Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

How to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot Recipe

Contributor: Christine Pittman

Chicken thighs with or without bone, with or without skin, fresh or frozen – get the times needed to cook chicken thighs of any type in the Instant Pot. This is a great technique for when chicken thighs are on sale and you’re doing meal prep for the week.

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


  • 68 chicken thighs, fresh thighs or individually frozen thighs, with or without bone, with or without skin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water
  • 1/2 small onion (optional)
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic (optional)


  1. Season thighs liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Measure 1 cups water into the bottom of your Instant Pot insert.*
  3. Add onion and garlic to Instant Pot, if using.
  4. Put the trivet or a steamer basket on top of the water/veggies. Put the thighs on top of the trivet in a single layer (it’s okay if they overlap a little bit but not much).
  5. Seal the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealed. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for the times listed in notes.
  6. Once the pressure cooker has counted down, let it do a natural release for 5 minutes before turning the valve to vent.
  7. Once the pressure button moves down, remove lid. Remove chicken thighs. Strain liquid if desired for use as a stock.
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*1 cup is the minimum amount of water you can use for a 6-quart Instant Pot and 1 and 1/2 cups for an 8-quart Instant Pot. Use up to 4 cups of water total and you will have nice chicken stock under the chicken thighs once they’re finished cooking.

Cooking times:

Bone-in skin-on thighs: 12 minutes

Bone in skinless thighs: 12 minutes

Boneless skinless thighs: 10 minutes

Frozen thighs bought fresh, then frozen at home: 14 minutes.

Frozen thighs that came individually frozen as flatter pieces that have a 4% water or solution (such as Kirkland): 14 minutes.

Thighs frozen in a single layer on a tray touching each other such that they’re frozen together: 6 minutes, quick release the pressure, use tongs to separate thawed thighs, then pressure cook for an additional 10 minutes for boneless, 12 minutes for bone-in, then the 5 minute natural release.