Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe – Fresh or Frozen [Video]
Instant Pot Whole Chicken is juicy, tender, and incredibly easy to make. You can make this time-saving rotisserie chicken recipe with fresh or frozen chicken in less than one hour!
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. Also, if you just prefer to cook the breasts, here is a tutorial on How to Cook Chicken Breasts in the IP.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken – Fresh or Frozen
This recipe is the faster way to cook rotisserie chicken in the pressure cooker. 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 IP, you can cook frozen meat like it’s no big deal.
Learn here How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Pressure Cooker, Frozen Chicken Wings, and Frozen Ground Beef! All these recipes will save you so much time and effort when you are in a hurry to cook dinner.
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.
In addition, do you know what makes this recipe the best? We make sure the end result to be flavorful and delicious. Hence, that’s why we stuff the bird for extra flavor and also make a buttery mixture used to crisp up the skin.
This recipe is a success with our readers, just check the tried and true awesome feedback it gets!
“Made it for Thanksgiving dinner since we are only 4 it was such a hit. Very moist and nice crisp to it. Love every bit of it. Now my family wants me to make it every Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m an instant pot maniac but never made a whole chicken before. I made gravy with the broth.”
“Best chicken recipe ever!! I use this chicken recipe then bone and skin the chicken saving the meat. I return all the skin and bones back in the IP fill with water and add more onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for an hour. It makes the best chicken broth ever!! It has such a rich taste my family goes crazy for it!”
- Whole chicken – Ours is about a 4-pound chicken.
- Chicken broth – Always use low-sodium.
- Unsalted butter – At room temperature.
- Trivet with handles
For stuffing the bird:
- Fresh garlic
- Herbs – Use a mix of fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, and bay leaves.
Buttery Mixture for Broiling:
- Seasonings: Use a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
How to cook a whole chicken in an instant pot?
Making Instant Pot Roasted Chicken a very easy recipe involves just a few steps, you can also make this in any other electric pressure cooker. Cooking a whole chicken in the IP is a great idea.
- Frozen Poultry: First, decide if you are cooking either fresh or frozen poultry. Hence, if you are cooking frozen poultry, add a trivet, water, and cook on High Pressure per recipe directions.
- Fresh Poultry: However, if you are cooking fresh poultry, add butter under the skin and some on the surface of the bird. After that, stuff the bird.
- Pressure Cook: Next, add a trivet with handles to the inner pot and chicken broth, place the bird on top of the trivet. Finally, pressure cook per recipe directions based on how many pounds the chicken weighs.
- Make the Buttery Mixture: While cooking the bird, in a small bowl combine the Buttery Mixture ingredients and stir.
- Release Pressure: Then, release naturally the pressure for 15 minutes, remove the chicken, and place it on a baking sheet. Next, brush with melted butter mixed with your favorite seasoning.
- Broil: Lastly, broil it, checking often so the meat doesn’t burn.
- Serve: Finally, serve it sliced with mashed potatoes or a salad. Another option is to use it as you would a rotisserie chicken.
- Store: In addition, store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Actually, this recipe freezes well, just wrap the leftover meat in plastic wrap, and after that tightly in foil. Another option is to add it to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or airtight container. After that, freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Thaw: Also, plan in advance when ready to use and move the meat from the freezer to the fridge to thaw overnight.
What to serve with:
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot?
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.
Cooking time for Instant Pot FRESH whole chicken:
- 3 pounds = 18 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 3.5 pounds = 21 minutes cooking time on High Pressure with a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release
- 4 pounds = 24 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
How long does it take to cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot?
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.
Also, keep in mind that frozen meat doesn’t cook as evenly, therefore some parts may be overcooked, resulting in tough, rubbery meat.
For frozen poultry, you will have to increase the 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 brine it with salt, just limit the salt accordingly when following the recipe steps below.
Why is my cooked chicken tough?
The rubbery, tough, and dry texture is a result of overcooking the poultry. Usually, chicken is cooked quickly at high temperatures, and since the meat on a whole bird doesn’t have the same thickness, some parts may become easier overcooked. Unfortunately, this is harder to control when cooking it in the instant pot.
However, following the recipe guidelines for cooking time per pound and making sure to pay close attention to how the meat turned our, will help you figure out the best cooking time.
What can you do with leftover rotisserie chicken?
Leftover meat doesn’t have to go to waste, it can be added to many delicious recipes:
- Add it to casseroles, like this Chicken Spaghetti Casserole or Crack Chicken Casserole.
- Alternatively, save some and add it to salads, wraps, or sandwiches.
- Also, make soup or chili using it.
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 IP, 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:
Recipe 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 Whole 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
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- remaining cooking liquid
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- 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 24 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 it 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.
- Also, use the remaining liquid to make gravy. Pour the liquid into a bowl and skim off the excess fat at the top.
- Select saute, add the butter and melt it. Add the flour and stir until combined and lightly golden, this will take about 1 minute.
- Slowly, while stirring, add back the liquid to the pot, and stir until thickened and fully combined. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Serve the chicken topped with gravy and your preferred side dish.