Modern day electric pressure cookers provide fast cooking, especially poultry and meat. A pressure cooker can save cooking time up to 10 times in comparison to traditional and other methods of cooking. Chicken cooked in a pressure cooker does not just retain moisture but also has a better texture compared to chicken prepared in a microwave. The following lines will help you learn how to cook chicken in a pressure cooker.
How The Pressure Cooker Works:
Before you learn how to cook chicken in a pressure cooker, you need to know how this appliance actually works. The pressure cooker uses steam pressure for cooking food in a sealed (tight) pot. On heating up the pot, the inside liquid starts boiling and produces steam. This steam when trapped inside the sealed pot, starts building pressure inside the pot. The food is then prepared by transferring the steam pressure into heat energy.
The reason why pressure cooker prepares chicken more quickly is that:
- The Pressure Is Increased- The amount of pressure inside the pot causes the boiling point of the inside liquid to increase. When standard pressure is applied, the liquid will boil and then convert into steam but its temperature will remain the same irrespective of the time duration for which the liquid is boiled. But in case of pressure-cooking, the liquid’s temperature is increased beyond its boiling point due to the addition of pressure. This is the reason why chicken can be prepared faster in a pressure cooker, as the added pressure increases the temperature of the liquid.
- The Liquid Is Forced Into Chicken- The liquid gets forced into the chicken when cooked inside a pressure cooker. Pressure-cooking produces steam, which can effectively transfer heat. You will know the difference when you place your hand on the oven and then place it over boiling water. In pressure-cooking an additional force pushes the extra fast and high heat energy caused by the steam, to enter the chicken. This is another reason why chicken cooks way faster in a pressure cooker compared to other cooking methods.
Pressure Cooking Release Methods:
However, it is evident from the above facts that pressure-cooking requires a liquid that can create pressure as well as steam. So, when you cook chicken in a pressure cooker, you will need liquid in some form for the cooking procedure.
The following release methods can be used for cooking chicken in the pressure cooker:
Automatic Release Cooking Method- In this method, you have to turn the cooker’s pressure selector dial, which is located on the cooker’s lid, in the release position. This will allow the steam to release.
Quick Release Cooking Method- In this method, the pressure cooker has to be removed from your burner and then placed in the kitchen sink. Next, you have to run the cold water tap over the cooker’s lid (gently) until such time the steam completely dissipates as well as the indicator shows that the pressure has been lowered. Make sure the handle is tilted up when placing the cooker in the kitchen sink to ensure that the water does not flow towards you.
Natural Release Cooking Method- This method for cooking chicken is applicable in all those cases where the other two methods don’t apply. In this method, the cooker is removed from your burner and allowed to cool down naturally so that the pressure drops.
Pressure Cooker Times For Chicken
In case the pressure cooker you use has a pressure lower than 15 psi, then you need to add extra time to the following time-chart for cooking chicken in a pressure cooker:
- For chicken breasts that contain bone (weighing 2-3 pounds/ 900-1400 g) – the time duration required for cooking is 8-10 minutes (at high pressure).
- For chicken drumsticks (thighs or legs)- the time duration required for cooking is 5-7 minutes (using automatic release or quick release method) (at high pressure).
- For frozen chicken (boneless, breasts or thighs)- the time duration required for cooking is 7-10 minutes (at high pressure).
- For boneless chicken strips- the time duration required for cooking is 5-6 minutes (using automatic release or quick release method) (at high pressure).
- For whole chicken (weighing 2-3 pounds or 900-1400 g) – the time duration required for cooking is 12-118 minutes (at high pressure).
Hopefully, you now have an how a pressure cooker works and what different methods you can use for cooking chicken in a pressure cooker. Once you start using a pressure cooker for cooking chicken, you will gain a first-hand experience of how to perfectly cook chicken in a pressure cooker.