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Instant Pot whole chicken pressure cooks a mouthwatering dinner in an hour! Deliciously seasoned and so juicy, it tastes like it was roasted in a rotisserie.
Why you'll love this recipe
- minimal ingredients - You only need the chicken and a few spices to make a deliciously seasoned chicken dinner.
- 4 easy steps - Toss chicken seasoning together, coat the chicken, lower it into the cooker, and press a button.
- quicker than roasting - You can pressure cook whole chicken in nearly half the time it takes to roast.
- perfectly cooked - This recipe gives you the exact steps to cook poultry to the proper temperature without overcooking.
- crispy skin option - I've included a few simple methods to make the chicken look like it came from a rotisserie.
- makes great leftovers - Grab my list of chicken recipes below to turn your pressure cooked whole chicken into family-loved dinners.
Ingredients amounts are listed in the printable recipe below.
- whole chicken - Usually weighs between 3 to 6 pounds. My chicken is 5 pounds and the 6-quart Instant Pot easily accommodates this, as you'll see in my photos below.
- olive oil - Or other cooking oil
- paprika - I used sweet paprika for this recipe. Use hot paprika for a spicy kick.
- granulated garlic - I recommend this over garlic salt since we're adding salt to this chicken seasoning.
- salt and black pepper
- chicken broth - or plain water
How to cook whole chicken in the Instant Pot
Enjoy these step-by-step photos with abbreviated instructions. You'll find the expanded recipe instructions in the printable recipe card below.
Step 1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Whisk OLIVE OIL, PAPRIKA, GARLIC POWDER, SALT, and PEPPER in a mixing bowl. Coat the whole chicken with this mixture.
Step 2. Add the broth or water to the Instant Pot and place whole chicken on the trivet inside the cooker. Secure the lid and pressure cook whole chicken on HIGH for 30 minutes, then allow a 15-minute natural pressure release (NPR).
Step 3. Once the lid is off, confirm an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit with a meat thermometer inserted next to the breast bone. Note: The chicken will reach the minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit through carryover cooking during final steps.
Step 4. Transfer cooked chicken out of the Instant Pot and proceed with optional crisping instructions (see footnotes). Then rest the chicken for 5 minutes to lock in moisture.
Note: You'll end up with about 2 cups of liquid gold that can be used for pan-dripping gravy or other recipes, if desired.
How to brown the chicken skin
The Instant Pot steams whole chicken, so pressure cooking, by itself, does NOT produce crispy skin. If you want a crispy, roast chicken experience (who doesn't), visit the recipe card below for browning instructions using an additional appliance. You can see in the photo below how a quick 10 minutes under my air fryer lid makes the skin so crispy and mouthwatering – rotisserie style!
Is it faster to pressure cook whole chicken?
Yes! In fact, whole roasted chicken takes nearly two hours in a regular oven. But, in one hour, the Instant Pot makes juicy, perfectly cooked chicken that tastes like it was roasted in a rotisserie, especially if you brown the skin.
How long to cook whole chicken in the Instant Pot
Chicken sizes vary, so 6 minutes per pound is a calculation to gauge how many minutes it should take to pressure cook any whole chicken. To do this, multiply weight by 6 and use this number to set your pressure cooker. My 5-pound chicken requires 30 minutes of pressure cooker time, which doesn't include the 15-minute natural pressure release.
- There is no need to rinse raw, whole chicken. Doing so only contaminates kitchen surfaces. Adhering to a use-by date and cooking chicken to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the most effective way to kill bacteria.
- A trivet with hinged handles makes it easier to lower and raise the chicken in and out of the pressure cooker.
- I recommend adhering to the recipe weight/time calculation for pressure cooker whole chicken to prevent overcooking the breast meat. Once chicken becomes the opposite of juicy, the Instant Pot won't reverse it.
- There is no reason to flip the chicken over at any point while it's in the pressure cooker. In fact, leaving chicken breast-side up preserves the integrity and appearance of the skin.
- Substitute the chicken seasoning in this recipe with Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or make your own blend. The sky is the limit!
- Stuff the chicken cavity with lemons or oranges for fresh aroma subtle citrus flavor in your chicken.
- Chicken broth can be substituted with plain water and you'll still get juicy and delicious results.
- I do not recommend adding vegetables to whole chicken in the cooker – unless your goal is to make overly soft veggies.
Must-have sides for chicken dinner
Instant Pot mashed potatoes are well-loved and so easy to make! You can make ahead or, if you have two pressure cookers, make potatoes in one cooker and chicken in the other. Make gravy with the chicken drippings or make gravy without drippings while your chicken cooks. Make it a full meal with this healthy kale salad or strawberry salad.
Recipes that use chicken leftovers
Turn your rotisserie style chicken and mashed potatoes into a everyone's favorite chicken shepherd's pie. If you love rice, use roast chicken for this chicken fried rice recipe or make a comforting, creamy chicken and broccoli casserole.
More Instant Pot dinner ideas
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Instant Pot Corned Beef
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Instant Pot Tuna Casserole
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
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- 1 (5-pound) Whole Chicken or other size
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 cup Chicken Broth or plain water
- paper towels
- small mixing bowl
- pastry brush (optional)
- 6-quart Instant Pot or other size
- broiling device (optional) oven, air fryer oven, or air fryer lid
- Prep WHOLE CHICKEN by removing any giblets from the cavity and patting surface dry with paper towels.
- Whisk OLIVE OIL, PAPRIKA, GARLIC POWDER, SALT, and PEPPER in a mixing bowl. Coat the whole chicken with this seasoning mixture.
- Add BROTH or water to the Instant Pot and set whole chicken on the trivet inside the cooker.*Note: Increase liquid to 2 cups for 8 or 10 quart pressure cooker.
- Close and lock lid. Set pressure release valve to "Sealing" position.
- Select "Manual" or "Pressure cook" on HIGH pressure for 30 minutes, or 6 minutes per pound. (Note: The pot takes 15 minutes to pressurize)
- When pressure cooker cycle is complete, let the Instant Pot sit undisturbed for a 15-minute natural pressure release (NPR).
- Turn pressure release valve to "Venting" position to release remaining steam, then carefully open the cooker.
- Insert a quick-read thermometer next to the breast bone to confirm a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (it will reach 165 degrees during carryover cooking).
- Transfer cooked chicken out of the Instant Pot and proceed with optional crisping instructions (see footnotes) before serving, if desired.
- Allow chicken to rest 5 minutes to lock in moisture.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
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- Air Fryer Lid: Follow manufacturer instructions on your cooker to connect the lid. Broil the chicken breast-side up for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or longer as needed.
- Oven Broiler or Air Fryer Oven: Set whole chicken breast-side-up on a baking sheet and broil to desired crispness.