Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe – Fresh or Frozen [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

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 Recipe

Instant Pot Whole Chicken From Fresh or Frozen

Instant Pot Whole Chicken rotisserie style is very popular in our household. 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 its no big deal. Learn here How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Pressure Cooker, Frozen Chicken Wings, and Frozen Ground Beef!

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 add 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
  • Water
  • Trivet with handles
  • Your favorite seasoning
  • A baking sheet to broil the meat

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe from fresh or frozen

How do you cook a whole chicken in the pressure cooker?

Making Instant Pot Whole Chicken is very easy and it involves just a few steps, you can also make this in any other electric pressure cooker:

  1. 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.
  2. Then, release pressure, remove the bird from the pressure cooker and brush with melted butter mixed with your favorite seasoning.
  3. Lastly, broil it, checking often so the meat doesn’t burn.

How long do you cook a whole chicken in the 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

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

What to serve the Instant Pot Whole Chicken with:

Easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

Can I Brine the Chicken Prior to Cooking it in the Electric Pressure Cooker?

Absolutely! Brining it before will give the meat 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 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 to 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.

Recipe Tips:

  • 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.

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5 from 14 reviews
Easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken from Fresh or Frozen
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 10 mins


  • 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 


  1. 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.
  2. Remove giblets from chicken if present.

Stuff Chicken:

  1. If cooking a fresh chicken, stuff the chicken with garlic cloves, lemon, fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves.
  2. 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.
  3. Rub the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil) all over the chicken surface. You can also add some seasoning if desired.


  1. Add a trivet with handles to the Instant Pot and add the chicken broth. Place the chicken, breast side down, on top of it.

  2. Cover with the lid and lock it, point valve to sealed.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. Turn on the Oven Broiler.

Buttery Mixture for Broiling:

  1. Melt butter and mix with garlic powder, onion powder, thyme powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.


  1. 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.

  2. Brush the chicken with the Buttery Mixture and place under the broiler for about 5-8 minutes for extra crispy skin.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
Calories: 541 Carbohydrates: 5 Protein: 24 Fat: 47 Saturated Fat: 22 Cholesterol: 165 Sodium: 929 Potassium: 369 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 0 Vitamin A: 1340 Vitamin C: 17 Calcium: 64 Iron: 2.3
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And THAT'S why I love my Instant Pot. I can't wait to make this. My family is going to devour it.



The family loves this meal and it’s so easy to make !!


Aduke Schulist

I never make whole chicken, and I don't have an instant pot, but now I want both of these things. That looks GOOD!



This is going to be such a life saver to busy families! So quick and easy!



Can't wait to try this! It looks so perfect!


Toni | Boulder Locavore

This is perfection!! Great to try this weekend!


Ruth I

We love this kind of recipe. Perfect for when there is a special dinner or a get together. Easy to make and it looks so delicious!


Shannan P

I haven't tried a whole chicken in the IP, but this makes it sound so easy! I am going to have to give this a try very soon!



That looks wonderful!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This looks absolutely delicious! Yummy!


Allyce Stein

Great use of instant pot love how this came out!



Wheres the video. 


got deleted somehow, adding again


Merry Boyd

I made this tonight and it was so tasty and tender. We loved it. This is a must try recipe.


Thank you Merry :)


Sandra | A Dash of Sanity

This looks really good for dinner tonight!



Wow what a good idea to make the perfect chicken!!!



Made this for dinner tonight and LOVED it. It was so easy and the chicken turned out very moist and tender. I did not have lemons so I used oranges instead. Thank you!


Hi Maggie, thank you for the feedback, so happy that you loved it!



I used a 5 Lbs  chicken. I was very impressed with this recipe. Everything turned out perfect but the really  surprising thing was I had six meals off the bird and each meal was as tender and juicy as the first meal! 


I am so happy that you liked it :)



Good recipe. The cooking time was not right for me. I used a 4.5 pound chicken (weighed it right before) and cooked at 28 with 15np release. My chicken basically blew open, still edible but not nice looking like the picture. Not sure if others have come across this but definitely cook less than shown just to be safe. You can always add a few extra minutes. 



Can a larger oven stuffer roaster that weighs 6 lbs be cooked in the instant pot too? What would the new cooking time be?


Yes, if it fits you can cook it. Check the post I provide the timing per pound, so it can be derived from that.



Looks good...need one clarification, please. The recipe instructs to place chicken breast side down in the pot. However, the video shows breast side up in the pot. Which way should it be?


Its actually breast side down in the video, it means the thick part of the breasts if that confused you.



Wonderful, delicious recipe. My third time using my new instant pot and your recipe was a complete success. My chicken was still partially frozen and your posted frozen cooking times were appreciated. I did stuff it with the lemon and herbs. The only change I made was to not put any salt in the butter topping. This topping really was the cherry on top! Can't wait to make this again. Thank you for sharing this recipe



Made this for the first time in my IP. Had to approximate the weight of chicken, about 4.5-75 lbs, chose Meat setting (HP) x 30 min. The next day did the broil. The taste was incredible--especially with the topping mix! The texture was slightly dry--will do the IP and broil back to back next time and maybe lower the cooking time to 29 min. Thank you for this delicious recipe!



I don't see where it's says how many minutes per pound the chicken needs to cook. I have a 6-7 chicken. Help!



Hi, I was wondering if I could substitute beer for the chicken stock. I love "beer can chicken" and would like to try and get a similar flavor. Thanks! PS Got a IP for Christmas and every recipe I tried here has been very good! Looking forward to trying many more!


Yes!! You can use beer, I would say that use a mix? Half beer and half chicken stock? The beer doesn't fully evaporate in the IP, like it does in the oven or slow cooker, so to avoid the flavor being overpowering, use half and half I would say.


Pete Szerszen

Turned out great! I cut the butter a bit (to my taste) and it was still incredibly moist and flavorful. I had leftovers for a solid week too. You can't go wrong, virtually no prep time.



This chicken recipe is amazing. I did make an easy change to finishing off the bird. I placed the chicken in a baking dish with all the spice goodness. Set it in the oven at 425* for 20 minutes. It gave it time to make a Crispy delicious skin. 


Happy that you enjoyed it!


Christal Chatfield

Can you cook veggies in with the chicken at the same time in the instant pot?


no, not enough space after you add a whole chicken and way too much time for the veggies, they will be super mushy.


Tony M

I was amazed how juicy the breaths were. When I tried to move it to the baking sheet, the bird broke into three pieces. Lol. I'm thinking of using the leftover broth for chicken soup. Gonna try that tomorrow but conventionally on the stove. I'll let you know how it turned out.


Laurel Marble

We are having dinner guests today and my hubby, who planned it, forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer. I thought - no problem! I can cook it frozen in my IP. I went to put the chicken in and noticed it had the bag of giblets in it. I tried everything to get them out, even cooking the chicken in the IP for 15 min. They are frozen in there. Not sure what to do.


oh wow this never happened to me, I usually run it under warm water and remove them.



What size IP should be used to cook a whole chicken? What size chicken would fit into a 6qt IP?


I used a 6qt, and usually a 4-5lbs chicken fits in.



My family of five went crazy over this! I only had smoked paprika on hand but it still was delicious!


Grace Horowitz

I could not find the video. Where is it?


Hello, the video is attached in the middle of the post. Please take a look, it is there. Thanks!



My frozen chicken won't fit in the IP with the trivet in there, can I vok it without the trivet? If so do I need to adjust anything, i.e. time, temperature?


without the trivet some of the chicken parts will be submerged in water and overcook, I don't really recommend it.


Nicole Tierheimer

Okay. I am an idiot. I thawed the chicken and then used the time for a 5 lb frozen chicken, not thawed. Dark meat great. White meat dry. Won’t do that again. The skin was great though. Frozen yogurt for dessert to help out with our sadness. Will use recipe again, but follow it next time!



I made this omce before with a 5 lbd chicken and it was amazing! I want to do this again...but my chicken is 7lbs. Is there a merhod to adjusting the time? I don't want to over cook it. Thank you.


about 42 minutes and 15 mins NPR.


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