If you're looking for a restaurant-quality dinner recipe that requires barely any work, then look no further than this Instant Pot Whole Chicken! This recipe is one of my go-to dinners when I want a juicy and luscious meal that's both easy to prepare and delicious. With the Instant Pot, you can whip up a succulent whole chicken in just a fraction of the time it would take in the oven, making it the perfect solution for those busy weeknights when you need to get dinner on the table without a lot of hands-on time.
When I was younger, the idea of cooking a whole chicken was overwhelming.
These days, as a busy mom of three, roasting a chicken is something I do a few times a month.
One of my favorite ways to do this is in my trusty Instant Pot.
Why? The flavor of the chicken is truly exceptional.
The pressure cooking process makes the chicken incredibly tender and juicy, infusing it with a mouthwatering blend of seasonings. And, the prep time is minimal.
If you're looking for a hassle-free way to enjoy a flavorful and satisfying dinner, give this rotisserie-style pressure cooker whole chicken a try! I think you will agree that it tastes amazing.
- Whole Chicken: Use a whole chicken that is between 3 and 4 pounds. Make sure that you remove the giblets from inside the chicken before you begin preparing your Instant Pot roast chicken.
- Spices: Use a blend of sea salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper to season the chicken.
- Butter: Use ⅓ cup of softened butter to help seal in flavor and keep the chicken moist. You can use salted or unsalted butter. If you prefer not to use butter, you could use olive oil.
- Chicken Broth: Use 1 cup of chicken broth to provide moisture while the chicken is roasting.
Step by Step Instructions
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Start by preparing the chicken: pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and take out any giblets if present.
If you don’t have a crisper lid, broil the cooked chicken on a baking sheet until it is golden brown.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- Tying your chicken isn't necessary when cooking an Instant Pot chicken whole, but you can if you want to. To tie your chicken, start by placing it breast up on a cutting board. Then, carefully pull one of the legs away from the body and make a loop with kitchen twine or butcher’s string around both legs. Pull the tie tight and then do the same with all four legs, making sure they are all in an even line. Finally, cross two more strings over each leg to secure them tightly together at the bottom and top of the chicken.
- Feel free to play with the flavor profile and make this recipe you own! Try using a blend of lemon pepper, onion powder, and thyme for a delicious twist. You can also fill the cavity with sliced lemons and fresh herbs for an extra pop of flavor.
Roast chicken in the Instant Pot is perfect for a cozy family dinner.
Serve with garlic butter asparagus, Blackstone smashed potatoes, slow cooker rice, crockpot mashed potatoes, Ninja Foodi mac and cheese, roasted shaved brussels sprouts, or a salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
How do I know when my chicken is fully cooked?
To know when the chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat, you can use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, without touching bone.
The chicken should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). This is the minimum safe temperature recommended by the USDA to eliminate any harmful bacteria lingering in the meat. Keep in mind that the white meat will generally be done before the dark meat.
If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can also check if the chicken is fully cooked by cutting into the thickest part of the chicken and ensuring that the juices run clear, not pink. Additionally, your pressure cooker roast chicken should be somewhat firm and not squishy to the touch.
Why does my chicken come out tough from the Instant Pot?
If you find your chicken to be tough after cooking it in the Instant Pot, it may have been cooked for too long. That is why I like to cook it for just 25 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally.
Butter is also key in keeping your chicken moist and juicy.
Additionally, it is important to use enough liquid in your pot to avoid the chicken drying out.
What is the largest chicken you can cook in an Instant Pot?
That is going to depend partly on the size of your Instant Pot.
Generally, the largest Instant Pot full chicken you can cook is around 5 lbs. Any larger and the chicken may not be cooked evenly or thoroughly, as it will take longer to reach desired internal temperature.
Do I need to increase the cooking time for a larger chicken?
Yes, I recommend adding 10 minutes for a 5-pound chicken. This will help to make sure that it is cooked through.
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- Instant Pot with Crisper Lid (optional)
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer
- Small Bowls
Store leftovers of this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It is perfect for making chicken salad, or for using in recipes that call for rotisserie chicken.
You can freeze leftover chicken for three months. I like to remove the chicken from the bone and use the bones to make chicken stock that I use for soup or other recipes.
Thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it in the microwave, stove, or oven.
More Instant Pot Recipes to Try
- For a crave-worthy meal that you will make again and again, don't miss this Instant Pot French Onion Chicken.
- Instant Pot Chili Mac is a family favorite that I think you will love as much as we do.
- When you need a kid-friendly main course that adults will love too, Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks are perfect.
- Make these Instant Pot Short Ribs when you want to wow your friends and family.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot
- 1 - 3 to 4 pound whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Dry the chicken with paper towels and take the giblets out if your chicken has any.
- In a small bowl, stir together the salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Divide the seasonings in half. Place the butter in a bowl and add half of the seasonings. Mix well with a fork to combine.
- Loosen the skin from the breast using your hand or a spoon.
- Spread half of the butter mixture under the skin, and the remaining butter on top of the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with the remaining seasoning mixture.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of the Instant pot and pour the broth into the pot.
- Add the chicken breast side up.
- Set your Instant Pot to Manual - High Pressure, and set the time for 25 minutes.
- When the time is up, allow a natural pressure release, about 15 minutes.
- Use your crisper lid to air fry for 5 minutes to brown the skin, or place it under the broiler until it is golden brown.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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