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4.94 from 79 votes

Instant Pot Firecracker Chicken

Sweet and spicy Instant Pot firecracker chicken served on a bed of jasmine rice. This is a dinner that the whole family will love, and trust me, if you make it once you will instantly fall in love with it!
Author Diana
Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Instant Pot to come to pressure 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • Instant Pot


  • 2 pounds (900 grams) chicken breasts cubed into bite-size or 1 inch pieces
  • cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water ¼ to deglaze and ¼ added to the chicken and sauce

For the Sauce

  • cup hot sauce such as Frank's hot sauce or sriracha
  • ½ cup brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce if GF - use tamari sauce instead of soy sauce

For Serving

  • ¼ cup green onion chopped
  • Cooked rice for serving

To Thicken the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • To a bowl, add the chicken, corn starch, salt, and pepper. Mix so that the chicken is well coated.
  • On the Instant Pot press on SAUTE (on low) and heat the oil. Add the chicken, and brown it until lightly browned. Remove the chicken from the pot onto a plate and set aside.
  • Deglaze the pot by adding ¼ cup of water, and with a wooden spoon or a heat resistant spatula scrape off any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. I recommend discarding the liquid and the chicken cornstarch bits that were stuck to the pot to get a smooth sauce. Switch off the saute setting.
  • In a bowl, whisk all of the sauce ingredients until well combined, then add them to the Instant Pot and put the chicken back. Add ¼ cup of water to the chicken and sauce, and give everything a good mix.
  • Secure the lid and set the vent to SEALING. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 5 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take around 4 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. When the cooking program ends, quickly release the steam.
  • Carefully open the lid, and remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

To Thicken the Sauce

  • Press on SAUTE if the sauce is no longer hot, and once the sauce comes to a gentle boil add the cornstarch mixed with water. Whisk until the sauce is thickened (it thickens very quickly). Put the chicken back in, and mix.
  • Serve over rice, and garnish with chopped green onion.



  • This dish is quite spicy, if you don't like spicy food then you can reduce the amount of hot sauce. If you would like to omit the hot sauce, use ketchup instead.
  • It's important that you deglaze the pot after the saute to avoid getting a burn message.
  • The reason why I like to deglaze and discard the liquid with the stuck bits then wipe the pot clean is to get a smooth sauce.
  • Serve over jasmine rice, and garnish with chopped green onions.
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 641IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3mg