Instant Pot Whole Chicken
This Instant Pot whole chicken is incredibly juicy and flavorful! The meat is melt in your mouth tender and so savory. This method of cooking is the quickest and easiest way to make a rotisserie chicken. The pan drippings create an easy and hearty gravy. This family favorite dinner is great for holidays, meal prep and leftovers!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This Instant Pot whole chicken is so tender and flavorful.
- It is the quickest and easiest way to roast an entire chicken.
- The pan drippings create the most delicious 3 ingredient gravy.
- This recipe is easy to follow and straightforward.
- For the oven version, check out this Dutch Oven Roasted Chicken.
- The chicken is versatile and great as leftovers.
- This recipe is Keto, low carb, nut free, gluten free and sugar free.
- For Whole30 and Paleo, substitute gluten free flour for 1 tablespoon tapioca flour.
- Check out these Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Potatoes for another great recipe.
Ingredients & Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions for Instant Pot whole chicken. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.
Choose a whole chicken that is 4 to 6 pounds. Fresh whole chicken will yield the best results for this recipe.
Melted butter is used for coating under the skin and in the cavity. It adds a great moisture. Melted ghee may also be used. For dairy free, use a dairy free butter.
Sea salt, ground pepper and onion powder add great flavor. When mixed with melted butter, these spices provide an amazing flavor to the chicken.
Add the minced garlic to the cavity of the chicken for a great savory flavor. The garlic flavor is not overwhelming by any means. In fact, it creates the perfect subtle flavor.
Half of a lemon adds a great freshness to the chicken cavity. Additionally, it adds a little moisture and prevents the chicken from drying out.
With any Instant Pot recipe, liquid is needed. In this case, chicken broth provides moisture, flavor, and the necessary liquid to bring the pot to pressure. Beef broth or vegetable broth can be used.
After pressure cooking, the remaining liquid in the pot is the basis for the gravy. While the gravy step is optional, it is highly recommend!
A little butter and gluten free flour are mixed with the pan drippings to create the gravy. All purpose flour and gluten free 1 to 1 flour are both great options. I do not recommend another flour.
Garnish with fresh rosemary and sliced lemons if desired.
Taste & Texture
This Instant Pot whole chicken tastes like rotisserie chicken with a delicious spice blend. The spices add a very subtle flavor. This allows the flavor of the chicken to shine.
The texture of this chicken is perfectly tender. It is not overcooked, dry or bland. After broiling the chicken, the skin becomes golden and crispy.
Frozen Vs Thawed Vs Fresh
For this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe, a fresh whole chicken is best. Look for a chicken that is 4 to 6 pounds in weight.
A frozen chicken will take at least 24 hours to thaw in the fridge. If you only have a frozen chicken, allow it to thaw completely.
Once thawed, follow this recipe exactly. Be extra careful when loosening the chicken skin. It may be slightly more fragile.
I have not experimented with pressure cooking an entire chicken from frozen.
How to Make
First, remove giblets from inside the chicken. Set aside or discard. Pat chicken dry all over with paper towels.
Use the back of a spoon or fingers to very gently loosen chicken skin from chicken breasts. Avoid tearing the skin.
Combine melted butter, sea salt, pepper and onion powder in a bowl. Stir to combine.
Pour chicken broth down into Instant Pot.
Add chicken into the pot. Keep the chicken breast side up.
Place ½ lemon and minced garlic into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Then, pour melted butter and seasonings mixture all over chicken and inside the cavity.
Secure lid on Instant Pot. Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes (or 6 minutes per 1 pound of chicken).
Once timer goes off, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then manually release any remaining pressure.
Carefully remove chicken from Instant Pot. Leave juices in the Instant Pot. Place chicken on a baking pan lined with tin foil. Broil on high in oven for 5 to 6 minutes to get the skin crispy. Watch closely to prevent any burning.
Meanwhile, turn Instant Pot on sauté mode. Add in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and gluten free flour. Whisk quickly, until a gravy is formed and no clumps of flour remain. Turn off.
Finally, remove chicken from oven. Slice and serve. Garnish with rosemary and pour gravy over Instant Pot whole chicken!
Expert Tips & Tricks
Use a fresh chicken for best results. If using frozen, thaw completely.
Pressure cook for 6 minutes per pound.
Generously season this Instant Pot whole chicken. Do not go lightly on spices and seasonings.
Using the trivet can help you take the chicken out of the Instant Pot, but I did not use one. I like having the chicken actually sitting in the juices while pressure cooking. This yields a very moist and tender result.
Do not discard pan drippings in the bottom of the pot. This makes the most delicious gravy!
Whisk gravy quickly and continuously to prevent any clumps of flour from forming.
Here is a time chart for how long to pressure cook chicken. It also includes time, temperature and weight of chicken.
|Pressure Cook Time||Natural Release Time||Internal Temperature|
|4 pound chicken||24 minutes||10 minutes||165 degrees Fahrenheit|
|5 pound chicken||30 minutes||10 minutes||165 degrees Fahrenheit|
|6 pound chicken||36 minutes||10 minutes||165 degrees Fahrenheit|
Pressure cook chicken for 6 minutes per pound. The natural release time remains the same at 10 minutes. If there is any additional pressure built up, manually release it.
Chicken is done cooking when it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer for best results.
How to Serve & Store
Serve Instant Pot whole chicken with gravy! This chicken is versatile and goes well with many side dishes. Serve with roasted cauliflower and asparagus, bacon wrapped asparagus, Instant Pot mashed potatoes, homemade French fries, or a side salad.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Leftover Chicken Recipes
This Instant Pot whole chicken is so adaptable and great as leftovers. Here are some ideas for how to use up the leftover meat.
On top of a salad
On top of pizza
On top of nachos
In an omelette or quiche
Added to a stir fry
Frequently Asked Questions
Cook chicken for 6 minutes per pound in an Instant Pot.
It is much harder to overcook chicken in the Instant Pot than other cooking methods. This is due to the use of steam as heat. However, there is no need to cook chicken longer than needed. Use a meat thermometer to measure temperature of chicken.
I recommend cooking no more than 6 pounds of chicken at one time.
Thaw chicken before pressure cooking.
You May Also Like
If you make this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, check out these Dinner Recipes.
Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- 1 cup pan drippings, leftover in Instant Pot
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp gluten free flour, or all purpose flour
- First, remove giblets from inside chicken. Discard or set aside. Pat chicken dry all over using paper towels.
- Use the back of a spoon or fingers to very gently loosen chicken skin from chicken breasts.
- Combine melted butter, sea salt, pepper and onion powder in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Pour chicken broth into Instant Pot.
- Add chicken into Instant Pot. Keep the chicken breast side up.
- Place ½ lemon and minced garlic into the cavity of the chicken. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
- Then, pour the melted butter and seasonings mixture all over chicken and inside the cavity.
- Secure lid on Instant Pot. Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes (or 6 minutes per 1 pound of chicken).
- Once timer goes off, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then manually release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove chicken from Instant Pot. Leave juices in the Instant Pot. Place on a baking pan lined with tin foil. Broil on high in oven for 5 to 6 minutes to get the skin crispy. Watch closely to prevent burning.
- Meanwhile, turn Instant Pot on sauté mode. Add in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and gluten free flour. Whisk quickly, until a gravy is formed and no clumps of flour remain. Turn off.
- Finally, remove chicken from oven. Slice and serve. Garnish with rosemary and pour gravy on top!
- See chart above for cooking times for other sized chickens.
- Pressure cook for 6 minutes per 1 pound of chicken. For these photos, mine was 5 pounds and I pressure cooked for 30 minutes.
- Do not go light on the seasonings. Season generously with sea salt, pepper and onion powder.
- My Instant Pot took about 20 minutes to come to pressure.
- I purposely do not use my trivet with this recipe. I like having the chicken cooking in the actual liquid in the pot for extra juiciness.
- The broiling step is optional, but highly recommended.
- Whisk gravy quickly to prevent any clumps of flour from forming.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Nutrition facts include gravy.
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