How to Shred Chicken Fast: 3 of the Best Ways
Learn how to shred chicken like a pro with three different methods that all yield slightly different results. Whether you’re looking for ease, precision, speed, or something else, one of the techniques below will suit your needs!
Shredded chicken is one of my favorite things to meal plan with. It’s delicious, healthy, freezable, easy to make, and it’s super versatile. We’ve even included some of our favorite shredded chicken recipe ideas below to give you some ideas on how to use it.
Before we get to that though, let’s talk about what this post is all about: figuring out the best way to shred chicken. Below we’ve included three of our favorite methods, as well as one other questionable method we haven’t personally tested.
Although each technique is a bit different, they all start with the same first step: cooking the chicken.
How to Cook Your Chicken Before Shredding
You’re really not limited to any one particular cooking method when making shredded chicken. You can cook it in the oven, on the grill, in your slow cooker or instant pot, on the stovetop, whatever you prefer!
If you’re short on time you could even go with a store-bought rotisserie chicken (don’t you just love an easy dinner like that?). Just keep in mind any bone-in chicken will have to be de-boned before shredding.
Once you have your chicken ready to go, season it (try this lemon pepper herb dry rub) and be sure to shred it while it’s still warm for the best results.
The Easiest, Fastest Way to Shred Chicken: With a Mixer
Starting out the list, this is our absolute FAVORITE way to shred chicken. It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s hands-off, and it results in perfectly shredded chicken every time.
Best of all, you can use a stand mixer or a hand-mixer. Both work!
- First, cook and season your chicken
- Next, while the chicken is warm (very important), put it in your KitchenAid mixer or use your hand mixer to shred it up.
- Mix on the second speed for about 30 seconds – 1 minute. The shredding happens fast so keep an eye on it!
Note: With the KitchenAid, we use the flat beater attachment for the best results.
Now, if you don’t have a mixer you obviously can’t use this method, but don’t worry! There are still some other ways to shred chicken, they just involve a bit more work.
The Next Best Way to Shred Chicken: With a Fork
This is the go-to method for most, and it definitely has it’s benefits. If you want really specific sized shredded pieces, the forks can give you a bit more control in that aspect. It’ll just take a bit more work and a bit more time than the mixer method.
If you’re a collector of kitchen gadgets, you could also try using something like these shredder claws to pull your chicken apart. We haven’t tried it ourselves, but it could work out even better than the forks!
The Not So Fast or Easy Way: With Your Hands
If you don’t have a mixer and all of your forks are in the dishwasher, pulling the chicken apart with your hands may be your final option. It’s not super efficient, and pieces of chicken might get stuck under your nails, but it works.
Like the fork method, this technique will give you a lot of control over the size of your shredded pieces. Some people will even start with the fork method above to get their chicken into larger chunks, and then pull those larger chunks apart with their hands for really specific sizes.
Bonus: Can You Shred Chicken in a Blender?
I haven’t tried it myself which is why I didn’t include it in the main methods above, but after doing a quick search, it turns out you can! Check out this Blendtec video of shredding chicken in a blender:
As you can see, they use the pulse function in order to not over shred the chicken, but I will say it still looks pretty finely shredded. I’m wondering how tough it would be to clean the blender after this too.
PS: Want to make your own homemade pretzel buns like the ones in the video above? Try our recipe for super soft pretzel rolls.
What to Do With Your Shredded Chicken
Now that you know how to shred chicken every which way possible, I’m sure you’re going to be making a lot of it in the next couple of weeks! It’s exciting using new techniques isn’t it?
To make sure nothing goes to waste, try out some of these delicious shredded chicken recipes:
- Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken
- Quick Keto Chicken Recipe with Bacon and Ranch
- Honey Teriyaki Chicken
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Freezer Meal
- Healthy Honey Sesame Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash
- Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Nachos
- Green Chili Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe
- Easy Pulled BBQ Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe
- Easy BBQ Chicken Braid Recipe
Making shredded chicken isn’t really all that difficult, but it can be a time-consuming process if you try to do it by hand. I highly recommend trying out the mixer method if you want to save time. It’s a total gamechanger! So easy, so fast, and so effective.
How do YOU shred chicken? Do you use one of the methods above, or do you have a secret method that works even better? Let us know in the comments!