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!
Yep, that’s right! Save the bones and use them to make your own rotisserie chicken bone broth!
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?
Raise your hand if you’re like me and you live 30 minutes from the nearest major grocery store??!? Waves hand frantically!
Or maybe, it gets dark at 4:30 pm nowadays and once you’re home from work there’s no chance of you venturing out, because you’ve already changed into your pajamas for the night? Raising hand sheepishly…
And maybe you’re looking for a way to fast tract your dinner and make a chicken in the fraction of the time it’d take to make it in the oven. Pressure cooking is amazing that way!
Plus, who doesn’t want the benefit of a juicy chicken cooking in their home kitchen? It’s a dish that can be served so many ways, the whole family is guaranteed to like something you make!
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?
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.
Or, use it for meal prepping lunches or in casseroles and recipes that call for cooked chicken like my Greek Chicken Salad Wraps.
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.
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!”
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. As a general rule, you’ll always need liquid in the pot to cook in an electric pressure cooker.
- 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 do a natural release pressure for about 15 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer to make sure the temp is 165°F.
What to make with your cooked chicken
If you aren’t carving your whole bird to serve as is, you can pull the chicken off to use in other recipes like Greek Chicken Salad Wraps, Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps or Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust.
Tips for Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken
If you want a crispy skin on your chicken, transfer the cooked whole chicken to a roasting pan or casserole dish and broil it for several minutes.
I recommend you pulling the meat while the chicken is still warm. If you refrigerate the cooked chicken and then try to pull the meat, it’s much more difficult.
Be on Team “keep it simple”!
How to store leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container. You can even freeze the leftover cooked chicken in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
No Instant Pot? No problem? You can make this same recipe in the slow cooker! Instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
What to serve with a whole roast chicken
If you like this recipe, check these out!
- Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- How to Cook Brown Rice in Your Slow Cooker
- My Favorite 10 Instant Pot Accessories
- 25 Awesome Recipes to Make with Cooked Chicken
- White Chicken Chili in a Pressure Cooker
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.
- 3-4 pound whole chicken, insides removed
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup water
- 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. Use a paper towel and be brave!).
- Place your halved onion inside the chicken cavity. If halves are too large you can quarter them.
- In a small bowl, combine dried spices and herbs. Gently pat the spice rub 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. As a general rule, you'll cook it 6 minutes for every pound of chicken, so the actual cooking time depends on the size of chicken you're using. 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 sealing position. Allow the chicken to cook the allotted time, then allow a natural pressure release, about 15 minutes.
- Insert an instant-read thermometer into the breast to check the internal temperature, which 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!
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.
If you take off the instant pot lid and you're chicken is not cooked through, that's okay! Add about 5-10 minutes to the cooking time, replace the lid, and let it finish cooking. It will come to pressure faster the second time since everything is already hot.
Save the bones to make your own chicken stock
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 553Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 200mgSodium: 576mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 62g