How Long To Boil Chicken Breast To Shred (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Twelve To Fourteen Minutes

Chicken is a popular food choice around the world that can be used to make a dozen different dishes. Some of these dishes have a requirement of chicken being in shredded form.

Shredding the chicken breast is a two-step process. The first step towards making a shredded chicken is boiling the chicken breast in normal or spice-infused water. The boiling needs to be done at the perfect timing so that the shredding becomes easier. It is an ideal practice to first bring the chicken breasts to boil and then let it simmer.

The whole process takes about a maximum of 20 minutes to complete.

How Long To Boil Chicken Breast To Shred

How Long To Boil Chicken Breast To Shred?

Shredded chicken is only better to taste if the chicken is boiled properly till it is tender enough. Especially when it is about boiling the chicken breast to shred.

Proper shredding of the chicken breast will only be possible when the breast is apt boiled. First, the chicken breast is put in a pan along with water and then put on a high flame. The high flame will cause the water to come to a boil for about 5 to 8 minutes.

Once the water in the pan starts to boil, the flame needs to be reduced to low. Once the flame is set to low, the chicken breast is to be kept to simmer in the pan itself for 12 to 14 minutes.

The timing can further extend if there are some fluctuations in the temperature at which the chicken is being boiled. Besides the temperature, several other factors can increase or decrease the time it takes to boil chicken breast to shred.

Temperature for boilingThe time for which the chicken breast is to be boiled
350 degrees FahrenheitEight to nine minutes
400 degrees FahrenheitSix to eight minutes
450 degrees FahrenheitFive to six minutes

Why Boil Chicken Breast To Shred For That Long?

Because chicken breasts are different from other parts of the chicken it can take a different amount of time to boil it to shred it.

There are several reasons why it can take so long to boil the chicken breast. Some of the reasons are as below:

  • The primary reason why it can take so much time is the temperature at which the chicken is being boiled at. When the chicken is being boiled at a higher flame or a higher temperature, it tends to take less time. However, if the flame of the stove is kept to medium or slow, or if the temperature is set to medium, it will take more time.
  • Another aspect that contributes to the overall timing for boiling the chicken breast is the type of utensil being used. Utensils that have a thicker base take more time to bring chicken breast to boil. While the pan or utensil that has a thinner base will make the boiling process faster.
  • Since the chicken breast is boneless, the time for boiling chicken breast to shred it is a few minutes lesser than the in-bone pieces of chicken.
  • The amount of water that is added to the pan for boiling is also an imminent factor that defines how long it will take. The more quantity of water will lead to the boiling process taking more time. It will, in turn, increase the overall time till the chicken breast is cooked enough to shred.
  • Similarly, if the quantity of water is less than required, the boiling might happen faster. However, sometimes it can lead to the chicken being left a little undercooked.


Chicken breast can also be baked before shredding. However, boiling brings results that are faster and also more effective. Cooking or boiling the chicken breast for an appropriate time of 12 to 14 minutes is the key to juicy chicken breast.

If the chicken breast is juicy enough after boiling, the shredded chicken will also be juicy and tastier. If the chicken breast is boiled for a longer time than 15 to 20 minutes, the chicken pieces tend to become dry and a little tasteless.

If the chicken breast will be only boiled and not let to simmer, the pieces will be left uncooked, and the shredding will become difficult.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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