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How to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot. This rotisserie-style Instant Pot whole chicken recipe is easy to make, even if you are a beginner with using your pressure cooker. It’s perfect for Sunday dinner or to make ahead for quick meals throughout the week! Cook from fresh or frozen.
Reading: Chicken pot roast instant pot
Out of all of the recipes that I’ve cooked in my Instant Pot, this whole roast chicken might be my favorite. It’s become a part of my weekly routine to make an Instant Pot whole chicken for dinner. Then I use the leftover chicken to make the best quick meals throughout the week! You can use your leftover chicken in salads, pastas, casseroles or sandwiches.
Cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot is fast, simple and budget-friendly. Instead of buying a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the store, you can make this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe with just minutes of prep time. Your homemade chicken will taste so much better than store-bought, and you can control the ingredients that you use.
Read more: How to Toast Pecans (Roasting Pecans)
This pressure cooker chicken recipe makes the best tender, moist and juicy chicken. Cooking the whole bird gives you both white and dark meat, so everyone in the family can have what they enjoy. Just wait until you try the homemade rotisserie rub in this recipe – it is the best!
For all of you Instant Pot fans, I have more delicious recipes and resources to help you get quick and healthy meals on your table! If you are just getting started with your pressure cooker, read my Instant Pot manual. Then check out these easy Instant Pot recipes to help you meal plan:
- 28+ Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (great for meal prep)
- How to cook Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- My most popular Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe
- 29 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes
How to Cook a Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot
With just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious homemade roast chicken on your dinner table. This recipe takes about 15 minutes of active prep time, and about an hour and 15 minutes from start to finish.
Here’s a quick rundown of the steps to cook a fresh chicken in your Instant Pot. After the list, I’ll give you a few cooking tips to make the best Instant Pot roast chicken.
- Rub the chicken with olive oil and seasonings.
- Brown the chicken on both sides.
- Fill the cavity with fresh lemon, onion and herbs (optional). Rub more spices on the chicken.
- Put 1 cup water and the trivet in the Instant Pot. Put chicken on top of the trivet.
- Pressure cook the chicken, 6 minutes per pound.
- Natural release the pressure for 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Cooking Tips for the BEST Instant Pot Roast Chicken
- Use a dry rub to season the chicken before cooking, and try to get some of the rub under the skin on the chicken breasts. The spice rub in this whole chicken recipe is a simple blend of seasonings and it is so good! My kids cannot get enough of it! You can easily use your favorite seasonings if you prefer.
- Sear the chicken before pressure cooking. You can do this right in your Instant Pot using sauté mode! Browning the chicken adds so much flavor!
- The easiest way to flip the chicken. Turning the chicken over in the Instant Pot after browning it on the first side can be a little tricky. Here’s what I’ve found works best: stick a long handled spoon or tongs into the cavity and then use another long spoon to turn the chicken first onto its side and then flip it over. The smaller your chicken, the easier it will be to flip over in the pot. The chicken in the photos in this post was 5.5 pounds and it just barely fit in my Instant Pot. Flipping it was not easy but I got it done!
- Flavor from the inside out. After searing the chicken, fill the cavity with half of a fresh lemon, half an onion, and fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme. While this is optional, it will infuse your chicken with extra flavor as it cooks!
- Broil for crispy skin. You can put your chicken under the broiler in your oven for 4-5 minutes after it is done cooking to crisp up the skin. Honestly, I don’t bother with this because we don’t eat the skin but it is up to you!
How long to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- Cook a fresh chicken for 6 minutes per pound. This means that a 4 pound chicken will take 24 minutes to cook, a 4.5 pound chicken will take 27 minutes, and a 5 pound bird will take 30 minutes, at high pressure.
- Follow the cook time with a 15 minute natural release. This means just leave your Instant Pot alone for 15 minutes and then quick release any remaining pressure by turning the steam release valve to the venting position before opening the lid.
- Always use an instant read thermometer to check that your chicken has reached a safe internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. You want to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the leg, not touching the bone. Using the Instant Pot to cook a whole chicken is pretty foolproof, and mine has always been perfectly cooked and juicy after pressure cooking for 6 minutes per pound.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken from Frozen
- You can safely cook a whole frozen chicken in your Instant Pot. I have included full instructions for cooking a frozen chicken in the recipe below. I prefer to cook my chicken from fresh, but in a pinch (when you forget to defrost your meat) this method works well.
- You will need to skip the step of browning the chicken, since you can’t sear frozen meat.
- You will only need half of the amount of spice rub called for in the recipe.
- Pressure cook a frozen chicken for 13 minutes per pound at high pressure, plus 15 minutes natural release.
- A 4 pound frozen chicken will take 52 minutes, a 4.5 pound frozen chicken will take 59 minutes and a 5 pound frozen chicken will take 65 minutes.
- Check that the chicken has reached a safe internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the leg, not touching the bone.
Read more: How to Make Moist & Juicy Wild Turkey
Ways to Use Leftover Chicken
Cooking a whole chicken is one of my favorite ways to meal prep for the week. Here are just a few ideas for meals that you can make with your chicken.
- Slice the chicken for roast chicken sandwiches or make this easy chicken salad recipe.
- Use it in casseroles, chicken pot pie, or pesto pasta with chicken.
- Make some chicken taquitos.
- Make this chicken and rice salad or add it to mason jar salads.
- Save the chicken bones and carcass to make homemade Instant Pot bone broth or chicken stock.
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