This is how to cook a pressure cooker frozen whole chicken! From rock hard frozen to tender and juicy in 1 hour you’ll always be able to get dinner done. Get out your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi and get ready for goodness.
Need to know how to make a pressure cooker frozen whole chicken?? We’ve got it! Another tip + recipe added to our long list of easy Instant Pot recipes here on The Typical Mom blog. (affiliate links present, originally published 10/19)
Like I always say, use what you have. If you don’t have chicken stock, use broth. Or just use water.
An onion isn’t really a necessity either but I think it adds to the flavor of the chicken. Use your Ninja Foodi if that’s the pot you have.
Let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
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For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
Instant Pot frozen whole chicken
Here are a few questions you might have before you get started on this one. 😉
Yes!! We will show you how to cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot right here! It comes out so moist and delicious. Then just crisp skin under broiler or in air fryer.
We’ve even made Instant Pot frozen roast and that came out insanely delicious. Game changers I tell you.
Using a pressure cooker is the answer I tell you. Here we will share how to cook a whole chicken, but you can also cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot that are just breasts straight out of the bag.
Super handy when you’re a forgetful person, like me. Just a bit of liquid and in under an hour you’re ready to eat.
Once again, it’s the Instant Pot. Hot steam keeps it most with a natural release, you may never try it any other way again after this.
This is not a sponsored post so the brands you see are not a necessity but I will say I buy organic and/or cage free chickens when they are reasonably priced and available in the stores, here’s why:
Cage free chickens have less fat on them overall.
This means you can get a smaller chicken with the same amount of meat as a much larger non organic chicken, and size matters when it comes to fitting a whole chicken inside your pot.
- The meat is more tender
- Of course it depends on a lot of factors but I’ve purchased a lot of whole chickens of various varieties and will say that cage free are the best
That’s my two cents sort a speak, take it or leave it really but thought I’d share my findings.
This chicken I bought fresh, then stuck it in the freezer until it was rock hard, and cooked it about a week after purchasing it.
I bought it specifically for this post. I wanted to see how well it would turn out.
What about the giblet bag?
Some whole chickens do not have a giblet bag inside, so no worries (this one had no bag)
- Others contain a bag that is paper which wouldn’t do you harm if cooked inside accidentally
If your whole chicken has a plastic giblet bag inside and it is cooked you should discard everything as it is not healthy to eat anything that has come into contact with cooked/heated plastic.
- How to store a whole chicken
This method allows you to purchase many whole chickens when they’re on sale and freeze them all, making them immediately ready to cook using this method whenever you want
When purchasing a frozen whole chicken
- Remove the wrapper
- Put into a water bath just long enough to remove the giblet bag inside, if there is one
- Follow directions for cooking a pressure cooker frozen whole chicken
I will tell you, I was surprised at how tender and flavorful it was….and like I said, the drippings made for some great gravy to serve on the side.
The next time we made this I followed the same recipe but after putting it under the broiler (below photo) I shredded the meat and we made chicken soft tacos.
There was so much meat on this little 4.2 lb. chicken we had enough leftovers for lunch the next day. Like I said, there is a huge difference, hardly any fat at all which I prefer.
We aren’t huge chicken skin lovers, HOWEVER when it is flavorful and crispy thin like this I am up for a bite. After you cook your pressure cooker frozen whole chicken……
How to get crispy chicken skin
- Cook the chicken thoroughly in your 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot
Use your CrispLid to crisp at 400 degrees for 5 – 15 minutes or until perfectly cooked outside, cooking time depends on how crispy you want it
OR turn your oven broiler on – some countertop toaster ovens have a broiler setting too.
- Sprinkle spices you enjoy on top of it, on legs and wings too. We usually use:
- Garlic Salt
- Garlic powder
- Oregano sometimes
- Put chicken in for 3-4 minutes, watch carefully, until chicken skin is crispy enough for your preference
I will tell you my all time favorite way to get it done the best though is making an air fryer whole chicken. Since yours would already be cooked you’d only need 5 or so minutes.
Frozen Whole Chicken Instant Pot
If you’re just going to shred it for tacos though you may not bother with these steps as you may just discard the skin anyway.
I only do it if I’m serving it as is, cut up into pieces. If I am making sliders or throwing it on top of rice it doesn’t matter. I rip the skin off beforehand in those cases so why bother.
Pressure cooker frozen whole chicken
- Whole chicken – frozen, if it is thawed you can use our Instant Pot whole chicken recipe instead
- Chicken broth – or stock, or water
- Trivet – I like this one with handles on the sides (use the inner basket if using a Ninja Foodi machine)
- Instant Pot – okay so I have a few but this one is my favorite
- Seasoned salt – I love Lawry’s for everything
- Garlic salt
After cooking a frozen chicken here are a few other frozen meat and easy Instant Pot chicken recipes to try.
Use your Ninja Foodi too or other brand of electric pressure cooker:
- Spicy honey Instant Pot chicken
- Instant Pot teriyaki chicken
- More whole chicken Instant Pot recipes are here
Ninja Foodi frozen whole chicken
Instructions for this is almost identical BUT you can crisp the skin in the same basket and not move it anywhere!
- Put 1.5 c water into the inner pot
- Place frozen chicken inside the inner basket inside your Ninja Foodi pot, lower into pot
- Put pressure cooker lid on (lid that isn’t attached)
Close steam valve – set to seal. You need to do this for any pot you have so it can reach pressure and start cooking.
Push power on button on the lower right in the front of the pot.
- Push pressure button
- Adjust temp. to high
- Set time to 60 minutes (for a 4.5 lbs. chicken)
- Press start
- Do a quick release when done
Lift lid, remove pressure cooker lid, replace with air fryer lid (one that is attached)
- Push air crisp button
- Set time to 8 minutes
- Set temperature to 400 degrees
Lift lid and check, if you want it crispier set for a few more minutes. Then it will look like perfection as you see here.
Want to cook frozen slow cooker chicken? That is a possibility too!
Pressure cooking a frozen whole chicken really is a game changer. Instead of the normal 20 minutes per pound of baking in the oven, you can now get an even more tender bird in about 40 minutes.
Of course timing depends slightly on how large your pieces are.
- If you’re just cooking Instant Pot chicken breasts or wings your meal will be ready in under 30 minutes.
That used to be unheard of before these fancy devices came about.
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Can you put a frozen whole chicken in an Instant Pot?
YES!! Watch my step by step video in this post to see just how it’s done. Then follow directions below and enjoy friends.
Time needed: 1 hour.
Instant Pot Frozen Whole Chicken
- Add ingredients
Pour chicken broth or water into your pressure cooker followed by your sliced onions.
Place your trivet on top of that (if it rests on the onions that is okay).
Unwrap your frozen chicken and place it on top of your trivet.
Close your lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 60 minutes. Allow to naturally release steam for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove chicken (it will want to fall apart), and put it into an 8×8 dish, or your air fryer.
Sprinkle the top with seasoning salt, and/or whatever you usually add on top of your whole chicken when you bake it.
Turn your broiler on and put your chicken in for 3-4 minutes or until skin crisps up as much as you’d like. Serve!! (we love shredding it from there and making soft chicken tacos)
Instant Pot Whole Frozen Chicken
Also when your chicken is fall apart done and you remove it DON’T throw away the delicious broth at the bottom.
You can use it to make pressure cooker gravy to pour on top of your chicken if you want.
Pressure Cooker Frozen Whole Chicken
- Pour chicken broth or water into your pressure cooker followed by your sliced onions.
- Place your trivet on top of that (if it rests on the onions that is okay).
- Unwrap your frozen chicken and place it on top of your trivet.
- Close your lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 60 minutes.
- Allow to naturally release steam for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove chicken (it will want to fall apart), and put it into an 8×8 dish.
- Sprinkle the top with seasoning salt, and/or whatever you usually add on top of your whole chicken when you bake it.
- Turn your broiler on and put your chicken in for 3-4 minutes or until skin crisps up as much as you’d like.
- Serve!! (we love shredding it from there and making soft chicken tacos)