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close up shot of instant pot chicken thigh with gravy
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4.80 from 5 votes

Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Thighs (Fresh, Frozen)

This post shows you how to cook perfectly juicy Instant Pot chicken thighs with step by step photos. Cook boneless or bone-in chicken thighs, from fresh or from frozen to juicy perfection each and every time!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
time to pressurize10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Servings: 6
Calories: 225kcal


  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter salted or unsalted; cut into cubes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs see note 1

To make sauce

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour


  • Add sauce ingredients- to the stainless steel insert of your Instant Pot, add the chicken stock, salt, onion powder, and thyme leaves. Stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken- place the fresh or frozen chicken thighs directly into the sauce. Scatter the butter cubes over top.
    frozen skin-on chicken thighs in instant pot
  • Cook- place the lid on the Instant Pot, set the steam release handle to the 'sealing' position, and pressure cook for the appropriate cook time:
    * boneless, skinless chicken thighs (fresh)- 10 minutes high pressure + quick pressure release
    * boneless, skinless chicken thighs (frozen)- 12 minutes high pressure + quick pressure release
    * bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (fresh)- 12 minutes high pressure + quick pressure release
    * bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (frozen)- 15 minutes high pressure + quick pressure release
    instant pot with 10 minutes on the timer
  • Check temperature- Perform a quick pressure release: carefully move the steam release handle to the 'venting' position to release the pressure. When the pin drops, use an instant read thermometer to ensure that the largest thighs have reached 165°F.
    quick pressure release
  • Optional- Crisp up the skin- for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, you will probably want to get that skin nice and crispy. Heat the broiler in your oven for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer chicken to a baking sheet so you don't break the skin. Brush with olive oil and season well with salt.
    Broil for 5-10 minutes, until skin becomes golden. Keep a careful eye on it so it doesn't burn!
  • Optional- make the gravy- If you haven't already, remove chicken from the Instant Pot and transfer to a clean plate. Carefully scoop out ½ cup of the cooking liquid from the pot, and stir in 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour, until no lumps remain.
    Select 'sauté' on the Instant Pot, and return the cooking liquid/flour mixture to the pot. Simmer for 2-5 minutes, whisking, until the mixture is thickened. Use oven mitts to remove the stainless steel pot from the Instant Pot base, and taste. Add salt if you feel it needs it.
    whisking a gravy in the Instant pot



1- 2 lbs is roughly 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and 10 boneless, skinless thighs
If your chicken thighs are frozen in a block
  1. Cook partially- Pressure cook for 5 minutes, then perform a quick pressure release.
  2. Pry chicken apart- Using tongs, gently pry apart the chicken thighs.
  3. Cook fully through- Return the lid to the Instant Pot, then pressure cook for the appropriate amount of time:
  • boneless skinless- 7 more minutes (12 min total)
  • bone-in, skin-on- 10 more minutes (15 min total)
  • fridge- cool completely, then store chicken in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • freezer- cool completely, then wrap chicken in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Place in a larger meal prep container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. *you may want to shred the chicken before freezing as it is compact and easy to store this way.
Heat individual portions in the microwave until steaming hot, heat skin-on chicken thighs in a 350°F oven (10 min) or air fryer (5 min), or until warmed through.


Serving: 5oz | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg