Pressure Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

How To Pressure Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot 

Helpful Freezer Tips Included

Pressure cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker makes life so much easier!  It really is a game changer on how simple and quick you can cook a whole chicken compared to the time it takes to oven roast.  You are basically cutting the cooking time in half!

whole chicken seasoned sitting in an instant pot

You should keep in mind that there is a big difference between the cooking results when pressure cooking a whole chicken versus oven roasting.  When a whole chicken is a pressure cooked, it will not have the crispy skin that is achieved with roasting.  If you are looking to serve a golden roasted chicken at the family dinner table for a nice presentation effect, I would suggest sticking to oven roasting.  As an alternative, you could also place the pressure cooked chicken in the oven for a few minutes at the end of cooking to crisp up the skin.  If you are meal prepping or want to use the chicken meat and bones for other meals, then pressure cooking is definitely the right way to go!

The biggest benefits of pressure cooking a whole chicken is cutting down on the cooking time, no need to plan ahead, and the chicken meat will be fall-off-the-bone tender.  Not to mention that you can save the meat drippings and bones to continue to make a nice chicken stock or bone broth.  I personally love to pressure cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot so I can turn around and next make a nutrient filled Bone Broth in the Instant Pot. Then I like to add the chicken meat to the strained stock with vegetables so I can finish off by pressure cooking a heart-warming Chicken Noodle Soup. I think it is one of the ultimate ways to cook with love for your family and friends!

Find more Instant Pot Pressure Cooker recipes and check out more outstanding Poultry Recipes

Pressure Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot:
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Pressure Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot
Servings: 1 whole chicken
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 whole chicken, neck and giblets packet removed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, skin peeled and chopped in large chunks
  • 1 lemon, washed and sliced
  1. Remove the neck and giblet bag from the chicken cavity. You can discard the neck and giblets or save for another use.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Rub the chicken skin all over with butter and minced garlic and place some pats of butter under the chicken skin.  Next, sprinkle salt and pepper in the inner cavity and on the outside skin.  You can also sprinkle the chicken with other desired seasonings.  Ideas for additional seasonings to use: paprika, Italian seasoning, rosemary, parsley, onion powder.

  3. Instant Pot whole chicken prepped with butter

  4. Stuff the inner cavity of the chicken with chunks of chopped onions and sliced lemon. (This will add additional flavoring to the meat while cooking.)

  5. Tip:  You can prep a fresh whole chicken in advance and seal in freezer safe plastic bags.  A great way to ensure the frozen whole chicken fits inside the Instant Pot when ready to cook is to place the prepped and wrapped chicken inside the inner pot and place the entire pot in the freezer.  This will help the chicken freeze in the right dimensions of the Instant Pot.  Once the chicken is frozen you can remove the inner pot.  This tip and photo were shared with permission from Rich Lum, a member of the Instant Pot Community Facebook group page.

  6. Rich Lum frozen chicken storage tip for Instant Pot

  7. As an alternative, you can purchaseSure Fresh 72 ounce round container from Dollar Tree these Sure Fresh 72 ounce round storage containers from the Dollar Tree store to place your prepped and wrapped chicken for freezing. 

  8. When ready to cook, remove the lid from the Instant Pot and select the Saute button on the front panel, then press the Adjust button to see the "more" heat setting for browning. Once the inner pot has heated up and registers "Hot" on the panel, place the whole chicken inside and brown on both sides about 5 minutes.  Then press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn off and remove the browned chicken and set aside.  Note: If the chicken is frozen, browning the chicken in the saute mode, will help it thaw a little to cook quicker in the Instant Pot.

  9. Add one cup of water or chicken stock into the Instant Pot Inner pot, then place the metal rack with the handles facing up along the sides of the inner pot. (the handles will make it easier to remove the chicken after cooking is completed.)  Place the chicken on top of the metal rack.  Next, place the lid on the Instant Pot and close to seal.  Now make sure the pressure valve is also closed to seal.

  10. Press the Manual button, high-pressure setting. Depending on the weight of the chicken set the cooking time for 6 minutes per pound. Note: Cooking time is the same for fresh and frozen chicken.  For frozen chicken, it just takes longer for the chicken to come to pressure. When finished cooking, allow for Natural Pressure Release for 15 minutes, then quick release the steam valve to release the remaining pressure.

  11. Instant Pot whole chicken cooked

  12. To remove the chicken, make sure you have silicon mitts on your hands for protection, grab the metal handles on each side of the chicken and gently lift the chicken out of the inner pot and slide onto a plastic cutting board or platter.  Then pour out the juices into another heat proof container and save for gravy or reserve to use in soup broth or chicken stock. Don't throw the juices out, that is liquid gold!  If you do not have handles on your metal rack to lift out the chicken, then first pour out the juices into another heatproof container, then carefully slide or pour the chicken onto a serving tray and cover with foil until you are ready to eat.

  13. Instant Pot Whole chicken removed

  14. *If you want to crisp up the skin, turn the oven on to 450 degrees, place chicken on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes to brown the skin.

  15. Chicken is ready to serve for a meal, or you can pull the chicken meat off the bone to use in other meals or freeze for later.  Save the bones to use along with the left over juices to make a beautiful chicken stock or Bone Broth in the Instant Pot.

  16. Serves 4

This is the type of pressure cooker that I prefer to use in my cooking:  I get readers asking which electric pressure cooker brand I prefer to use for cooking.  I personally use the Instant Pot Multi-Use Pressure Cooker.  I love having 7 cooking functions in one space saving appliance – Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute Pan, Steamer, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.

Learn more tips on How to Use an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken


Chicken    Pressure Cooker Poultry Recipes   

Comments and Reviews

2 Responses to “Pressure Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot”

  1. Charlotte Milton

    Thank you for the info on cooking a whole chicken with an instant pot. I have recipes for use with a. On the stove pressure cooker but just bought an instant pot and wanted to try it instead. Chicken and dumpling for dinner tonight.

  2. Wendy Lucas

    Omg! Have been cooking for 50 years. Just got an instant pot but would never have thought to freeze my chicken this way. Looking forward to trying your recipe.


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