Pot is Best for Chicken?)

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If you’re looking for Instant Pot chicken recipes, then you found the right place. While there are thousands of recipes out there for Instant Pot cookers, it might be hard to find specific ones about chicken. We have separated our guide into different parts, so you’ll have no problem cooking thighs, drumsticks, breasts, or even a whole chicken in your pressure cooker.

Read on and see how great Instant Pot is for chicken.

Best Instant Pot for Chicken

Nearly any Instant Pot is great for chicken, but we think these three are the best. Check them out:

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

Cooking chicken thighs is usually very easy because these cuts have a good amount of fat that keeps them moist even if you cook them a little too long. Not only that, but they’re incredibly flavorful and you can enhance this by crisping the skin and adding the right seasoning.

We will include general instructions here, but be sure to read the following sections for more information about boneless chicken thighs and frozen chicken thighs.

For the best flavor, we suggest sauteing the thighs first. Set the Instant Pot to saute from the control panel. Skip this if you are using frozen thighs because they may not turn out as well. Add some oil, place in the thighs, and then cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the skin is crispy. Remove and set aside.

Add one cup of liquid to the Instant Pot. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that are on the bottom. This liquid can be water, but we suggest a more flavorful liquid such as broth, pineapple juice, or even apple juice.

Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot. Most models come with a trivet, but there are some that don’t. You can make your own by rolling up some aluminum foil, or you can simply place the chicken thighs in the pressure cooker itself. The trivet allows for better crisping, but it’s not needed.

Seal the Instant Pot lid and then set the appliance to pressure cooking. Please read the following sections for more information about time and cooking tips.

Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot boneless chicken thigh recipes are incredibly easy to make. follow instructions above and make sure to sear the chicken for the best flavor. After that, set pressure cooking to high and cook for 8 minutes.

When finished, your chicken should come up crispy, flavorful, and delicious.

Instant Pot Bone-In Chicken Thighs

Instant pot bone-in chicken thigh recipes for just as easy as boneless ones. You should also follow the instructions in terms of searing and placing a trivet in the pressure cooker. The only difference is the cooking time.

Place the pressure cooker on high and cook for 10 minutes. Just like with boneless thighs, do this and have a delicious, juicy, and crispy meal hot and ready for you.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot frozen chicken thigh recipes are little different from fresh cuts. You should not saute frozen thighs first because they will not turn out as well. It’s best to just place them in the pressure cooker with one cup of liquid.

The cooking time depends on whether you’re cooking frozen boneless chicken thighs or frozen bone-in chicken thighs. If boneless, then set the pressure cooker to high for 12 minutes. If bone in, then set the pressure cooker to high for 15 minutes.

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Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

Many people love drumsticks because they are easy to make, and they have enough fat that they also don’t dry out very easily, much like chicken thighs. Another benefit is that drumsticks can be one of the least expensive cuts of chicken, which allows you to get a lot to feed the whole family.

Instant Pot chicken drumstick recipes are very easy to make. This will give you general instructions, but be sure to add your favorite seasonings and sauces as well. In this section we will cover fresh drumsticks and not frozen, but the next section will tell you how to cook frozen drumsticks.

Place the drumsticks in the Instant Pot and set it to saute. Saute each side of the drumstick for 2 to 3 minutes. You will then remove the drumsticks and place them aside. Add one cup of cooking liquid, such as water or something more flavorful like juice or broth. Then place a trivet or aluminum foil in the pressure cooker. Much like with thighs, you don’t need a trivet, but it does make the meal more delicious overall.

Set the pressure cooker to high and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Release the steam and then the drumsticks will be finished.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Drumsticks

Instant Pot frozen drumstick recipes are nearly as easy as with fresh chicken. You can’t saute them, see you instead start with pressure cooking them.

Place the drumsticks on a trivet or aluminum foil, but remember that you can cook them right in the pressure cooker as well. Add one cup of cooking liquid and set the pressure cooker to high. You will cook for 15 minutes and then allow the steam to release. That’s all there is to it.

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Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Instant Pot chicken breast recipes are easy, but you need to be a little safer when cooking the chicken. This is because chicken breasts can easily overcook and become too tough, mostly because of their lack of fat. That being said, you can still have juicy chicken breasts from an Instant Pot if you know how to cook them.

This section will cover general cooking instructions for fresh chicken breast, but you can just as easily make frozen chicken breast. Check the next section for instructions on frozen chicken.

With the other cuts you may have noticed that we first sauteed the chicken and then pressure cooked it. While you can do this with chicken breast, that’s not suggested as it might dry out chicken. Instead, you’ll just be pressure cooking then.

Add one cup of cooking liquid along with a trivet or aluminum foil. Place the chicken on top of the trivet and pressure cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the steam to release and your chicken is done.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

There is little modification when it comes to Instant Pot frozen chicken breast recipes when compared to fresh ones. The only difference really is the amount of cooking time.

The preparation steps are exactly the same. Add one cup of cooking liquid along with a trivet.  Set the pressure cooker to high, and then cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Your chicken breast should be done, delicious, and very juicy.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Believe it or not, there are Instant Pot whole chicken recipes as well. You can fit a whole chicken in both 6-quart and 8-quart models, and especially in the 10-quart model with the Duo Nova. Keep in mind that 3-quart models are not suggested for whole chickens because they lack the size needed.

It’s best to cook a fresh whole chicken in your instant pot, because there is risk of a frozen chicken still being frozen in the middle even after the appropriate cooking time. That being said though, we will include cooking times for frozen whole chicken in the following section. 

Be sure to dry the chicken, and it’s best to remove the giblets as well for proper cooking. a trivet isn’t needed with this recipe, but you will still need one cup of cooking liquid as you will be pressure cooking.

The cooking time for instant pot whole chicken depends entirely on the size. The common cooking times are:

  • 4lb chicken: 24 minutes
  • 5lb chicken: 30 minutes
  • 6lb chicken: 36 minutes
  • 7lb chicken: 42 minutes

Once the time is finished, release the steam and then use a digital thermometer to check the chicken. If it is not at the appropriate temperature, then add an additional 6 minutes and check again.

Instant Pot Frozen Whole Chicken

Instant pot frozen whole chicken recipes are very similar to their fresh counterparts. You’ll need to dry the chicken first and place the pressure cooker on high with one cup of cooking liquid. As we stated above, this is not recommended as the center might still be frozen, but many people have had luck with this.

Set the pressure cooker to high and follow these cooking times:

  • 3 lbs chicken: 50 minutes
  • 4 lbs chicken: 60 minutes
  • 5 lbs chicken: 70 minutes

When finished, allow the steam to naturally release and then check the temperature. Be sure to also check the center with a knife to make sure it is fully cooked through. If it is not fully cooked, then allow it to cook for another 6 to 10 minutes and then check again. 

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Instant Pot teriyaki chicken recipes are easier than you would think. While you can make the sauce from scratch, many people suggest just using your favorite teriyaki sauce. After it’s cooked, you’ll notice the sauce has a very deep, developed flavor that is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

It’s best to cook the chicken first and then place it back in the pressure cooker and cover with about a quarter to half a cup of teriyaki sauce. Secure the lid and then pressure cook on high for 4 minutes, or 6-8 minutes if the chicken piece is very thick.

Release the steam, and you’ll notice that the teriyaki sauce has thickened and has a much stronger taste to it.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Instant Pot chicken and rice recipes are very easy. It’s best to cook the chicken first because this allows you to brown it and cook it thoroughly before starting the rice. You can then add the chicken to the rice, so that it flavors the rice as it cooks.

The following instructions will show you how to cook chicken and rice in your Instant Pot depending on the type of rice that you were using.

Instant Pot Chicken and White Rice

Instant Pot white rice and chicken recipes are fairly simple, but it’s suggested that you check the manual before starting. Some people have suggested that a one-to-one ratio of liquid to rice is enough, but some models will say that the rice is burning and this triggers a safety feature. In this case, it’s best to use a one-to-two ratio of double liquid to rice.

What liquid should you use when cooking rice in your Instant Pot? While you can use the old standby of water, you will get much more flavoring with chicken broth, vegetable broth, or any other flavorful liquid.

Set this to pressure cook on high and then cook for 15 minutes. Your chicken and rice should come out flavorful and delicious.

Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

Instant Pot brown rice and chicken recipes are about the same as with white rice, but you’ll need to change the liquid and cooking time slightly. It’s also best to use chicken thighs, because the extra cooking time will likely dry out chicken breast.

Add a quarter cup of extra liquid, and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. It should be enough time for the brown rice to be completely done, and for the meal to be ready.

Instant Pot Chicken and Jasmine Rice

Instant Pot jasmine rice and chicken is actually exactly the same as cooking with white or brown rice. It depends on whether you’re using white jasmine rice or brown jasmine rice. Follow the associated instructions, and you’ll find your meal comes out tasty and quick.