This is the easiest and most tender Instant Pot whole chicken recipe ever! If you’re looking to cook an entire chicken in your pressure cooker here are the instructions. Placed on edible trivets the whole thing is cooked and ready to eat in just 25 minutes. You’ll never use your oven again.
Making this Instant Pot whole chicken took just 25 minutes and came out perfect! Another favorite tender and juicy Instant Pot recipes we made just today! 😉 (originally published 1/17, affiliate links present)
Instant Pot Chicken
I have made a Crockpot whole chicken before and I figured I could use the same philosophy. But I knew it would get done much faster in my new favorite appliance! Totally true and it literally falls apart when you lift it out as you can see here above.
You can use other brands of electric pressure cookers too. The instructions work the same way with a Crockpot Express or as an easy Ninja Foodi recipe too of course. With the latter you have the choice of air frying the skin at the end. OR you can use our air fryer whole chicken recipe instead.
Let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then PRINT this —–> Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet that will help you understand how long meat, vegetables and beans take to cook in your pressure cooker.
For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken
Such a healthy and inexpensive dinner idea, from start to finish it’s done in 30 minutes! Seriously, there is no other method where you can get the meat as fork tender as it will like this. So much so that the best way to serve this is to just shred it. That is right, it will likely NOT stay together when lifted out.
What I do is plan to have chicken tacos one night each week. Makes things easier on me to know I can make this with a fresh bird from the store or one right out of the freezer. That’s right, it can be rock hard to begin with, will talk more about that later on. Here are a few things to think about first.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken without Trivet
- When you’re using a pressure cooker you want to elevate your meat so it isn’t sitting in the juices.
- The machine comes with a trivet of course but we use potatoes instead!
- You can do the same thing with all our other Instant Pot whole chicken recipes, and then eat them at the end!
They work great, and are edible at the end! Better yet they soak up the juices and taste so amazing you won’t want to share. Seriously, we fight over them because they have so much flavor. I’ve learned to try and fit one for everyone at the bottom so we can all enjoy a bit.
Whole chicken in Instant Pot
For this timing you’re going to need a defrosted or fresh bird that is 4-5 lbs. Much larger won’t fit in with the lid closing so check the weight when you buy it. If you only have a frozen chicken that is still hard, follow our Instant Pot frozen whole chicken recipe instead. It turns out just as good, you’ll be surprised.
- You’ll need an Instant Pot or pressure cooker .
- Whole chicken – we used a 4.5 pound chicken
- Red potatoes – you can use a trivet but seriously these are better.
- Olive oil
- Chicken stock – broth or bone broth
- Spices – use whatever you would normally use to cook a whole chicken
- I use 1 tsp. Lawry’s seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Sprinkle of oregano and maybe some basil
Then you can follow our pressure cooker gravy recipe when your chicken is done. Using the drippings for a wonderful sauce to pour on top. You just need a bit of a thickener like some cornstarch roux and a bit of seasoning to create.
Crock Pot Express whole chicken recipe
The steps below will work just the same. 😉 Both machines have the poultry button so there’s really no difference. If you bought the air fryer lid with it you can crisp the outside when done at 400 for just a few minutes too.
We probably cook a whole chicken every week. It used to take a minimum of an hour and a half, now your chicken will be done in a snap. Leftovers save super well too if packaged up properly. I hate waste so I will go over that at the bottom as well.
Crispy skin on your chicken
If you love the skin but don’t want it to be rubbery you can totally “fix it” at the end a few different ways. We don’t really care about it and usually remove it either way before serving but I know many insist on a bit of crunch like you see below.
- Carefully remove the chicken
- Place into a baking dish
- Throw it under the broiler for 4 -5 minutes.
- If you have an air fryer or Instant Pot air fryer lid set it to 400 for about 10 minutes with the chicken breast side up
Know that the basket for the IP lid is kinda’ small and it may not fit if you have a larger size. For straight air fryer cook times I have this here for reference too. I would season the outside well before doing this step as most of what you added at the beginning will have kinda’ sluffed off.
Instant Pot whole chicken
Let’s talk about how to pick a bird for a moment shall we? I am a big organic and free range chicken fan. Yes it costs a few more dollars but is so much better. The texture, flavor, and of course health benefits are all better. They have less fat too so you can fit a smaller bird in your pot but has the same amount of protein on the bones.
- Just my personal opinion and everyone has one but I do a lot of cooking and have tried it all over the years.
- If you try both I think you’ll see and taste the difference too. Best way to save a bit of money is to do what we do and buy in bulk from a local farmer. Supports local and helps you wallet too. 😉
- Only my two cents. I am not this big on beef, but with poultry there is such a difference that I like to mention my findings to you.
This is what it looks like if you choose to turn your Instant Pot into an air fryer with this the newest lid you see here! It isn’t a must to move it off of the potatoes or trivet really. If it makes you super nervous to have liquid at the bottom just transfer into the air fryer lid basket.
Note that it will likely not stay together and will just become a lot of pieces all jumbled together. Will still work with a bit of olive oil spray and like Lawry’s on the top for lots of flavors. It takes less than 15 minutes to have it warm up and get the outside crispy like you like it.
Ninja Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken
If you are just using the pressure cook function on your Foodi or other brand follow directions below. Note – Directions are for a 4-5 lb chicken. Keep that in mind when choosing one at the grocery store. About 24 minutes works great allowing it to naturally release for 5 minutes for this size.
If yours is larger I would increase the time by just a few minutes. You don’t have a huge risk of drying it out as you’re essentially steaming it to tender, it will just fall apart more easily. Always check the internal temperature in the breast before eating.
- If you have leftover chicken, use it in this easy chicken pot pie recipe.
If you want to try cooking a slow cooker whole chicken, our dutch oven whole chicken or air fryer whole chicken you should (link at the top of this post)! You might find a new favorite. A bunch of options that all turn out just as good, just using a different appliance.
Oven is great but this one is better during the summertime. When it is 90’s or over 100 degrees there is like NO way I am heating up my house to cook dinner. Why would you right?? A great way to cook in an RV or very small apartment too. I can’t remember my life without this thing y’all.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken for Shredding
This is a great method if you want to lift the bones right out and shred to use inside tacos or something. Here is how you make it. Crisp any way you’d like at the end if you want. If you’re just making shredded chicken for tacos you may not care about that added step.
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
Put your Instant Pot on saute setting. Add olive oil and put chicken inside to lightly cook outside skin for about 2 minutes, then flip chicken and cook on other side for 2 minutes. Turn off by pressing cancel.
Remove chicken from IP and add your chicken broth, Deglaze pot by scraping bits of cooked on chicken off bottom of pot.
- Add ingredients
Place potatoes into your IP so they are close together, so your chicken can sit right on top of them like a trivet (watch video in this post).
Place chicken on top of the potatoes so it is off the bottom. Close lid, make sure steam valve is closed.
Set to poultry, normal setting, for 25 minutes. (if your chicken is abnormally large it may need longer, always check internal meat temperature when done.
When it beeps allow to naturally release steam for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
Serve as is or if you want to brown the skin put it in a pan and on the broiler setting in your oven at 350 for 3-5 minutes or so or until it browns as much as you wish on the top.
You can use an air fryer or CrispLid at 400 degrees for about 5-10 minutes to crisp as well if you have that. Use what you wish or none of it at all, right out of the pot is fantastic so don’t discount that option as well. We typically just do that and enjoy.
How to save leftover meat from a whole chicken
Make sure you allow it to cool completely first. I usually shred or slice on a cutting board and then just leave it for maybe 20 more minutes after serving. I like freezer bags the best. They are cheap, keep the air out so it stays moist, and I can throw it away when done so an easier clean up.
It will stay well for up to 4 days but I usually use it all up the next day for dinner. Throwing it into some sort of casserole works well or we have a bunch of leftover chicken recipes here you can check out. I mean then you get two meals out of one which saves a bunch of money.
Ok so you totally loved this and want to try a few others. Or maybe you have some meat left and want to know what to use it in. I have a lot of options to try. We will continue to add more so make sure you subscribe at the bottom of this post so they’re emailed to you too. Looking for more Instant Pot chicken recipes?
- Instant Pot chicken and dumplings
- Easy 3 ingredient Instant Pot teriyaki chicken
- Our most popular Instant Pot chicken and rice
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
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Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Put your Instant Pot on saute low setting.
- Add olive oil and put chicken inside to lightly cook outside skin for about 2 minutes, then flip chicken and cook on other side for 2 minutes. Turn off by pressing cancel.
- Remove chicken from IP and add your chicken broth, Deglaze pot by scraping bits of cooked on chicken off bottom of pot. Place potatoes into your IP so they are close together, so your chicken can sit right on top of them like a trivet (watch video in this post).
- Place chicken on top of the potatoes so it is off the bottom. Close lid, make sure steam valve is closed, and set to poultry, normal setting, for 25 minutes. (if your chicken is abnormally large it may need longer, always check temp. when done to ensure it is fully cooked before eating, if it needs more time put lid on and cook for additional 5 min. at a time until thoroughly cooked thru and not pink)
- When it beeps allow to naturally release steam for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Serve as is or if you want to brown the skin put it in a pan and on the broiler setting in your oven at 350 for 3-5 minutes or so or until it browns as much as you wish on the top.
- You can use a CrispLid at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes to crisp as well if you have that.