In a pinch, can you shred chicken in a blender? The answer is yes, but you must use the blender cautiously. This isn't something blenders are intended to do. As a result, this method produces very fine pieces, essentially turning the chicken into a paste.
This blog post will show you how to shred chicken in a blender and offer tips for getting the best results and how to avoid some common mistakes. Read on to learn more.
For those in a hurry and in need of getting the job done, here are some suggestions:
- Place chicken in the blender, and pulse until it reaches desired consistency. Be careful not to overdo it, or you'll end up with a chicken paste.
- If you need to, stop the blender and scrape down the sides to make sure all the chicken is getting shredded.
- Pulse in short bursts until the chicken is as shredded as you need it to be.
Can you shred chicken in a blender?
The answer is yes; you can shred chicken in a blender. However, it is essential to use caution when doing so. Chicken is tough meat and can easily damage a blender if not appropriately shredded.
One drawback of using a blender is that you have to be extra careful not to over-blend the chicken, or it will become a mushy consistency. If this happens, your chicken shreds will be less aesthetically pleasing and may fall apart easier. But what about if you want to use the blender to shred the chicken? What should you do to get the job done? You can follow the steps below.
How to shred chicken in a blender
Here's what you'll need to do to shred chicken in a blender:
1 Cook the chicken.
You can do this however you like - boil or even use leftovers. Ensure the chicken is cooked and cooled before moving on to the next step.
2 Cut the chicken into chunks
Cut the chicken into small, manageable pieces. Too large a chicken will be hard to shred evenly. By doing this, the chicken will be less likely to damage the blades. Chickens can quickly wrap themselves around blades and cause them to bend or break. Cutting the chicken into smaller pieces will make blending and help protect your blender easier.
3 Use a high-powered blender.
A high-powered blender can handle blending chicken better than a lower-powered one. A low-powered blender has less torque and takes longer to blend the chicken, whereas a high-powered blender has more torque for faster blending. You may need to stop the blender a few times to scrape down the sides and ensure that all the chicken is getting shredded.
4 Add some liquid to the blender (optional)
By doing so, you will be able to achieve a smooth, even consistency when blending. Try using chicken broth, water, or even milk. Just make sure to start with a small amount and add more if needed. Note: This is optional.
5 Use the Pulse setting on your blender
Start with short pulses and gradually increase the blending time so the chicken is shredded to the consistency you prefer. Using low speed when blending helps to control the amount of time the chicken is in contact with the blades.
That's why starting at a low speed is essential and increasing gradually. If you throw the chicken in at full power, there's a good chance the chicken will get wrapped around the blades and cause them to bend or break. Starting on low and gradually increasing the speed will help prevent this.
6 Remove the chicken from the blender after shredding.
Stop blending the chicken as soon as it is shredded to the desired consistency. Over-blending can result in chicken that is too finely shredded. If you leave it in too long, the chicken will start to heat up and cook from the blades' friction. It can result in tough, dry chicken. So remove it as soon as it's shredded!
What's the best way to cook shredded chicken?
Before shredding, cook the chicken breasts on the stove or slow cooker. Add the chicken breasts to the instant pot with broth or water, set it on manual high pressure for 12 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally. I like cooking shredded chicken in my instant pot. Do you know why? Because it's so darn easy and the chicken comes out perfectly cooked every time! Plus, it's a set-it-and-forget-it type of meal, which is my favorite.
To cook chicken breasts in an Instant Pot:
Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and other seasonings/herbs you like. Arrange evenly at the bottom of the Instant Pot.
Place the chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. Generally, I don't add water when I cook chicken for shredding in the instant pot. Do you know why? Because the chicken will render out enough juices to create a watery broth. Or add ½ cup of water or chicken broth to the pot.
Secure the lid and close the valve. Set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 12 minutes. Set the valve to sealing. Or if your instant pot has a "poultry" setting, you can use that.
After the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release for any remaining pressure, carefully turning the valve from sealing to venting. Be cautious of the hot steam that will come out!
Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot, and use two forks to shred the meat.
How to cook chicken breasts in a slow cooker:
Arrange chicken into a single layer in the bottom of your slow cooker allowing the chicken to cook evenly on all sides. Avoid overlapping the chicken pieces because this will result in uneven cooking.
Add any desired seasonings to the chicken breasts. Simple salt and pepper are all needed, but you could also experiment with other herbs and spices. I like to use a simple mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This is essential to add flavor to the chicken breasts.
Does slow-cooker chicken need liquid?
You only need to add liquid if you're laying multiple layers of chicken to at least halfway cover the meat. However, when the breast pieces are laid in a single layer and are in direct contact with the crockpot's bottom, they usually don't need any liquid since they produce their juices as they cook.
If using boneless, skinless chicken breast, cook on low for 1.5 to 2.5 hours or until the chicken is cooked and no longer pink in the center. The cooking time will vary depending on the size, cuts, and thickness of your chicken breasts.
How to cook chicken on the stovetop:
How to cook chicken for shredding on the stove:
Step 1 Arrange the boneless chicken breast or thighs in the bottom of a large skillet.
It's ok if you overlap some of the thighs slightly, but if you have a lot of overlap, consider using a bigger pot or two pots/pans.
Step 2 Season the chicken as desired.
Treat this chicken as a blank canvas to add to various dishes. Some examples of seasonings include salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. I like to add some herbs like bay leaf, sprigs of rosemary, and thyme.
Step 3 Add water to come up about ½ way up the chicken (instead of broth)
Add water to the pot. You want enough liquid so the chicken will be cooked but not so much that it becomes waterlogged. Why no broth? Water does a better job of not making the finished dish too salty. Unless you want some need to use broth, in which case, use it!
Step 4 Bring the pot of water to a gentle boil, then reduce it to a simmer
Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat so that it is at a simmer. Let the chicken cook until it is cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Depending on the size of your chicken, this will take about 10-15 minutes.
The idea of boiling chicken may seem drab, yet this poaching method will yield chicken that is cooked through and still juicy. You will always get perfect results if you watch it closely and take it out when it reaches an appropriate temperature (165°F).
Step 5 Test the chicken for doneness
After you've let the chicken cook for the recommended time, it's crucial to test it for doneness. The best way to do this is to use a meat thermometer. Stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast and ensure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer it to a plate and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes to rest. Serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!
Tip: If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can also check the doneness of the chicken by doing a fork test. Stick a fork into the thickest part of the chicken breast and twist. If the chicken is cooked through, it should easily shred. If it's not cooked through, put it back in the pot and cook for a few minutes longer.
Cooking times using a slow cooker:
For Boneless chicken:
Cooking time should be between 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Why? Because the chicken breast is a lean cut of meat, it will become tough and dry if you cook it on high heat. Besides, a slow cooker keeps the chicken moist as it cooks, and low heat prevents it from drying.
Tips when cooking chicken on the slow cooker
1 Avoid cooking chicken at high temperatures.
If you cook chicken breast at a high temperature, it will dry out and become tough even if you check early. So, always cook chicken breast at low or moderate temperatures. As per my experience, lower temperatures yield the best results when cooking chicken breasts.
2 Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the chicken breast.
If you use small chicken breasts, they will cook faster than large chicken breasts. So, always check the cooking time depending on the size of the chicken breasts.
3 Use chicken breast that is of a similar size.
This will ensure even cooking of the chicken. If you use chicken breasts of different sizes, the smaller pieces will become overcooked and dry, while the larger pieces will still be undercooked.
4 Check the doneness of the chicken by using a meat thermometer.
Chicken is cooked when the juices run clear and the internal temperature of the chicken breast reaches 165º F. To check, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast. If the juices are still pink or the temperature is less than 165º F, cook for some more time.
5 Let the chicken rest before cutting into it.
Once the chicken is ready, remove it from the slow cooker and let it rest for 3-4 minutes before cutting into it. This will help the juices to redistribute evenly inside the chicken breast, making it more juicy and flavorful.
6 Do not overcook the chicken.
Overcooking will make the chicken dry, tough, and less flavorful. So, always cook the chicken breast until it is just cooked through.
7 Do not add water while cooking chicken in the slow cooker.
There is no need to add water while cooking chicken breast in a slow cooker as chicken breast releases enough juice. Adding water will make the chicken breast watery and less flavorful.
What types of chicken are best for shredding?
You can shred many types of chicken, but some are better than others. For example, chicken thighs tend to be moister and have more flavor than chicken breasts. You can use either type of chicken for this recipe, but I prefer to use chicken thighs.
1 Young bird such as Cornish or Rock Cornish game hens
The best chickens for shredding are typically young and have tender, moist flesh. This makes them ideal for shredding, as their meat will be easier to shred and won't dry out as quickly. Breeds like Cornish hens or Rock Cornish game hens are ideal, but you can also use chicken thighs or breasts. These chicken breeds usually have more flavor than other types; this means that your shredded chicken will be more flavorful and enjoyable to eat.
2 Boneless chicken:
Another factor to consider is whether or not you want to use boneless chicken. While boneless chicken is easier to shred, it can also dry quickly and is less moist and flavorful. If you're using boneless chicken, cook it until it's just cooked through; otherwise, it may become tough to shred.
3 Bone-in chicken:
The bone adds flavor, and the meat is juicier, so it's less likely to dry out. Bone-in chicken also tends to be more moist than boneless, making it easier to shred. And finally, those bones give the chicken something to hold onto as you're shredding it, so the final product is less likely to turn into a mushy mess.
4 Rotisserie chicken:
This can be a great option for shredding if you have a rotisserie chicken on hand. Rotisserie chicken is already cooked, so it will be easy to shred. Additionally, rotisserie chicken is often very moist and flavorful, which makes it a great option for shredded chicken dishes.
Other ways to shred chicken aside from using a blender?
There are a few things to remember when using a blender to shred chicken. First, make sure that your chicken is cooked all the way through before you begin. You want to avoid ending up with raw chicken in your final product. Second, cut the chicken into chunks to fit easily into your blender. Third, don't overfill the blender - you'll want to leave some room so the chicken can move around and get evenly shredded.
Now that you know the basics, here are other different ways to shred the chicken:
Method 1 Hand mixer
This is the quickest and easiest way to shred chicken. Place cooked chicken into a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer on low speed to break the meat. This method is perfect, especially for large quantities of chicken.
The hand mixer will evenly shred the chicken without overdoing it like a blender or food processor.
Method 2 Using two forks
For this method, you'll need two forks. Place the cooked chicken on a cutting board and use the two forks to pull the meat apart in opposite directions. This method works well for shredded chicken used in salads, tacos, or other dishes where small pieces are desired.
Method 3 Stand mixer
If you have a stand mixer, you can use the paddle attachment to shred your chicken. Add the chicken to the bowl and turn the mixer on low speed. The low speed will give you more control over the shredding process and result in evenly shredded chicken. Turning the paddle attachment on high speed will shred the chicken too quickly and unevenly.
This method can shred a lot of chicken quickly or if you want perfectly shredded chicken without any effort.
Method 4 Food processor
You can also use a food processor to shred chicken. Add the chicken to the food processor and "pulse" until it reaches the desired consistency. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times to ensure everything gets evenly shredded. Finally, season the shredded chicken with salt and pepper to taste before using it in your favorite recipe.
Tip: The pulse setting is gentler, resulting in more evenly shredded chicken. If you use the continuous setting, the chicken may get caught under the blade and end up with chunks instead of shreds. Seasoning the chicken after shredding is also vital to bring out the flavors. Otherwise, the shredded chicken may taste bland.
Method 5 Use your hands
Shredding chicken with your hands is a great way to get the most tender and juicy shredded chicken. It also allows you to control the size of the shreds, which can be helpful when making certain recipes.
Before shredding the chicken, make sure it is cool enough to handle. Besides, it's faster. Once you get the hang of it, you can shred chicken much faster with your hands than with a knife. If I'm working on a smaller batch, I will often shred chicken by hand simply because it's more convenient.
Here's how to do it:
1. Start by tearing the chicken into smaller pieces with your fingers. If the chicken is cooked on the bone, you can use a fork to help you separate the meat from the bones.
2. Once the chicken is in small pieces, use your fingers to shred the chicken into thin strips further.
3. If needed, you can use a knife to chop any larger pieces of chicken finely.
4. Season the shredded chicken as desired, and enjoy!
Shredded chicken: How to store and freeze it
How to store the shredded chicken the right way:
Keep it dry and moisture-free when storing shredded chicken so it doesn't spoil. When chicken is shredded, the surface area of the meat increases. This increased surface area means there's more room for bacteria to grow. So, to keep your chicken from going bad, keep it away from moisture. The shredded chicken will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- One way to store shredded chicken is to place it in a zip-top bag with a paper towel. The paper towel will help absorb any excess moisture, and the zip-top bag will keep the chicken airtight.
- Another way to store shredded chicken is to place it in a container with a tight-fitting lid and with as little air as possible. Again, you'll want to put a paper towel in the bottom of the container to absorb any moisture.
How to freeze shredded chicken
When freezing shredded chicken, portion it and place it in a resealable bag. Then, lay the bag flat on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, you can stack the bags on top of each other and freeze them for up to six months. When ready to use the chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
How to reheat frozen shredded chicken
You can reheat your frozen shredded chicken in a few different ways. You can use either the stove, microwave, or oven.
1 Using the stove:
Place the frozen chicken in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, occasionally stirring until the chicken is heated. Remember to add a splash of water or broth if needed to avoid the chicken from drying out!
2 In the microwave:
Arrange the frozen chicken in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. The paper towel helps to keep the chicken moist so it doesn't dry out. Microwave the chicken on 50% power for 2 minutes, then check to see if it's thawed, stirring once or twice during reheating. If not, continue microwaving the chicken in 30-second intervals until it's melted.
3 If using the oven:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the frozen chicken onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated. Again, add a little water or broth to the chicken to avoid drying it out.
What is the fastest way to shred chicken?
My preferred method of shredding chicken is to use a hand mixer. Why is that? Well, it saves you time from shredding the chicken into small pieces and mixes everything much faster than a traditional blender would.
It is the fastest way because it quickly cuts through the chicken meat and beats it into submission, making it easier to shred. I like using the hand mixer because it has a little attachment that helps keep everything tidy.
Can I use a NutriBullet to shred chicken?
Yes, you can use a NutriBullet to shred chicken. However, I must warn you. Chicken pieces easily explode in blenders, so be careful. It will take patience and practice to get the chicken to shred properly using a NutriBullet.
With a bit of practice, you should be able to shred chicken using a NutriBullet. The shredding might be different if you used a hand mixer or food processor.
I recommend using the "pulsing function," tap, and a quick pulse to help shred the chicken. Also, cut the chicken into smaller chunks before blending to blend more easily. Mine came out as a puree instead of shreds. But it still tasted good in my chicken soup! You can watch it here to see the actual result.
How to Shred Chicken in a Blender
- boneless chicken breast or thighs
1. Cook the chicken.
- You can do this however you like – boil or even use leftovers. Ensure the chicken is cooked and cooled before moving on to the next step.
2. Cut the chicken into chunks
- Cut the chicken into small, manageable pieces. Too large a chicken will be hard to shred evenly. By doing this, the chicken will be less likely to damage the blades. Chickens can quickly wrap themselves around blades and cause them to bend or break. Cutting the chicken into smaller pieces will make blending and help protect your blender easier.
3. Use a high-powered blender.
- A high-powered blender can handle blending chicken better than a lower-powered one. A low-powered blender has less torque and takes longer to blend the chicken, whereas a high-powered blender has more torque for faster blending. You may need to stop the blender a few times to scrape down the sides and ensure that all the chicken is getting shredded.
4. Add some liquid to the blender
- By doing so, you will be able to achieve a smooth, even consistency when blending. Try using chicken broth, water, or even milk. Just make sure to start with a small amount and add more if needed.
5. Use the pulse setting on your blender
- Start with short pulses and gradually increase the blending time, so the chicken is shredded to the consistency you prefer. Using low speed when blending helps to control the amount of time the chicken is in contact with the blades.That’s why starting at a low speed is essential and increasing gradually. If you throw the chicken in at full power, there’s a good chance the chicken will get wrapped around the blades and cause them to bend or break. Starting on low and gradually increasing the speed will help prevent this.
6. Remove the chicken from the blender after shredding
- Stop blending the chicken as soon as it is shredded to the desired consistency. Over-blending can result in chicken that is too finely shredded. If you leave it in too long, the chicken will start to heat up and cook from the blades’ friction. It can result in tough, dry chicken. So remove it as soon as it’s shredded!