How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

If you’ve ever wondered How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot, this post has you covered. It tastes just like a rotisserie chicken you buy at the store, only you get to control the ingredients! It’s largely hands-off cooking time and the chicken is so juicy! This chicken is perfect to serve as is for dinner, or you can use for meal prep or for other chicken recipes.

Can you roast a whole chicken in instant potHow to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

It’s How to Wednesday and today we’re talking about: How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot! The rotisserie chickens you find in the grocery stores often have such tender juicy chicken, and they definitely are convenient, but we always love to be able to control the ingredients in our food. When you cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, using our blend of spices, it comes out just as tender and juicy as a store-bought whole rotisserie chicken. It’s great to serve as-is with a few sides like Mashed Potatoes, Herbed Cucumber Salad or Honey Glazed Carrots or you can use it for meal prep for the week. You can turn it into Chicken Salad, Soup or Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Hummus Dip.

How long does it take to cook chicken in instant pot

Now we aren’t saying we don’t enjoy an Oven Roasted Chicken, because we do, but there are definitely a lot of advantages of cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.

  • The first is that it is quicker. It takes about an hour to roast a chicken in the oven, but then you also have the prep time, the time it takes to heat up an oven and the cooling time. Cooking in the Instant Pot does speed up the time.
  • The second advantage is because there is no guess work as to when your chicken is done! Roasting a chicken in the oven can have so many variants, and if you leave it in too long it will be dry. But in the Instant Pot it will most definitely be done at the time it states on the recipe.
  • And third, the chicken is SO JUICY and fall-off-the-bone tender. Hands down a chicken that is cooked in the Instant Pot is way more tender and juicy than one that is brined and roasted in the oven, because that is what makes cooking in a pressure cooker so magical.

How do I cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot?

And the best part is, it’s so easy to do!

  1. Season the chicken
  2. Sear the chicken
  3. Add onion and remaining seasoning to chicken
  4. Place trivet inside of the Instant Pot with 1/2 cup broth
  5. Cook on manual pressure for 24 minutes (or 6 minutes per pound)
  6. Natural release for 15 minutes and then release remaining pressure
  7. And then your chicken is READY!

P.S. you can also cook a chicken in the slow cooker or in the oven!

How do I cook a whole chicken in pressure cooker

If you like this How to Recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video:

What to do with leftover chicken bones/carcass? Reuse them and make HOMEMADE BROTH!


How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:24 Inactive Time 00:35 Total Time 01:14 Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Using a paper towel, dry off chicken.
  2. In a small bowl mix together all of the spices. Place half of the spices in another small bowl and add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to create a paste.
  3. Carefully rub the paste underneath the skin on the chicken breasts. Take care not to break the skin.
  4. In a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot press the saute function.
  5. Once hot add remaining oil and sear the whole chicken, breast side down about 3-4 minutes. Then flip and sear on the other side. Press cancel on the saute function.
  6. Remove chicken, and season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper and place ½ an onion inside of the cavity. Rub the remainder of the dry spices all over the chicken breasts and thighs and set aside.
  7. Place the trivet inside of the Instant Pot and pour in chicken stock. Place chicken back inside on the travel and close the lid with the vent set to sealing.
  8. Cook on manual high pressure for 24 minutes (or 6 minutes per pound)
  9. Natural release for 15 minutes, then use the manual release function to release any remaining pressure.
  10. Let chicken sit until it has cooled down slightly, about 10 minutes. Butcher the legs, wings and finally the breasts and serve along with your favorite sides!

Recipe Notes

  1. If your chicken is a different size than 4 lbs. adjust the cooking time to be 6 minutes per pound.
  2. Update 6/2019: We've had a few commenters that have experienced a "burn" notification on their instant pot, likely due to too much evaporation of the broth. We didn't experience this in testing but as some reader suggestions we're going to increase the called for amount of broth, since the amount doesn't really affect the final dish. We've increased it from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of broth added. 
  3. If you experience a burn notification add 1/2 cup more broth to your put and start again.
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34 comments on “How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

  • I don’t usually cook whole chickens and this turned out great. My 4.29 lb chicken fit perfectly in the 6 quart IP. I will try a foil sling next time as it was a little hard to get out of the pot. The spice rub was just right.

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      Hi! We always do high pressure (which is the standard function that is already set when using the instant pot) and specify if it’s other, like low pressure.

      Reply
  • Jennifer Swett says:

    Make sure you tell people to use high pressure. On my instant pot low is the pre-set standard. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    Reply
  • First time cooking a whole chicken (4.75lbs) in my new 8 qt. Instant Pot. I agree with one of the comments above, it was difficult to turn over after browning on one side. I think I would skip this step or brown in a separate pan. Next was the “burn” signal came on during cooking. Yikes. Looked that up lol Had to turn the pot off, remove the chicken and deglaze the bottom of the pan. The 1/2 cup of chicken broth was not enough. Added additional broth probably about another cup or so and started over with another 20 minutes. End results – fall off the bone chicken, better than roasted chickens from the grocery store. The rub was delicious and came through in every bite. I used the Stew/meat setting (high pressure cooking) in place of “manual”.

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      Hi Marie glad you enjoyed the chicken! I’m finding it strange that it had the burn notification. We did test it in both a 6 and 8 quart pot and we didn’t have this problem at all. Did you use the rack? Thanks for letting us know your experience!

      Reply
  • Hi Kelli, I did use the rack. I think browning contributed to the burn notification as the broth evaporated more. Once I added more broth and deglazed it worked and turned out perfect!!!

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      Hi Marie! I’m glad it worked out in the end. I’m wondering why your broth evaporated? Did you put the broth in at the correct moment? Because there shouldn’t be any evaporation–the broth should be put in at the very end before you pressure cook it–not during the saute feature. Sorry if these are the steps you followed but want to make sure you didn’t accidentally boil the broth? Read through the steps again and let me know if that is what you did–that way I can help you troubleshoot it to make sure it works perfectly for you next time 🙂

      Reply
  • I ran into the burn notification as well with this recipe. I think the problem is due to the pot being so hot from browning the chicken. When I added the broth, it immediately started to steam. By the time I got the lid on, I’m guessing a good amount had evaporated. Next time, I’d brown the chicken in a pot of the stove. Easier to flip and not worry about losing broth

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      Tom, thanks for commenting and let us know what’s happening to you! This is helpful since in all of our testing we didn’t get a burn results. Sometimes different instant pot models will react differently. We tested this on two different ones, but of course can’t test on all of them! We’ll make a note in the recipe as per your description in case anybody else encounters this! Happy cooking 🙂

      Reply
  • Reporting back: My chicken is underdone! 28 minutes for a 4.75 chicken. The juice is too pink. I followed the instructions exactly except I did turn off the pot for 1-2 min between sauteing and cooking while I seasoned the bird. The breast is nearly done but the dark meat is definitely not done. And the breast is not that tasty. This was an expensive whole foods organic chicken. I’m going to finish it off in the oven.

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      Hi Linda! Thanks for the feedback. While there may always be some variables in the makeup of chicken, this is the first we are hearing that the 6 minute per pound rule didn’t work for cooking a chicken in the instant pot. Did you take the temperature of the meat to see where it was at to tell how underdone it was? Did you let the pressure naturally release for the allotted amount of time, and let the chicken rest after it was cooked? In the future if your chicken (or any other meat wasn’t cooked through) it would be best to let it continue cooking right in the instant pot. For the chicken I’d recommend starting with 3 minutes for every 5 degrees your chicken is below the correct temperature of 165 degrees.

      Reply
  • Bethany Villarreal says:

    So I’m going to try this without the trivet…because I cannot find mine, so I’ll let y’all know how it goes

    Reply
  • Elizabeth Dissin says:

    Could I use water in the bottom instead of chicken broth, since the liquid isn’t part of the finished product? Or does using the broth impart flavor to the cooking bird somehow?

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      Sure! And you CAN use the chicken broth which essentially turns into stock. You just don’t use it in this final dish.

      Reply
  • Priscilla sullivan says:

    This was a delicious and moist chicken! I made sure to scrape up any tasty bits stuck to the liner before putting the trivet in. No issues with burn etc as some mentioned in comments. We had the leftovers tonight as salad lettuce wraps. A bit of chicken went into the freezer for another day. Thank you for putting out fantastic recipes!

    5.0 rating

    Reply
  • Elizabeth Dissin says:

    Searing the chicken in the IP resulted in all of the skin ripping off the chicken and sticking to the pot. Next time I will try searing in a separate pot, or maybe skip that step altogether. Also, seems odd to apply the dry rub *after* the chicken has been seared. Didn’t go on too well to the exposed, partially cooked flesh of the chicken. Hopefully the chicken will cook ok without its protective skin covering…..

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      Hi Elizabeth. Sorry to hear you had trouble with that step. Definitely if you aren’t comfortable searing meats, feel free to do it in another pot. The reason your broke off was because it wasn’t finished searing. When meat is properly seared all the fat will be rendered and will easily loosen from a pan, if it hasn’t seared for long enough it will stick–this is true for any meat. If you aren’t sure in the future, give the meat you are cooking a wiggle, if it moves easily it’s done…if not let it go a bit longer. And the reason we season the chicken AFTER is because if you season it before you sear it, it will burn. Hope you still enjoyed the finished product. We love the results of this one!

      Reply

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