How to Cook Chicken in a Pressure Cooker

Updated July 05, 2018

A pressure cooker is a type of pot that traps the rising steam within the pot, creating pressure that shortens cooking times. There are many pressure cookers on the market with safety features older models didn't have. One such feature is the inability to open the lid until the pressure, measured in pounds of force per square inch, is at zero, preventing flying lids or steam burns. Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker reduces cook times and retrains the juices within the chicken.

Pick the chicken pieces you wish to cook. You can cook any part of the chicken alone or an entire chicken. Make sure whole chickens are thawed prior to cooking for thorough cooking throughout. Weigh the chicken.

Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil along the bottom of the pressure cooker. Turn the stove burner on and heat the oil on medium heat.

Brown the outside of the chicken in the oil, making sure all sides are evenly browned to keep flavours locked in.

Check the cooking time for the selected chicken parts and weight. According to Fast Cooking, two to three pounds of chicken breasts require eight to 10 minutes. Chicken drumsticks require five to seven minutes and a three-pound whole chicken requires 18 to 25 minutes.

Add water or chicken stock to the pressure cooker, along with any seasoning or vegetables you desire. Add at least one cup of fluid for cooking times under 10 minutes; cooking times of more than 10 minutes require two cups of water or stock. Increase the heat to high.

Cover the lid and secure the rubber fasteners in place with the lid clamps. Set your timer for cooking.

Turn the heat off when the timer is done and release the steam with the valve. Wait for the PSI to reach zero before opening the lid.


Chewy or stringy chicken means it was cooked too long in the pressure cooker.


Open the lid with caution in the event that steam is still trapped inside. Burns can occur from contents splattering up trying to escape.

Things You'll Need

  • Thawed chicken
  • Scale
  • Water
  • Seasoning
  • Chicken stock
  • Vegetables
  • Vegetable oil
  • Stove
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About the Author

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.