Instant Pot Fried Chicken


Is there anything the Instant Pot can't make? This amazing fried chicken will have you rethinking your usual method. Our Instant Pot Fried Chicken recipe is a bit unconventional. A bold spice rub (paprika, garlic and onion powder, black and cayenne pepper) replaces the usual breading. But don't worry—you will still get the satisfying crunch of fried chicken skin.The multicooker cooks the chicken and renders some of the fat and water, leaving the meat tender and juicy. Then, the chicken is fried in peanut oil in a skillet briefly, just to crisp up the skin. Be sure to let the cooked chicken air dry for 30 minutes to remove any excess moisture before frying to prevent splattering. If needed, gently pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This cooking technique also makes the chicken gluten-free, and a bit lighter than most fried chicken recipes. Give it a try, and you'll be surprised by the results!

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 thighs)


  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 8 (6- to 8-oz.) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 cup water

  • Peanut oil


  1. Stir together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly all over chicken, pressing to adhere. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

  2. Place trivet inside a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Pour water into cooker. Place chicken on trivet (it's OK to stack chicken pieces on top of one another). Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. (It will take 20 to 25 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  3. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 2 to 3 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker. Carefully place chicken, skin sides up, on paper towel-lined plates to drain. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, pour oil into a large (15-inch) cast-iron skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over medium until a candy thermometer reaches 350°F (oil will shimmer).

  5. Working in batches, if needed, carefully place chicken, skin sides down, in hot oil; fry, undisturbed, until skin is crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn chicken; continue to fry until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes (adjust heat as needed to maintain oil temperature). Drain chicken on paper towels; sprinkle all over with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

    Instant Pot Fried Chicken
    Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners
Related Articles