Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipe

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If you’re not following me on Instagram, I love my Instant Pot! Unexpectedly obsessed, it was a gift for my 30th birthday. I avoided it until I cooked a whole chicken in an hour and it was amazing!

How to cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot Either Frozen or Thawed. Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipe

The glamour didn’t matter, it tasted better than oven-roasted. Quick clean-up, superior taste won me over. Instant Pot, culinary admiration earned!

Reasons I love my Instant Pot: quick meals, easy clean-up. Obsessed with its convenience. Best gift for my 30th birthday.

Instant Pot’s magic? Cooking a Whole Chicken sealed the deal. Let’s start the obsession series here.

Monthly go-to: whole chicken for broth and bone broth. Loved by all, any season.

Don’t fear the Instant Pot! It’s easy to use. Let me share what I own.

The Instant Pot I use and Why:

I use an Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 6 quart. It is a little pricier than some of the other Instant Pots but it will eliminate the Slow Cooker in your home because it has a slow cook setting.

It also has a yogurt setting and all sorts of others. It is amazing basically and quite universal. I also love that it comes with an easy to remove pot with silicone grips that make it easy to lift out without hot pads.

An Instant Pot is NOTHING to Fear

I literally feared the Instant Pot before I used it. When I used it the first time I had everyone leave the kitchen until it was done. I was worried it would explode or something.

Nevertheless it did not and there are tons of safety precautions that make it way safer than the pressure cookers our grandmothers used. You will find once you get used to it that it is your best friend in the kitchen to cook basic things and save money. More on that another day though.

Why You Should Cook Your Chicken in an Instant Pot

I love using the Instant Pot for cooking a chicken whether whole or just breasts because it uses steam through pressurizing to cook the chicken quick and thoroughly while keeping it moist as well.

You can cook it in such a short time whether thawed or frozen as well. Truly an amazing way to cook chicken especially if you always feel it is dry when you cook it other ways.

Ingredients for Cooking a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

To cook the chicken you just need a few things:

1 Whole Chicken (local and respectfully grown and raised is ideal) 2-5 lbs is ideal for a 6 quart
2 cups water
3 tbsp Olive Oil
A mix of spices of your choice…I suggest Garlic, smoked paprika, and tarragon are fun, but any group of spices will work depending on what you are having with it. 
Salt and Pepper

How to Make Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipe

  1. Remove all packaging on the chicken and remove any giblets or other additions to the packaging so all you have is the whole chicken itself.
  1. Place your Instant Pot on sauté mode for 4 minutes. You will add the olive oil and once the instant pot is ready place the chicken in breast side down to brown the bird.
  1. While the bird is browning on that side spread spices on the chicken.
  1. Once browned you will want to then flip it to brown the other side of the chicken and spread spices.
  1. While it cooks, grab a large plate and the trivet that goes in the Instant Pot.
  1. When it is browned (2-3 minutes) pull it out and set the chicken on the plate.
  1. Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add 2 cups of water.
  1. Place the chicken onto the trivet and place the lid on top. Then from there you want to use the following formula to know your cook time.
  • Frozen Chicken = 13 minutes per pound
  • Thawed Chicken = 6 minutes per pound
  1. Set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for the amount of time based upon your chicken’s size.
  1. Once the timer goes off allow the pot to naturally release for 15-20 minutes.
  1. After it is done releasing check the temperature and it is over 165  remove the chicken and serve. It may fall apart easily so use the trivet while using hot pads to remove it.

12. I suggest reserving the liquid and using for soups or cooking grains when you do for another recipe that week.

After making your whole chicken in the instant pot, I suggest reserving the bones so you can make Chicken Broth and eventually make Bone Broth as well.

Other Variations For Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipe

Here are some optional additions and variations you can consider when making an Instant Pot whole chicken:

  1. Herbs and Spices: Add a variety of fresh or dried herbs and spices to the chicken for added flavor. Some good options include thyme, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, paprika, or cumin.
  1. Vegetables: Add vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, or potatoes to the Instant Pot along with the chicken for a complete one-pot meal. This not only adds flavor but also provides some additional nutrition.
  1. Lemon or Citrus: Adding some lemon or other citrus fruits to the chicken can provide a bright, tangy flavor. You can stuff the chicken cavity with lemon slices, or squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the chicken before cooking.
  1. Broth or Stock: Instead of using water, you can use chicken broth or stock to cook the chicken for added flavor. You can also add some herbs or spices to the broth for even more flavor.
  1. Beer or Wine: For a unique flavor twist, you can use beer or wine instead of water or broth to cook the chicken. This can add some richness and depth of flavor to the meat.
  1. Crispy Skin: If you want to achieve crispy skin on the chicken, you can remove it from the Instant Pot and broil it in the oven for a few minutes until it’s browned and crispy.

Leftovers: Don’t waste any leftovers! You can use any leftover chicken meat for sandwiches, salads, or soups. You can also use the bones and carcass to make homemade chicken broth or stock.


Do I need to add liquid to the Instant Pot when cooking a whole chicken?

Yes, you should add at least 1 cup of liquid (such as chicken broth or water) to the Instant Pot when cooking a whole chicken.

Can I cook a frozen whole chicken in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook a frozen whole chicken in an Instant Pot, but you will need to add about 5-10 minutes of cooking time per pound.

How do I know when the whole chicken is done cooking in the Instant Pot?

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should be at least 165°F in the thickest part of the meat.

Can I brown the chicken before cooking it in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can brown the chicken first using the sauté function on the Instant Pot. This will give the chicken a nice golden color and add flavor.

If you love this instant pot chicken whole recipe, consider checking out these recipes below –

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Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipe

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