How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

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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, is 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.


  • 14 pound whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • ½ onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock


  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. With an instant-read thermometer check the temperature of the chicken in the thickest part of the breast and make sure it is at least to 160ºF. It will continue to cook as it rests. See notes for troubleshooting if it is below 155ºF.
  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!


If your chicken is a different size than 4 lbs. adjust the cooking time to be 6 minutes per pound.

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. If you experience a burn notification add 1/2 cup more broth to your put and start again.

Troubleshooting: If your chicken has not come up to the temperature of at least 160ºF at the end of cooking time, for every 5 degrees below 160ºF that it registers, cook for an additional 1 minute on manual high pressure, with a 5-minute release. For instance, if your chicken registers at 150º at the end of the cooking time, cook it for an additional 2 minutes, with a 5-minute natural pressure release. If it registers at 140º, cook it for an additional 4 minutes, with a 5-minute natural pressure release. It may not seem like a lot of time, but the pressure cooker will continue to cook the chicken as it comes up to pressure, and as it does a 5-minute natural release. You don’t want to risk overcooking the bird and having it fall apart, so exercise caution when adding additional cooktime.


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