Homemade Instant Pot Chicken Broth is flavorful, easy and so budget friendly. Making it in your electric pressure cooker is completely hands-off method.
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Because it’s so easy to throw in any meat or bones along with whatever vegetables I have going in my fridge drawers, and end up with a giant pot of “liquid gold” at the end. Kids love it and healthy dinner is taken care of for about $15.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Budget friendly: Use affordable cuts of chicken, chicken necks, bones or even put leftover carcass from cooking whole chicken in Instant Pot or whole chicken in crock pot to use. Chicken broth is also a great way to use up veggie scraps, just collect them in the freezer over time.
- Hands off cooking method: Unlike stovetop chicken broth recipe, with chicken broth in Instant Pot you don’t have to wait for it to boil and then skim the foam.
- Control the sodium level: Store bought chicken broth, whether bouillon cubes, carton or in a can, can come with a lot of sodium in a shape of added salt or MSG. When you make it at home from scratch, you have complete control over the ingredients.
- More flavorful: Pressure cooker really does a good job extracting the flavor from meat, skin and bones of the chicken. Homemade chicken broth is much more flavorful than store-bought.
What Is the Difference Between Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock?
When it comes to cooking chicken with water, there are 3 main types of the end result to expect:
- Chicken broth: It is usually made with bone-in and some skin on chicken meat, vegetables and seasonings. Simmered for not as long, chicken broth has a lighter consistency and weight to it but more flavor than chicken stock.
- Chicken stock: Making a stock always involves the bones of the chicken, not the meat. A stock isn’t always seasoned but can be made with an optional mirepoix of onions, celery and carrots.
- Chicken bone broth: Then there is also bone broth which is simply chicken stock simmered over a long period, sometimes up to 24 hours. Apple cider vinegar can be used to draw out the collagen from bones. With the Instant Pot, these 24 hours are drastically reduced to just under 3 hours. You can use it for cooking, however, traditionally it has been sipped on and enjoyed for all of its nutrients and healing properties.
All 3 have similarities and each one has a place in our food and our bodies!
Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Broth
To make Instant Pot chicken broth, all you need is almost any chicken, veggies and cold water.
- Chicken: You will need 2-3 pounds of bone-in chicken but not chicken breasts. Use chicken thighs, drumsticks, wings, necks, raw chicken carcass with some meat on it, or whole raw chicken or what’s left from cutting a whole chicken.
- Vegetables: Have you been collecting veggie scraps in the freezer? This is a great time to toss them in here. Or if you don’t have any, use carrots and celery stalks. I also added a few leeks. Then one garlic head and a whole onion.
- Seasoning: Bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, and salt.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Broth
Here is a photo overview how to make chicken broth in Instant Pot. You can find full recipe card below.
- Add chicken and veggies: In 6, 8 or 10 quart Instant Pot, add chicken, vegetables, bay leaves and peppercorns. Don’t add salt yet, we season chicken broth at the end.
- Add cold water: Now pour cold water up to 2/3 max fill line. It’s important not to use warm or hot water to avoid cloudy broth.
- Pressure cook: Close the lid and set vent to Sealing. Pressure Cook chicken broth on High pressure or Manual for 30-45 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 30 minutes to come to pressure.
- Release: Let the pressure release naturally for 30 minutes. This means don’t do anything to it until the pin drops. After turn valve to Venting position to release remaining pressure.
- Drain and season: Open the lid and strain the stock into a mesh strainer over a large bowl or clean pot. Remove cooked chicken into a bowl and separate later into meat and bones. Do a little taste test and season to your liking, I like to add 1-2 teaspoons of salt for low sodium chicken broth.
To skim off the fat off of chicken broth, let it cool completely, preferably in the fridge overnight. Then using a large spoon or small mesh strainer, gently skim the top of the liquid where the noticeable fat has collected. Do this one stroke at a time and discard the fat each time.
Tips for Best Results
- Start with cold water: Do not add hot water or warm water along with chicken and vegetables. It will make the broth more cloudy.
- Use only some chicken skin: Some chicken skin in chicken broth adds flavor. But if you add too much, broth will turn out too rich. If I am using chicken drumsticks or bone-in chicken thighs, I like to remove chicken skin by holding onto it with paper towel from about half of the meat.
- Avoid chicken breasts: Chicken breasts are white meat which is lean, it does lack flavor and fat. I don’t suggest you use them to make chicken broth as it will come out quite thin and flat.
- Add other seasonings: Feel free to add dried thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, Italian seasoning, or spices like cayenne, or turmeric before or after pressure cooking.
- If using frozen chicken or veggies: If your vegetable scraps and the chicken are frozen, no need to thaw anything ahead of time. Your Instant Pot will just take a bit longer to come up to pressure.
Ways to Use Instant Pot Chicken Broth
Other than many soups and stews, Instant Pot chicken broth can be added to other recipes like Instant Pot rice for more flavor, as a base for gravies, chicken chili, chicken stew, and Instant Pot soup recipes.
Here are a few of my favorite healthy Instant Pot recipes that call for chicken broth:
- Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup
- Instant Pot chicken wild rice soup
- Instant Pot Thai chicken soup
- Instant Pot chicken breast
Substitute Instant Pot chicken broth in any recipe that calls for water to add additional flavor!
How to Store and Freeze
Store: Chicken stock in an Instant Pot is perfect to make in big batches. It can be stored in jars or resealable gallon size bags for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freeze: Store in the freezer for up to 3 months in a freezer-friendly container, leaving room for expansion. Or portion out between the ice cube trays to use when recipe calls for a small amount of chicken stock.
Reheat: You can reheat chicken broth on the stovetop. You want to thaw it in the fridge overnight or simmer on low heat in a pot while covered.
Whether it’s leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken carcass or Instant Pot frozen whole chicken carcass, I don’t recommend to use only that to make chicken broth. There is just not enough depth of flavor left in it. I highly suggest you add a few pieces of raw bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks as well.
You want to make sure to cool your chicken broth before putting it in the fridge for storage. A big batch of Instant Pot chicken broth will take a while to cool off, about 6-8 hours. To speed up cooling I recommend to remove inner liner from the pressure cooker base. Otherwise, you can wait until it cools slightly, portion it out into Mason jars and leave uncovered until cooled. Then, cover and refrigerate.
Just like with vegetable broth recipe, while most vegetable scraps can be used, there are a few that could result in bitter stock. That includes cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower. Beets, while they can be used, will add an interesting color, save those for Instant Pot borscht instead.
Yes. According to Instant Pot manual, if you leave broth on keep warm setting its temperature runs between 140-172 F. The danger zone for food is 40-140 F, so you are good.
Instant Pot Chicken Broth
- In 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, add chicken, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, veggie scraps, bay leaves, peppercorns and cold water not exceeding 2/3 PC Max line.
- Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 45 minutes. After let pressure come down on its own for 30 minutes and then turn valve to Venting to release remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and first discard the vegetables with a mesh strainer. Then remove chicken and bones onto a large plate, let them cool down and remove meat from the bones. Season broth with salt and then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
- Add meat back in or use in other meals. Use broth for making soups or drink hot with fresh herbs and freshly cracked pepper.
- Store: Let cool completely and refrigerate in Mason jars or resealable silicone bags for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Let cool completely, transfer to Mason jars or resealable silicone bags (leaving some room for expansion) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or simmer in a covered pot on low heat.