How Long to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot?

How long should the chicken thighs be cooked when using the Instant Pot? If you cook them from frozen, you need to thaw them first so they may be cooked properly. You do not need to defrost chicken thighs if you are using fresh ones, on the other hand. The thighs should be roasted or broiled until the flesh is thoroughly cooked and the skin is crispy. You can freeze them and cook them later while waiting for them to thaw.

How Long to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot

How Long to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot?

For fresh boneless, skinless chicken thighs, high-pressure cook for 8 minutes. During this period, the chicken will keep cooking. After the cooking cycle, turn off the Instant Pot and give it five minutes to naturally release the pressure. Quickly let go of whatever pressure is still there. The chicken will be juicy and tender because of the natural release.

You may also use your Instant Pot to cook fresh, bone-in chicken thighs! After cooking, allow the pressure to relax naturally for 5 minutes. The same procedure for boneless chicken thighs must be used, but the pressure cooking duration must be increased to 10 minutes under high pressure.

The best way to ensure the chicken is cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer. The interior temperature of the chicken must reach 165° F to ensure food safety. If it isn’t, you can use the sauté function to heat the broth to a boil, halt the cooking process, and then put the lid back on for a short period so the chicken thighs can continue cooking from the residual heat.

In the Instant Pot, Fresh vs. Frozen Chicken Thighs

One of the wonderful benefits of Instant Pot cooking is that there is no thawing necessary; you can cook right from frozen. When preparing frozen chicken thighs, you should increase the cooking time to roughly 14 minutes.

In the Instant Pot, Bone-In vs. Boneless Chicken Thighs

Both chicken thighs with and without bones perform admirably in the Instant Pot. The only adjustment you’ll need to make when choosing between the two is the cooking time. The overall pressure cooking time for bone-in chicken thighs is about two minutes longer than for boneless chicken thighs, or 12 minutes.

In the Instant Pot, Skinless vs. Skin-On Chicken Thighs

The “saute” setting should be used first to brown the skin side of the meat when cooking skin-on chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. Once the Instant Pot indicates “hot,” add the chicken, skin side down, and brown for up to three minutes. Then flip it over and let it brown for one additional minute. Now that you’re ready, pressure cook! Add some oil to the inside pot and season the skin as desired.

You can omit the browning step if using skinless chicken thighs. You’ll end up with limp, soggy skin on your chicken thighs if you don’t brown the skin first; it’s best to remove it before serving.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Thighs?

The chicken thighs can be fully cooked in 30 minutes in your Instant Pot. You may roast a pan of vegetables to go with the chicken while cooking it in the Instant Pot, taking advantage of all the space in your oven.

Before cooking chicken thighs in the Instant Pot, you must first season your chicken. In this recipe, chicken thighs with bones or thighs with bones and skin can be used. Simple spices are used to season the food. Both sides of the chicken thighs should be covered with the spice rub. Use some of the seasonings to rub on the meat beneath the skin of the thighs if they have skin on them.

Next, use the sauté setting on your Instant Pot inner pot to heat a tablespoon of olive oil. For about 4 minutes on each side, brown the chicken pieces. Once the meat has a good sear, it should easily detach from the bottom of the saucepan. Try to avoid moving the chicken too much.

Place the chicken on a fresh dish. After scraping away any browned remains with a spatula, one cup of chicken stock should be added to the inner pot. You won’t receive a burning message if you follow this step when pressure cooking. Because it will produce the necessary steam for pressure cooking, you should keep the chicken broth in the Instant Pot.

Put the chicken on the metal trivet inside the Instant Pot’s inner pot. Cook under pressure for the amount of time listed, then closes the Instant Pot lid. When the food is done cooking, let the pressure out of the pot for five minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure. This keeps the chicken from falling into the liquid while it cooks.

How to Prepare Frozen Chicken Thighs in an Instant Pot?

Make sure the chicken thighs are separated from one another and not frozen together before starting to cook frozen chicken thighs in your Instant Pot. The chicken will cook evenly as a result of this.

Leave out the chicken browning step. The inner pot should be filled with chicken broth before being set on a metal trivet. On top of the trivet, place the chicken thighs.

After placing the chicken thighs on the trivet, I advise spreading half of the spice rub on top because frozen chicken won’t adhere to it properly. Add more seasoning after cooking, and brown the meat if you’d like.

High-pressure cooking frozen chicken thighs with bones for 15 minutes, then letting the pressure out naturally for 5 minutes. To cook frozen thighs without bones will take 13 minutes. A few minutes under the broiler in the oven would help brown the cooked chicken thighs. You can also drain the liquid from the Instant Pot and brown the cooked chicken thighs for a few minutes on the sauté.

To Form Gravy

After the chicken is cooked in the Instant Pot, the liquid can make a simple gravy. Add one tablespoon of butter to the cooking liquid in the Instant Pot to make gravy. Then, using the sauté function, mix in a cornstarch slurry and let the gravy simmer for a few minutes or until it thickens. It makes the chicken very juicy and tasty, and when served with it, it tastes great.

Do Chicken Thighs Need to be Sautéed Before Cooking?

If you cook frozen chicken thighs with the skin on, the skin will be soft after cooking. To make the skin crispy before serving, peel it or broil the chicken for a few minutes. It’s not necessary, but it’s highly recommended for the best flavor, especially if you’re serving them as a main dish.

The chicken can also be sautéed in the Instant Pot if you don’t want to brown it first. Use your Instant Pot’s saute function first to prepare for this. Whether you’re using frozen chicken thighs, you can use the saute or roasting setting. After cooking the chicken thighs, you can brown the onions in the sauté mode.

How can Chicken Thighs be Seasoned?

Chicken thighs can benefit from various seasonings because they have a strong flavor. Basic salt and pepper work great when prepping meals and adding chicken to salads or other dishes. Add a dash of paprika, garlic, and thyme to serve the chicken thighs as the main dish.

Italian seasoning is a delicious way to season chicken and enhance the flavor of your dish. Additionally, you can add Italian seasoning to the marinade before cooking the thighs if you are on a low-carb or low-sodium diet. The chicken can also be sautéed in the Instant Pot if you don’t want to brown it first. Use your Instant Pot’s saute function first to prepare for this.

Which Instant Pot Size Should I Use?

Whatever size instant pot you have, you can use it for cooking chicken breasts. To ensure even cooking, add at least 1 cup of liquid, and ideally, cook the chicken in a single layer. Cooking the chicken in batches may be preferable if you have a smaller instant pot.


You can add one to two teaspoons of water to the pot to change the cooking time. Chicken thighs without bones will require more cooking time than chicken thighs with bones. You can use your seasonings while cooking boneless chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. For your meal preparation, regular salt and pepper are a terrific start.

Any leftover chicken should be wrapped tightly in plastic or aluminum foil, allowed to cool, and then transferred to an airtight container: for four days or more in the refrigerator.