Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are so easy to make, tender, and full of flavor. I used bone in chicken thighs, but this method would work with boneless skinless chicken thighs and frozen chicken thighs as well.
These chicken thighs in the instant pot are ready in a flash, full of flavor, and they are so easy to make!
Hands down, my favorite piece of chicken is the chicken thigh. It has so much flavor, and can handle cooking without drying out. One of my favorite ways to cook chicken thighs is with my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker!
I love to use chicken thighs in my recipes! I have a delicious recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs that you will not want to miss.
I do have room in my menu for chicken breast, though. I like to use Instant Pot chicken breast for tacos and casseroles. I also like to use my recipe for Slow cooker chicken tacos...that is the best taco meat!
6-8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed - This recipe can also be used with boneless skinless chicken thighs and frozen chicken thighs.
Kosher salt and pepper to taste - Enough salt and pepper to season each side of the chicken generously.
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons avocado oil - We need the oil to brown the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot before pressure cook them. I like to use avocado oil for it's high heat tolerance but olive oil will work.
1 cup water or chicken broth - Instant pot recipes require some kind of liquid in the pot. Be sure to follow your pressure cookers instructions because some pots require more liquid than others.
How to make instant pot chicken thighs
I started these instant pot chicken thighs by purchasing bone in and skin on chicken thighs. I then removed the skin. There is absolutely no way that skin will get crispy in an instant pot! The skin will just stay flabby and all of your seasonings would be lost if you seasoned your chicken thighs, cooked them, and then removed the skin.
After removing the skin, I seasoned them with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
Then I added some avocado oil to my Instant Pot, set it to the HI sauté setting, and let it get hot. I browned the chicken thighs (in batches) to give them the most flavor possible.
After I had them all browned, I added water to the pot and scraped the bottom to make sure there wasn't any stuck on bits.
I then added the trivet into the Instant pot. We want to use a trivet so the chicken thighs aren't sitting in water and losing all of their flavor.
Now we put all of the chicken thighs back in the instant pot, placed the lid, made sure it was set to sealing, and set the instant pot to pressure cook the chicken thighs for 10 minutes under high pressure.
When the timer was up, I let the pot do a 10 minute natural pressure release, then I flipped the valve to release the rest of the pressure.
Tips for the best instant pot chicken thighs
- be sure to scrape the browned bit from the bottom of the pot so you do not get a "burn" warning on your instant pot or your pot may not come up to pressure.
- Removing the chicken thighs skin does a couple of things. There is no way the chicken skin is going to stay crispy during pressure cooking. It will remain flabby so it's best to remove it. You could cook it separately and have chicken skin chips!
Frozen chicken thighs in the instant pot
You can definitely pressure cook frozen chicken thighs in the instant pot. The only downside is you probably will not be able to remove the skin before cooking. What I would do is skip the searing process, season the frozen chicken thighs generously, and then pressure cook them on high for 15 minutes.
More Instant Pot recipes
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs with Amazing Seasoning!
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- 6-8 Bone in Chicken Thighs, skin removed
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 Cup water or both
- Lay the chicken thighs out on a cutting board and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
- Turn the Instant Pot on HI Sauté . When the display reads "hot" add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides in batches adding additional oil as needed.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and add the water. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any burned bits. Cancel sauté function.
- When the Instant Pot is finished cooking, do a 10 minute natural pressure release, then release the rest of the pressure with a quick release.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and serve.
- The browned bits must be scraped from the bottom to avoid the "burn" warning that is common with the Instant pot.
- The trivet is a metal insert that is designed to keep ingredients out of the water. While pressure cooking, it is necessary to use 1-2 cups of water for every recipe.
Nutrition per serving
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy only. Please re-calculate on your own with the ingredients and amounts you used for the most accurate data.