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Need to Shred Chicken? Here Are the Best Ways

A bowl of shredded chicken

Chicken is a versatile protein that you probably eat several times a week. To make it easier to eat, you’ll find that many recipes call for shredded chicken, but getting a cooked chicken breast to finely shredded pieces can be a challenge. The good news is that there are many ways to shred chicken without spending forever.

How to Shred Boiled Chicken

Someone boils chicken in a pot
Denis Torkhov/Shutterstock.com

In most cases, the most straightforward way to make shredded chicken is to boil it and then shred it. In this case, you’ll usually have a full chicken breast or thigh that needs to be torn apart.

When deciding how to shred boiled chicken, you have a few options. Without any special tools or appliances, the easiest way to shred chicken is to use two forks or even your hands. In either case, wait until the chicken has cooled down completely before moving forward.

Once your chicken has cooled, place it on a cutting board and use your hand or two forks to begin tearing it into small chunks. Repeat the process as the pieces get smaller until you’re left with a pile of shredded chicken.

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How to Shred Rotisserie Chicken

A whole roasted chicken on a plate
Liudmyla Chuhunova/Shutterstock.com

Rotisserie chicken is a convenient option for quick meals, but it can be a bit trickier because of its rounded shape and bones. If you’re wondering how to shred a rotisserie chicken, you’ll probably want to turn to a knife for help.

Use a knife to slice off chunks of chicken and move them to a cutting board. Once you’ve gathered all of those pieces, use two forks or your hands to shred it, just like you would with boiled chicken.

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How to Shred Chicken in a CrockPot

A slow cooker sits on a wooden countertop with a wooden spoon next to it.

Slow cookers are great for cooking chicken to a tender, shreddable consistency. While a slow cooker won’t shred chicken for you, it can make your chicken easier to break down after cooking.

To make shredded chicken in a CrockPot, you’ll want to cook it at a low temperature for a long period of time. Aim to cook your chicken for at least six hours on low heat. After it’s cooked, you can shred the chicken with two forks directly in the slow cooker.

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How to Shred Chicken in Mixer

A bowl of shredded chicken next to a hand mixer
Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com

A stand mixer can be a time-saving tool for shredding chicken, and is especially useful when you need to shred a large quantity of meat. To shred chicken in a mixer, make sure that your chicken is fully cooked, slightly cooled, and cut it into manageable chunks.

Attach the paddle attachment to your stand mixer and place the chicken chunks in the mixing bowl. Start the mixer on low speed and gradually increase it to medium. Mix the chicken for about 30 seconds until it’s shredded to your desired consistency. You can also use a hand mixer for the same effect.

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Great for shredding chicken with ease.

How to Shred Chicken in Food Processor

A black food processor
Siarhei Kuranets/Shutterstock.com

A food processor is another great tool for shredding chicken. Similar to using a mixer, you’ll want to start by cutting your cooked chicken into manageable chunks. Then, simply place the chicken pieces in the food processor and pulse the food processor in short bursts until the chicken is shredded to your liking.

Be careful not to over-process, as it can turn the chicken into a paste. If most of your chicken is shredded except for a few chunks, remove it and shred those chunks by hand.

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How to Shred Chicken in a Blender

A woman shreds chicken in a blender

While less commonly used than other methods, a blender can be a viable option for shredding chicken. If you’re wondering how to shred chicken in a blender, start by cutting cooked chicken into small chunks. You might need to add a small amount of water or chicken broth to help with blending.

Pulse the blender in short bursts until the chicken is shredded to your desired consistency. Again, be careful not to over-blend, since this can result in a paste-like texture.

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Shredded chicken is a staple ingredient in many recipes. Whether you have boiled or rotisserie chicken, or prefer the convenience of using a slow cooker, mixer, food processor, or even a blender, there’s a great method for everyone.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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