Instant Pot Whole Chicken is juicy, tender, and incredibly easy to make. You can make this time-saving recipe with fresh or frozen chicken in less than 60 minutes!
Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here, you just can’t beat the convenience. The Instant Pot Orange Chicken is the most popular recipe on the blog, without a doubt it’s delicious. Being a huge fan of rotisserie chicken, and cooking it so often in the pressure cooker, I have finally perfected the recipe to share it with you.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken – Fresh or Frozen
Instant Pot Whole Chicken is the faster way to cook rotisserie chicken. The best thing about this recipe is that in case you forgot to thaw the meat, you don’t have to worry, you can still cook a delicious dinner. That is the beauty of the pressure cooker, you can cook frozen meat like it’s no big deal.
The pressure cooker rotisserie-style chicken is to die for! The meat is perfectly cooked, juicy, and very tender. To get the skin crispy, just brush the meat with a garlic butter mixture and broil until golden brown. Your family will love this easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal.
Why cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot?
Cooking a whole chicken in the pressure cooker is a great idea. First, you can cook it fresh or frozen, which adds bonus points to it. The meat ends up being very moist and tender, just like it has been slow-roasted for hours.
Also, you can’t beat the convenience of being able to cook frozen meat in just under 2 hours, it takes way longer to defrost it.
What do you need to make the Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe?
- Whole Chicken – fresh or frozen, both work
- Trivet with handles
- Your favorite seasoning
- A baking sheet to broil the meat
How to cook a whole chicken in an instant pot?
Making Instant Pot Roasted Chicken is very easy and it involves just a few steps, you can also make this in any other electric pressure cooker:
- All you have to do is add either fresh or frozen poultry to the pressure cooker, add water and cook on High Pressure per recipe directions.
- Then, release pressure, remove the bird from the pressure cooker, and brush with melted butter mixed with your favorite seasoning.
- Lastly, broil it, checking often so the meat doesn’t burn.
How long to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot?
Cooking time for Instant Pot FRESH whole chicken:
- 3 pounds = 20 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 3.5 pounds = 23 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 4 pounds = 25 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 4.5 pounds = 28 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 5 pounds = 33 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
Can you cook a whole frozen chicken in an instant pot?
Yes. The beauty of the pressure cooker is that you can cook whole frozen chicken in it. However, you need to make sure that the poultry has the innards/gizzards removed and has no plastic ties around the feet. Because, if the meat is frozen, and these are not removed, you will not be able to cook it that way.
For frozen poultry, you will have to increase the pressure cooking time by about 5 minutes per pound. Here are the cooking guidelines for frozen whole poultry:
Cooking time for Instant Pot FROZEN whole chicken:
- 3 pounds = 39 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 3.5 pounds = 46 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 4 pounds = 52 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 4.5 pounds = 59 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 5 pounds = 65 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
Can you Brine the Chicken Prior to Cooking it in the Electric Pressure Cooker?
Absolutely! Brining it before will give the meat an additional flavor boost. You can use your favorite brine method. Just remember, if you will brine it with salt, just limit the salt accordingly when following the recipe steps below.
What to serve with this dish:
- Crispy Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
- Oven Baked Greek Potatoes
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
- IP Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower
What can you do with leftover chicken?
Leftover meat doesn’t have to go to waste, it can be added to many delicious recipes, like this Chicken Spaghetti Casserole or Crack Chicken Casserole. You can also add it to salads, wraps sandwiches.
What is Natural Pressure Release?
A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10-15 minutes (or based on what the recipe says), after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure release. Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10-15 minutes (or based on what the recipe says), and after that open the valve.
A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta, or steel-cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.
More delicious chicken recipes to try:
- Pressure Cooker Chicken and Vegetables
- Chicken and Potatoes in the IP
- Mongolian Chicken
- Chicken Stew
Instant Pot Roast Chicken Tips and Tricks:
- If you are cooking a frozen chicken and need to remove the giblets, just run that area under warm-hot water for 5-10 minutes, so you can remove and discard them.
- Weighting the bird is very important, as pressure cooking it for too long will make it “explode” in the IP. Basically, the cartilage becomes too soft and the end result won’t be as pretty but still delicious. Tieing together the drumsticks helps prevent that.
- Also, make sure to use a relevant poultry size, so it fits the IP. If the chicken is larger than your pressure cooker, then it won’t work. You could either follow the Oven Baked Recipe or use a larger sized 8 QT Pressure Cooker.
- To make this recipe healthier, replace the butter in the “Buttery Mixture” with olive oil.
- Keep the carcass and make the best homemade stock.
- For super-crispy skin, brush the chicken with oil after it has been pressure cooked. Then, place it under the broiler for about 2-4 minutes, until the skin becomes golden brown.
Instant Pot Chicken Recipe
- 1 (4 pounds) whole chicken
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 6 tablespoons butter (room temperature or use olive oil)
Stuff Chicken (optional):
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon (halved)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh oregano
- 3 bay leaves
Buttery Mixture for Broiling:
- 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme powder
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- If cooking a FROZEN chicken you will not be able to stuff it, so skip the stuffing step. Proceed to the step where you add the chicken to the Instant Pot.
- Remove giblets from chicken if present.
- If cooking a fresh chicken, stuff the chicken with garlic cloves, lemon, fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves.
- Optional: Gently loosen the skin from the chicken breast, lifting it from the meat with your fingers and rub about 3 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil) under it. You can also add some seasoning.
- Rub the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil) all over the chicken surface. You can also add some seasoning if desired.
- Add a trivet with handles to the Instant Pot and add the chicken broth. Place the chicken, breast side down, on top of it.
- Cover with the lid and lock it, point valve to sealed.
- Press High Pressure and set the timer to 25 minutes. See the blog post for cooking times based on chicken weight and if using fresh or frozen chicken.
- After the cooking time is done and the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, followed by a quick release of the remaining pressure.
- Using a food thermometer, check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast, it should be a minimum of 165 degrees F. If needed, pressure cook for 5-10 more minutes.
- Turn on the Oven Broiler.
Buttery Mixture for Broiling:
- Melt butter and mix with garlic powder, onion powder, thyme powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Open the pressure cooker lid and remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and drizzled with olive oil.
- Brush the chicken with the Buttery Mixture and place under the broiler for about 5-8 minutes for extra crispy skin.
- Watch chicken closely, and if needed rotate the pan, so it doesn't burn. If needed brush more with the sauce from the pan. Broil until skin is golden-brown and crispy.
- Serve and enjoy!