Ever wonder how you can shred chicken so quickly? Although it is time consuming to shred chicken by hand, it can be done easily with just a fork! The trick is rotating the fork back and forth while going up and down in the same spot. This will make it easier to shred your chicken using a fork in only 4 easy steps!
HOW TO SHRED CHICKEN
Shredding chicken, seems obvious, right? It should. But the thing is that if you’re shredding a lot of chicken, there are a few ways to do it that makes it easier. So, the real question is how to shred chicken fast, right?
Since I’m loyal to providing you with all the time-saving tips in the kitchen, today’s post is about how to make shredded chicken that’s moist and perfect for delicious, crowd-pleasing recipes.
Chicken is a favorite protein at my house because it’s lean and high in protein, super versatile, and the one ingredient everyone in my family can agree on! No wonder it’s often our first choice whenever we need a crowd-pleasing meal or dinner on the table fast.
While I do love roasted and grilled chicken, one of my favorite ways to serve it is shredded. It can be added to ANY recipe; soups, salads, pastas, wraps, tacos, stir-fry, sliders- consider it the one-stop-shop for all things chicken dinner!
HOW TO SHRED CHICKEN 3 WAYS
Bet you didn’t think there was more than one way to shred chicken? There are, in fact, three ways, and what I love about each method is they’re practical, don’t involve a lot of extra work, and yield perfectly even chicken shreds.
A little note before we start, most recipes will use breast meat, but boneless, skinless thighs are also an option and my personal favorite. Dark meat has a ton more flavor and is no less healthy than chicken breast, so yes, do join the dark side.
By the way, if you’re working with frozen chicken, make sure to follow these chicken defrosting instructions before you get started.
Okayyy, now that’s over- on to the best ways to shred chicken!
1. Shred Chicken by Hand
Obviously, this would be the first method I mention. It’s been around for hundreds of years, and it’s a no-fail way to shred chicken. Make sure the chicken is at room temperature before you start- we don’t have time for 1st-degree burns- then use your fingers to pull the chicken into shreds gently.
2. Shred Chicken with two Forks
This is my go-to method because you can use it on hot or cooled chicken and there’s a minimal mess on your hands. Start by securing a chicken piece with one fork and using the 2nd to pull the meat away.
3. Shred chicken with a hand mixer or stand mixer
I know your eyebrow just went up at this one, especially if you didn’t watch the video above. But hear me out with this one.
That kitchen gadget you use for cupcakes can also make some killer chicken shreds in a hot minute. It’s a great way to shred 3 to 4 whole chicken breasts fast, plus its hands-free and kinda’ fun!
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SHRED CHICKEN?
The answer is entirely up to you! All three methods are convenient and get the job done. If you’re looking for the quickest method, the hand or stand mixer is your best choice, and you can shred a lot of chicken quickly making this method perfect for meal prepping.
MORE TIPS FOR MOIST SHREDDED CHICKEN
The key to moist, shredded chicken isn’t in how you shred it but how it’s cooked.
1. Room Temperature Chicken
You’ll want to use chicken that has been thoroughly cooked and at room temperature, any hotter, and you’ll burn your fingers, any colder, and it will be tough to shred. Room temperature is the sweet spot and creates the best texture.
Below I included a no-fail recipe to cook chicken you purposely intend on shredding, but you can use any sautéed, baked, grilled, or chicken you have on hand.
2. Slow-Cooked Chicken
Slow cooker chicken recipes like this one are a great way to make shredded chicken dishes, and thanks to the sauce, you don’t have to worry about it drying out.
3. Rotisserie Chicken
If you’re short on time, a store-bought rotisserie chicken will be your best friend. I get them from my local grocery store, and they’re always perfectly seasoned and moist. I can also use the leftover bones to make homemade broth for soups, chilis, and stews.
How To Make Shredded Chicken
Shredded chicken is super easy to make!
Today you will see how easy it is to make shredded chicken at home. You can use it in so many food favorites from tacos, fajitas, or enchiladas. So are you ready to learn how to make shredded chicken? Let’s get started!
This recipe is great for all your Mexican recipes. When you want the perfect taco or fajitas shredded chicken is a must.
See How To Make Shredded Chicken
Want to see how you can make this shredded chicken recipe at home? Take a look at the video with step-by-step instructions.
You can follow along and see how easy it is to make this recipe yourself.
How to make shredded chicken
This recipe shows you how you can easily make pulled chicken fast. You can flavor it just the way you like it with taco seasoning or a tinga sauce.
Maybe you can tell how much I love using this chicken recipe for my favorite dishes. The best parts of the chicken to use for this recipe is:
- Chicken breast – one of the best cuts to use for pulled chicken
- Chicken thighs – has some additional fat and as a result more flavor
- Whole chicken – grilled so it falls off the bone makes the best-shredded chicken
This recipe is gluten-free and fits perfectly in a keto or low-carb diet.
You can use leftover turkey if you have some left from e.g. your turkey dinner.
Instead of cooking your chicken you can also buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it.
Shredded Chicken Ingredients
To make this easy recipe you need only a handful of ingredients. Make certain you have the following ingredients:
- Chicken breast
- Chicken broth or water
- Salt and pepper to taste
How To Shred Chicken With Forks
To make this recipe start removing all excess fat. Fill a pot with water and add a chicken stock cube.
Bring to the boil and add the chicken breasts. Turn down the heat and let the chicken breast simmer for 20 minutes.
Make certain the chicken is covered with broth the whole time to prevent the chicken from drying out. Add water if needed.
Take the chicken breast out of the pot and put it on a cutting board. Take two forks and start tearing the chicken into small pieces and you are done.
Should You Shred Chicken Warm Or Cold?
You can do both but it is best to shred your chicken while it is warm. So either when it is just out of the boiling water, oven, pressure cooker, or grill.
Chicken shreds so much easier when it is warm than when you try it cold.
More Ways To Shred Chicken
Besides preparing your chicken in water or broth there are a number of ways to prepare pulled chicken:
- Oven – if you want to make pulled chicken in the oven put your chicken breasts in an oven dish and cover 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth. Wrap the oven dish with foil. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375F/180C. Take the chicken out of the oven and shred with a fork or stand mixer
- Grill – when you use the grill or slow cooker to grill take a whole chicken. Once you leave it in the grill for more than one hour (turn regularly) you can easily shred your chicken
- Pressure cooker – you can make this version in your Instant pot or Crockpot express. Put all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker and close the lid. Seal the valve and cook the chicken on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the valve release the pressure naturally and shed with two forks.
- Slow cooker – repeat the instruction as with the oven version so add 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth. Put your Instant pot of slow cooker to stew on HIGH and cook for 3 HOURS. Take the chicken breast out of the slow cooker and shred. So much flavor and so moist
- Stand mixer – As mentioned above you can use two forks but you can also use your stand mixer. Put it in the bowl and add the paddle attachment. Turn the machine on and shred for a couple of seconds.
HOW TO SHRED CHICKEN – 3 EASY METHODS
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Shredded chicken is incredibly versatile and can be used in countless recipes. It’s a great thing to make in bulk on a weekend day and store for quicker, easier weeknight cooking. Here are three techniques you can use to shred chicken at home and get prepped for the week – fast
Before shredding, you will need to cook chicken using whatever method you prefer. You can poach it (simmer on the stovetop), use an Instant Pot/pressure cooker, or a crockpot. I prefer to cook my chicken in a little broth to infuse a bit of flavor, but water will work fine, also! Once chicken is fully cooked, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before shredding. This will result in a juicier final product.
HOW TO SHRED CHICKEN WITH FORKS:
Shredding chicken with forks is easy! Hold one fork in each hand, use one utensil to keep the chicken in place and with other, begin pulling meat away from the breast or thigh.
HOW TO SHRED CHICKEN BY HAND:
When shredding chicken by hand, be sure it has cooled down enough to touch. Then, simply use your fingers to tear the meat apart. This method is nice because it enables you to control the size of your shreds. Even better, it results in very few dishes!
HOW TO SHRED CHICKEN IN A FOOD PROCESSOR:
This is my favorite method. It’s extra fast and great for bulk shredding. You’ll want to use a plastic blade if you have one (many food processors come with them)! A metal blade works but will result in more of a diced texture. Place whole chicken breasts into your processor and pulse about five times. This method does result in more dishes, but thankfully, most food processors are dishwasher safe.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Can you freeze cooked shredded chicken?
You can freeze cooked, shredded chicken for up to 4 months. I highly recommend making shredded chicken in bulk when you have time, and freezing it for later use! This practice will really cut down on time spent in the kitchen on busy weeknights. Once you’re done shredding your chicken, portion it into food storage containers. I typically store my chicken in 2 cup portions (about 225 grams/8oz/1 large chicken breast). This portion size has worked well for me in almost any recipe that calls for shredded chicken! Freeze for up to 4 months.
Can you refrigerate shredded chicken?
Yes! Refrigerate cooked, shredded chicken for 3-4 days.
Can you shred chicken thighs?
Yes! Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work great for making shredded chicken.
Can I just buy pre-shredded chicken at the grocery store?
Many grocery stores carry shredded chicken. Check in the refrigerated and frozen food sections. It may also be in the deli! However, shredding your own chicken is easy, less expensive, and gives you more control over ingredients (less preservatives and processing).
Can you shred cold chicken?
You can, but it will be much more difficult than shredding warm chicken. I highly recommend cooking your meat, letting it rest for 10-15 minutes, and then shredding immediately using whichever method you prefer.