How to Cook Chicken in an Instant Pot: A Complete Guide

Cooking chicken in an instant pot is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to cook chicken. With its ability to rapidly cook food, an instant pot can tenderize and moisten chicken to perfection. Additionally, using an instant pot reduces the cooking time by half and seals in all the flavors. In this guide, we will show you how to cook chicken in an instant pot with easy-to-follow steps and tips.

Choosing the Right Chicken

Choosing the right kind of chicken is crucial for getting the best flavor. For a moist and tender chicken, we suggest you go for chicken breast, thighs or legs. Boneless chicken breasts are the most popular option for many cooks, but if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, chicken thighs and legs are great choices. When picking chicken, be sure to look for chicken that is free from bruises, with smooth skin and pink flesh.

Prepping Your Chicken

Before cooking your chicken, be sure to clean it thoroughly. Remove any giblets, excess fat or unwanted parts. Rinse chicken once more and pat it dry with a paper towel. Season your chicken with salt, pepper, and any of your preferred spices. Some popular combinations include thyme, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. Additionally, you can marinate your chicken overnight to add more flavor.

Cooking Your Chicken

Step 1: Turn on your Instant Pot and pour in one cup of water.

Step 2: Place the chicken on the steam rack.

Step 3: Close the lid of the Instant Pot and turn the pressure valve to “sealing.”

Step 4: Press the “Pressure Cook” button and set the timer to 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. For boneless chicken breast, 6 minutes is enough while for boneless thighs, 8 minutes is ideal.

Step 5: Once the timer goes off, allow the instant pot to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes.

Step 6: Turn the pressure valve to “venting” and allow the remaining pressure to release.

Step 7: Open the lid and check to ensure your chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Serving Your Chicken

After your chicken is cooked, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before cutting it into slices or shredding it into pieces. You can serve it with any of your favorite toppings or sides. Some popular options include mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a simple salad.

Tips for Cooking Chicken in an Instant Pot

– Add different flavors: You can change the flavor of your chicken by adding different spices, herbs, and seasonings. Experiment with different recipes to find what works best for you.

– Don’t overcrowd the Instant Pot: Overcrowding the Instant Pot can lead to unevenly cooked chicken. It is best to cook your chicken in batches if you need a big quantity.

– Make use of the sauté function: You can use the sauté function on your Instant Pot to sear your chicken before cooking. This will give your chicken a nice golden brown crust.

– Be mindful of cooking time: Cooking time depends on the thickness and quantity of chicken. It is important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to avoid undercooking or overcooking.

– Use a natural release: Natural release helps to cook the chicken evenly while still holding the moisture inside.


Q: Can I cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot?
A: Yes, you can cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot. However, you will need to adjust the cooking time and use the manual pressure cooking function to avoid overcooking.

Q: Can I add sauces to my chicken?
A: Yes, you can add sauces to your chicken before or after cooking. However, it is better to add sauce after cooking to avoid burning your sauce.

Q: How do I know when my chicken is cooked?
A: You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chicken. It should read 165°F for fully cooked chicken. Alternatively, check to see the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Q: Can I cook different cuts of chicken at the same time?
A: Yes, you can cook different cuts of chicken at the same time. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of each cut.

In conclusion, cooking chicken in an Instant Pot is a convenient way to get a juicy and delicious meal without the hassle of traditional cooking methods. With a little preparation and the right ingredients, you can enjoy a flavorful and healthy chicken dish in no time. Give it a try and see how much time you can save with your Instant Pot.