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Instant Pot Smart – Chicken Adobo

Posted by in Food, Recipes | 69 Comments


One of our favourite dishes is the Philipino dish chicken adobo. There are so many versions of it but the basic ingredients that are common in most recipes are soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorn and bay leaves. I’ve adapted my version for the Instant Pot. It’s easy and delicious. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Chicken Adobo


3lbs chicken thighs, bone-in
6T soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4c canola oil
1T sugar
1/4c vinegar
2 bay leaves
1t peppercorn
1c water


  1. Put the chicken in a large ziploc bag along with the soy sauce and garlic and marinate in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. Set the instant pot on Sauté. Once it says Hot, add the canola oil and half of the chicken thighs, skin side down. Brown the chicken for about 3-4 minutes. Turn them over and brown the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove them onto a plate and work on the second batch. Once the second batch is complete, put the rest of the cooked chicken back into the pot.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Close and lock the lid, making sure the sealing knob is on sealing. Start the recipe program.
  5. Once the cooking is done, you can release the pressure by the quick or natural pressure release.
  6. Remove the chicken and set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode and adjust the temperature to low. Simmer the sauce until the sauce thickens.
  7. Pour over the chicken and serve with Jasmine rice.

Hope this was an easy recipe to follow. Please let me know in the comments if you have any question. I would love to know how it goes!

Recipe Script

Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes. Keep warm for up to 6 hours.

  • I noticed in the video mushrooms magically appear in the browning step, how many mushrooms do you use?

    • flolum

      Hi there, I was wondering what you were seeing since I have never put mushrooms in my adobo. Those are the garlic cloves from the marinade. Now that you mention it, mushrooms might be a good addition!

      • whoops my bad.

      • One can never have too many garlic cloves in adobo. my kids fish them out and fight over who gets to eat the last one.

        • flolum

          LOL! That’s awesome!

  • Hannah

    I saw you a video of this recipe on the you-tube. You are using a iPhone timer. Is there a app?

    • flolum

      I am using the app for the Instant Pot Smart cooker.

  • Melissa Tucker

    How hot is this? Would kids be able to eat if they aren’t used to heat?

  • flolum

    I’m assuming by hot you mean spicy. We don’t find it spicy at all but if you’re worried, you can leave out the peppercorn.

  • Karen Simpson

    Pretty excited about this! I have me chicken marinading right now! I only had boneless thighs, what adjustments to cooking should I make? Thank you!

    • flolum

      Hi Karen! I would definitely cut down on the cook time. I think 5 mins will do it. Let me know how it goes!

      • Karen Simpson

        Thank you! I’m marinading it over night and will make tomorrow. Gotta use up my Kalua pork from my IP. Kiddos want pork fried rice with the leftovers.

        • flolum

          Sounds great!

  • Christine T.

    I usually make this on the stovetop and am so glad you “did the math” so I don’t have to LOL! I’m really looking forward to making this in the IP instead. Thank you! 🙂

    • flolum

      You’re welcome, Christine! Let me know how it turns out!

      • Christine T.

        It turned out great! I’m making it again tonight.

  • Dave Drum

    Nice recipe! We’re new to the Instant Pot, and I’m the experimenter so far. I, too, only had boneless and skinless organic thighs in the freezer that I was searching for something to cook them into. This fit the bill nicely. I did make some changes. We’re avoiding processed sugars so I replaced the 1T of sugar with a combo of raw sourwood honey and organic B grade maple syrup (about 1 1/2T). I did add some sliced shiitake mushrooms I had in the fridge with may last batch of browning. I’d probably use less water next time as it took “forever” to boil off, leaving a thicker sweet glaze. (I’m impatient too!) Thanks for posting!

    • flolum

      Apologies for the delayed reply, Dave. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. This was one of my earlier IP recipes. When I make it now, I definitely reduce the liquid. 😊 Thanks for your comment!

      • Kathleen Leong Compton

        Hi Flo,
        I made this my first recipe. I used boneless and reduced to cooking 6 min. I also thought it was a little runny and missing the vinegar taste. If I reduce the water to 1/2 cup do you think i need to add more vinegar.
        I loved how soft and moist the chicken was.

        • flolum

          Hi Kathleen,
          I don’t think you will need to add more vinegar if you reduce the water. The taste shouldn’t be diluted. Dude would probably disagree because he likes it more vinegary. 😉 So glad you enjoyed it!

    • flolum

      Thanks for your comment, Dave! Not sure how I missed it. So glad you liked the recipe.

  • Karen Preston

    I’m a newbie to the IP and your site. How do I open the script above it’s asking what do I open it with? Thanks for sharing your recipe. Karen

    • flolum

      Hi Karen, from your phone, you should be able to save it to your smart cooker app by touching the link or the script icon. Hope that helps. Enjoy!

  • Alicia Murphy

    I do not have the smart pot, just the regular one. How would I make this recipe in that?

    • flolum

      The instructions for the DUO are at the very bottom of the recipe. 😊

      • Bryan “Ironman” Stark

        I don’t see any text instructions for the DUO.

        • Iain

          It didn’t explicitly say for DUO but she meant this : Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes. Keep warm for up to 6 hours.

  • Candice

    In your instructions, step 4 says to start the recipe program. What is that? Sorry, new to the IP.

    • Cody

      She has a “smart” Instant Pot where she can control it via smart phone. I wish she would give instructions for “dumb” Instant Pots, too… :/

      • flolum

        “Dumb” instant pot instructions are at the very bottom of every recipe. 😉

        • Bryan “Ironman” Stark

          I have the IP-SMART but when I downloaded the recipe there was no option to import the recipe. Can you just post a text version?

          • flolum

            The text is right underneath the script: Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes. Keep warm for up to 6 hours.

  • Hayley Isaman

    Just wanted to let you know, I have made this 3 times now(4th time tonight) with minor adjustments and my whole family is obsessed. Thanks so much for this new family favorite!!

    • flolum

      I am so sorry, Hayley for taking so long to reply. Thanks so much for leaving a comment and happy to hear that it’s become a family fave! =)

  • CC

    If I were to double the recipe, would I double the time too?

    • flolum

      Not sure why I am only seeing this now. Apologies for taking so long to get back to you. The cook time should remain the same. You will find it takes longer to come to pressure though. Let me know how it goes.

  • love dawn

    I can’t have soy….you think Liquid Aminos would ruin it?

    • Flo

      So sorry, I have no idea what Liquid Aminos are. What would you normally use as a soy substitute?

    • Julie

      I’ve used both and it’s great either way. This recipe is definitely a household favorite!

      • flolum

        Thanks, Julie! That’s good to know!

  • ar

    what modifications would you make for pork? would cook time be about the same?

    • flolum

      Depends on what cut you’re using. If it’s a tougher cut, you’d have to add time. I generally like to use pork shoulder. If cut it up into 2″ chunks, I would cook for about 30 mins and skip the marinating time. Hope that’s helpful.

  • Sheri Jolly

    I love this recipe made it alot. Does it hold well on the keep warm function?

    • flolum

      I`m so sorry for not responding sooner. Depending on how long your keep on keep warm. I find the keep warm function will continue to slowly cook it so it becomes overcooked, in my opinion.

  • Sheena Chan

    Can I use boneless chicken thighs? If can, how long should the timer be? I have about 2lbs of them.

    • flolum

      I would reduce the time to 6 mins if you are cooking boneless thighs.

  • mudrc01

    Hy. I am from Slovakia and we use metric units. Please tell me what is 1T sugar, and, 1c water. How much in metric units. Thanks.

    • ObamaIsKillingTheUSA

      1T sugar = 14.8 milliliters
      1c water = 2.37 deciliters

      • Marifel Papa

        is 1T means 1 tablespoon?

        • flolum


    • flolum

      Apologies for the very delayed response! 1Tablesooon is 15ml and 1cup is 250ml.

  • Mary Barnes Jay

    I am breaking in my IP this week. I did the water test and hard boiled eggs. This is my first try at doing a recipe. I assume that when you say to pressure cook the recipe, I am supposed to use the manual button. Is that right? What pressure am I supposed to have it on?

    • flolum

      Apologies for the very delayed response. I’m sure you’ve become very proficient with your IP by now. They keep changing the name of the buttons from model to model so I believe manual is now pressure cook or vice versa.

  • Rick Kloete

    How do I get recipe on my smartphone app. It’s not in the ones that come with it.

    • flolum

      Apologies for the very delayed response. Dropbox changed the way we share so unfortunately the script is not available at this time.

  • Sally R.

    I am excited to try this. I have never had Chicken Adobo before, but it looks lovely. I do have an odd question. Does the smell of vinegar permeate the air while it cooks? My husband HATES the smell of vinegar.

    • Hayley Isaman

      In my opinion, it’s does smell of vinegar. Pretty mildly though. I use a bit less vinegar than it calls for. But even while smelling the vinegar in the air(which me and my husband hate) it’s still one of our favorite meals!

    • flolum

      Apologies for the very delayed response. Glad you enjoyed it. Wonder why it didn’t fully cook in the time given.

  • nonfictionally

    I’ve never had adobo, but this sounded simple and good, so I tried it. This recipe is terrific–it came out delicious as promised. I felt like I was in good hands from beginning to end. Thank you.

    • flolum

      Apologies for the very delayed response. So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Alexander Spiller

    How do you download the script?

    • Clarissa B Cortez

      I just tried to download the script but I get a message saying that the file is no longer available or that it’s been moved. Would love to get the script. Thank you.

      • flolum

        Apologies for the very delayed response. Dropbox changed the way we share the file. Unfortunately it is not available at this time.

  • Sheila McCormick Stepp

    Its not done and it smells heavenly!

    • flolum

      Apologies for the very delayed response. Hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Elina Shmulkovsky Abraham

    How much soy souce? What does it mean 6T?

    • flolum

      T = tablespoon
      t = teaspoon

      These are standard cooking abbreviations. 😊

  • flolum

    For sure. It is traditionally made with thighs, but it’ll be fine with breasts. If you are not keeping them whole, I’d suggest cutting down the cook time to 5 or 6 minutes.