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Easy Way To Shred Chicken Without A Mixer

shredded chicken in a white bowl

Photo: Eleonor2439/Getty Images

Chopped chicken is so convenient to have on hand for enchiladas, soups, salads and more. A rotisserie chicken is definitely a great shortcut, but on those nights you don’t have one on hand, it’s easy enough to whip up shredded chicken in a snap.


How to Make Shredded Chicken

For shredding, boneless meat tends to be easier because you don’t have to maneuver around bone and gristle. Boneless breasts and thighs are both great choices. The bone-in chicken can still be shredded, you’ll probably want to continue using your hands or two forks. We don’t recommend shredding bone-in meat using a hand mixer or food processor—the last thing you want is bones flying through your kitchen or damaging your mixer.

Of course, you’ll need to cook the chicken before you shred it. You can really use any method, including baking, grilling, slow cooking, pressure cooking, etc. But our favorite method of cooking shredded chicken is boiling. Not only is it quick and easy, but it also keeps the chicken moist and tender so it’s easy to shred. To learn how, read our guide to boiling chicken.

As a general rule, 1 pound of boneless chicken makes about 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken.


How to Shred Chicken 4 Ways

Once you’ve cooked your chicken, there are a variety of methods to choose from depending on the tools and equipment you have on hand, some messier than others.

person shredding chicken with two forks on wooden table
Leigh Beisch/Meredith

1. Use your hands

If you’re okay with getting a little messy (disposable gloves might come in handy here), this tried-and-true method couldn’t be easier.

  1. Let the chicken cool until comfortable to handle, but still warm.
  2. Place the chicken on a cutting board.
  3. Using your fingers, tear apart the meat. This method gives you the most control over the size and uniformity of the shredded chicken.

2. Use two forks

This is probably the best known method of shredding chicken. Using two forks still gives you a lot of control over the size of your shreds, but it’s less messy and faster than doing it by hand. Works with both bone-in and bone-in chicken.

  1. Let the chicken rest until cool enough to handle, but still warm.
  2. Place the chicken on a cutting board.
  3. Place two forks in the center of the meat and pull in opposite directions. Keep doing this until all the large chunks are broken down into smaller shreds.

3. Use a hand mixer

Only use this method if you’re using boneless meat.

  1. Let the chicken cool for a few minutes after cooking.
  2. Place the cooked chicken in a large, deep bowl.
  3. Use a hand mixer on low speed to gently break the chicken into shreds.

Top 10 hand mixers to buy in 2021

4. Use a food processor

Food processors make every kitchen task a little easier, and shredding chicken is no exception. Like the hand mixer method, use this method only if you’re using boneless meat.

  1. Let the chicken cool for a few minutes.
  2. Place the chicken in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Using the paddle attachment, stir over low heat until all of your chicken is shredded. It can be easy to over-shred with this method, so be sure to keep a close eye on your chicken. It shouldn’t take more than 20 seconds.

10 unexpected ways to use the food processor


Ways to use minced chicken

Once you have shredded chicken on hand, it will last in the refrigerator for up to four days. It makes a great filling for all kinds of Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes, like enchiladas, tacos, nachos, chimichangas, and burritos. Or try it on salads to add some protein to your lunches. It’s the ultimate shortcut ingredient for recipes like chicken noodle casserole, gumbo, buffalo chicken salsa, and chicken chili. For more inspiration, check out these 30 recipes that start with shredded chicken.


How to store shredded chicken

The beauty of shredded chicken is that it keeps well, so you can get it again and again throughout the week. Refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze it in an airtight container for up to three months.

Related:

  • How to cut a whole chicken
  • 21 truly delicious chicken breast recipes
  • Browse our entire collection of chicken recipes.


Chopped chicken is so convenient to have on hand for enchiladas, soups, salads and more. A rotisserie chicken is definitely a great shortcut, but on those nights you don’t have one on hand, it’s easy enough to whip up shredded chicken in a snap.


How to Make Shredded Chicken

For shredding, boneless meat tends to be easier because you don’t have to maneuver around bone and gristle. Boneless breasts and thighs are both great choices. The bone-in chicken can still be shredded, you’ll probably want to continue using your hands or two forks. We don’t recommend shredding bone-in meat using a hand mixer or food processor—the last thing you want is bones flying through your kitchen or damaging your mixer.

Of course, you’ll need to cook the chicken before you shred it. You can really use any method, including baking, grilling, slow cooking, pressure cooking, etc. But our favorite method of cooking shredded chicken is boiling. Not only is it quick and easy, but it also keeps the chicken moist and tender so it’s easy to shred. To learn how, read our guide to boiling chicken.

As a general rule, 1 pound of boneless chicken makes about 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken.


How to Shred Chicken 4 Ways

Once you’ve cooked your chicken, there are a variety of methods to choose from depending on the tools and equipment you have on hand, some messier than others.

person shredding chicken with two forks on wooden table
Leigh Beisch/Meredith

1. Use your hands

If you’re okay with getting a little messy (disposable gloves might come in handy here), this tried-and-true method couldn’t be easier.

  1. Let the chicken cool until comfortable to handle, but still warm.
  2. Place the chicken on a cutting board.
  3. Using your fingers, tear apart the meat. This method gives you the most control over the size and uniformity of the shredded chicken.

2. Use two forks

This is probably the best known method of shredding chicken. Using two forks still gives you a lot of control over the size of your shreds, but it’s less messy and faster than doing it by hand. Works with both bone-in and bone-in chicken.

  1. Let the chicken rest until cool enough to handle, but still warm.
  2. Place the chicken on a cutting board.
  3. Place two forks in the center of the meat and pull in opposite directions. Keep doing this until all the large chunks are broken down into smaller shreds.

3. Use a hand mixer

Only use this method if you’re using boneless meat.

  1. Let the chicken cool for a few minutes after cooking.
  2. Place the cooked chicken in a large, deep bowl.
  3. Use a hand mixer on low speed to gently break the chicken into shreds.

Top 10 hand mixers to buy in 2021

4. Use a food processor

Food processors make every kitchen task a little easier, and shredding chicken is no exception. Like the hand mixer method, use this method only if you’re using boneless meat.

  1. Let the chicken cool for a few minutes.
  2. Place the chicken in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Using the paddle attachment, stir over low heat until all of your chicken is shredded. It can be easy to over-shred with this method, so be sure to keep a close eye on your chicken. It shouldn’t take more than 20 seconds.

10 unexpected ways to use the food processor


Ways to use minced chicken

Once you have shredded chicken on hand, it will last in the refrigerator for up to four days. It makes a great filling for all kinds of Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes, like enchiladas, tacos, nachos, chimichangas, and burritos. Or try it on salads to add some protein to your lunches. It’s the ultimate shortcut ingredient for recipes like chicken noodle casserole, gumbo, buffalo chicken salsa, and chicken chili. For more inspiration, check out these 30 recipes that start with shredded chicken.


How to store shredded chicken

The beauty of shredded chicken is that it keeps well, so you can get it again and again throughout the week. Refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze it in an airtight container for up to three months.

Related:

  • How to cut a whole chicken
  • 21 truly delicious chicken breast recipes
  • Browse our entire collection of chicken recipes.


Video about Easy Way To Shred Chicken Without A Mixer

Shred Chicken in Seconds

No more pulling meat apart with forks. Learn how to shred chicken in seconds. It’s so easy you going to wish you thought of it years ago!

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