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Instant pot Whole Chicken

This Instant Pot Whole Chicken is reminiscent of the flavorful rotisserie chicken from your favorite deli. It’s extra tender, juicy, and packed with flavor.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken on Marble Board.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken is extra-tender and flavorful

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Next time whole chickens go on sale? Go ahead and grab a couple of them. Once you try this Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe, you’ll want to have a whole chicken in your freezer at all times. Your homemade whole chicken will be so much better than rotisserie chickens from the grocery store deli.

What You’ll Love About this recipe

  • Affordable: It’s extremely budget-friendly
  • Family: It feeds a large family or allows for delicious leftovers
  • Simple: You only need a handful of simple ingredients
  • Saucy: You’ll be rewarded with a delicious au jus sauce to pour over the entire plate afterwards
  • Fast: It’s way faster than oven baking a whole chicken

Key Recipe Ingredients

Smoked paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, pepper, and herbs create aromatic flavor.
  • Broth: use chicken or turkey broth, regular strength preferred.
  • Onion: brown, yellow, or white onions are all fine to use.
  • Seasonings: smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne bring out aromatic flavors.
  • Whole Chicken: choose a large, 5-pound whole roasting chicken.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, and black pepper. Can be done well in advance.
  2. Remove giblets from chicken and use paper towels to dry it well, inside and out. Using clean fingers (you can wear disposable gloves, if desired) gently pry skin away from chicken all around, so you’ll be able to season chicken underneath the skin. 
  1. Evenly press two-thirds of your prepared spice mixture directly onto the chicken, underneath the skin. Include all areas such as legs, back, thighs, etc. Press remaining spice mixture on top of the skin all around. 
  2. Add chopped onion and chicken broth in bottom of the Instant Pot. Place seasoned chicken on top of roasting rack/trivet in the Instant Pot. Secure lid tightly and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Do a Natural Release for 10 minutes, immediately followed by Manual Release until all steam is let out. 
Instant Pot Whole Chicken Resting on Cutting Board.
  1. Let whole chicken rest on cutting board at room temperature for 5-10 minute in order to retain the juices within. Slice and serve with juices still in bottom of Instant Pot. 

    * Optional Browning: Place cooked whole chicken under your broiler and broil at high heat just until the top is browned.

Pro Tips

  1. Prep Ahead: if you’re a lover of time-saving strategies, make the easy spice mix in advance. I make a few small batches of the seasoning mix to keep in airtight baggies or containers for future dinners.
  2. Dry: Always dry the chicken well with paper towels – excess water/moisture should always be minimized.
  3. Rack: Lay your seasoned chicken over the Instant Pot roasting rack, as this ensures even cooking and prevents a mushy underside.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken on Marble Board.
Tender, Juicy, Flavorful Instant Pot Whole Chicken – let it sit for 5 minutes prior to cutting.

What to Serve with Whole Chicken

Rice and Grains

Potatoes

Vegetables

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 won’t be able to get the seasonings underneath the skin. Know that with seasonings sitting on top of skin, the chicken itself won’t be as flavorful. If you choose to use frozen chicken, a 4-pound bird takes about 60 minutes.

How can I get chicken to brown on top?

We highly recommend placing finished chicken under the broiler on high for a few minutes, or just until a nice browning is achieved.

Looking for more home-cooked favorites your family will love? I highly recommend this turkey pot pie recipe!


Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Instant Pot Whole Chicken on Marble Board.

Instant pot Whole Chicken

4.88 from 87 ratings
This Instant Pot Whole Chicken is reminiscent of the flavorful rotisserie chicken from your favorite deli. It's extra tender, juicy, and packed with flavor.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

Instructions

  • Prepare Spice Mix: In a small bowl, add kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, and black pepper. Set aside.
  • Prepare Chicken: Remove giblets from chicken and use paper towels to dry it well, inside and out. Using clean fingers (you can wear disposable gloves, if desired) gently pry skin away from chicken all around, so you'll be able to season chicken underneath the skin. 
  • Season Chicken: Evenly press two-thirds of your prepared spice mixture directly onto the chicken, underneath the skin. Include all areas such as legs, back, thighs, etc. Press remaining spice mixture on top of the skin all around. 
  • Cook: Add chopped onion and chicken broth in bottom of the Instant Pot. Place seasoned chicken on top of roasting rack/trivet in the Instant Pot. Secure lid tightly and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Do a Natural Release for 10 minutes, immediately followed by Manual Release until all steam is let out. 
  • Rest and Serve: Let whole chicken rest on cutting board at room temperature for 5-10 minute in order to retain the juices within. Slice and serve with juices still in bottom of Instant Pot. 
    Optional Browning: Place cooked whole chicken under your broiler and broil at high heat just until the top is browned*

Notes

  • An 8-quart Instant Pot easily accommodates a 5 pound chicken; a 6-quart Instant Pot would be a tighter, but may work. 
  • See original article for cook times if your chicken is smaller. The key is not to overcook; you want internal temperature of 165F after resting on cutting board for the dark meat portions and 160F for white meat portions. 
  • If desired, place chicken under the broiler in your oven for 3-5 minutes for a more golden-browned skin. 
  • You can also sprinkle extra paprika over the top of skin just before placing chicken into the broiler, for extra color. 
  • For thicker gravy-like sauce from the natural juices: skim the fat and adjust sauce/juices to taste (add more salt or water, depending on how salty it is.) Fully dissolve 1 TB cornstarch with 1 1/2 TB cool water in a small bowl. Add this to the sauce in Instant Pot and turn to Sauté mode; stir until a gravy-like consistency forms. Remove from heat immediately and serve. 
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you. 

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.4g | Protein: 5.2g | Fat: 14.5g | Saturated Fat: 4.9g | Cholesterol: 42.2mg | Sodium: 234.1mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 16.1g
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Lactose
Method: Instant Pot, pressure cooker

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