(GUIDE) How To Cook Chicken In Pressure Cooker?

Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker is a convenient and efficient way to prepare this versatile protein. Pressure cooking locks in the flavors and juices, resulting in tender and succulent chicken every time. Whether you want to make a quick weeknight dinner or a delicious meal to impress your guests, using a pressure cooker will save you time and deliver excellent results. This article will guide you through the process of cooking chicken in a pressure cooker, including optimal cook times, preparation tips, and flavoring options.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Chicken In Pressure Cooker

The cook time for chicken in a pressure cooker depends on the cut and size of the chicken. Here is a general guideline for cooking different cuts of chicken:

  1. Chicken breasts: Cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 6-8 minutes on high pressure.
  2. Chicken thighs: Cook boneless, skinless chicken thighs for 8-10 minutes on high pressure.
  3. Whole chicken: Cook a whole chicken for 6 minutes per pound on high pressure.

Keep in mind that these cooking times may vary depending on the pressure cooker model and personal preference. It is essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches a safe minimum of 165°F (74°C).

Preparation

Before cooking chicken in a pressure cooker, it’s essential to properly prepare the chicken to ensure even cooking and enhanced flavors. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare the chicken:

  1. Start by selecting high-quality chicken. Whether you prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts or bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, choose fresh and well-trimmed pieces.
  2. If using bone-in chicken, remove the skin to reduce the fat content. However, leaving the skin on can add extra flavor and moisture to the dish.
  3. Season the chicken with your desired herbs and spices. Common options include salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and thyme. You can also marinate the chicken in a mixture of your favorite marinade or sauce for added flavor.
  4. Allow the seasoned chicken to rest at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes to let the flavors penetrate the meat.
  5. While the chicken is resting, prepare any additional ingredients you plan to cook with the chicken, such as vegetables or grains. This will streamline the cooking process and give you a complete meal in one pot.
  6. Ensure that all ingredients and utensils, including the pressure cooker, are clean and in good working condition.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Chicken

A pressure cooker is an appliance that uses steam pressure to cook food quickly and efficiently. It has a tightly sealed lid that traps steam, raising the pressure inside and increasing the boiling point of water. This higher temperature helps cook food faster while retaining moisture and flavor.

When using a pressure cooker for cooking chicken, it’s crucial to understand its basic features:

  1. Pressure Release Valve: This valve is responsible for regulating the pressure inside the cooker. It releases excess steam when the pressure gets too high and ensures the cooker maintains a safe pressure level.
  2. Sealing Ring: The sealing ring creates a tight seal between the lid and the base of the pressure cooker. It prevents steam from escaping during the cooking process.
  3. Pressure Indicator: Most pressure cookers have a pressure indicator, usually a small metal pin or a pop-up indicator. It rises when the pressure inside the cooker reaches the desired level.

Before cooking chicken in a pressure cooker, familiarize yourself with the specific instructions and safety measures provided by the manufacturer. This will help you get the most out of your cooker and ensure safe and efficient cooking.

Cook Times For Chicken In Pressure Cooker

The cook times provided below are a general guideline for cooking chicken in a pressure cooker. These times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, as well as the desired level of doneness. It is always recommended to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature for doneness.

  1. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts:

    • Cut into evenly sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
    • Cook for 6-8 minutes on high pressure.
    • Let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes before using the quick-release method.
    • Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should read 165°F (74°C) when fully cooked.
  2. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs:

    • Cook for 8-10 minutes on high pressure.
    • Let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes before using the quick-release method.
    • Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should read 165°F (74°C) when fully cooked.
  3. Bone-in chicken (thighs or drumsticks):

    • Cook for 10-12 minutes on high pressure.
    • Let the pressure naturally release for 5-10 minutes before using the quick-release method.
    • Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should read 165°F (74°C) when fully cooked.
  4. Whole chicken:

    • Cook for 6 minutes per pound on high pressure.
    • Let the pressure naturally release for 10-15 minutes before using the quick-release method.
    • Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should read 165°F (74°C) when fully cooked.
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Note: It’s important to adjust the cooking times based on the specific instructions provided with your pressure cooker. These guidelines assume a standard stovetop or electric pressure cooker operating at approximately 10-12 psi.

How To Cook Chicken In Pressure Cooker

Now that you’re familiar with the preparation steps and general cook times, let’s dive into the detailed process of cooking chicken in a pressure cooker.

  1. Start by seasoning the chicken with your desired herbs and spices. You can also marinate the chicken for added flavor.
  2. Preheat the pressure cooker by adding a small amount of oil or cooking spray and heating it over medium heat.
  3. Once the pressure cooker is hot, add the seasoned chicken to the pot and sear it for a few minutes on each side until it develops a golden brown color. This step is optional but adds depth of flavor and visual appeal.
  4. If using bone-in chicken, remove the seared chicken from the pressure cooker and set it aside. Remove the skin if desired.
  5. Add any other ingredients you plan to cook with the chicken, such as vegetables, grains, or liquids. This will enhance the overall flavors of the dish.
  6. Place the seared chicken or bone-in chicken back into the pressure cooker.
  7. Secure the lid of the pressure cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the sealing ring is in place and that the pressure release valve is closed.
  8. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for the recommended time based on the chicken cut and size.
  9. Once the cooking time is complete, turn off the heat and let the pressure naturally release for a specific amount of time, as mentioned earlier. This allows the chicken to continue cooking and ensures tenderness.
  10. After the natural release time has passed, you can use the quick-release method to release any remaining pressure by carefully opening the pressure release valve. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to perform this step safely.
  11. Once all the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid from the pressure cooker. Use oven mitts or tongs to protect your hands from the hot steam.
  12. Check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. It should read 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption. If the chicken is not fully cooked, you can return it to the pressure cooker and cook for an additional few minutes.
  13. Once the chicken reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the pressure cooker and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period helps redistribute the juices for a delicious and moist chicken.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Chicken

To achieve the best results when cooking chicken in a pressure cooker, consider implementing the following techniques:

  1. Searing: Before pressure cooking the chicken, consider searing it in the pressure cooker. Searing gives the chicken a beautiful golden crust and enhances the flavors. Heat the pressure cooker over medium heat, add a small amount of oil or cooking spray, and sear the chicken for a few minutes on each side until browned. Remove the chicken and set it aside while you prepare other ingredients. Afterward, return the seared chicken to the pressure cooker, add the other ingredients, and proceed with the cooking process.

  2. Using a Rack: Placing a rack or a steamer basket at the bottom of the pressure cooker can elevate the chicken and prevent it from sticking to the bottom. This technique allows for even cooking and helps the chicken retain its shape and texture. Additionally, it helps separate the chicken from any accumulated liquid, resulting in a more flavorful broth.

  3. Flavorful Liquids: Instead of using plain water, consider using flavorful liquids such as chicken broth, vegetable broth, or a mixture of herbs and spices. These liquids infuse the chicken with extra taste, making it even more delicious. You can also deglaze the pressure cooker with wine or stock after searing the chicken for added flavor.

  4. Natural Release: When the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for a specific time before using the quick-release method. Natural release continues the cooking process, allowing the chicken to become more tender and flavorful.

  5. Quick-Release Method: The quick-release method is used to release the remaining pressure in the cooker after the natural release time has passed. It involves carefully opening the pressure release valve using a long utensil or oven mitts to prevent steam burns. Be cautious during this step and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safety.

Troubleshooting

Here are some common issues you may encounter when cooking chicken in a pressure cooker and tips on how to troubleshoot them:

  1. Dry Chicken: If the chicken turns out dry, it may have been overcooked. Reduce the cook time by a minute or two and monitor the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Additionally, consider using chicken thighs instead of breasts, as they are inherently juicier.

  2. Undercooked Chicken: If the chicken isn’t fully cooked, return it to the pressure cooker and cook for an additional few minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Ensure that the pressure cooker is properly sealed and the cooking time is adjusted accordingly.

  3. Chicken Sticking to the Bottom: To prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pressure cooker, place a rack or steamer basket at the bottom. This elevates the chicken from direct contact with the cooking liquid, allowing for even cooking and preventing it from sticking.

  4. Bland Flavor: If the chicken lacks flavor, consider marinating it before cooking or using flavorful liquids such as broth or a combination of herbs and spices. Additionally, adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.

  5. High Pressure Release: If the pressure cooker releases steam during the cooking process, it may indicate a malfunction or improper sealing. Check that the sealing ring is in place correctly and that the pressure release valve is closed and not blocked.

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Remember, practice makes perfect, and adjusting the cooking techniques based on your pressure cooker’s performance and personal preference is essential.

Variations And Flavoring Options

Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker allows for endless variations and flavoring options. Here are a few ideas to experiment with:

  1. Asian-Inspired: Add soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil to create a flavorful Asian-inspired chicken dish. Serve with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables for a complete meal.

  2. BBQ Chicken: Brush the chicken with your favorite BBQ sauce before cooking. After pressure cooking, transfer the chicken to a preheated grill or broiler to caramelize the sauce and develop a delicious BBQ flavor.

  3. Indian Curry: Prepare a spice blend of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger in the pressure cooker before adding the chicken and spices. Finish with coconut milk and tomatoes for a flavorful Indian curry.

  4. Lemon Herb: Season the chicken with lemon zest, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Add lemon juice and chicken broth to the pressure cooker for a tangy and aromatic chicken dish.

  5. Creamy Mushroom: Sear the chicken with mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Add chicken broth, cream, and a touch of white wine to create a creamy and flavorful sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta.

These are just a few examples of the many flavor combinations you can explore when cooking chicken in a pressure cooker. Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover your own signature chicken dish.

In conclusion, cooking chicken in a pressure cooker is a time-saving and efficient method that yields tender and delicious results. By following the preparation steps, cooking times, and optimal techniques outlined in this article, you can confidently cook chicken to perfection in your pressure cooker. Remember to enjoy the process and unleash your creativity by experimenting with different flavorings and variations. Happy cooking!

FAQS

What Is The Benefit Of Cooking Chicken In A Pressure Cooker?

Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker can save time and energy, as the high pressure and heat helps to cook the chicken faster. It also helps to infuse more flavor into the chicken, making it more tender and juicy.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Chicken In A Pressure Cooker?

The cooking time can vary depending on the size and cut of chicken. Generally, chicken breasts take approximately 6-8 minutes, drumsticks and thighs take 10-12 minutes, and a whole chicken can take 20-25 minutes in a pressure cooker.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken in a pressure cooker. However, it is important to ensure that the chicken is thawed on the outside before placing it in the cooker to avoid uneven cooking.

Do I Need To Add Liquid To The Pressure Cooker When Cooking Chicken?

Yes, you will need to add some liquid to the pressure cooker, such as water, broth, or marinade. This liquid helps to create steam and build pressure, allowing the chicken to cook evenly and preventing it from sticking to the bottom of the cooker.

Is It Safe To Open The Pressure Cooker Immediately After Cooking Chicken?

No, it is not safe to open the pressure cooker immediately after cooking chicken. Allow the cooker to release the pressure naturally for at least 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. This helps to avoid accidents and also allows the chicken to rest and retain its juices.