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How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Instant Pot Whole Chicken is tender and juicy. It’s the perfect tool for meal prep, a Sunday dinner, or for recipes throughout the week!

Chicken can be carved and served like a rotisserie chicken, or you use the meat for sandwiches, casseroles and more. And don’t throw away the bones – there’s a use for that, too!

You’ve seen the rotisserie chickens at the grocery store, and yes, they’re convenient. And the Costco chickens are a real deal, too!

So why cook your own whole chicken?

Well, maybe you’re like me and you live 30 minutes from the nearest major grocery store.

Or, maybe if you have a family of six to feed? One store sized chicken doesn’t feed a family of six. Trust me! šŸ˜‰

Maybe you’re stretching your dollars, and you want to buy the chicken on sale and cook the chicken yourself.

My friends, those are just a few reasons why you’ll want to make an Instant Pot Whole Chicken. And then, make it the next week, too! You’ll use this easy recipe all the time – because why go somewhere else when you can make rotisserie chicken breast in your Instant Pot?

seasonings for Instant Pot Whole Chicken

You get to customize your chicken experience. YOU control the spices, the sodium content, etc. which is great for picky palates and health considerations alike.

My recipe includes a basic blend of spices, but you could also make Cajun spiced chicken, Italian themed chicken and more.

Add a few simple sides like Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Mayo Free Potato Salad and you have dinner ready in no time.

Or, use it for meal prepping lunches or in casseroles and recipes that call for cooked chicken like my Greek Chicken Salad Wraps (recipe coming soon).

Have you seen casserole ideas and Instant Pot recipes using rotisserie chicken? Well this is your solution to having pre-cooked chicken for those recipes!

When you’re at the grocery store selecting your chicken to cook in the Instant Pot, keep this in mind.

A 6 quart Instant Pot can fit up to a 5 pound chicken. Any larger than this and you will need an 8 quart Instant Pot.

Why make a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot?

You can 100% make a roasted chicken in the oven like grandma used to do, but here’s why you might want to cook the chicken in your Instant Pot…

  • It’s fast. You’re busy, I know it. A Sunday roasted chicken is an awesome treat, but you need time to make it. Instant Pots speed up the process.
  • It’s pretty darn fool proof. Use my calculation of six minutes per pound and you’ll have juicy, succulent chicken that is falling off the bone every time.
  • Instant Pot chicken is downright magical. I don’t know why meats are so juicy in the Instant Pot but they just are. That’s my scientific explanation, “because I said so!”
Instant Pot Whole Chicken

How to cook a Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot

  • Combine your seasonings
  • Remove the insides of the chicken. Yes, it’s gross. Just do it and move on with it…
  • Half an onion. Place it inside the chicken. If you need to, you can quarter it.
  • Put the trivet in your Instant Pot. Add a cup of water.
  • Cover the chicken with your spice blend and place in the Instant Pot on a trivet.
  • Put the pressure valve on seal and put the lid on. Set the timer for six minutes per pound and then let it naturally release pressure for about 15 minutes.
  • DEVOUR!!!!

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.

No Instant Pot? No problem? You can make this same recipe in the slow cooker!

If you like this recipe, check these out!

And don’t throw away the bones! One of the many advantages of making your own whole chicken in the Instant Pot is the homemade stock you can make with the bones. Recipe coming soon. I’m off to work on that now!

What’s your favorite Instant Pot recipe?

Made with love,
Deanne

Instant Pot Whole Chicken
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Put Instant Pot Whole Chicken into your weekly cooking schedule! Tender & juicy, it’s a perfect tool for meal prep, Sunday dinner, or week night recipes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, instant pot

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pound whole chicken, insides removed
  • 1 onion halved
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Place your trivet in the Instant Pot.  Add one cup of water to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove your chicken from packaging and discard the neck, gizzards or other insides. (I know, it’s gross but it’s gotta be done).
  • Place your halved onion inside the cavity of the chicken. If halves are too large you can quarter them.
  • In a small bowl, combine dried spices and herbs. Gently pat them on the surface of the chicken.
  • Place the chicken into your Instant Pot (or other electronic pressure cooker). Set the time based on the size of your chicken. You will cook it 6 minutes for every pound of chicken. For a 3 pound chicken, set the manual time for 18 minutes. For a 4 pound chicken, set the manual time for 24 minutes.
  • Place the lid on and set to seal. Allow the chicken to cook the allotted time, then allow pressure to naturally release, about 15 minutes. 
  • Insert meat thermometer into the breast to check the temperature. It should read 165 degrees. Let cool slightly, then use tongs to remove it from the pot. Take care as there may be juices accumulated.
  • Carve and enjoy!

Notes

A 6 quart Instant Pot can fit up to a 5 pound chicken. Any larger than this and you will need an 8 quart Instant Pot.
Chicken can be carved and served like a rotisserie chicken, or you can strip the meat and use for sandwiches, casseroles and more.
Other seasoning blends can be used depending on the final use. Think of Italian seasoning blend for an Italian flair, cumin and cinnamon for a Spanish or Mexican taste, or even a Cajun seasoning.
If you’d like to add a different, light flavor you can add a halved lemon with the onion.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Sunkissed Kitchen
    March 28, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    5 stars
    Now I want to try a chicken in my instant pot! This looks amazing. And what a sanity saver while meal prepping!

    • Reply
      Deanne
      April 12, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Yes! And it’s soooo good!!

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