Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are an easy way to prepare juicy, perfectly seasoned chicken thighs in an electric pressure cooker–with crispy skin! Directions for cooking fresh chicken thighs, as well as frozen chicken thighs.
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
The requests are in–you all want Chicken Thigh Recipes and Instant Pot Recipes.
I knocked both out with this easy recipe for perfectly cooked Instant Pot Chicken Thighs.
I set out to make the best, easiest chicken thigh recipe for the instant pot–that you can master on the BUSIEST of nights! And I have to say, I perfected an easy chicken thigh recipe that you are going to LOVE!
And my biggest critics (AKA my family) give their full seal of approval on this instant pot chicken thigh recipe. The meat is tender and moist and the skin is crispy, and not the least bit rubbery.
Bottom line, these Instant Pot Chicken Thighs will be on repeat in my house and I bet at yours as well!
Only 4 ingredients are needed to make PERFECT chicken thighs–and that is even counting the water!
- Chicken Thighs–bone-in or boneless, skin on or skinless
- Homemade Seasoned Salt
- Oil–canola or olive oil
How to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot
Step One: Season Chicken Thighs
- Liberally rub the chicken thighs with the seasoned salt.
Step Two: Saute Chicken Thighs
- Turn your pressure cooker to the Saute Function and let heat until Instant Pot reads Hot.
- Add in 1 tablespoon oil.
- Once the oil has heated, place your chicken thighs, skin side down, in the instant pot to sear (if you are preparing more than 4 chicken thighs, you will need to sear your chicken in batches.)
- Sear the chicken until the skin is nice and browned and the chicken easily pulls away from the bottom of the inner pot–this is a sign the meat is ready to flip. If it resists being flipped, give the chicken thighs another minute or two to caramelize.
- Flip the chicken thighs and sear for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and place on a plate.
- Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
Step Three: Deglaze Instant Pot.
- Pour in water and scrap off any browned bits off your inner pot. This will help keep you from having issues with burn warnings and/or your Instant Pot not sealing correctly.
- Use 1 cup of water for a 6 quart Instant Pot.
- Use 1.5 cups of water for an 8 quart Instant Pot.
- Add the trivet or rack into the instant pot.
- Place your seared chicken thighs onto the trivet.
Step Four: Cook Chicken Thighs
- Place lid on pressure cooker and be sure your vent knob is pointed to sealed.
- Set to high pressure for 8 minutes for bone-in chicken thighs. For boneless chicken thighs cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Once cook time has elapsed, allow pressure to release for 5-10 minutes.
- Manually release any remaining pressure and check temperature on chicken thighs, with a digital meat thermometer. Your chicken should be between 162-165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you chicken thighs are below 162 degrees, do not panic. Simply place lid back on pressure cooker and cook for 1-2 minutes on high pressure. It will not take long for your Instant Pot to come to pressure a second time.
- Remove chicken from Instant Pot and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Step Five: Serve
These Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are DELICIOUS served immediately, but if you would like to crisp up the skin even more, feel free to broil on high for 1-3 minutes. You can even brush with BBQ sauce before broiling.
Pro Tip: Save bones from roasted chicken thighs to make Instant Pot Chicken Stock.
Instant Pot FROZEN Chicken Thighs
You can certainly cook frozen chicken thighs in your pressure cooker, you will just not be able to sear the chicken before pressure cooking.
- Place your trivet in your pressure cooker and pour in 1 cup of water.
- Place frozen chicken thighs on trivet and lightly sprinkle with seasoned salt.
- Seal and cook for 15 minutes on high pressure, for bone in chicken thighs or 10 minutes for boneless chicken thighs.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let pressure release for 5-10 minutes and then remove chicken thighs to a plate. At this time you may want to season a bit longer.
- You can either brown your chicken thighs right inside your instant pot or under the broiler. To crisp skin in instant pot, carefully drain the water from the inner pot, and turn Instant Pot to saute. Add in 1 tablespoon oil and then sear meat for 1 minute per side. To crisp skin in broiler, place chicken thighs on sheet pan and broil under high until skin is crispy.
Variations of Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
If you don’t happen to like seasoned salt, you can simply sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper or try the following spice blends:
Serve Instant Pot Chicken Thighs with
- Oven Roasted Broccoli
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Green Beans Almondine
- Tossed Greek Salad
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- 1 pound chicken thighs
- 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 1 tabelspoon oil
- 1 1/4 cup water divided
- Season your chicken thighs with the seasoned salt.
- Turn your pressure cooker to the Saute Function and let heat. Add in 1 tablespoon oil. Once the oil has heated, place your chicken thighs, skin side down, in the instant pot to sear. Sear the chicken thighs until the skin is browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and sear for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Once you have seared your chicken thighs, remove the thighs from the inner pot of your pressure cooker and place on a plate. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
- Pour in 1 cup water for 6 quart Instant Pot or 1.5 cups of water if using an 8 quart Instant Pot. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of your instant pot.
- Place your trivet into your pressure cooker and pour in 1 cup water.
- Place your seared chicken thighs onto the trivet and seal to close.
- Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes for bone-in chicken thighs and 6 minutes for boneless chicken thighs.
- Let pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes.
- Do a quick release of any remaining pressure and check chicken thighs to be sure a temperature of 162-165 degrees has been reached. Let chicken rest on cutting board or plate for juices to redistribute and to fully reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees.
For Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Place your trivet in your pressure cooker and pour in 1 cup of water if using 6 quart Instant Pot or 1.5 cups of water for 8 quart Instant Pot.
- Place frozen chicken thighs on trivet and lightly sprinkle with seasoned salt. Seal and cook for 15 minutes on high pressure for bone-in chicken thighs, and 10 minutes for boneless chicken thighs. Let pressure release 5-10 minutes.
- You can either brown your chicken thighs right inside your instant pot or under the broiler. To crisp skin in instant pot, remove chicken thighs from Instant Pot and carefully drain the water from the Inner pot. Return inner pot to Instant Pot and turn to saute. Once heated, add in 1 tablespoon oil and then sear meat for 2-3 minutes per side, or until skin is browned. To crisp skin in broiler, place chicken thighs on sheet pan and broil under high until skin is crispy.
- Remember the cook time for fresh, defrosted chicken thighs included searing the chicken thighs first. If you simply put fresh thighs into your Instant Pot without searing first, you will need to add 1-2 minutes to cook time.
- Chicken is safe when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.