Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipe

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


If you aren’t aware or follow on Instagram, I have created a whole series of Reasons I Love My Instant Pot. Basically I am obsessed with this kitchen appliance in the most unexpected way. I was gifted one for my 30th birthday and literally avoided it like the plague. I was convinced I was cheating and it simply made mushy meals that were a poor excuse for cooking. I didn’t like the idea of using it…until one night desperate and needing to cook something quickly and I used it to cook a whole chicken. It was done in an hour and we had the best whole chicken meal we had ever had. Sure didn’t look nearly as pretty as the oven-roasted kind but the clean up was simple, it was done quickly, and it tasted better than the one I would roast in the oven. The glamour beside the point, I was convinced of the Instant Pot at that moment.

Since the cooking a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot was the thing that sold me on this magic and must-have appliance, I thought why not start off my series of obsession recipes with the one that kicked it all off.

Now, we cook a whole chicken and use it to make broth and bone broth about once a month. It is a go-to recipe in our home in any season and everyone loves the night I cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.

Using an Instant Pot is easy, so first let me ease your fears and 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.
  2. 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.
  3. While the bird is browning on that side spread spices on the chicken.
  4. Once browned you will want to then flip it to brown the other side of the chicken and spread spices.
  5. While it cooks, grab a large plate and the trivet that goes in the Instant Pot.
  6. When it is browned (2-3 minutes) pull it out and set the chicken on the plate.
  7. Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add 2 cups of water.
  8. 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

9. Set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for the amount of time based upon your chicken’s size.
10. Once the timer goes off allow the pot to naturally release for 15-20 minutes.
11. 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.

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

Whole Chicken Instant Pot Recipe


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Hello! I’m Megan Gilger,

A strong believer that nature and the seasons are our greatest teachers. We live on a hill in Leelanau County, Michigan just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan. This land we are responsible for is where we are focused on building a life around the seasons and intention. We spend our days here building a regenerative model of living and focusing our garden on native plants and intensive polyculture planting styles. My focus is less on self-sufficiency and more on community-sufficiency through how we grow and connect through the seasons.
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