Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast Using Sous Vide

2 Sous Vide Chicken Breasts in a cast iron pan with lemons in the background- Paint the Kitchen Red

Yes, you can make perfectly cooked, tender chicken breast in the Instant Pot! Use the Sous Vide function to cook chicken breasts to use in chicken salads, soups, and sandwiches. Or after doing sous vide you can grill or sear the chicken and top with a sauce to serve as the main course.

1 whole and one cut up Chicken Breast with rosemary in a cast iron pan with lemons in the background- Paint the Kitchen Red

Introduction

One common complaint I hear from readers is that when they cook chicken breast in the Instant Pot it turns out too dry.

The reason is that the Instant Pot pressure cooking function works really well for fatty and tougher cuts of meat. Lean and white meats don’t do so well when pressure cooked.

Well, I’m going to show you a way to cook moist and tender chicken breast in the Instant Pot. And it doesn’t involve pressure cooking. It uses the sous vide technique.

Sous vide involves cooking the chicken at a low temperature for a longer period of time. The result is perfectly cooked chicken every time. Please note that not all Instant Pots have the sous vide functionality.

[Recommended reading: How to use the Instant Pot Sous Vide Smart Program]

TIPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS


Temperature

The higher the temperature, the more well done the chicken will be cooked. Try out different temperatures to see what works for you.

At 148 degrees, the chicken is moist and tender but if you like your chicken to be juicier, try 145 degrees. If you want a firmer chicken breast, try increasing the temperature to 150 degrees.


Timing

The sous vide cooking time I’ve indicated in the recipe has a range. The low end of the range is the minimum amount of time you should cook the chicken.

The higher end of the range is the maximum amount of time the chicken can sit in the water bath without the texture being affected.


Flavor

This recipe is a basic recipe that can be modified in many ways. Use a dry spice rub of your choice. Here are some examples:

Dry rubs are less messy but you don’t have to stick to a dry spice rub. You can use a wet marinade like the one used in my Instant Pot chicken tinga recipe.


Searing

Searing the chicken after sous vide adds a lot of flavor. The secrets to getting a good sear are to dry the chicken and have a very hot searing pan.

First, I rest the chicken on paper towels and pat the chicken as dry as I can.

I like to use a cast iron skillet for searing or I grill the chicken breast on high heat. When searing, first heat the skillet on high heat. Then oil the skillet and sear the chicken on both sides.


Chicken

If you want to cook bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, increase the sous vide temperature to 150 degrees and cook for 2 to 4 hours.

If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot  DUO Beginner’s Quick Start Guide, Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Quick Start Guide, or Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Beginner’s Quick Start Guide first and then come back here to learn how to make this recipe.

Instant Pot Chicken Breasts – Ingredients

A freezer bag with two chicken breasts laying side by side - Paint the Kitchen Red
  • Chicken breasts
  • Spices

How to Cook Chicken Breasts Using the Instant Pot Sous Vide Program (Step by Step Instructions)

  1. Fill the Instant Pot with water
  2. Program the sous vide function
  3. Place chicken breasts in a freezer bag
  4. Lower bag into the water bath
  5. Remove the bag from the water bath
  6. Allow chicken breasts to rest and use as needed

Fill the Instant Pot with Water

evo sous vide cooking collage 1 - empty inner pot, pour water, cover with lid- Paint the Kitchen Red
  • Fill the Instant Pot with water up to the 1/2-full mark or enough water for the chicken to be completely submerged.
  • Close the lid and put the steam release mechanism to Vent.

Program the Sous Vide Function

  • Select the Sous Vide smart program
  • Set the sous vide temperature to 148 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Set the sous vide cook time to 2 hours. The chicken can stay in the water bath for up to 4 hours without affecting the texture.
  • Start sous vide and close the lid.

* Find out more details on How to Use the Instant Pot Sous Vide Smart Program.

Place Chicken in Freezer Bag

Instant Pot sous vide ziploc collage - 2 pieces of chicken in ziploc, air being pressed out, zip to close- Paint the Kitchen Red
  • While the water bath is heating up, season the chicken with salt and pepper or any spice of your choice.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a gallon-size freezer bag side by side without overlapping.
  • Press out as much air as you can and zip the bag closed except for 1 inch.

Lower Freezer Bag into the Water Bath

evo sous vide cooking collage 3 - place bag in inner pot, push down with tongs, seal all the way - Paint the Kitchen Red
  • Once the Instant Pot has reached the desired temperature, gradually lower the freezer bag down into the water. Use a wooden spoon or tongs if needed.
  • Air will get forced out as the bag gets lowered. This is called the displacement method. Read more about it in How to Use the Instant Pot Sous Vide Smart Program.
  • Finally, close the bag all the way until the bag is completely sealed.
  • Keep the bag opening above water at all times.
  • Close the lid.

Remove Freezer Bag from Water Bath

evo sous vide cooking collage 4 - cooked chicken in bag, remove bag, bag on plate being opened - Paint the Kitchen Red
  • When the sous vide cooking time is up, the Instant Pot will beep.
  • Press Cancel, open the lid and using tongs, remove the freezer bag.
  • Open the bag and transfer the chicken breasts to a plate or cutting board lined with paper towels.

Allow Chicken Breast to Rest and Use as Needed

Instant Pot Sous Vide Chicken Breasts collage - chicken on a board, chicken cut, chicken seared in cast iron pan - Paint the Kitchen Red
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Use the chicken in any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.
  • Or dry the chicken thoroughly and sear on high heat until browned on both sides.
1 whole and one cut up Chicken Breast with rosemary in a cast iron pan with lemons in the background- Paint the Kitchen Red
Print

Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast Using Sous Vide

Use the Sous Vide function of the Instant Pot to make perfectly cooked chicken breast every time. The chicken is tender and moist. Use in any recipe calling for cooked chicken.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Main Ingredient chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 2 pieces
Calories 186kcal
Author Paint the Kitchen Red

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless

Instructions

  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper or your choice of seasonings.
  • Fill the Instant Pot with water up to the 1/2-full mark or enough water for the chicken to be completely submerged.
  • Close the lid and put the steam release mechanism to Vent.
  • Set the Sous Vide temperature to 148 degrees Fahrenheit and cook time to 2 to 4 hours.
  • While the Instant Pot is heating up, place the chicken breasts side-by-side in a freezer bag.
  • Press out as much air as you can and zip the bag closed except for 1 inch.
  • Gradually lower the bag down into the water using the displacement method. *
  • Close the bag all the way until the bag is completely sealed, but keep the opening of the bag above the water level.
  • Close the lid.
  • When the sous vide cooking time is up, the Instant Pot will beep.
  • Press Cancel, open the lid and using tongs, remove the freezer bag.
  • Open the bag and transfer the chicken breast to a plate or cutting board lined with paper towels.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Dry the chicken thoroughly and sear on high heat on a grill or cast iron pan until browned on both sides, if desired.
  • Use the chicken in any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.

Video

Notes

* Read more about the displacement method in How to Use the Instant Pot Sous Vide Smart Program.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 186kcal | Protein: 39g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 110mg

I am not a certified nutritionist.  I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers.  If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons,  I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.

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The post Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast Using Sous Vide appeared first on Paint The Kitchen Red.

Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast Using Sous Vide