How to Cook Chicken in the Pressure Cooker

For Stovetop Pressure Cookers: Follow the instructions below, but lower the cooking time to 8 minutes at high pressure.

If your chicken is frozen, see this post for how to adjust the cooking time.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (use less if chicken is brined or otherwise pre-seasoned)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic

Special equipment:

  • 6-quart electric pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot


1 Add the chicken to the pressure cooker: Arrange the chicken in a single, even layer in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add the water, then sprinkle with salt. Add the bay leaves and garlic.

Instant Pot Chicken Recipe add the chicken Boneless Skinless Chicken in the Pressure Cooker add the water Instant Pot Chicken Recipe add the garlic and bay leaf

2 Pressure cook the chicken: Secure the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure that the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Select the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” program, then adjust the time to 10 minutes at high pressure.

The pressure cooker will take about 10 minutes to come up to full pressure. Cook time begins once it has reached full pressure.

How to Cook Chicken Breast in the Pressure Cooker pressure cook the chicken

3 Release the pressure: As soon as the timer goes off at the end of cooking, perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure release knob from “Sealing” to “Venting.” It will take a minute or two for the pressure to release completely.

Open the pot, then use a digital thermometer to check the thickest part of a piece of chicken—it should be at least 165ºF. (If the chicken is not quite up to temperature, put the lid back on with the vent closed and cook for another minute or two.)

Boneless Skinless Chicken in the Pressure Cooker vent the pressure Boneless Skinless Chicken in the Instant Pot cook the chicken Instant Pot Chicken Recipe check the temperature

4 Use the chicken: Use a pair of tongs to transfer the chicken to a dish, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice, shred, or cube the chicken as needed, or refrigerate in a lidded container for up to 5 days.

If you want to save the cooking liquid (it is now a lightly flavorful chicken broth), strain out the bay leaves and garlic. Transfer to a tightly lidded container and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.

How to Cook Chicken in the Instant Pot serve the chicken Boneless Skinless Chicken in the Pressure Cooker save the broth

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  • Pj

    Thank you for easy to follow directions on pressure cooking chicken. I bought an 8qt instant pot at a terrific price and have been intimidated to use it. Now I have some confidence.