Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (2024)

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Juicy and fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs with brown sugar garlic sauce, pressure cooked in an Instant Pot for 8 mins. Instant Pot chicken dinner is so easy!

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (1)

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (2)

Table of Contents

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

How to cook chicken thighs in an Instant Pot? This brown sugar garlic chicken is the perfect recipe to make chicken thighs in an Instant Pot.

The pressure cooking of Instant Pot ensures that the chicken thighs are perfectly cooked, stay juicy, moist and tender.

The combinations of garlic and brown sugar work like magic with chicken, making it one of the easiest instant pot chicken recipes you can make for the entire family.

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (3)

Other Recipes You Might Like

  • Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Instant Pot Creamy Garlic Mushroom Chicken
  • Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

How Long Does It Take to Cook Instant Pot Chicken?

It takes about 5 -10 minutes to cook chicken in an Instant Pot, depending on the chicken parts used in the recipe.

Below are the general guidelines on the time for cooking chicken in an Instant Pot, based on my past experiences:

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (4)
  • Wingettes and drumettes – 5 minutes
  • Whole chicken wings – 6 minutes
  • Chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs – 8 minutes
  • Chicken breasts – 10 minutes

Can you cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot? Yes, you can cook frozen chicken thighs, chicken breasts, wings and legs in an Instant Pot.

Just add 2 minutes to the time above if you use frozen chicken from the refrigerator.

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (5)

How Do You Pressure Cook Chicken in an Instant Pot?

You need at least 1/2 cup of liquid in an Instant Pot to pressure cook chicken. You may also use up to 1 cup of liquid but 1/2 cup is enough to cook chicken.

1 cup is too much liquid as the process of pressure cooking doesn’t vaporize the liquid, instead, it forces the moisture of the chicken out of the meat, creating more liquid in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (6)
Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (7)

How Many Calories per Serving?

This recipe is only 477 calories per serving.

What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?

For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.

Pasta Recipes – One Pot Pasta

Brown Butter Garlic Honey Roasted Carrots

Lemon Herb Roasted Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

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Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Juicy and fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs with brown sugar garlic sauce, pressure cooked in an Instant Pot for 8 mins. Instant Pot chicken dinner is so easy!

4.52 from 201 votes


By Bee Yinn Low

Yield 4 people

Prep 10 minutes mins

Cook 10 minutes mins

Total 20 minutes mins


  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. (750g-900g) bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and ground black pepper on both sides of the chicken. Turn on the Saute mode on your Instant Pot. As soon as the pot is fully heated and hot, add the olive oil. Pan sear the chicken thighs (skin side down first) until both sides turn nicely brown.

    Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (12)

  • You can also pan-sear the chicken in a skillet and then transfer them over to the Instant Pot. Add the minced garlic and saute until light brown.Add the chicken broth, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper and salt.

    Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (13)

  • Cover the pot and select Manual and set to High pressure for 8 minutes. When it beeps, turn to Quick Release. When the valve drops, remove the lid carefully and turn to Saute mode to reduce the sauce if it's too watery.

  • Add the chopped parsley and serve immediately.


Watch the cooking video on this page for step-by-step guide.

I used a 6-quart Instant Pot. If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can make this recipe in a slow cooker, or on your stove top. If you use a slow cooker, Use high heat and cook for 3 hours. For stove top, just pan-fry the chicken and then add in all the ingredients of the sauce. Simmer on low heat and cook until the chicken meat is tender.

I used organic chicken thighs, so they are very small. If you use regular chicken thighs, you can increase the pressure cooking time to 10 minutes for tender meat.

Course: Instant Pot Recipes

Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken


Nutrition Facts

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Amount Per Serving (4 people)

Calories 477Calories from Fat 315

% Daily Value*

Fat 35g54%

Saturated Fat 8g50%

Cholesterol 166mg55%

Sodium 387mg17%

Carbohydrates 10g3%

Sugar 8g9%

Protein 28g56%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.

Instant Pot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken (10 Mins Recipe) - Rasa Malaysia (2024)


Why are chicken breasts tough in Instant Pot? ›

With chicken you need to let the pot naturally release for at least 10 minutes-all the way before opening. This helps it finish cooking and keeps it from becoming dried out and tough. 8-10 minutes high pressure should be enough for fresh chicken.

Does cooking chicken longer in Instant Pot make it more tender? ›

This dinner staple cooks up perfectly every time in the Instant Pot. You can aim for firm but juicy chicken for cubing, or let it cook a little bit longer for tender shredded chicken.

How do you keep chicken from getting tough in Instant Pot? ›

The key to getting perfectly juicy boneless chicken breasts is to cook them on a trivet, above the liquid. I find that this results in a better texture than cooking them on the bottom of the pot. I also think their texture is best when you quickly release the pressure, rather than letting it naturally release.

Does chicken cook faster in pressure cooker? ›

Pressure cookers save you time by cooking foods TWO to TEN times faster than other cooking methods. They are the fastest way to cook delicious meals: beef roasts, chicken, rice, dry beans, you name it.

Can you overcook chicken in the Instapot? ›

While all cuts of chicken are fair game for the Instant Pot, thighs are the most forgiving. Because chicken breast is so lean, just a couple of extra minutes of cook time turns them from juicy to overcooked and dry.

Is it better to slow cook or pressure cook chicken breast? ›

Chicken breasts are a less ideal choice for slow cooking. One reason why you shouldn't make boneless chicken breasts in a slow cooker is because they're too low in fat to withstand cooking for a long time. Your final product will likely come out tough and chewy.

Does a pressure cooker dry out chicken? ›

At 12-15 min range the chicken meat will dry out some, but let it rest in the cooking liquid for a few minutes before cutting and it should be able to re-absorb some of it (or not release more).

Does chicken need to be submerged in pressure cooker? ›

One is having the chicken submerged in the liquid and the other option is placing the chicken on top of the trivet. Submerging the chicken method is great for shredding in enchiladas, etc; while cooking the chicken on the trivet creates a firmer chicken that can be sliced for salads, etc.

Do you cover meat with liquid in pressure cooker? ›

Add Liquid: Pour in enough liquid, such as broth, wine, or water, to cover the meat partially. This liquid creates steam, which builds pressure and helps in cooking the meat. Set the Pressure and Time: Follow the recommended cooking times and pressure settings for different types of meat.

Why is my chicken tough after pressure cooking? ›

Maybe the pressure build-up inside wasn't enough for the chicken. Maybe you didn't really cook it long enough. Maybe you released the pressure too soon, without allowing it to cook completely. Maybe there's something wrong with your pressure cooker.

What happens if you overcook chicken in a pressure cooker? ›

Chicken can get a rubbery texture in the instant pot when over cooked. To avoid this, try not to over cook your chicken. Storing the chicken in chicken broth can help rehydrate the chicken and make it less rubbery.

Why does KFC pressure cook their chicken? ›

Because it is fast and practical, it also saves labor. More tasty: When a piece of chicken is inserted in very hot oil in pressure fryer tank, it rapidly gets sealed making it difficult fort he juice inside the chicken to escape. Entrapping the chicken juice within while cooking adds to its taste.

Why is my chicken breast so hard after cooking? ›

Leaving chicken in a pan, oven, or grill for just a little too long can suck the moisture right out and leave you with a dry, rubbery bird. Without moisture, the protein fibers in the chicken become elastic. The types of chicken you buy at the store can also make a difference.

Why is my chicken breast tough after cooking? ›

You're Overcooking Them

This is likely the most common mistake cooks make when it comes to chicken breasts. Of course, nobody wants a medium-rare chicken breast, but sometimes in an effort to fully cook our chicken breasts, we unintentionally overcook them. The result? An unpleasantly dry, chalky texture.

Why is my chicken breast tough and chewy? ›

Overcooking or cooking at too high a temperature can result in tough, dry chicken. Undercooking can leave chicken undercooked and chewy. Proper cooking techniques, such as roasting, grilling, or braising, can help maintain moisture and tenderness.

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