This homemade Instant Pot Chicken Broth is fast and easy to make, but tastes like it simmered all day! A whole chicken, carrots, onion, and celery make it full-flavored and perfect for use in any recipe.
Homemade Chicken Broth in the Instant Pot
How many times have you started to make a recipe, only to realize that you’re out of the chicken broth you need? Or maybe you’re at the store about to grab yet another box of broth, but you vaguely remember that making broth is supposed to be super easy and cheap… right? Should you be making your own?
Enter this simple, fast Instant Pot Chicken Broth. I love making this on the regular, so that I can have homemade broth on hand whenever I need it. Plus, by making my own broth, I can use the type of chicken I prefer, and choose the salt, herbs, veggies, and other ingredients myself.
Another awesome bonus? This broth is made with a whole chicken, which means that you get fresh, flavorful chicken meat at the same time. All you have to do is take it off of the bone, and save it for another use later in the week! Sandwiches, soup, casserole… pre-cooked chicken is great for all of the above.
What Is the Difference Between Broth and Stock?
Chicken broth. Chicken stock. Aren’t they the same? Well, kind of! You can definitely use them interchangeably in most recipes. The difference mainly lies in whether or not you use slow-simmered bones or slow-simmered meat to make it.
If you use meat, as we are doing here with our whole chicken, the result is called broth. Additionally, broth is usually not cooked as long as stock, because the meat would become tough. That means that broth is usually thinner, and not as richly flavored or colored as stock.
If you use bones and do a longer simmer, you’re technically making stock. Making stock involves a longer cook time, to pull the nutrients and flavors out of the bones. The resulting liquid is usually thicker, and will even solidify into a gelatin in the refrigerator.
What about bone broth?
Although “bone broth” is the popular term, this healthy food is actually a stock! Bone broth has a super-long cook time, sometimes as long as 24 hours, and includes an acid of some kind (apple cider vinegar is often used) in order to help the bones release nutrients.
What You’ll Need
While you can definitely toss in whatever you like, from lemons to garlic to sage, this basic recipe is a great starting point. The simple ingredients create a smooth, classic flavor that you’ll love!
- Chicken: You can make this easy recipe with a small whole chicken, about 2 pounds, or a couple of pounds of chicken pieces (wings, thighs, etc).
- Carrots: Carrots add a gentle sweetness. I use about 3 large carrots, scrubbed and cut in half.
- Celery: Celery helps give chicken broth that classic “chicken soup” taste. You’ll need 3 celery stalks, cut in half.
- Onion: I use one onion. White or yellow is fine. You can halve or quarter it.
- Bay Leaves: You’ll need two bay leaves to flavor 2 ½ quarts of broth.
- Thyme: My favorite dried herb for this recipe is thyme, but you can definitely play around with the herbs to suit your palate.
- Salt and Pepper
- Water: This recipe makes about two and a half quarts of broth, so you’ll need 8 to 10 cups of water.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Broth
While chicken broth in the Instant Pot is much faster and easier to make than a long slow cook on the stovetop, it still takes a bit of time. You should set aside an hour or so to cook the broth, and at least an equal amount of time to cool it and transfer to containers.
- Add the Ingredients to the Instant Pot. In the bottom of the Instant Pot’s inner pot, place the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Gently pour in the water, until the chicken is submerged. Be careful not to go over the “max fill” line on the IP. You may have to adjust the amount of water, depending on how big the chicken is.
- Pressure Cook on High. With all of the ingredients in place, cover the Instant Pot and lock the lid in place. Set the valve to “sealed,” and pressure cook on high for about 45 minutes. Once the time is up, do a quick release of the pressure. When the pressure is fully released, take the lid off the pot and allow the chicken broth to cool. You may want to place a tea towel over the pot to keep the broth covered while it cools.
- Strain the Broth. When the broth is cool, take a large spoon and skim any fat off the top. Remove the chicken (reserve it for another use), any large bones, and any large vegetable pieces. Then place a large bowl on the counter, with a strainer or cheesecloth over the bowl. Gently pour the broth into the strainer, to remove any remaining bones or vegetables.
- Store. Transfer the strained broth into glass jars, and close tightly. The broth can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, or frozen for longer storage.
Tips for Successful Homemade Broth
Before you make your batch of broth, read over these helpful tips! They’ll ensure that your broth-making experience turns out fantastic!
- Safety First: Keep in mind that straining the cooked broth requires a large bowl and a steady hand! If you struggle to lift the large inner pot when it’s full of broth, try ladling ⅓ to ½ of the broth out of the pot into the strainer first. Then, pour the rest.
- Funnel into Jars: To transfer the strained broth into jars, it’s really helpful to have a large funnel. Rest the funnel in the top of the jar, and pour or ladle the broth in. Less mess, and less waste.
- Customize the Flavors: You can add richness to the broth by including mushrooms, bacon, or other savory ingredients in the pot. Herbs like sage, rosemary, basil, and thyme can add refreshing and interesting flavors. And a splash of lemon or vinegar can really brighten up the taste.
How to Use Homemade Chicken Broth
So what should you do with your nice new batch of broth? The possibilities are endless! Chicken broth adds extra flavor and nutrition to almost anything. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
- Cooking rice or any other type of grain.
- Making more flavorful mashed potatoes.
- As a base for soups.
- Making gravies and sauces.
- Steaming or boiling vegetables.
- Deglazing your skillet/making a pan sauce.
- Adding flavor when cooking in the Instant Pot.
It’s easy to store this broth, either in the refrigerator or freezer. You can also can the broth to make it shelf-stable.
- To refrigerate, pour the cooled broth into jars or airtight storage containers with well-fitting lids. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, pack into freezer-safe containers or bags, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Remember to leave a little room in the container for the liquid to expand.
- You can also freeze the broth in ice-cube trays, and store the cubes in freezer bags. Storing three or four cubes per bag allows you to easily grab small portions, without having to thaw a large container.
Instant Pot Chicken Broth
- In the bottom of the Instant Pot's inner pot, place the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Gently pour in the water, until the chicken is submerged. (Please note where the “max fill” line is. You may have to adjust the water, depending on the size of the chicken.)
- Lock the lid of the Instant Pot in place. Set the valve to “sealed.” Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Once the time is up, do a quick release. When the pressure is fully released, open the lid and allow the broth to cool.
- When the broth is cool, take a large spoon and skim any fat off the top.
- Remove the chicken, any large bones, and any large vegetable pieces. Reserve the meat for another use.
- Place a large 3 to 4-quart bowl on the counter, with a strainer or cheesecloth over the bowl. Gently pour the broth out of the Instant Pot inner pot and into the strainer to remove any remaining bones or vegetables.
- Transfer the strained broth into glass jars, and close tightly.
- The broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for longer storage.To refrigerate, pour the cooled broth into jars or airtight storage containers with well-fitting lids.
- Makes 2.5 quarts.
- To freeze chicken broth, pour it into freezer-safe containers or bags, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Leave a little room in the container for the liquid to expand.