If I had to pick one appliance in my kitchen to use for the rest of my life, and only one, it would have to be my electric pressure cooker.
With all the things it can do, how could it not be?
One of the things that I have really grown to love cooking in my Instant Pot is chicken. The poultry is so simple to make, and you can cook every single cut imaginable, or even an entire bird, in record time.
This is one of my favorite ways to shortcut meal prep for the week, particularly for lunches. Whether it’s shredded to add to burrito bowls, or cut up to use in chicken salad, the options are practically endless.
The pressure cooker also does a fantastic job of making juicy and delicious poultry the star of your weeknight meals. You can cook a whole chicken or your favorite cut to feature alongside your favorite side dishes.
Here’s what’s ahead in this guide:
What You’ll Learn
How to Cook Chicken in the Instant Pot: The Basics
Let’s start with some quick basics.
When it comes to cooking poultry with this method, my number one tip for you is to use paper towels to pat the pieces dry before using them.
If you’ve ever bought poultry, you know that sometimes there’s a little bit of moisture or little bits are stuck to the pieces. When you pat it dry, you can get rid of those, and you also set yourself up for success if you’re using any rubs or spices, since they’ll stick better.
Though some home cooks like to wash their poultry before using it, note that for food safety reasons, this is not recommended.
Salmonella and other nasties may be spread around your kitchen, and the cleaning process tends to do more harm than good, with bacteria-filled water potentially splashing around the sink and onto countertops and other foods and surfaces.
You can cook poultry that is either fresh or frozen, which is one of the miracles of pressure cookers like the Instant Pot.
If you don’t have time to thaw, or you simply forget (something that happens quite often to me!), you can cook from frozen just as easily. All you will have to do is adjust the cooking time.
Did you purchase a whole chicken that you’d rather break down before cooking? Our guide can help.
Breast – Bone-In or Boneless
The most common cut to cook is the breast, and I’m sure we are all familiar with it.
It’s super simple, and with the electric pressure cooker, you can cook either bone-in or boneless breasts. Feature it with your favorite spice rub and it makes for a fantastic protein to serve for dinner.
Thighs – Bone-In or Boneless
I personally love using thighs because they are full of flavor, and they are an inexpensive cut.
You can feature them whole, or slice or shred them for use in tacos or salads.
Drumsticks are a fantastic main protein, particularly because they pair well with practically any side dish you can think of.
Since you are cooking the meat on the bone, it comes out exceptionally flavorful without having to use a ton of seasoning.
We all love a good chicken tender, especially the kiddos, am I right?
Wings are a must for game day in our home, but my husband and I could devour a big batch every single day if given the chance.
Who knew they were so simple to make, and possible to prepare without having to fire up your grill at all?
When you cook a whole bird in your pressure cooker, you will likely never go back to roasting it in the oven. I know I won’t, at least. Not if I can help it!
The time saved is incredible, and the poultry comes out juicy and flavorful.
Shredded poultry prepared in my countertop appliance is a must-make element of my lunch meal prep for the week. I love that you can easily customize the flavor with your favorite spices or sauces, such as Cajun seasoning or barbecue sauce.
Chicken and Rice
You can cook so much more than just the poultry itself in this appliance. It can also be used to make an entire meal in one pot!
Chicken and rice is such a simple recipe that puts dinner on the table without getting too many dishes dirty in the process.
Learn how to cook chicken and rice in the electric pressure cooker. And then give some other recipes a shot, like this white wine braised chicken.
How to Store Cooked Chicken
When it comes to storing protein that has already been cooked, be sure to let it cool down completely before packing it up in airtight containers.
Once the meat reaches room temperature, you can seal the lids and put it away. Cooked poultry can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
I recommend storing any sauce separately, if you are saving it to use later.
What is your favorite cut of chicken to make at home? Tell us in the comments below!
Want to explore even more ways to use your electric pressure cooker? Read these helpful how-to’s from Foodal next:
- How to Cook Rice in the Electric Pressure Cooker
- How to Cook Salmon in the Electric Pressure Cooker
- How to Cook Pork Shoulder in the Electric Pressure Cooker
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.