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Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Turkey

Have you tried a pressure cooker turkey yet in your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi yet? It’s easier than you think and frees up your oven on Thanksgiving Day! Take a look.

pressure cooker turkey 2

Time to cook a pressure cooker turkey! I am serious, it is possible to cook a turkey in Instant Pot and it comes out so moist and full of flavor in less than an hour! 101+ easy Instant Pot recipes here on The Typical Mom blog you can enjoy too. (originally published 9/18. affiliate links present)

Ninja Foodi Turkey

It doesn’t matter what brand you have at home. You can use a Mealthy, Crockpot Express or make it as an easy Ninja foodi recipe. The latter offers you more because then you can air fry the skin at the end.

No more bags to use to keep in the moisture when cooking a turkey in the oven. Just pop it in for a 45 minute cook time with some broth and vegetables and you can walk away. It will come out perfect every time.

Let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

If you follow my blog at all you know I am all about easy Instant Pot recipes, especially during the holidays when you have multiple dishes to cook.

I started by cooking this Instant Pot ham and was amazed at how easy it was and just how juicy it came out!

What size turkey will fit in an Instant Pot?

  • An 8 lb. turkey fit in our 8 qt. pot. I wouldn’t buy one larger than that.
  • You need the lid to shut and a bit of space in between the meat and the top too to cook properly.
Sheet Pan Turkey 2

Why would you cook a turkey in an Instant Pot

  • It frees up your oven during the holidays
  • Great idea for those living in small spaces or if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving in an RV
  • Cooks much faster than in an oven
  • Allows you to cook turkey more often because it takes less than an hour
  • Pressure cooker turkey comes out moist without having to put it in a bag

Here is what the pot looks like before you lower your turkey inside your Instant Pot.

It’s filled with cut up vegetables and vegetable broth. Of course you could use water instead but I use broth every chance I can because it has so much more flavor.

  • You also have the ability to add more or less depending on how large your turkey is.

If you’re looking for how to cook a moist turkey breast recipe in your Instant Pot we’ll share those instructions too.

instant pot turkey

Equipment you’ll need to make a turkey in electric pressure cookers

  1. 8 qt. Instant Pot– 6 qt. would work for just a pressure cooker turkey breast.
    1. Some pressure cookers have 10 qt. sizes so you could fit a larger bird in that
  2. Trivet – the one that comes with your Instant Pot works great, you can get a replacement trivet here
  3. Internal meat temperature chart and thermometer

If you want bold seasonings you can use this mixture we made for our smoked turkey recipe. You can also just use salt, pepper, and garlic. That part is totally up to you.

If you crisp the skin after it’s cooked you’ll want to add a bit of additional seasonings before you do that so it really sticks. 

turkey seasoning rub

Pressure cooker turkey

  • Turkey – thawed, 8 pound turkeys will fit in an 8 qt. pot
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Celery

Really you can use any veggies you like. Just cut them quite large so they don’t disintegrate during the longer cook time.

chicken broth

Spices – rub on outside skin, or leave turkey plain if desired.

  • Use our turkey dry rub recipe
    • Seasoned salt and black pepper
    • Garlic powder and/or salt
    • Thyme
    • Have slid slices of lemon under the skin too

Trivet – I like this one with handles is a game changer, so much easier to get everything out with pot holders.

Pressure Cooker Turkey

I’m sure you’ve learned by now, but cooking in a pressure cooker makes everything so moist without a bag needed (yay).

This is the only way I make Instant Pot whole chicken now, it just turns out fall off the bone delicious in 1/3 of the time it would in the oven and is so tender.

Instant Pot Turkey

  • I think everyone has their own gravy recipe handed down from years ago but in case you don’t you can follow this turkey pressure cooker gravy recipe.
  • Remember that you can use the saute function to make your gravy instead of dirtying another pan and making it on the stove. That is up up to you.
    • Put it on saute using the drippings already inside your pot. Remove vegetables, and add other ingredients to make a thick sauce for your turkey gravy if you desire.

Pour some generously over your moist white meat and dark meat and enjoy a wonderful meal.

how to make a turkey in your instant pot

The general rule for cooking a turkey in your Instant Pot is to cook it for about 6 minutes per pound so this one was set for 48 minutes, 45 probably would’ve been fine too.

A key to keeping it moist is to allow a natural release for 10 minutes before letting out remaining pressure.

  • Always allow it to sit for 25 minutes or so before carving to keep the moisture in as well.

If you don’t have a pressure cook this is how to roast a turkey with just salt and pepper in no time in the oven!

Set to high pressure with a cook time of just 30 minutes to 60 minutes (depending on size) it’s a great way to cook holiday dinners. 

What are the most important steps to remember when making an Instant Pot turkey?

  1. Natural pressure release at the end.

What does NPR mean for Instant Pot?

  1. Just this, allowing steam to naturally release.
      1. That means do NOT touch the steam valve for 10 minutes once timer beeps.
      2. After that, then flip it so the rest bellows out.
  2. Allow meat to sit before carving.

If you are looking for an alternative way to cook a 1 hour turkey try our sheet pan turkey directions too! The skin gets REALLY crispy that way and you can really layer on the herbs and seasonings.

Sheet Pan Turkey

Here are a few easy Christmas brunch menu ideas too!

What do you serve with Thanksgiving dinner?

You don’t have to use more Instant Pot recipes for side dishes, but I do. Use your oven if you wish, I just like cooking everything at the same time so it’s all warm when dinnertime arrives.

Best sweet potato casserole can be made in your pressure cooker or Ninja Foodi too

Whatever you serve it with I guarantee this will turn out fall apart tender and delicious for everyone. You may never cook a turkey in your oven ever again!

How do you get crispy turkey skin?

baking a turkey in the oven

Let’s start by saying that if you LOVE crisp turkey skin you may want to smoke it or roast it in the oven to begin with.

You can get it crispier than when you pull it out of your pot, but it will be a bit different than oven roasted.

First things you’ll need to do are:

  • Spray skin with olive oil, this will be necessary for crisping
  • Sprinkle seasonings over the top and all around to give it additional flavor
how to make a turkey in your instant pot

Here are your options:

  1. You can crisp the skin at the end using the CrispLid for Instant Pot
    1. Rotating the bird would be necessary for this
    2. It is not going to brown it evenly because it needs to be facing neck up in order to fit
  2. The best option is to transfer it to a large pan and throw it under your broiler

If you have a Ninja Foodi just set to air crisp at 400 degrees for a few minutes until it’s browned as much as you like. OR make a pressure cooker turkey breast.

ninja foodi turkey breast 2

For a smaller option, you can follow our Instant Pot turkey tenderloin recipe too.

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Need to make an Instant Pot frozen turkey breast? We have instructions for that as well.

pressure cooker turkey 2
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5 from 11 votes

Pressure Cooker Turkey

Have you tried a pressure cooker turkey yet in your Instant Pot? It’s easier than you think and frees up your oven on Thanksgiving Day! Take a look.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword breast, instant pot, pressure cooker, turkey, whole turkey
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 316kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Add your vegetable broth (could use water), celery, carrots, onion and garlic cloves into your pressure cooker pot.
  • Put a trivet on top of your vegetables and broth so it is flat.
  • Rinse your turkey and remove all items from inside cavity.
  • Rub any spices you’d like on the outside skin of your whole turkey if you desire, or leave plain.
  • Set turkey on your trivet with neck facing up as shown in top photo of post.
  • Close your lid and steam valve and set on high pressure for 6 minutes per pound so at 8 pounds (pretty close to as large as an 8 quart could really handle) you’ll set it for 48 minutes (think 45 minutes is better, comes out a bit more moist).
  • Do a natural release for 10 minutes, then release rest of pressure.
  • Serve or if you'd like the skin to crisp up a bit put your pressure cooker turkey on a baking sheet. Spray top with olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings and put under your broiler for about 4 minutes until skin crisps to your liking.


Nutrition Facts
Pressure Cooker Turkey
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 316 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 154mg51%
Sodium 337mg15%
Potassium 573mg16%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 46g92%
Vitamin A 2755IU55%
Vitamin C 2.2mg3%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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Rozetta Boles

Thursday 25th of November 2021

Thank you for your help. I am not in then mood to cook today but it's Thanksgiving day and I have to. I love the instant Pot. I always cook my husband's chicken in it. Today I will use it for Turkey.

The Typical Mom

Sunday 28th of November 2021


Carol Steinberg

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Thank you for the info, looking forward to a successful turkey. Thinking about adding some butter and white wine to the broth. Has anyone tried working with wine and the pressure cooker?

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Yes you can substitute wine for other liquids


Thursday 26th of November 2020

It's Thanksgiving, my turkey is done, thankful that I found this recipe, I would have never thought to pressure cook my turkey. I couldn't find a 6pound turkey, the smallest I found was 7&1/2, my ip is 6q it fit with veggies I might add, I cooked for 45 mins, perfection. Thanks again for recipe.

The Typical Mom

Saturday 28th of November 2020

So glad it was a hit

Penny Webb

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

I bought 2 turkeys because I wanted to make sure it came out great before Thanksgiving. I could only find 12 1/2 lb. ones. I have an Elite and an IP 10 qt. pressure cooker and will cook it in which ever one it will fit in. (I am thawing one of them now). 6 min. per pound comes out to 72 min. for 12 lbs. so I will try that one on the turkey I am experimenting on and will freeze the meat for soup, etc. If anyone has used this type turkey already I would appreciate any hints you might have. Thank you.


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

I cooked a 12.64 pound turkey in my 8 quart instant pot for 75/80 minutes. It was a snug fit but worked just fine. Rubbed it down with poultry seasoning, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, rosemary and and sage before putting it in pot. Threw some seasoning in the cavity also. Turned out AMAZING!!! This is the 3rd year I cooked the turkey in the instantpot for Thanksgiving and I will never cook it any other way! Falls off the bone and so moist!!! My family loves it!


Wednesday 11th of November 2020

I have a 10 quart Instant Pot, can you tell me what is the recommended size of a whole Turkey? How much liquid? How many mins. a lb in the 10 quart? Trying it for Thanksgiving!! :) Thanks!

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

I don't know how large that one will fit. I have only done the size listed so if you follow the directions I have here it would be the same timing for yours.

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