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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 platter square
Instant Pot Whole Chicken is extra-tender and flavorful

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

You know how whole chickens often go on sale for unbelievably great prices? 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

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

How to make instant pot whole chicken

  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. Always dry the chicken well with paper towels – excess water/moisture should always be minimized.
  3. 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 a marble cutting board
Tender, Juicy, Flavorful Instant Pot Whole Chicken – let it sit for 5 minutes prior to cutting.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken 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.

More to cook and eat


instant pot whole chicken on marble platter square

Instant pot Whole Chicken

4.43 from 19 ratings
his 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 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients  

Instructions

  • Onions and Broth: Add chopped onion and chicken broth in bottom of the Instant Pot. 
    instant pot whole chicken onions and broth
  • Prepare Spice Mix: In a small bowl, add kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, and black pepper. 
    whole chicken seasonings
  • 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. 
    Whole chicken in rotisserie pot
  • Cook: 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. 
    instant pot rotisserie chicken, instant pot roast chicken

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 crisp/browned skin. 
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 ♡

Nutrition

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
Method: pressure cooker

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Recipe Rating




20 comments

    • Laura
    • 4 stars

    My chicken was 5.48 pounds and it could have used a little more time. The skin was really gummy after the instant pot so I followed the optional step to broil it but it didn’t brown evenly and charred in some places too fast and in others didn’t get any color at all. For the parts that were golden brown the texture was still kind of off. Not sure how the chicken in the recipe’s photo came out the color it did… Nevertheless, the overall flavor and tenderness were great. Because I have littles, I reduced the cayenne to 1/4 tsp and subbed white pepper for black pepper to bring some subtle heat back in. Next time I’d be tempted to add some onion powder, and unless I was going to make the gravy I’d probably skip the thyme— but that’s all personal preference. The leftover chicken tasted fantastic in the Japanese curry I made the following day. I will consider using this recipe again when I want to make tender chicken that I can use in another recipe, but I probably won’t be making it as rotisserie chicken just because it didn’t have the overall presentation and look I’d be going for to serve to others.

      • Amy Dong

      So glad you liked he flavor, and idea for leftovers sound fabulous. Thanks, Laura!

    • Amy Grant

    I was really excited to try this recipe based on the picture while also being skeptical of the skin being like a rotisserie chicken. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out how I thought it would. Super juicy and yummy but with a much paler and lackluster skin. Great timing on the recipe for keeping the chicken super moist. I guess if you wanted a crispier or more rotisserie like skin maybe cut the time in half and finish in a hot oven. If you didn’t care about that or are looking for tender juicy meat for a taco or something then this is perfect.

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, we like to finish it off in the oven/broiler to get a browned skin. Thank you, Amy!

    • Raquel
    • 5 stars

    I just put my chicken in – excited to see/taste it.

    • Mary Lee
    • 5 stars

    As mentioned it is update time. WOW! So tender and juicy and the flavor was great. Thanks! We will be having this again, soon.

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, so glad you guys loved it!

    • Mary Lee
    • 5 stars

    I’m cooking it right now. I will update when we are done.

    • Angel
    • 5 stars

    Wow gotta try this recipe! This looks so easy and yummy to make.

    • Marjie Mare

    I am going to make this recipe. I have my insta pot and I am looking for new recipes. Thanks for sharing!

      • Amy Dong

      You’re so welcome, Marjie!

    • vidya

    while we don’t eat chicken, I am sure this will be useful for friends who do and I will share it with them.. always love your easy to follow steps and perfect pics

      • Amy Dong

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Carmen
    • 4 stars

    This chicken looks so delicious and crispy.

    • Gervin Khan
    • 5 stars

    Wow! This whole chicken recipe looks absolutely delicious. The finished dish is so enticing and tempting. Love everything about this recipe and will definitely make this for the family.

    • Danielle

    This looks like it turned out amazing!

    • Ashley

    This recipe just enforces another reason I need an insta pot! Sounds so good!

    • Samantha Laycock
    • 5 stars

    This chicken looks incredible. I have never made a whole chicken in my Instant Pot before.

      • Amy Dong

      It works beautifully!

    • Mark Holloway
    • 5 stars

    Looks incredible!

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