What to Do When Your Instant Pot Doesn’t Have a Poultry Setting

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An Instant Pot is a useful kitchen appliance that makes cooking so much easier. However, not every model has a poultry setting. Read on to learn what to do when your Instant Pot doesn’t have a poultry setting.

When I first started using an Instant Pot a few years ago, it was after receiving one as a gift. I honestly was pretty slow to get on the Instant Pot train; I was a huge slow cooker lover, and didn’t see what the big deal was about this new trendy kitchen gadget.

I very quickly realized why so many people LOVE their Instant Pots! They’re great for a quick dinner and meal prep. It’s a great way to make so many dishes. I love using mine to make hard-boiled eggs, white rice (and brown rice too), and of course, chicken and other meats.

One of the things I noticed the more I used mine is that not all models are created equal. In fact, some Instant Pot models can have drastically different settings than others. It wasn’t until trying out a chicken recipe for the first time that it hit me: my Instant Pot doesn’t have a poultry button!

If you’re in the same shoes, don’t worry! Here’s what you can do.

instant pot on the kitchen counter

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What Does the Poultry Setting on an Instant Pot do?

One of the things so many people love about Instant Pots is that they come with several buttons that are pre-programmed to cook your dish at a pre-calculated time duration and pressure settings. Think of them like preset microwave buttons.

Common Instant Pot buttons include poultry, beans/chili, soup/broth etc. These smart programs are designed to help make using the appliance easier on the home chef.

The poultry setting was created to make some defaults for the Instant Pot. The poultry button presets the temperature, cooking pressure and heat intensity time for you.

Typically, by pushing the button it will give you a base cooking time to start with that can be adjusted, making using the Instant Pot simpler.

The good thing is that you can absolutely still cook poultry in the Instant Pot without the poultry setting button. Take a look at your recipe and there should be the instructions you need for setting the Instant Pot manually.

You’ll want to select the type of pressure and length of cook time if your Instant Pot doesn’t have a poultry button. Most Instant Pot recipes have this required information in the instructions.

How to Cook Chicken in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is fantastic for cooking all different types of chicken, including cooking instant pot chicken breastchicken breasts, chicken drumsticks and wings, and chicken thighs! Check out this whole chicken recipe to cook an entire chicken too.

How to Cook Fresh or Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot

Below is the easiest way I’ve found to cook Instant Pot chicken breast without using the poultry button.

First, place the inner pot into the Instant Pot, place the trivet in the bottom and add 1 cup of liquid. Personally I prefer to use chicken broth, but a cup of water or even apple juice works too.

Place the chicken breast in a single layer on top of the trivet, and season with salt, pepper and any other desired seasonings.

Secure the Instant Pot lid, being sure the vent is set to “sealed” and not venting. Select high pressure cook for 8-10 minutes using the manual button.

If you are trying to cook frozen chicken breasts, they will need to cook longer. Cook them for at least 10-12 minutes. Pressure cooking time can vary depending on how thick the frozen breasts are.

Once the breasts are done cooking, allow the pressure to do a natural release for 5 minutes (meaning you leave it as it is). After that, carefully turn the valve to “venting,” being sure to protect your hands and face from the hot steam. Release any remaining steam using this quick release before opening the lid.

One of the best parts of this technique is that cook time stays the same no matter how much chicken is in the Instant Pot. The difference is that it will just take longer to come to the pressure level with more chicken.

Even with the poultry setting, sometimes chicken needs to cook longer. Be sure to always use a meat thermometer after cooking to make sure the chicken is at least 165 F.

instant pot on the kitchen counter

How to Cook Chicken Wings in the Instant Pot

Here is the simplest way to cook fresh chicken wings in the Instant Pot.

First, thoroughly season your chicken wings with dry seasoning. Place the inner pot into the Instant Pot, place the trivet in the bottom and add 1 cup of water or other liquid. Add the wings on top of the trivet, being sure they aren’t resting on the bottom of the pot.

Secure the Instant Pot lid, being sure the vent is set to “sealed” and not venting. Select high pressure cook for 8-10 minutes using the manual button. Once cook time is done, do a quick pressure release.

To make the chicken crispy, place the cooked wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and broil for about 4 minutes per side. If desired, you can transfer the wings to a large bowl and toss with your favorite wing sauce or BBQ sauce before place them into the oven. Toss them in a little bit more sauce after cooking and serve.

Why Doesn’t My Instant Pot have a Poultry Setting?

The most likely reason your Instant Pot doesn’t have a poultry setting is because it’s an older model. The poultry setting is more common with newer models versus older models.

If having a poultry setting is important to you, be sure to check the model of Instant Pot before purchasing, as preset buttons can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as different Instant Pot models.

I hope this article was helpful for you as you learn to cook chicken with your Instant Pot. Remember to always check the temperature of the cooked chicken using a meat thermometer like this!

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