How Long to Pressure Cook Chicken? Detailed Guide

If you crave quick chicken at home, the pressure cooker is your savior, as its rapid, effortless, foolproof technique guarantees succulent results. Keep it elegantly simple with seasonings, or get creative to suit your serving style. With this kitchen gem, you’ll conquer chicken in no time. You might be stuck about how long to pressure cook chicken but do not worry because we have the solution to your problem.

How Long to Pressure Cook Chicken?

Pressure cooking is a culinary technique that harnesses steam pressure within a tightly sealed pot to significantly elevate cooking temperatures, reducing cooking durations and energy consumption. Originating in the 1600s, the earlier models employed stovetops as the heat source. However, contemporary options now include classic stovetop versions and modern electric models, which boast convenient features like digital timers and built-in sensors for automatic pressure adjustment during cooking. Moreover, many pressure cookers serve as versatile multi cookers, seamlessly integrating various appliances like rice, slow, and steam, making them indispensable in the kitchen. The key to successful pressure cooking lies in a liquid that can transform into steam.

Consequently, recipes relying on baking, roasting, or frying are unsuitable for pressure cookers. Instead, any searing or browning should be performed before pressure cooking (often achievable in the same pot), but the pressure cooking option should only be engaged after browning completion. Ideal candidates for pressure cooking include soups, stews, rice dishes, or any meals that involve broths or liquids.

There are numerous chicken preparations awaiting in the pressure cooker realm. You can opt for simplicity by cooking the whole unseasoned bird for future recipe use or embark on a culinary adventure by customizing flavors and seasonings to craft a delectable and personalized dish.

Method For Pressure Cooking Whole Chicken:

Pressure cooking a whole chicken in the pressure cooker is wonderfully straightforward. Collect the tools and components needed, such as a trivet or steamer basket, 1-1 ½ cups of water or chicken broth, dry ingredients, and the whole chicken.

Start by placing the cooking liquid at the bottom of the pressure cooker and then carefully lower it into the steamer basket. Prepare the chicken by cleaning it thoroughly and then patting it until dry. For added flavor, consider stuffing the chicken with ingredients and gently place the chicken into the steamer basket.

Secure the lid and adjust the cooking time based on the chicken’s size. The bigger the size is, the more cooking time it needs for each additional pound. You can increase 6 minutes to get a perfect pressure cooked chicken.

Recipe for Pressure Cooking 5 Pounds Whole Chicken:

We have here a recipe for cooking a whole chicken in a pressure cooker along with the meat size (5 lb.):


  • One whole chicken, 5 pounds
  • One onion, quartered
  • One lemon
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two teaspoons of dried thyme
  • One teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 5 teaspoons paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cups chicken broth or water


  1. Clean the chicken thoroughly, removing any giblets from the cavity, and dry it with paper towels.
  2. Mix the dried elements in a small bowl, including thyme, dried rosemary, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the olive oil all over the chicken’s skin, and then rub the spice mixture evenly onto the chicken.
  3. Take the ingredients and stuff in the chicken like quartered onion, halved lemon, and peeled garlic cloves.
  4. Pour the chicken broth for enhanced taste or water into the bottom of the pressure cooker. After this, place the trivet or steamer basket inside the cooker.
  5. Carefully lower the seasoned whole chicken onto the trivet or inside the steamer basket.
  6. Close the pressure cooker lid securely, following the manufacturer’s instructions. For added efficiency, set the pressure valve to the sealing position mentioned on the apparatus.
  7. Select the “Poultry” or “Manual” setting on the pressure cooker and adjust the cooking time to 30 minutes for 5 pounds of chicken. Set the temperature to 375°F.
  8. The chicken is ready when the internal pressure reaches 180°F (82°C).
  9. Once the cooking time is complete, wait until the pressure releases naturally for 10 minutes; afterward, follow the quick release method to emit any remaining pressure for safety.
  10. Carefully pull out the cooked chicken from the pressure cooker using tongs. Let it cool down for 5-10 minutes before carving and presenting.

Enjoy your tender, flavorful pressure cooker whole chicken with your favorite side dishes.

Method for Pressure Cooking Chicken Breasts:

The duration for cooking chicken breasts in a pressure cooker may fluctuate based on the chicken’s size, thickness, and the specific pressure cooker model. However, as a rough estimate, boneless, skinless chicken breasts usually demand approximately 6 to 8 minutes of high pressure cooking time.

Here’s an essential step by step guide to cooking chicken breasts in a pressure cooker:

  1. Season the chicken breasts with your preferred herbs, spices, or marinade.
  2. Add a small amount of cooking liquid to the bottom of the pressure cooker: water, chicken broth, or any other flavorful liquid you prefer.
  3. Place a steamer basket in the pressure cooker to elevate the chicken breasts above the cooking liquid. It prevents direct contact with the liquid and helps the chicken cook evenly.
  4. Arrange the seasoned chicken breasts on the steamer basket.
  5. Close the pressure cooker lid tightly to avoid steam or moisture and set it to high pressure for swift working.
  6. Cook the slices of chicken breasts for 6 to 8 minutes under high pressure. The cooking time can differ slightly based on the thickness of the chicken.
  7. Once the cooking batch is complete, take a quick pressure release round or allow a natural pressure release as recommended by your pressure cooker’s instructions.
  8. Observe the internal temperature of the chicken using a slice of meat with the help of a thermometer to ensure that the temperature is near 165°F that is considered safe.
  9. If desired, sear or brown the chicken breasts on a hot skillet for a few seconds on each side to add extra color and flavor.

Remember, cooking times can vary, so it’s essential to adjust them based on the specific circumstances and your pressure cooker model. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your pressure cooker and use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is entirely cooked and secure to eat.

Method for Pressure Cooking Chicken Thighs:

The cooking time for chicken thighs in a pressure cooker is generally longer than that of chicken breasts as there are higher fat contents and more substantial texture. As a general guideline, bone in chicken thighs usually requires about 10 to 12 minutes of cooking time under high pressure. For boneless chicken thighs, the cooking time is usually 8 to 10 minutes under high pressure. It’s essential to adjust the cooking time based on these factors and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your pressure cooker. Always exercise caution when releasing the pressure from the cooker, following the recommended methods in your pressure cooker’s instructions.

Method for Pressure Cooking Chicken Wings and Drumsticks:

When cooking chicken wings and drumsticks in a pressure cooker, it’s essential to consider their texture and thickness, similar to chicken thighs. As a general rule, follow these guidelines:

  1. For chicken wings with bones, cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes under high pressure.
  2. For chicken drumsticks with bones, cook for 10 to 12 minutes under high pressure.
  3. If you’re using boneless wings or drumsticks, reduce the cooking time slightly to around 6 to 8 minutes under high pressure.

Considering the above factors, adjust the cooking time as necessary for the best results when cooking chicken wings and drumsticks in your pressure cooker.

Methods to Pressure Cook Chicken:

Pressure cookers offer versatile methods for cooking chicken pieces, ensuring tender and moist results. You have several options when preparing a delicious chicken dinner with a pressure cooker.

  1. Steaming Method:

Place cooking liquid at the bottom of the pressure cooker to guarantee tender chicken and position the chicken in a steamer basket above the liquid. This steaming technique ensures the chicken remains moist throughout the cooking process.

  1. Submerged in Flavor:

You can use the pressure cooker to create a sauce while cooking the chicken for a rich and flavorful outcome. Start by browning the chicken in the pressure cooker (using the appropriate setting). Once browned, set the chicken aside and sauté aromatic ingredients. Then, add cooking liquid to the cooker, return the chicken to the pot, and cook under high pressure until the chicken is thoroughly done. This method infuses the chicken with the delectable flavors of the sauce.

  1. Liquid Marinade:

A more straightforward approach involves submerging the chicken pieces in a liquid marinade in the pressure cooker. This quickens the marinating process and allows the chicken to absorb all the delicious flavors. Since pressure cookers require a liquid to cook, make sure the marinade is quite runny. After pressure cooking, if desired, you can thicken the sauce to your preferred consistency.

Whichever method you select, pressure cooking offers a time efficient and effective way to prepare a delectable chicken dinner with guaranteed tenderness and savour.

Qualities of Pressure Cooker for Quick Results:

Several qualities are desirable when using a pressure cooker for pressure cooking chicken to ensure efficient and effective cooking. Here are the essential qualities to look for in a pressure cooker:

  1. Strong and Durable Build:

The pressure cooker must be manufactured of high quality materials that can withstand the pressures and temperatures involved in pressure cooking. Look for models with a strong and durable build, preferably made of stainless steel or aluminum.

  1. Reliable Pressure Release Mechanism:

A pressure cooker must have a reliable mechanism for safe and controlled pressure release after cooking. This prevents accidents and ensures the cooker can be opened without any risk of scalding.

  1. Secure Locking System:

The pressure cooker should have a secure and airtight locking system to prevent steam from escaping during cooking. A properly sealed lid ensures the pressure builds up inside the cooker, speeding up the cooking process.

  1. Adjustable Pressure Settings:

Opt for a pressure cooker with adjustable pressure settings, such as high and low pressure options, and this versatility allows you to tailor the cooking process to different types of chicken cuts and recipes.

  1. Quick and Even Heating:

Look for a pressure cooker with a base that provides quick and even heating. This feature helps avoid hotspots and ensures uniform cooking throughout the chicken pieces.

  1. Capacity:

Choose a pressure cooker with an appropriate capacity. Consider the size of your family or the number of servings you typically cook to select the suitable capacity to accommodate your chicken pieces comfortably. Take a look at the large capacity pressure cookers for making bulk chicken in one go.

  1. Easy to Use Pressure Valve:

A pressure cooker with a simple and easy-to-use pressure valve allows for convenient pressure adjustment during cooking.

  1. Safety Features:

Look for additional safety features, such as pressure indicators, secondary locking mechanisms, and safety release valves, to enhance the pressure cooker’s overall safety.

  1. Easy Maintenance and Cleaning:

A pressure cooker with removable parts and straightforward cleaning procedures makes maintenance hassle free and ensures longevity.

  1. Manufacturer Reputation:

Choose a pressure cooker from a famous brand for producing innovative and high grade kitchen appliances. Considering these qualities, you can select a pressure cooker that excels in pressure cooking chicken, providing you with tender, flavorful, and well cooked results every time. Here we also discussed about best pressure cookers for home use that are rigorously tested and approved to have top notch working, manufacturing, and modernity.


This comprehensive guide highlights the benefits of using a pressure cooker for cooking chicken and provides various methods for achieving succulent and flavorful results. It explains the importance of adjusting cooking times based on the chicken’s type, cut, and size to ensure optimal outcomes. Additionally, the article describes the essential qualities to look for in a pressure cooker, emphasizing durability, safety features, and easy maintenance. The step by step recipes for pressure cooking a whole chicken and chicken breasts offer practical and delicious options for home cooks. The versatility of pressure cookers as multi cookers is also discussed, making them indispensable kitchen tools. Read our Guide about Best Ninja Pressure Cookers to take the cooking journey to the next level. Overall, the article empowers readers with the knowledge and confidence to prepare quick, tender, and delectable chicken dishes using their pressure cookers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you pressure cook chicken too long?

Yes, overcooking chicken in a pressure cooker can lead to dry and tough meat. It’s important to follow recommended cooking times based on the type and cut of chicken to ensure tender results.

Why put mustard on chicken before frying?

Mustard acts as a flavorful marinade and helps create a golden and crispy crust when frying chicken. It adds a tangy kick and enhances the overall taste.

What should you not cook in a pressure cooker?

Avoid cooking recipes that rely on baking, roasting, or frying, as pressure cookers excel with dishes that require liquids or broths. Delicate ingredients like seafood can also be tricky in a pressure cooker.