👨‍🍳 Whole Chicken in Instant Pot Recipe

by | Jul 3, 2024 | Chicken Pot Recipes, Chicken Recipes

Have you ever thought about turning a whole chicken into a flavorful meal in just an hour? With an Instant Pot, this is achievable. Your chicken will be juicy and tasty without the usual oven time.

Use this simple and fast way to cook a scrumptious whole chicken in an Instant Pot. This method will change how you cook at home. You can have rotisserie-quality chicken ready in only 28 minutes, then a bit more time to let the pressure release naturally.

It’s perfect for a family dinner. You can also use the leftovers for yummy dishes like nachos or quesadillas. With this, you’ll always get a roast that’s juicy, tender, and flavored just right.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • The ideal weight range for a chicken to be cooked in an Instant Pot is between 3.5 and 4.5 pounds.
  • Cooking time recommendation: 6 minutes per pound at high pressure.
  • Natural pressure release for at least 20 minutes for best results.
  • A fully cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Leftover chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days in an airtight container.

Introduction to the Whole Chicken in Instant Pot Recipe

Welcome to the ultimate guide on preparing a whole roasted chicken in an Instant Pot. This recipe turns the classic roast chicken into a quick and easy version. Using an Instant Pot keeps the chicken juicy and flavorful, with dinner ready in under an hour.

Cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot changes the game. A 6-quart pressure cooker can handle up to a 7 lb chicken. This means there’s plenty of food for the family. In just 24 minutes, a 4 lb chicken is ready, making it perfect for busy nights.

The Instant Pot offers endless meal possibilities. From Instant Pot Chicken Breast to Instant Pot Potato Salad, it’s a culinary marvel. One serving of this chicken is about 209 calories and is full of valuable nutrients.

This recipe uses a 4-5 pound chicken seasoned with fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. And some garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Adding water and apple cider vinegar boosts flavor. It serves 7, with 10 minutes prep and 40 minutes cook time.

Cooking Time Nutritional Info
Fresh Chicken: 6 min per lb + 10 min Release Calories: 253 kcal, Protein: 32g, Fat: 12.4g
Frozen Chicken: 12 min per lb + 15 min Release Carbs: 0.8g per cup, Net:

The Instant Pot makes sure your chicken is always cooked perfectly. Use this recipe for an Instant Pot whole chicken that tastes gourmet with little effort.

Benefits of Cooking a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

Cooking a whole chicken in an Instant Pot is a game-changer for many. It’s both convenient and tasty. Plus, it saves you money, it’s efficient, and it boosts meal quality.


One big benefit is how easy it is to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot. You just season it, set the pot, and forget it. This makes it a top pick for busy cooks.


When you cook a whole chicken, you save cash. It’s cheaper than buying parts separately. The Instant Pot enhances this by cooking moist, tender meat with less effort. You also get bonus meals from the leftovers.


The Instant Pot seals in moisture, cooking the chicken perfectly. This means no more dry chicken. You get a juicy, tasty main course that everyone will love.

Time Savings

The Instant Pot is a time-saver. It cooks a whole chicken much faster than an oven. A 5 lbs chicken is ready in about 26 minutes, helping out busy families.

Cooking Method Time Required Quality
Instant Pot 55 minutes High moisture and tender meat
Oven Up to 2 hours Potential for dry meat

The Instant Pot’s benefits really add up. It’s a must-have for anyone serious about delicious, easy meals.

Ingredients for the Best Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

Making a tasty whole chicken in your Instant Pot is easy. It all starts with the best ingredients. Here’s a detailed list for top-notch results.

essential spices for chicken

Essential Spices and Seasonings

It’s vital to season your chicken well for a delicious taste. Use kosher salt, black pepper, thyme, paprika, oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder. This mix gives your chicken a deep, savory aroma.

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp of fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 8 Tbsp of melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon (including juice and for stuffing)

These spices not only make your chicken taste great. They also give it a delicious scent that everyone loves.

Choosing the Right Chicken

Picking the best chicken is key to a great meal in your Instant Pot. Go for about 4-pounds to ensure both tasty and even cooking.

Chicken Weight Instant Pot Cooking Time Additional Information
3 lbs 18 minutes Faster option, less meat
4 lbs 24 minutes Optimal balance for even cooking
5 lbs 30 minutes More meat, slightly longer cooking time

Choosing fresh chicken and quality spices is essential. It ensures your whole chicken is seasoned just right for a perfect meal.

Preparation: Getting Your Chicken Ready

Starting right is crucial for your Instant Pot whole chicken. First, make sure to clean the chicken well. Then, dry it thoroughly. This helps the spices stick, giving you a deliciously seasoned final dish.

Cleaning and Drying the Chicken

Getting the chicken ready for your Instant Pot is vital. Clean the chicken by taking out any extra parts and giving it a good rinse. Also, make sure everything is cleaned well to prevent any harm. After cleaning, dry the chicken completely with paper towels. This will help the skin get crispy when you cook it later.

Seasoning the Chicken

Seasoning the chicken right is key to making it tasty. Use these great tips to add flavor. Put salt, pepper, and herbs on the inside and outside of the bird. You can also add your favorite spices like onion powder and paprika. Doing this makes sure every bit of your chicken is full of flavor.

Setting Up Your Instant Pot for Whole Chicken

Setting up your instant pot right is key for a tasty whole chicken. First, choose the high sauté setting. This will make your chicken brown and get a crispy skin. This step also keeps the flavor locked in.

After browning, it’s time for the next step. Put the chicken on a trivet inside the pot. It sits above the chicken stock. This way, the chicken cooks well, stays moist, and gets even more flavor. Then, choose manual high pressure and let it cook for 30 minutes.

Instant Pots come in different sizes. A 3-quart Mini or a 6-quart Duo can meet your cooking needs. If your chicken is 4 pounds, 24 minutes of cooking time is good. Add 10 minutes per extra pound for larger chickens. Don’t forget to let the pressure release naturally. It makes the chicken tender and safe to eat.

Now, for a simple guide for the instant pot whole chicken setup:

  • Browning: Choose the high sauté setting to brown the chicken.
  • Placement: Put the chicken on a trivet above the stock.
  • Pressure Cooking: Use the manual high pressure setting for 30 minutes. Adjust the time for bigger or smaller chickens.
  • Pressure Release: Natural pressure release is the way to go.

Getting your instant pot ready correctly is crucial. It makes a juicy and tasty whole chicken in just 30 minutes.

Cooking Fresh vs. Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a top tool for cooking chicken, be it fresh or frozen. It’s great whether you’re well-prepared or need a quick fix. You’ll get tasty meals that are just right without wait.

instant pot cooking times chicken

Cooking Times for Fresh Chicken

Cooking times for fresh chicken in the Instant Pot depend on its weight. This guide helps make sure your chicken turns out just how you want it:

Weight Cooking Time
3 lbs 18 min
3.5 lbs 21 min
4 lbs 24 min
4.5 lbs 27 min

These cooking times save you from watching and guessing. Your fresh whole chicken will be moist and delicious with less effort.

Cooking Times for Frozen Chicken

Cooking frozen chicken in an instant pot is super convenient. No need to worry if you forgot to thaw it. Here are the cooking times for frozen whole chickens:

Weight Cooking Time
3 lbs 32 min
3.5 lbs 37 min
4 lbs 42 min
4.5 lbs 47 min

These cooking times help your frozen chicken cook well. It stays juicy and tasty. Plus, it’s a faster way to cook that’s safer, avoids harmful bacteria, and keeps the good flavor.

Whole Chicken in Instant Pot Recipe

Cooking a whole chicken in an Instant Pot is easy. This guide shows you how to cook it perfectly using different release methods. You’ll make a juicy and tasty chicken dish with just a few steps.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Clean and dry the chicken well. Season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs like thyme or rosemary.
  2. Sauté for Crisp Skin: Use the sauté setting on your Instant Pot. Sear the chicken until it gets a golden-brown color.
  3. Add Ingredients: Put the chicken on a trivet in the Instant Pot. Add water, soy sauce, butter, and garlic or oregano for flavor.
  4. Cooking Time: Close the lid and set the vent. Cook the chicken for zero minutes on high pressure. This new method from 2018 cooks the chicken perfectly without overdoing it.
  5. Check Temperature: The chicken is ready when it’s at least 161°F (72°C) inside.
  6. Crisping the Skin: For a crispy skin, you can use an Air Fryer or the broil setting in your oven. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp’s “Air Fry” function also works well.

Naturally Releasing Pressure vs. Quick Releasing

At the end of your Instant Pot whole chicken cook time, you have a choice. You can use natural release or quick release. Natural release keeps the chicken juicy. The time it needs to naturally release depends on the chicken’s weight.

Quick release, on the other hand, makes the chicken slightly tougher. Many people prefer natural release because it keeps the meat tender and juicy.

Adding Vegetables to Your Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

To make your Instant Pot whole chicken and vegetables dish healthier, use lots of colorful veggies. Things like carrots, potatoes, and onions add great taste and look nice. The Instant Pot’s heat and steam let the vegetables soak up the chicken’s flavor. This makes every bite a tasty mix.

This recipe is super popular, with over 4720 shares on social media. It features a 4-pound chicken, a lemon, some potatoes, carrots, an onion, and garlic. You’ll spend 15 minutes preparing and another 35 cooking. In under an hour, you’ll feed a meal to four people.

Adding veggies to your Instant Pot whole chicken and vegetables mix improves flavor and nutrients. Here’s the nutritional breakdown per serving:

Calories Carbohydrates Protein Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Potassium Fiber Sugar Vitamin A Vitamin C Calcium Iron
349 36g 7g 22g 3g 1mg 153mg 1099mg 8g 3g 5167IU 48mg 99mg 8mg

This Instant Pot whole chicken and vegetables dish fits different diets, like Whole30 and paleo. It’s also gluten-free and dairy-free. Plus, using the Instant Pot saves time. You can cook once and have enough for easy lunches all week.

Achieving the Perfect Crispy Skin

Cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot is fast and saves energy. The Instant Pot keeps the chicken moist but, for crispy skin, broiling is key. A quick broil makes the chicken’s skin brown and crunchy, locking in juice.

Broiling for Crispiness

After Instant Pot cooking, move the chicken to a broiling oven. Broil it on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes until the skin is crisp. Make sure it doesn’t burn. The result is perfectly crispy skin with moist meat inside.

A recipe for Instant Pot Whole Chicken suggests a spice mix for more flavor. Many people, around 70%, like making homemade rotisserie chicken for its taste and health. Using an Instant Pot also saves lots of cooking time, almost half.

Moreover, broiling in an Instant Pot is energy-efficient. It uses less energy than a regular oven, about 25-30% less. For more tips on getting the perfect crispy chicken skin, check out this detailed guide.

Flavor Variations for Your Instant Pot Whole Chicken

By changing the flavor, you can make your whole chicken just the way you like it. You can go with a classic mix of herbs and garlic. Or, maybe you prefer a kick with some spicier and tangier flavors. Love the taste of lemon pepper? That’s another great choice for a fresh twist. These options spice up the meal for different tastes and themes.

Herb & Garlic

To make an herb garlic chicken, mix fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley with garlic. Rub this mix on the chicken, then cook it in the Instant Pot. This traditional flavor mix makes the chicken juicy and full of taste, great for sharing dinners with family.

Spicy & Tangy

If you’re into spicier foods, try a mix of chili, paprika, and a bit of honey. Add lime juice for some tang. This combo gives your chicken a spicy kick and tangy flavor everyone will love.

Lemon Pepper

Lemon pepper chicken is a favorite for many and easy to make in the Instant Pot. Mix zesty lemon with cracked black pepper. To boost the taste, put lemon slices and garlic in the chicken’s cavity before cooking.

Flavor Variation Main Ingredients Cooking Time (Thawed) Cooking Time (Frozen)
Herb & Garlic Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley 6 mins per pound 13 mins per pound
Spicy & Tangy Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Lime Juice, Honey 6 mins per pound 13 mins per pound
Lemon Pepper Lemon, Black Pepper, Garlic 6 mins per pound 13 mins per pound

Using the Juices from Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken in an Instant Pot gives you juicy, tender meat. It also leaves you with flavorful chicken juices. You can use these juices in many ways to flavor your dishes.

Making Gravy

Making gravy is a great way to use these chicken juices. Just mix the juices with a bit of flour in a saucepan. Stir as it thickens. Then, you can put this tasty gravy on mashed potatoes, meats, or veggies. It turns your meal into something special.

Other Delicious Uses

There are more ways to use these chicken broth juices from your Instant Pot chicken. You can:

  • Make your soups taste incredible with it.
  • Use it to make sauces richer.
  • Cook rice or quinoa in it for a flavorful twist.
  • Enhance the taste of sautéed vegetables with it.

These chicken juices add a savory boost to any dish. They make every bite delicious and memorable.

Ideas for Side Dishes to Serve with Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Finding the right side dishes for your whole chicken is important. They make your meal well-rounded. You can choose from vegetables that are bursting with color and flavor, or from starchy sides that really hit the spot.

Vegetable Options

When you serve an Instant Pot whole chicken, don’t skip the veggies. They’re good for you and brighten up your plate. Here are some easy and delicious vegetable side dishes:

  • Instant Pot Corn on the Cob – This is one of the quickest veggie sides you can make.
  • Instant Pot Green Beans – They taste so good, they might turn green bean skeptics into fans.
  • Instant Pot Broccoli – This is a choice that’s both fast and healthy.
  • Instant Pot Cauliflower – A fast, healthy, and simple option, just like broccoli.
  • Instant Pot Lemon Butter Broccoli – It’s easy to make and full of flavor.

Starch Options

Add starchy sides to bring comfort and balance to your meal. Here are some top picks:

  • Instant Pot Potato Salad – It lets you cook potatoes and eggs at the same time, saving you effort.
  • Instant Pot Mac and Cheese – Everyone loves this classic side dish, from kids to adults.
  • Mashed Potatoes – Made with red potatoes using the Instant Pot, they’re quick and easy.
  • Instant Pot Brown Rice – It always turns out well and saves you time over cooking it on the stove.
  • Instant Pot Jasmine Rice – This rice is simple, versatile, and a hit with kids.
  • Instant Pot Spanish Rice – It has a light and fluffy texture that many people prefer.
  • Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole – It’s perfect for holidays and easy to make with the Instant Pot.
  • Instant Pot Tomato Couscous – Adds variety and pairs well with many main dishes.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Keeping chicken leftovers safe is key. Learn how to store cooked chicken in the fridge and freezer. Follow these tips to enjoy your meal again.

Refrigerating Tips

After making your Instant Pot whole chicken, store the leftovers right. Take the meat off the bones and put it in sealed containers. It will stay fresh this way. You can keep cooked chicken fresh in the fridge for three to four days. For the best quality and safety, eat it up earlier.

Freezing Tips

To save your leftovers longer, freeze them. Use special freezer bags or sealable containers, and try to remove any air. This stops freezer burn. Frozen chicken comes in handy on hectic days for quick, easy meals. The Instant Pot can help reheat it fast. Just use the Steam setting for about 10 minutes. Bigger or colder pieces may need a bit more time.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Cooking the perfect instant pot chicken has a few key steps. One major tip is to handle your cooking times carefully. For a full 4 1/4 pound chicken, set the cooking time to about 34 minutes. This means 8 minutes for every pound. It works for both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pots. Use 1 1/2 cups of water for the 6-quart and 2 cups for the 8-quart. Knowing this will ensure your chicken comes out tender and juicy.

Seasoning is key for great instant pot chicken. Use a bold dry rub made of sea salt, red and green ancho chili powders, and more. This mix gives the chicken a rich flavor. This recipe has earned a very high rating (4.88 out of 5 stars from 88 reviews). You can improve the dish by adding broth and making gravy from the drippings.

To get a crispy skin, consider broiling the chicken after it’s done in the Instant Pot. Another option is to cook the chicken upside down to keep it moist. Always let the Instant Pot release its pressure naturally to avoid steam. Trying different spice blends, like Cajun, can add exciting flavors. By following these tips, you’ll cook a perfect instant pot whole chicken every time. This makes cooking quick and delicious.


What are the benefits of cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot?

Cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot is super easy. It saves time and effort. The chicken comes out moist and tender every time. Plus, it’s a budget-friendly way to feed your family.

How do I choose the right chicken for roasting in the Instant Pot?

Pick a chicken that weighs about 4 pounds. This will ensure it cooks evenly in your Instant Pot. You’ll get the best taste this way.

What spices are essential for the best Instant Pot whole chicken recipe?

To make the best Instant Pot whole chicken, use a mix of spices. These include kosher salt, black pepper, thyme, paprika, oregano, onion, and garlic powders. They give your chicken a delicious flavor.

How should I prepare the chicken before cooking it in the Instant Pot?

Start by cleaning the chicken well. Then, dry it with paper towels. This makes sure the spices stick perfectly.

How do I set up my Instant Pot for cooking a whole chicken?

First, brown your chicken in the Instant Pot using the sauté setting. Then, cook it on a trivet over chicken stock. This keeps your chicken moist and full of flavor.

Can I cook both fresh and frozen chicken in the Instant Pot?

Yes, your Instant Pot can cook both fresh and frozen chicken. Fresh chicken needs 8 minutes per pound. Frozen chicken needs about 13 minutes per pound. It’s a great feature for quick meals.

What are the steps for cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot?

To cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, start by browning it to get a nice skin. Then, pressure cook for the right amount of time to keep it tender. Finally, let the pressure release naturally for a juicy chicken.

Can I add vegetables to the Instant Pot whole chicken recipe?

Yes, adding veggies is a great idea. Choose colorful and flavorful vegetables. They will cook with the chicken and become very tasty.

How can I achieve crispy skin on my Instant Pot whole chicken?

To get crispy skin, put your cooked chicken in the oven and broil for a few minutes. This step keeps the meat juicy while getting the skin nice and crispy. It’s a great texture combination.

What are some flavor variations for Instant Pot whole chicken?

You can try different flavors for your chicken. Use herb and garlic mixes, spicy or tangy seasonings, or even lemon and pepper. It keeps the dish interesting for everyone.

How do I use the leftover juices from cooking a whole chicken?

The leftover juices can make a tasty gravy. You can also use them in homemade soups and sauces. This adds flavor to your next cooking project.

What side dishes pair well with Instant Pot whole chicken?

Serve your chicken with sweet peas and roasted potatoes. Or try creamy pasta salads. These sides add color and taste to your meal.

How should I store and reheat leftover Instant Pot chicken?

Take the chicken off the bones before storing. Use airtight containers. Make sure to eat it within a few days to enjoy it at its best.“`This HTML structure covers all you need to know about cooking a whole chicken in an Instant Pot. It gives detailed responses to common questions.