Set your oven aside and look to your pressure cooker for perfect roasted chicken. Instant Pot Whole Chicken yields moist and tender meat. Carve and serve with gravy, or shred to use in soups, chicken salads, and more.
For the most tender, juicy “roasted” chicken, turn off the oven and grab your pressure cooker! Cooking a whole chicken is the perfect instant pot chicken recipe for beginners. I promise this is one of the simplest and easiest ways to cook a whole chicken, with plenty of variations to make this recipe your own.
Why Use the Instant Pot?
- It’s quick. A 4-lb chicken cooks in under 25 minutes! Even factoring in time for the pot to come to pressure and release, it’s quicker than roasting in the oven.
- It’s easy. No basting, no temperature adjustments, and no need to check for doneness every 15 minutes towards the end of the cooking time range.
- The meat is incredibly moist and tender.
- Love crispy skin? That’s easy too! Simply stick it under the broiler for a few minutes.
How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot
If you feel the need for speed, Instant Pot always has you covered. Pressure cooking ensures moist tender meat, and a quick finish under the broiler gets you that crispy, golden skin everyone loves. Not serving it whole? This method is perfect for prepping easy to shred chicken for soups and sandwiches. Bonus – the leftover liquid is richly concentrated and makes a near-perfect gravy or soup base. (See recipe below.)
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PRO TIP: Dry brine your chicken! This method is SO easy, and doesn’t require a leftover vat of salmonella seasoned water. Remove the giblets and pat dry. Season the chicken all over with kosher salt. Leave at room temperature for 1 hour, or place in the fridge for up to 72 hours.
- Place trivet into the inner pot and add 1 c water or chicken broth. Position chicken on the trivet.
- Seal pot and program to HIGH pressure for 6 minutes per pound (3 minutes per additional half pound). See notes for specific cooking times.
- Natural release for 15 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually. Check temperature – it should read 165°F when inserted into the thigh.
- Heat the oven to HIGH broil. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and transfer the chicken to the sheet. Broil for 5 minutes in the oven or until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
Instant Pot Chicken Gravy
Nope, you don’t need to skip the gravy (or dirty another pot!). Making a savory, seasoned gravy for serving your chicken right in the instant pot.
- Strain the dripping and skim the fat if desired.
- Melt butter in the inner pot using the Saute setting. Sprinkle flour over the butter, then use a rubber spatula to work the flour into the butter, forming a roux. Saute until the roux turns golden brown.
- Pour in 2 cups of strained drippings. Simmer and whisk until thickened.
- Bring the chicken to room temperature before trussing for even cooking.
- Truss. It’s not just for looks! Trussing your bird ensures even cooking. Need help? Click here for an expert tutorial..
- Stuff. Lemon and herbs will infuse the chicken and season it from within.
- Rub. Seasoned garlic butter under the skin is optional, but always a crowd pleaser! See below.
- Bone Broth! Save that carcass and make homemade Instant Pot Bone Broth for soups, sipping, and simmering.
Garlic Butter Rub
Who doesn’t love garlic butter? Rubbing this magical mixture under the skin will infuse your chicken with even more flavor. Simply combine room temperature butter with a few cloves of minced garlic and finely chopped herbs. Mix until well combined, then rub under the skin of the breast and thighs before pressure cooking.
Instant Pot Cooking Times
Cook a whole chicken in the instant pot at High Pressure for 6 minutes per pound. Add 3 additional minutes for a half pound. The internal temperature should read 165°F when inserted into the thigh.
Allow for a 15 minute natural pressure release to allow the juices to settle.
- 4 pound chicken = 24 minutes high pressure, 15 minute NPR
- 4.5 pound chicken = 27 minutes high pressure
- 5 pound chicken = 30 minutes high pressure
- 5.5 pound chicken = 33 minutes high pressure
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth
Did you make this Instant Pot Whole Chicken? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Instant Pot Whole ChickenPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- Fine mesh sieve
- 4-5 lb whole chicken
- 1 tbsp kosher salt, plus 1 tsp
- 1 lemon quartered
- 2 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp olive oil, or room temperature butter
- ground pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 c drippings, or chicken broth
Garlic Butter Rub (Optional)
- 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp finely chopped herbs, (parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, and/or tarragon)
Dry Brine and Prep
- Remove the giblets, then pat the chicken dry. Place the chicken breast side up on a plate or cutting board. Sprinkle all over with 1 tbsp kosher salt. Leave to sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour, or place in the refrigerator for 24-72 hours.
- After dry brining, again pat the chicken dry. Then stuff with the lemon quarters, thyme, and rosemary.
- Optional: make the garlic butter, then rub under the skin of the breasts, thighs, and legs.
- Truss the legs closed with twine. Rub all over with the olive oil or room temperature butter. Season with an additional 1 tsp salt and ground pepper to taste.
Instant Pot Chicken
- Position a trivet into the inner pot of the Instant Pot, then add 1 c water or chicken broth. Position the trussed chicken on the trivet.
- Seal the pot, ensure the valve is set to “sealing”, then program to HIGH pressure for 6 minutes per pound (3 minutes per additional half pound). See notes for specific cooking times.
- Allow for a 15 minute natural pressure release, then release the remaining pressure manually. Check the temperature – it should read at least 165°F when inserted into the thigh.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, then heat the oven to HIGH broil. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Remove the trivet and transfer the whole chicken including the trivet, to the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and broil for 5 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
- Rest 10 minutes, then carve and serve with gravy to taste.
Instant Pot Chicken Gravy
- Strain the liquid and skim fat (if desired).
- Press the SAUTE function on the instant pot, add the butter, and heat until it melts then foams. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter. Use a rubber spatula to work the flour into the butter; continue cooking until the roux turns golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly pour in 2 c strained drippings, whisking while you pour in a steady stream. Whisk until smooth, then simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper to taste. If the gravy is too thick, add chicken stock and thin to preference.