Instant Pot Whole Chicken

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Cooking an entire chicken is sometimes a bit daunting for home cooks. Instead of learning complicated recipes for roasting, why not simply make it in an Instant Pot instead?

If you have a little extra time make sure to make this Chicken Seasoning to use on your chicken! Why not use any leftover chicken to make this Chicken and Stuffing Casserole?

Table of Contents
  1. Instant Pot Whole Chicken
  2. Cleaning Your Chicken Without Making A Mess
  3. How To Tell When Your Chicken Is Cooked To A Safe Temperature
  4. Could You Use This Method To Cook Chicken Pieces?
  5. Instant Pot Side To Serve With Your Chicken
  6. Pin This Recipe To Your INSTANT POT DINNER Recipes Board and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!
  7. Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe
Instant Pot Whole Chicken on a white platter with rosemary and sliced lemon

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

The Instant Pot is definitely one of those tools that could be considered cheating if you use it too often.

Instead of needing to build recipes and carefully manage cooking and flavors, you can just throw basically all of your ingredients into an Instant Pot and end up with something delicious.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with cooking an entire chicken.

Instead of needing to carefully manage the flavoring and precise temperature management, Instant Pots can turn a whole chicken into a perfectly cooked, soft, tender, and delicious dinner with basically no effort at all!

Instant Pot Whole Chicken ingredients around a whole raw chicken

Cleaning Your Chicken Without Making A Mess

Assuming you have bought a regular chicken from either a supermarket or your local butcher, you will probably have a little bit of work you need to do so as to prepare the chicken for cooking.

For starters, most chickens will have a little packet inside of them that should contain the chicken’s giblets and neck.

You can simply remove this and get rid of it, but you should probably save it in your freezer. Good giblets are the key to amazing gravy, so if you save them for another day, you could make a really killer gravy or stock without having to buy anything extra.

Other than that, you might want to drain any excess liquid or “bits” that are stuck to the chicken. If your chicken came in a vacuum-sealed packet, there will probably be a few gnarly-looking bits that you might want to cut off or otherwise remove.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken overhead view of it on a platter with sliced lemon and herbs

How To Tell When Your Chicken Is Cooked To A Safe Temperature

While Instant Pots do make for an insanely easy cooking experience, one thing you need to keep in mind when cooking any kind of chicken, no matter how you do it, is to ensure you cook your chicken to a safe temperature.

Chicken is just one of those meats that really needs to be at a safe temperature to ensure its safety, and for chicken, that temperature is 165° Fahrenheit at a minimum.

However, while that temperature will ensure safely cooked chicken, it won’t really ensure that the meat is the best it can be.

If you leave your chicken in the Instant Pot for however long it takes to be able to hit 185 Fahrenheit, the thigh meat will start to break down and turn fatty, succulent, and delicious, a bit like well-cooked barbecue.

There are all sorts of helpful guides for specific times of cooking in an Instant Pot, including one down below, but the key thing is to ensure that you hit the right temperature to ensure it is not only safe but tasty as well.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken on a white platter with lemon and rosemary sprigs around it

Could You Use This Method To Cook Chicken Pieces?

While this recipe is all about cooking a whole chicken, there is nothing stopping you from being able to cook smaller pieces of chicken instead.

Commonly sold individually, whole chicken breasts or chicken thighs can also be cooked just like you would a whole chicken, so long as you adapt the total cooking time.

For example, just a few chicken breasts aren’t even going to take half the time that a whole chicken would, nor would chicken thighs, despite how much they like getting cooked a little extra.

Pay attention to your Instant Pot instruction manual for cooking time suggestions, but if the worst comes to worst and you cannot figure out how long to cook it for, feel free to pull it around the time you think it should be ready and give it a check with an instant-read thermometer.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken overhead view with roasemary and lemon slices around

Instant Pot Side To Serve With Your Chicken

When your Instant Pot is finished cooking your chicken to perfection, you’re going to want to make a few quick sides to go along with it as well, so here are a few suggestions.

A classic for a good reason, corn on the cob always goes great with any kind of protein.

Perhaps the easiest option imaginable, some simply cooked mashed potatoes are super simple and cook incredibly quickly in an Instant Pot.

  • Instant Pot Greens

Delicious, healthy, and quick to make, a simple side of greens cooked in an Instant Pot makes for a super health-conscious way to bulk out the rest of your meal.

Looking for more delicious Whole Chicken recipes? Try these out:

Spatchcock Chicken

Olive Oil Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

The Best Beer Can Chicken Recipe – Mesquite Smoked!

Happy Cooking

Love,

Karlynn

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Making a whole chicken covered in spices in your instant pot is quick and easy for a weeknight dinner.

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Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Making a whole chicken covered in spices in your instant pot is quick and easy for a weeknight dinner.
5 from 2 votes
Instant Pot Whole Chicken on a white platter with rosemary and sliced lemon
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Course
Dinner
Cuisine
American
Servings
4
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

  • One 4 pound whole chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Tablespoons Chicken Seasoning
  • ½ lemon (sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed flat)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • Clean the chicken, then remove giblets and neck from cavity
  • In a small bowl add the chicken seasoning and the oil and make a paste
  • Rub the seasoning paste all over the chicken including under the skin and inside the cavity.
  • Turn the instant pot to sauté and add a tablespoon of olive oil. When its hot add the chicken in and carefully brown it turning it a bit side to side to brown as much as you can. About 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add the chicken broth to the instant pot and stir the browned bits off the bottom off the pot. Add the trivet to the bottom of the instant pot.
  • Add the chicken to the instant pot on top of the trivet. Add the garlic cloves and the lemon to the inside cavity of the chicken. Close and seal the lid.
  • Turn the instant pot to manual or meat/stew setting, high pressure and set the time to 24 minutes, set the valve to the SEALING position. (See cooking times by weight in notes to adjust cooking times) Let the pressure naturally release after cooking.
  • Chicken is cooked when an internal meat thermometer reads minimum of 185°F in the thigh area.
  • Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • If you wanted a slightly crispy chicken, you can transfer the whole chicken to a foil lined baking sheet, add more chicken seasoning if needed and broil in the center of the oven for about 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is nice and browned.

Recipe Notes

  • Ensure that the internal temperature reaches at least 185°.
  • A 4 pound chicken fits perfectly into a 6 quart instant pot.
Instant pot cook times by weight of the chicken. It is 6 minutes per pound of a fully defrosted chicken.
  • 3 lbs = 18 minutes on high pressure with a minimum 15-minute natural release
  • 3 1/2 lbs = 21 minutes on high pressure with minimum 15-minute natural release
  • 4 lbs = 24 minutes on high pressure with a minimum 15-minute natural release
  • 4 1/2 lbs = 27 minutes on high pressure with a minimum 15-minute natural release
  • 5 lb = 30 minutes on high pressure with a minimum 15-minute natural release

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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  1. B.A. Kinshella says

    This looks like a terrific chicken recipe but will have to ask a friend in Edmonton to try this recipe as I do not have a Instant Pot and being older (like 80) not going to buy anything else. Have a slowcooker that I use all the time plus of course an oven – so am going to use your recipe for a roaster,

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