Curious as to how to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot? Keep reading to see how you can make a delicious, fall off the bone, and the juiciest whole chicken in an Instant Pot!
Click here to pin this whole chicken recipe for later!
SO WHAT’S AN INSTANT POT?
I have the Duo Plus 9 in 1 Instant Pot (6 qt) and this is the one that this recipe has been tested in. The Duo Plus replaces 9 commonly used kitchen appliances – Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice/Porridge Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake/Egg Maker, Sauté/Searing, Steam, Warm and Sterilize. It’s quite the multi-use product! For more info on the Instant Pot, check out my What is an Instant Pot FAQ here!
RELATED: want more Instant Pot Recipes? Find all my Instant Pot Recipes here!
Easy whole juicy chicken in an Instant Pot
So this whole chicken made inside an Instant Pot is one of my favourite Instant Pot recipes right now. Made inside the Instant Pot, there is no basting involved or worrying that the chicken will dry out if you take your eye off it for too long.
While I enjoy the crispy skin from baking a whole chicken traditionally, the Instant Pot version can have just as if not more crispy skin as I popped the chicken into the oven to broil for 5 minutes. Also, by making the whole chicken in an Instant Pot, the chicken is literally fall off the bone! It’s so freaking tender and moist and so easy to take apart after it’s been cooked.
Note: you can even see one of the drumstick bones practically falling off the meat just from me moving the chicken to the rack!
Tips on Making the Perfect Instant Pot Chicken
- If you have time, season your whole raw chicken and refrigerate for an hour before cooking.
- Season the outside and inside of the chicken for maximum flavour.
- Do not quick release once the countdown is done, let it release the pressure naturally.
- Every pound of chicken should be cooked 6 minutes under pressure – this chicken was 3.8lbs so to make it easy, I cooked the chicken in the Instant Pot for 24 minutes.
What You Need To Make a Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot
- Whole chicken
- Oil — I prefer olive oil but you can use a neutral oil of your choice.
- Lemon Pepper (or regular pepper)
- Paprika — you can use smoked or sweet paprika.
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth or water
How To Cook a Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot
On sauté mode, drizzle in olive oil or oil of your choice.
Place your seasoned chicken (seasoned with oil, salt, pepper, paprika then and inside the cavity, season and place a sliced lemon and garlic inside) breast side down, still on saute mode, into the Instant Pot. Let it cook for 6 minutes.
After 6 minutes, flip your chicken. This was pretty much the hardest part. It took a pair of tongs and a spatula to flip the whole chicken! Then put in a cup of water/chicken stock/broth.
Turn the valve to sealing and set to 24 minutes (if you have a 4lb chicken) then let it natural pressure release before removing the chicken!
Bam! A whole cooked chicken in the Instant Pot! After removing it from the Instant Pot, to make the skin super crispy, I set it in the oven to be broiled for 5-6 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
RELATED: Got leftover chicken? Try this Chicken and Hummus Quesadilla for lunch the next day!
Make Ahead Tips
- Meal prep: once cooled, store the cooked chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Freezer: allow the chicken to cool before shredding the meat and transferring them into an airtight container before storing them in the freezer. They can last for up to 3 months.
I recommend thawing the chicken before cooking as it helps the seasoning stick to the chicken.
Natural Pressure Release (NPR) means you just wait for the metal pin in your lid to drop instead of doing a quick release to get all the steam out of your Instant Pot.
Try dried herbs, cajun seasoning, cilantro-lime, sriracha-lime, and more. Take a peek in your spice cupboard and see what you’ve got!
The IP air fryer lid was not around when this recipe was first published! While I haven’t had a chance to make this with my air fryer lid, I’ve seen comments regarding this recipe sharing that they’ve had success with it. Readers suggest draining the liquid before using the air fryer lid.
Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot
- 4 lb whole chicken
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp pepper
- 2.5 tbsp paprika
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 cup water/chicken stock
- Season your chicken (oil, salt, pepper, paprika) and inside the cavity, season and place a sliced lemon and garlic inside.
- On sauté mode, drizzle in 2 tbsp olive oil in your Instant Pot. Then place the chicken, breast side down into the Instant Pot. Let it cook on saute mode for 6 minutes.
- Flip your chicken.
- Pour in 1 cup of water/chicken stock or broth
- Place the lid on and turn the valve to sealing. Set the pressure cooker to 24 minutes on manual (HIGH PRESSURE) then let it natural pressure release before removing the chicken.
- After removing it from the Instant Pot, to make the skin super crispy, I set it in the oven to be broiled for 5-6 minutes.
- Optional: Rub your seasoning onto the whole chicken and let it sit in the fridge for an hour before cooking.
- Cook for 6 minutes per pound of chicken if you have a different sized chicken.
Nutrition Per Serving
What to Do With a Whole Chicken?
- Save the bones and make homemade chicken stock in the Instant Pot!
- Check out this post here on my three freezer friendly meals that you can make (and freeze for later!) with a whole chicken! Perfect for a meal prep if you’re freezing it or as a family dinner with the whole chicken!
- Here are 3 other ways to use will all the meat if you Instant Pot a whole chicken!
- Serve the chicken as is with some Mashed Potatoes or Rice.
More Instant Pot Recipes to Try
- Navy Beans in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Steak and Mushrooms
- Instant Pot Poached Eggs
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken
- Instant Pot Meatballs
More Methods to Cook Chicken
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Janice - Salads 4 Lunch
Looks delicious Carmy!! I’m anxious to give this a try for Sunday night’s dinner, yum!
In your bullet points at the beginning of the article about how to cook chicken I was confused by the description: for every pound of chicken it should be cooked 6 pounds under pressure. It wasn’t until further along that I found that you meant 6 minutes per pound using pressure.
Ah! Apologies for the typo! Thanks for catching that, I’ve updated it now.
After you saute and flip do you switch to manual? This is a question I find myself asking when I look at many recipes.
After it is flipped, you change it to pressure cooking setting for 24 minutes.
Can you cook a whole chicken from frozen? If so how much longer would it take?
you can but I have not tried it with a whole chicken personally. Sorry!
Love how you compared an Instant Pot chicken vs an oven chicken! You’ve convinced me! I must get an Instant pot
Wow that sure does look super easy! Thanks for sharing this one
This just blew my mind a little bit. I had no idea I could cook a whole chicken in there. Thanks!!
I don’t have an instant pot, but this would be so, so convenient! *-* Gonna have to pass this recipe along to my friend! :]
Is your calorie count a typo?
The calories is not a typo. The calories listed is for the entire chicken, not per serving.
I’m still on the fence about getting an Instant Pot but when I come across recipes like this I feel inspired to order one. Looks like such an easy, no mess way to cook a whole chicken!
Just another (delicious) sign that I need to get an Instant Pot ASAP!
I love it! This looks super easy and I can’t wait to give it a try!
Is there anything the Instant Pot can’t do? This looks like such a great way to cook chicken. Definitely giving this a try soon!
The instant pot has become so popular. Your instructions are really good as well as the photographic instructions.
Wow- yet another way to use my Instant Pot! I’ve got to try this! Love the step by step photos, thanks!
I bought an instant pot just to try this recipe and was not disappointed. It was so easy, quick, and the chicken was unbelievably juicy!
I’m so glad to hear! I hope you try out the other recipes!
Hi, I just got an instant pot for Christmas and wanted to make a whole chicken….I like your recipe but wondered, can the chicken be frozen or does it have to be thawed?
This recipe is for a thawed chicken as I seared it on both sides. I haven’t tested it with a frozen chicken unfortunately.
Is pressure high or normal for this? Thanks
High pressure :)
Love the recipe and I’ve made it a few times, always successfully. Maybe I’m a little OCD, but I think you should update the directions to indicate “manual, HIGH pressure”. I find myself always scrolling down to the comments for this crucial clarification ;)
Thanks for your comment Al! I’m just so used to always cooking on high pressure that I forget people use the other settings as well :)
My Instapot automatically takes me to Normal when I switch to pressure cook mode. I’d have to remember to switch to high. Would like to find out how long to cook on normal setting. Otherwise, your recipe sounds delicious. I’m going to try and then use the carcass to make bone broth.
Hi Mary, maybe try 8 minutes per pound for the whole chicken. I hope that helps :)
If I want to make bean soup with the whole chicken, what would you suggest ?
Hi Jimmy! Here’s a bean soup that would go well with chicken: https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetarian-15-bean-soup/
I made this but I didn’t brown it first. I was wanting cooked chicken for chicken and noodles. I had a 4 pound whole chicken and put the seasoning under the skin. Then I put it in the instant pot and cooked it for almost 8 min per pound so 30 minutes. It turned out perfect! The chicken was so tender I had a hard time not eating it before I got it pulled off the bone. It had a lot of flavor. It made wonderful chicken and noodles.
Tried and was yummy and was as u said; off the bone. Keep up the gr8 recipes
So glad you enjoyed, Rick!
I think the carb count is wrong.
Should read 13 carbs (not 31).
5 cloves of garlic: 5g carbs
1 lemon: 7.8g carbs
Thanks, Monica. All nutritional data is estimated by the recipe plugin but I’ll take a look!
Bird comes out very juicy and tender. I would suggest cutting the spices down to a 1/2 or 1/4 amount in the recipe. I made gravy out of the drippings and it was way too peppery. Or maybe substitute with a different spice combination. I also suggest putting the chicken on a trivet we pressure cooking,
Since you have the Duo Plus model, could you finish it off with the air fryer lid to brown it?
I haven’t tried to but if you do, let me know!