Instant Pot Whole Chicken is a super easy-to-make staple at our house! Here’s how to roast a whole chicken in your pressure cooker.
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When my mom asked me if I would be interested in having one (as a Christmas gift), I had to admit that I hadn’t ever given it much thought. I didn’t even really know what it was!
After doing some research, I decided that, yes, I’d love to have one. And now I’m so thankful for it!
What to Cook in an Instant Pot
I use mine for so many things. Here are a few of my favorites:
- cooking a whole chicken
- making bone broth
- boiled eggs
It’s so useful! The Instant Pot has changed the way I cook, and it’s made everything so much more convenient.
I still use my slow cooker quite a bit, but I find that I’m using it less and less these days, as I prefer the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
One of the first things I made in my Instant Pot was a roasted whole chicken. This photo doesn’t really do it justice (it was the best I could get before we sat down to eat!), but trust me, Instant Pot roast chicken is moist and delicious!
I have the 8 quart Instant Pot (this one) and I love how big it is! It’s perfect for our larger family of seven.
I can fit a pretty large chicken in mine. The chicken in this photo was almost 6 pounds, and I cooked it for 36 minutes.
Here’s a handy chart to help you figure out how long you should cook a chicken in your Instant Pot:
- 3 pounds = 18 minutes
- 4 pounds = 24 minutes
- 5 pounds = 30 minutes
You can figure out the right cooking time for your particular chicken by multiplying the number of pounds by 6 minutes. For every half pound add 3 minutes to the total cooking time.
The time it takes depends on lots of different factors (I’ve heard elevation can make a difference in cooking times), so it may take some trial and error to get it just right.
I always use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s done.
How to Cook a Chicken in the Instant Pot
This Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe is simple to make. You can use it for a main dish or you can also just de-bone the completed chicken and store the meat in smaller portions in the freezer.
Don’t forget to save the carcass for making bone broth later!
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- 1 whole chicken 3-6 lbs.
- 1 tbsp oil (we use coconut oil or butter)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1 tsp onion powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
- Remove giblets, neck, and anything else in the chicken cavity.
- Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot and add 1 Tablespoon of oil to the pot. Allow it to preheat for a minute or two.
- Sprinkle the breast side of the chicken with half of the seasonings.
- After the oil has heated, place the chicken breast-side down in the pot. Let it brown for a minute or two. While it's browning, sprinkle the rest of the seasonings on the back side of the chicken.
- Using tongs, turn the chicken over and let it brown the back side. This will only take a few minutes total (for both front and back).
- Lift the chicken up with the tongs, and slide the Instant Pot rack (the one that came with your pot) underneath the chicken. (This is an optional step. You can also just roast the chicken without the rack.)
- Add 1/2 cup water to the pot.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it in place. Turn the vent to "sealing."
- Select the "poultry" setting and increase the pressure to high (use the "adjust" button for this). Or, you can also just use the "manual" button and select the amount of time needed for the size of your chicken. Use the chart below to determine the cooking time. A general rule of thumb is 6 minutes per pound.
- 3 pounds = 18 minutes4 pounds = 24 minutes5 pounds = 30 minutes
- After the cooking cycle ends, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15-20 minutes. This will result in moister meat.
- After 15-20 minutes, do a quick release and then open the lid. I recommend using a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is done.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes and then serve.
After years of cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker and the oven, I now prefer to use the Instant Pot to cook my chicken!