Instant Pot Beer Chicken, also known as Beer Can Chicken and Drunken Chicken is the perfect starter recipe for weeknight meal planning and freezer meal prep. This Beer Chicken uses a bottle of rich, Harvest Wheat Ale for a rustic, homey taste that echoes fall beautifully.
It’s very common to see Beer Can Chicken in the summer on the grill. However, in colder winter months, you can still enjoy the hearty flavor of chicken and beer without the alcoholic consequences. One of my favorite things about cooking with alcohol in an Instant Pot is how the meat gets steamed with the concentrated flavor of the drink while burning off any alcohol; which makes it safe for even the kids to consume. Cooking it in the Instant Pot also provides with easily shreddable chicken breasts I can use in multiple recipes.
For me, I need to double up when cooking and buying ingredients. As our family and appetites have grown, especially in recent years, I’ve started really paying attention to the ingredients we have on hand and the grocery bill every week. Many times I have caught myself purchasing an ingredient in bulk because it was cheaper, only to then find it sitting in the pantry or fridge long after it should have been used. Now, I have myself in a habit of contemplating each ingredient used for a recipe.
How to Save Money Grocery Shopping
These are some ways and questions I ask myself when planning out my family’s meals and budget for food.
Can it be reused?
I love a variety in my meals. My husband and my kids could eat the same thing day after day (burgers or pasta) while I like to have the variation. Call me a food snob, whatever. Now when looking at ingredients in recipes I find on Pinterest or even ones I create myself, I challenge myself to come up with at least three other recipes that I can use the ingredients in. For example, I recently purchased Pepita Seeds for a pasta recipe. I then challenged myself to come up with three more ways to use the remaining seeds: Granola Bars, Breakfast Parfaits, and loose Cereal Granola. That way I’m not purchasing an ingredient to be used once and set on my shelf forever – or until rancid.
Is it cheaper when bought in bulk?
Not everything is cheaper when bought in bulk. Depending on where you live, sometimes you can shop around for the best price on items. Where I live, it would cost more in gas to go to a store like Trader Joes or Sam’s club for the amount I would save by shopping there. However, if you can purchase a whole chicken or freezer full of whole chickens from your local farmer and use all the meet, plus the bones for stock, it’s going to be cheaper than buying breasts at the grocery store every week.
Buy the basic pantry items for best results.
When all else fails, I am thankful to have a pantry full of the basics such as flour, sugar, baking soda, etc. When money is tight and bellies are hungry, a quick muffin recipe or homemade bread and peanut butter does the trick. It’s cheaper (and healthier) to make these at home than it is to go to the grocery store and back for them.
Use herbs you have on hand.
It’s really easy to think that you need a specific herb for a dish but many are interchangeable. You may not get an exact match for flavor, but figuring out herb combinations that work for your family’s tastes, isn’t hard. If you have leftover herbs or herbs that are about to go bad, use them in a crock pot or Instant Pot with meat. Putting them under pressure, steam, and slow cooking really helps to draw out any of the remaining flavors. Cook a meat with them and use the leftover liquid for a gravy or create some stock.
Use. What. You. Have! Twice if need be.
The Secret to Cooking Fresh Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot
Steps to cooking fresh chicken breast in an Instant Pot
- Use the trivet that came with your Instant Pot. Place that in your inner pot and lay seasoned chicken breasts on top. This can be fresh or thawed.
- Add any additional seasonings for your desired shredded chicken. Fresh herbs, taco seasoning packets, and chili seasoning packets are great flavor enhancers. You could also add carrots, celery, and onions with just salt and pepper for a more mirepoix effect. Using the mirepoix combination will release more liquid and make things easier for creating your own stock.
- The minimum amount of liquid required to cook in the Instant Pot is 1.5 cups. For this recipe, I used the whole bottle of bear. I personally take into consideration how much liquid my ingredients will release upon cooking. So I don’t always add 1.5 cups. Typically it is between 1 and 2 cups though.
- Set the Instant Pot on manual pressure cooking, low or medium temp for 15-20 minutes. If you’re on the lower end, let it naturally release the pressure. If you’re on the higher end, use the quick release so you can check the “doneness” of the chicken.
- Upon completion of the cooking cycle, there will be a fair amount of liquid at the bottom of the pot. Picking them up with tongs should break them apart easily. Using two forks you should be able to shred the chicken breasts with ease.
Harvest Ale Beer Chicken Breasts in Instant Pot
Very similar to Beer Can Chicken, this Beer Bottle Chicken uses a fall flavored beer to add beautiful harvest aromatics and flavor to shredded chicken that can be used in soups, tacos, and more.
- 3-5 lbs chicken breast
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 springs fresh sage
- 2-3 stems rosemary
- 5 stems thyme
- 1 bottle Harvest Ale Beer
Use the trivet that came with your Instant Pot. Place that in your inner pot and lay seasoned chicken breasts on top. This can be fresh or thawed.
Add seasonings, herbs, and beer to pot with chicken breasts.
Set the Instant Pot on manual pressure cooking, low or medium temp for 15-20 minutes. If you're on the lower end, let it naturally release the pressure. If you're on the higher end, use the quick release so you can check the "doneness" of the chicken.
Upon completion of the cooking cycle, there will be a fair amount of liquid at the bottom of the pot. Picking them up with tongs should break them apart easily. Using two forks you should be able to shred the chicken breasts with ease.