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How To Pressure Cook Chicken

FAST, EASY Chicken ready in minutes for you to shred, chop, use in another dish or eat right from the pressure cooker. Pressure Cooker Chicken works in electric pressure cookers, a stove top pressure cooker or the instant pot. Find all the info you need to make any cut of chicken or even a whole chicken in the pressure cooker right here!

chicken thighs on a cutting board
Raw boneless chicken thighs fillet. Black background. Top view.

The easiest way to cook up some chicken for casseroles, soups and other dishes is to cook it all quickly in the pressure cooker.

Once you’ve conquered cooking one cut of chicken in the pressure cooker, you’ll find that any other cut is easy too and I bet you’ll be pulling that pressure cooker out for all kinds of meals!

Be sure to follow the tips and tricks I’ve noted below and add a TON of flavor to your various cuts of chicken by making the additions I recommend.

Start pressure cooking your chicken and you’ll be on your way to tasty dishes in no time at all!

Pressure cooked chicken breasts in sauce

Chicken Breasts in the Pressure Cooker

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Using the pressure cooker is an easy way to cook up a BUNCH of chicken breasts all at once.

What could be easier? Just throw them in the pressure cooker, add some seasoning and a bit of liquid then set it to go.

Do a quick chore or throw your feet up and watch your show to the first commercial break and BOOM. Chicken’s done!

Be sure to season your breast pieces appropriately (see recipe) to ensure that they are juicy and fully cooked.

How Long to Cook Chicken Breasts in a Pressure Cooker

Pressure Cooking Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts will take about 8 minutes at full (high) pressure for 1-2 lbs of breast and then allow a natural release.

For a greater quantity, add an additional 2 minutes of cooking time for each additional 2 lbs.

Remember to never fill your pressure cooker more than 3/4 full. An overfull pressure cooker is a danger.

Pressure Cooking Bone in and Skin on Breasts

For 1-2 lbs breast with skin and bones, cook for 10 minutes.

To crisp the skin after cooking,

  • Remove them from the pressure cooker VERY GENTLY with tongs and
  • Put onto a sheet pan.
  • Paint with melted butter and then
  • Broil on high for 2 minutes,
  • Check the skin for crispiness and repeat x 1 minute until as crispy as you prefer.

How to Cook Chicken Tenderloins in a Pressure Cooker

Wondering, “How Do I Cook Chicken Tenderloins in a Pressure Cooker“? Look no further!

Chicken Tenderloins follow the same basic instructions as a boneless skinless breast piece.

Cook 1-2 lbs Chicken Tenderloins in the pressure cooker on high with a natural release for 8 minutes.

Be sure to add the seasonings and most importantly, the water or broth as indicated below.

Pressure cooked chicken wings on a cutting board

Chicken Wings in a Pressure Cooker

What could be quicker and easier than chicken wings in a pressure cooker? Just a few minutes in and BOOM, they are ready!

Whip up an easy, tasty sauce like Buffalo or Spicy Honey and give your wings a quick zap under the broiler to crisp the skin and you’ll be in business!

Don’t forget to dunk them in some tasty homemade dipping sauces like Yum Yum Sauce, Chick fil A Sauce Ranch Dressing or Polynesian, you can’t go wrong!

How Long to Cook Wings in a Pressure Cooker

Chicken wings are done in the pressure cooker in minutes. No question.

Cook 1-2 lbs of chicken wings for 8 minutes at full pressure with a natural release. For each additional pound add 2-3 minutes of cook time.

It’s very important to remove the wings VERY GENTLY from the pressure cooker using tongs and arrange on a baking sheet so that they don’t touch.

Broil for 1-2 minutes or until the skin is crispy.

Then, apply a delicious sauce and get your dipping sauces ready to go!

Pressure cooker thighs in sauce

Chicken Thighs in the Pressure Cooker

Oh man! What has more juicy flavor than chicken thighs? Plus, I don’t think there is a more forgiving cut of meat, it’s super hard to overcook a chicken thigh. Take it from me, I’ve certainly tried.

The pressure cooker will make perfect thighs every time and you have little worry about ever showing up to a pot luck with over cooked, dry casserole when you use thighs.

You can generally substitute thighs for breast meat in nearly any recipe and now that you can buy the boneless skinless variety, nothing could be easier.

How Long to Cook Chicken Thighs in a Pressure Cooker

Pressure Cooking Boneless Skinless Thighs

Cook boneless skinless chicken thighs in the pressure cooker for 8 minutes per 1-2 lbs at full pressure with a natural release.

Need more than just 1-2 lbs? No problem, as long as you don’t overfill your pressure cooker.

Never fill your pressure cooker more than 3/4 full.

Add an additional 2 minutes of cooking time for each additional 1-2 lbs.

Be sure to add a TON of flavor by following the directions in the recipe noted below.

Pressure Cooking Bone In and Skin On Thighs

If your chicken has skin and bones, you’ll need an additional 1-2 minutes per lb as well.

To crisp the skin after cooking do the following:

  • Gently remove the chicken from the pressure cooker using tongs. Be careful because the skin will tear easily and the bones are likely to fall out.
  • Place on a sheet pan and heat the broiler on high.
  • Paint with melted butter.
  • Broil for 2 minutes and then check, repeat for 1 minute intervals until it is as crisp as you prefer.
Pressure cooker chicken legs on cutting board

Chicken Legs in the Pressure Cooker

It’s not just kids who love a chicken drumstick! They are easy to eat and affordable too!

Chicken legs cook up quickly and easily in the pressure cooker. You’ll need to be careful with them if you want to preserve the skin.

Just grab your handy tongs and you’ll be good to go though!

How Long to Cook Chicken Legs in the Pressure Cooker?

Chicken Legs cook up in the pressure cooker in about 8 minutes for 1-2 lbs at full pressure with a natural release.

If you want to preserve the skin for your dish, remove them very gently from the pressure cooker and then paint with melted butter and broil on high for 2 minutes.

If the skin isn’t as crispy as you prefer, just broil and check after another minute. Do it another minute or more if it needs it.

frozen chicken wings

Pressure Cooker Chicken From Frozen

One of the best things about using a pressure cooker is that you can put FROZEN chicken into the pressure cooker and end up with a fully cooked meal in literal minutes.

That so BEATS thawing chicken in warm water or remembering to put your chicken into the fridge a few days before you plan to cook it.

You should never lay your chicken out on the countertop in the morning to thaw for dinner when you come home. Your chicken could thaw and be in the danger zone for bacteria for too long.

It’s best to have a handy cooking method like the pressure cooker to ensure safety and quickly fix your dinner.

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in a Pressure Cooker

Chicken breasts cooked in the pressure cooker are done quickly.

Pressure Cooking Frozen Boneless Skinless Breasts

For 1-2 lbs of boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cook on high pressure for 10-12 minutes. You’ll need to add 1/2 cup of chicken stock for safe cooking and some seasoning to ensure cook taste. (start with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and 1 tsp garlic and onion powder).

Pressure Cooking Bone In and Skin On Breasts

For Frozen Bone in and Skin On Chicken Breasts, you’ll need a little more time.

For 1-2 lbs of bone in and skin on chicken breasts, add 1/2 cup chicken stock (or water) and seasoning and cook at full pressure for 15 minutes. Allow for a natural release.

Remember that you will want to crisp the skin under the broiler after cooking in the pressure cooker because the skin will be soft and loose.

How Long to Cook Frozen Wings in a Pressure Cooker

One way to get those frozen chicken wings on the table quickly is via the pressure cooker! There are just a few things you need to know first.

Pressure Cook 1 lb of frozen chicken wings for 8 minutes under full pressure with a natural release.

For each additional lb, add an extra 2 minutes to the cook time.

Be careful removing the wings from the pressure cooker to avoid tearing the skin or pulling the wings apart.

Pressure cooked chicken wing skin is not quite like deep fried or oven baked wings. Coming out of the pressure cooker, the skin will be soft and will tear easily.

You will need to broil the chicken wings after removing them from the pressure cooker for a few minutes.

Be sure to apply a coating with some type of fat (oil or butter) so that they will lightly fry under the broiler.

After broiling you can add whatever sauce you prefer.

You’ll also need to remember that the wing itself is likely to fall apart easily. No worries! Easy eating is a delight!

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs in a Pressure Cooker

Chicken thighs go from frozen to delicious in just minutes in the pressure cooker.

You’ll need to choose either bone in and skin on or boneless/skinless to understand how long to cook them.

Pressure Cooking Frozen Bone In and Skin on Thighs

The Frozen Bone in and Skin on Thighs are going to take just a bit longer to cook than the boneless, but that’s no worry at all.

Cook 1-2 lbs of Frozen Bone In and Skin on Thighs in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes on full pressure and then allow a natural release. (Make sure to follow the recipe below for safe operation and BANGING flavor!)

When cooking the bone in and skin on, you’ll need to think about your end use. Will you need the skin and bone for your completed dish?

If so, be very careful when you remove them from the pressure cooker. The meat will be very tender and the bone may fall out and the skin will be very delicate.

Simply remove with tongs and place on a baking sheet. Paint the skin with some melted butter and then broil for 2 minutes. Broil at 1 minute intervals after that until the skin is as crispy as you prefer.

Pressure Cooking Frozen Boneless Skinless Thighs

Boneless thighs take a little less time, even if they are frozen.

Cook frozen boneless skinless thighs in the pressure cooker for 12 minutes on full pressure and allow a natural release.

Make sure to follow the recipe card below to add as much flavor as possible to your boneless thighs! You sure don’t want to skip out on that!

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Legs in a Pressure Cooker

One thing to remember about a frozen chicken leg cooked in the pressure cooker, that meat is going to be fall off the bone tender when it comes out.

Make a plan ahead of time about what you will do if it actually does!

You’ll want to be super gentle removing the chicken legs from the pressure cooker.

Cook 1-2 lbs Frozen Chicken legs in the pressure cooker on high pressure for 15 minutes and allow a natural release.

Be sure to check out my tips and tricks and the recipe below to get the MOST flavor out of your chicken legs!

whole chicken in a pan

How to Pressure Cook a Whole Chicken

You might think that cooking a whole chicken in a pressure cooker is a daunting idea, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Just like cooking chicken pieces, or anything else really, you simply put it all in, seal it up and turn it on.

Some things to remember:

  • Don’t overfill your pressure cooker. Never fill it more than 3/4 full. So, if your chicken is taking up too much room, you’ll need to rethink your cooking method or perhaps cut the chicken up into pieces.
  • Add flavor while cooking by following the tips below.
  • Never cook anything in your pressure cooker without adding some liquid. With an entire chicken, it’s a little more than usual.
  • The chicken will be moist and fall off the bone tender after cooking. You will need to carefully remove it from the cooker, you might do this by removing a rack that you have placed beneath the bird or by carefully inserting large forks through the front and back of the bird. Either way, use care and be gentle.
  • Remove the chicken to a roasting pan or sheet pan and paint with melted butter. Broil for 2 minutes to crisp the skin and then you can broil in 1 minute increments until the skin is like you like it.

Cook an entire chicken in the pressure cooker on high pressure for 15 minutes and then allow a full natural release. Follow the instructions in the recipe below.

shredded pressure cooked chicken

How to Make Shredded Chicken in the Pressure Cooker

Is there an easier way to make shredded chicken than in the pressure cooker? I don’t really think so.

Simply follow the directions for whichever kind of chicken cut you plan to use and then remove the chicken from the cooker and place onto a cutting board or sheet pan.

Use two forks placed back to back and pull the chicken apart using the forks.

This shreds the chicken.

PRO TIP: Return the chicken to a bowl and pour some of the cooking juices back over the top of the chicken to allow it to reabsorb some. This makes for juicier shredded chicken.

raw chicken pieces

How to Cook Chicken Pieces in a Pressure Cooker

Nothing is easier or faster than cooking chicken pieces this way!

You’ll simply want to cut your chicken into 1-2″ pieces (make sure they are all about the same size so that they cook evenly – you don’t want some over cooked and some undercooked).

Make sure to remove all bones, skin and cartilage.

Place the chicken into the cooker and add the other ingredients listed in the recipe below.

Pressure cook 1-2 lb of chicken pieces on high pressure for 8 minutes and then allow a natural release (takes about 10 minutes or so).

pressure cooker on a stove

But Is Pressure Cooked Chicken Healthy?

You also might be wondering, “Is pressure cooked chicken healthy?” You’ll have to be the judge of your own diet, but we aren’t adding much fat and simply adding flavor, so…. I think so. However, you figure out what’s right for you.

pressure cooking chicken time chart

Tips and Tricks

  • Add flavor to your chicken while it’s cooking by following the instructions in the recipe below! There’s no point in having flavorless chicken!
  • Always add chicken stock/broth as your liquid while pressure cooking. If you don’t have any, the broth concentrate makes a terrific substitution.
  • Should you substitute bouillon cubes for the broth, do not add any salt until you taste the chicken as this typically makes for a very salty dish.
  • Consider your final dish and then add herbs and seasonings to your chicken that make sense for the final dish.
  • You CAN cook different cuts of chicken together in one pressure cooker load, simply set your timer for the pieces that require the longest cooking time.
  • Always handle your chicken safely, no matter how you plan to cook it. The USDA has great guidelines about this that are written in an easy to read and understand manner.

PRO TIP: Strain the liquid that remains in the pressure cooker and use in soups and stews or as a liquid for cooking rice. It has terrific chicken flavor and will enhance these dishes greatly!

BONUS PRO TIP: You can freeze the liquid by placing it in a freezer safe container, remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 6 months.

Need More Pressure Cooker Recipes?

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Watch Me Make This Dish

Can You Help Me Out a Little?

Please leave a 5 STAR comment in the comment section below. This helps others to find the recipes at Loaves and Dishes.

***You’ll want to know that the recipes given below are simple recipes that will give you great taste for the chicken as soon as it comes out of the pressure cooker. Check the notes section for suggestions on sauces or possible uses for your cooked chicken. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there once your chicken is juicy and cooked through in the pressure cooker.***

How to Pressure Cook Chicken

A complete guide to pressure cooking all kinds of chicken. Each cut, frozen and end product is considered here. The best overall pressure cooked chicken recipe you'll find.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to pressure cook chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 271kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

For Chicken Pieces

  • 2 lbs chicken bone in/boneless breast or thigh, legs or wings
  • 1/2 cup broth or substitute 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp broth concentrate – like better than bouillon
  • 1 tsp onion powder or substitute 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or substitute 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 leaf bay leaf

For Whole Chicken

  • 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup broth or substitute 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp broth concentrate – like better than bouillon
  • 1 tsp onion powder or substitute 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or substitute 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 leaf bay leaf
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

For Chicken with Skin that you want crispy

  • 4 tbs melted butter

Instructions

For Chicken Pieces

  • Place chicken pieces into the pressure cooker and add the remaining ingredients.
  • Pressure cook on high as follows:
    Boneless and skinless pieces of chicken = 8 minutes.
    Bone in and skin on pieces = 10 minutes.
    Frozen boneless/skinless = 12 minutes.
    Frozen bone in and skin on = 15 minutes
    Allow a natural release (this will take about 10 minutes).
    After pressure cooking, remove the chicken carefully (hot) and if you need to preserve the bone and skin, remember that they chicken will be fully cooked and that the bones may want to fall out. Use tongs to remove to a sheet pan. The skin will want to tear easily, so use great care. Paint the melted butter on the chicken skin and then broil for 2 minutes or until the chicken skin is as crispy as you prefer.
    Discard the juice that is left in the pressure cooker OR save to use as a chicken broth in other dishes. Discard the bay leaves and any vegetable pieces. You can strain the liquid through a sieve for a more clear liquid.

For a Whole Chicken

  • Place the chicken into the pressure cooker on a rack if you have it. If you don't have a rack, then don't worry about it.
  • Add the other ingredients listed above to the cooker.
  • Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Allow a full natural release.
  • To crisp the skin after cooking, gently remove the chicken from the cooker and place onto a sheet pan. Paint the skin with butter and broil for 2 minutes or until the skin is as crispy as you prefer.

Notes

  • Add flavor to your chicken while it’s cooking by following the instructions in the recipe below! There’s no point in having flavorless chicken!
  • Always add chicken stock/broth as your liquid while pressure cooking. If you don’t have any, the broth concentrate makes a terrific substitution.
  • Should you substitute bouillon cubes for the broth, do not add any salt until you taste the chicken as this typically makes for a very salty dish.
  • Consider your final dish and then add herbs and seasonings to your chicken that make sense for the final dish.
  • You CAN cook different cuts of chicken together in one pressure cooker load, simply set your timer for the pieces that require the longest cooking time.
  • Always handle your chicken safely, no matter how you plan to cook it. The USDA has great guidelines about this that are written in an easy to read and understand manner.
PRO TIP: Strain the liquid that remains in the pressure cooker and use in soups and stews or as a liquid for cooking rice. It has terrific chicken flavor and will enhance these dishes greatly!
BONUS PRO TIP: You can freeze the liquid by placing it in a freezer safe container, remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Pressure Cook Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 271 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 92mg31%
Sodium 188mg8%
Potassium 216mg6%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 312IU6%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A Verse to Share

This morning I was seeking verses on healing but instead, this verse struck me for the deeper meaning and what Jesus says following this passage.

I hear a lot about how people have fallen away from God and often they say it is because of how Christians behave these days.

Falling away is one result of the seeds that are planted.

Behaving and believing wrongly and having the wrong intentions in your heart is another way of the seed.

Having Jesus in your heart and acting in the right way is the only seed that will produce the right fruit.

Luke 8: 9-10

His disciples asked him what this parable meant.  He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

“‘though seeing, they may not see;
    though hearing, they may not understand.

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