Cooking chicken is often considered an easy job, but people with a new Instant Pot might still be getting used to how it’s done with this method.
Many Instant Pot users complain about rubbery chicken and don’t really understand the reason behind it. So, with this article, we are sharing a full guide with you on the matter.
Why Is My Instant Pot Chicken Rubbery?
There are several reasons why your Instant Pot chicken may have turned out rubbery. Most of them relate to overcooking. Work through our useful checklist and see if any apply to you.
1. Don’t Add Salt at the Beginning
Salt can toughen the fibers and draw moisture out of the meat, leaving it tough and dry. The trick is to not salt the cooking liquid or poultry in advance but rather wait until the end, once the dish has finished cooking. This particularly applies to chicken breasts.
2. Amount Of Liquid
When using an Instant Pot, you need to be extremely careful about the amount of liquid you put in with the food. This is because when you add too much water or other liquid, it can cause textural issues with the food.
Chicken already has its own moisture content, and only a few tablespoons of liquid will be enough to cook chicken without a rubbery texture.
This is because the chicken will be cooked to perfection with steam from the Instant Pot. So, try to keep the amount of liquid minimal in the Instant Pot while cooking chicken.
3. Don’t Cook It With Dark Meat
Sometimes people cook red meats, such as beef and mutton, with chicken in the same pot because they are on a tight schedule.
However, it is not the right approach when you are trying to achieve a tender and even texture of the chicken because dark meat has different cooking times. Not to mention a completely different taste!
You may end up overcooking the chicken because the mutton requires longer. Rather cook different types of meat separately. This will not only result in more exact cooking times but also better flavors.
4. Mixing Boneless and Bone-In Chicken
Besides not cooking different varieties of meat at the same time in an Instant Pot, you also should not cook boneless and bone-in chicken at the same time. The cooking times for these cuts of poultry are different.
Bone in chicken requires longer to cook through, whereas boneless chicken cooks much faster. If you cook them together for a longer cooking time, the boneless chicken will become overcooked and rubbery.
5. Lack of Precision
When it comes to using an Instant Pot, you need to be precise in ingredient weighing, liquid measurement, and cooking temperatures and times.
Instant Pots cook food under extreme heat and pressures (pressure cooking) so small variations make a big difference. Red meat may be able to handle one to two minutes of extra cooking, but chicken cannot.
Make sure that you cook the chicken for an accurate time to ensure the chicken is properly cooked yet doesn’t get a rubbery or chewy texture from overcooking.
6. Incorrect Venting Method
An Instant Pot is designed with a proper pressurizing and pressure venting system to ensure the food is properly cooked and the steam is safely released afterward.
However, when the venting is opened during cooking, the chicken will turn out chewy and rubbery. Ensure you have correctly set the venting setting on the Instant Pot, and it will surely help with cooking.
Also, once the timer is complete, it is suggested to opt for a natural release of pressure (it will take a few minutes, but it will be extremely suitable for cooking chicken, allowing the meat fibers to relax and moisture to be absorbed).
7. Pressure Cooker Size
The last reason behind chewy and rubbery chicken may be the size of your Instant Pot. In most cases, the chicken will come out rubbery when the Instant Pot is too big for the small amount of food inside.
Ensure you use the right size of Instant Pot for your family’s needs to ensure all your dishes come out well. If you only have a large Instant Pot, try doubling up the recipe for better results.
We hope this article has given you a better idea about why your Instant Pot chicken is rubbery. Let us know if you get it right!