Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Pot Whole Chicken
What size Instant Pot will cook a whole chicken?
I have a 6 qt Instant Pot, which is perfect for our family of 4, the 8 qt would work fine as well, be sure to add an additional cup of liquid.
How Long Does it Take to Cook a Chicken in a Pressure Cooker?
It depends on the size of chicken. The chicken should read 165 degrees with a meat thermometer, but these times are a rule of thumb. * 3 pound chicken 18 minutes on high pressure* 4 pound chicken 24 minutes on high pressure* 5 pound chicken 30 minutes on high pressure* For every extra pound, add about 6 minutes at high pressure or 3 minutes for every half pound.
Will the chicken be ready in 30 minutes?
Nope! I must admit I do get a bit frustrated with some Pressure Cooker recipes that say that a recipe is done a matter of minutes. Maybe the actual cooking time takes minutes, but typically the instructions do not take into account the time it takes come to pressure, cook and depressurize . So my times will be higher than you see on many recipes, but hopefully a bit more realistic.
Keep in mind the amount of time that it will take to allow the pressure to release naturally, again can vary, but mine takes about 30 minutes to release.
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Cook Time: Total Time:
The most tender, fall-off-the-bone delicious chicken made goof-proof in a pressure cooker. Magically easy and amazing!
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 Tbsp Avocado oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
High Altitude Adjustments For Pressure Cookers
I live in Denver, 5280 ft above sea level, and yes, you do have to adjust the pressure cooking times altitude impacts the temperature that water boils, the higher you are the lower the water temperature, so this could impact your cooking. Check out this great article on how to increase times when pressure cooking.
Cooking guidelines are included in the printable recipe card below. However with chicken, you should grab a handy meat thermometer and shove it into the thigh of the chicken, avoiding bones it should read 165 degrees F!
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Instant Pot Whole Chicken Commonly Asked Questions
How long does it take to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot?
3-pound bird: high pressure for 15 minutes,.4-pound bird, high pressure for 25 minutes. 5-pound bird, high pressure for 25 minutes. Always do a 10-minute natural release, followed by manual release.
How do you get flavors to soak into the chicken itself?
Season the chicken underneath the skin wear disposable gloves if you need to, but do use your fingers to gently pry skin from thicken all around so seasoning is in direct contact with chicken itself.
Can I cook a frozen chicken directly in the Instant Pot?
You can cook from frozen, but you wont be able to get the seasonings underneath the skin. Know that with seasonings sitting on top of skin, the chicken itself wont be as flavorful. If you choose to use frozen chicken, a 4-pound bird takes about 60 minutes.
How To Store And Reheat Whole Chicken
Store: Keep any leftover chicken stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat: Depending on how much chicken you have left to reheat, you can use the microwave for a single serving, the oven for a few servings, or use the warm function on the Instant Pot to heat through.
Freeze: Transfer chicken to a freezer friendly bag or container and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
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The Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe That Converted Me
So, I decided to consult the directions for cooking a whole chicken in my electric pressure cooker. I didnt add a ton of fancy ingredients, I just kept it simple and followed the directions that came with my Instant Pot.
The results were AMaaaazing! This chicken was moist, fall off the bone delicious. Ive got a completely new outlook on whole chicken now.
And, with the leftovers, I threw together this delicious Pasta Chicken Salad the next day!
If your chicken is still frozen, check out this post on how to cook a whole frozen chicken in an Instant Pot.
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 dont have to worry, you can still cook a delicious dinner. That is the beauty of the IP, 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! 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, thats why we stuff the bird for extra flavor and also make a buttery mixture used to crisp up the skin.
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Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken
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It’s simple and energy-efficient to make a pressure cooker whole chicken in the Instant Pot. And, it results in the juiciest meat ever!
Since moving to a dairy-free Paleo diet this month, I’ve been using my Instant Pot a lot more. One of the things I’ve found it useful for is for cooking a whole chicken.
I usually cook chicken pieces. But, I needed a bunch of bones to make some homemade chicken bone broth. So, I picked up two air-chilled organic chickens at Whole Foods.
It turns out it’s super easy to pressure cook whole chicken in the Instant Pot. And, there’s even a Poultry button to make it even easier!
The electric pressure cooker has a much smaller volume than my convection oven. That’s why I’m sure it is also a much more energy-efficient way to cook as well.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken Flavor Variations
While this recipe is great as-is, you can change up the spice blend to make the flavors suit your tastes.
- BBQ Rub: Mix together 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Mexican Rub: Combine 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch of oregano, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Italian Rub: Stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder.
- Cajun Rub: Mix up 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Instant Pot chicken is so easy to make, youll find yourself making it on a regular basis. Its just that good!
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How To Choose The Best Whole Chicken
When choosing a whole chicken to cook in the Instant Pot, you can look for chickens in your market that are labelled as ‘roaster,’ which tend to have a bit more fat. Or, look for a bird that weighs around 4 to 5 pounds. Don’t crowd the pot with a bird that’s too large and be sure to remove the bag of innards that are inside the bird before cooking.
Tips For The Best Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken:
- Cook the chicken for 6 minutes per pound and allow a 15-minute natural pressure release. Releasing the pressure gradually will ensure your chicken is fully cooked through and rested for the juiciest chicken. It also prevents foam from shooting out of the valve.
- Weigh the chicken to ensure the proper cooking time . Overcooking the bird will cause it to fall apart and will make it difficult to transfer.
- Make sure your chicken fits your instant pot size. Our 6 qt instant pot fits up to a 5 lb chicken. An 8 qt pressure cooker is better for the larger sized chickens.
- Use a Trivet for even cooking and to help remove the chicken from the instant pot.
- Broil the chicken for a crisp salty skin
- Do not discard the drippings they make the best gravy to pour over your chicken.
- Keep the carcass and bones for Instant Pot Chicken Broth.
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How Long To Cook A Fresh Chicken In The Instant Pot
Heres your handy guideline for safely cooking a fresh whole chicken in the Instant Pot: for each 1pound of chicken, add 6 minutes of cook time.
- So for a 1.3lb chicken, set the cook time for 18 minutes.
- So for a 4lb chicken, set the cook time for 24 minutes.
- So for a 5lb chicken, set the cook time for 30 minutes.
Just like the instructions say, once the whole chicken is safely cooked, use a natural pressure release for 15 minutes and check the internal temperature to make sure its safe to eat.
Pro Chef Food Safety Tip: It is extremely important to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a working meat thermometer. The chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C.
Making Pan Gravy In Your Instant Pot
- Once chicken has been removed from pot, pour juices through fine mesh sieve into a 4 cup measuring cup and reserve.
- Press Saute on Instant Pot, add a tablespoon of butter to melt in pan, then add ¼ cup flour, whisk until smooth and slightly golden.
- Return pan juices to mixture, 2 cups at a time, whisking until thick. If too thick, add a little more of the pan juices until desired thickness. Add a splash of white wine if you have it around, adjust seasonings to taste, adding sea salt and pepper if needed.
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How To Use Chicken Broth Made In The Instant Pot
Now that youve created some amazing and flavorful chicken broth in the Instant Pot, you want to know how to use it. Chicken broth is in so many recipes and you no longer have to add that to your grocery list .
Store- Store this homemade chicken broth in an airtight container in your fridge.
You can even use the chicken broth to cook up more chicken in the Instant Pot! This is the perfect time-saver and budget-friendly trick.
What If The Chicken Is Frozen
Its absolutely possible to cook a frozen chicken in the Instant Pot. It just takes a bit more time. You can even still apply the wet rub seasoning to a frozen chicken.
Just make sure the chicken has already been properly cleaned, with the gizzards removed, before you put it in the Instant Pot. If it happens to have anything stuffed into the cavity some come with a bag of seasoning stuffed inside you cant cook it.
Cook times differ for frozen chicken. Instead of 6 minutes, it will take 8.5 minutes per pound.
» Check out this information for cooking frozen chicken thighs in the Instant Pot.
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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 cant 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
Five: Let Pressure Release
- After cook time has elapsed, allow pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes. And it is okay to leave the Instant Pot on the keep warm setting during this time.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest for an additional 10 minutes before serving for the juices to redistribute.
- Save bones from your roasted chicken to make Instant Pot Chicken Stock.
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Ways To Use Leftover Chicken
Cooking a whole chicken is one of my favorite ways to meal prep for the week. Here are just a few ideas for meals that you can make with your chicken.
- Slice the chicken for roast chicken sandwiches or make this easy chicken salad recipe.
- Make this chicken and rice salad or add it to mason jar salads.
- Save the chicken bones and carcass to make homemade Instant Pot bone broth or chicken stock.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe
Im always tempted to buy those whole rotisserie chickens at the grocery store. They always smell so good and make for an easy dinner. I wanted to try making a whole chicken at home to save money and I like the idea of being able to monitor the seasonings being used and such.
I make a really delicious Crockpot Whole Chicken. It is simply amazing but sometimes you need something a little faster. Anyone else have days they just dont plan dinner early enough? For those days, this Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe is a quick and tasty solution.
We stock up on whole chickens when they go on sale at the grocery store. This helps us save a lot of money by buying when prices are the lowest. Plus, it is nice to just grab what you need out of the freezer.
Lets get started. Make sure you have an instant pot. We have a 6 quart pressure cooker and love it.
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Why Make A Roast Chicken In The Instant Pot
- It is faster than cooking a whole chicken in the oven. You can make roast chicken for dinner on a weeknight!
- Pressure cooking makes the chicken so juicy, tender and flavorful!
- You can safely cook a frozen whole chicken in your Instant Pot no thawing required!
For all of you Instant Pot fans, I have more delicious recipes and resources to help you get quick and healthy meals on your table! If you are just getting started with your pressure cooker, read my Instant Pot manual. Then check out these easy Instant Pot recipes to help you meal plan:
Can You Use The Instant Pot To Make Bone Broth From A Whole Chicken
Absolutely folks, you can definitely make some homemade bone broth from this Instant Pot recipe.
All you have to do is keep the chicken carcass and add some broth making vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to your Instant Pot.
Then select the Instant Pot to manual pressure / high pressure, and pressure cook for 2 hours. Allow for a natural pressure release, and then strain the bone broth into a small bowl before using it.
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Pressure Cook At High Pressure 0 Minute
Yes! You can pressure cook at 0 minute! How can that be?!
Were setting the pressure cooking time to 0 minute because were using the heat generated during the building pressure stage AND the depressurizing stage to cook the whole chicken.
Just remember to measure your chickens internal temperature with a food thermometer. Make sure the chickens internal thickest part reaches at least 161°F .
Why Cook A Whole Chicken In A Pressure Cooker
This is such a foolproof method to cook a whole chicken. The chicken not only cooks quickly, but this method helps to lock in the natural juices so the meat doesnt dry out. Because there is no fat added to the chicken, unlike oven roasting, its also a healthier option. Quick, easy, healthywhats not to love?!
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Will The Whole Chicken Fall Apart When I Remove It From The Instant Pot
If you are not using an Instant Pot Sling or a very large spatula to secure the bottom of the chicken, it will very likely begin falling apart when you remove it from the Instant Pot.
Ive only recently discovered the sling and have had more than my fair share of chicken break in half or lose a leg or wing on its way out of the Instant Pot.