Amazingly tender Instant Pot Whole Chicken couldn’t be any easier to prepare! For those of you who love roast chicken or rotisserie chicken, you’ll love this super straightforward goof-proof recipe that yields a stellar result every single time!
Have you ever made a whole chicken in the pressure cooker?
It may sound strange. Perhaps unappealing. You could be thinking to yourself, “Yeah, that’s something I’d never do.”
Trust me on this one. It will change your life.
The chicken turns out amazingly tender. It falls right off the bone, just like rotisserie style chicken…but even more tender still!
You will never roast a chicken in the oven again, it’s that good.
If you’re like me and you find boneless skinless chicken to be a real drag, you will absolutely love this Instant Pot Whole Chicken.
So much flavor, so incredibly easy, no second guessing or funny business…it’s just a stick it in the pot and off you go sort of situation.
Crispy chicken skin is quite the big deal in my house, as both my partner and I are obsessed with it. For this reason, I take the extra step after pressure cooking the chicken to broil it in the oven for a few minutes to get that crispy skin.
This gives us the best of all worlds – insanely juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone amazing chicken with that incredible crispy skin.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Whole Chicken:
Whole Body Chicken: The star of the show! Pick up a whole chicken from the grocery store that is between 3.5 and 4.5 pounds. You’ll need to pressure cook the chicken on high heat for 6 minutes per pound. Be sure the chicken is completely thawed before adding it to the pressure cooker for the best results and to ensure the chicken cooks through.
Apples (Optional): Because I’m a fan of the combination of chicken and apples, I added some chopped apples to the pressure cooker this time around. They become very tender and flavorful and pair nicely with a bite of that crazy tender chicken.
If you aren’t into apples, feel free to skip them! You could do onion if you’d like or just keep it simple and add nothing.
Apple Cider or Chicken Broth: You’ll need two cups of liquid for the pressure cooker to do its job. I used apple cider (not to be confused with apple cider vinegar!!) for the liquid, but you can easily use chicken broth, beef broth or even just water if you don’t have any juice or broth on hand.
Seasonings: Sea salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and dried parsley. This combination is so simple yet so flavorful! If you have onion powder on hand, feel free to use that as well. You can use any seasonings or rubs you like.
Let’s make it!
How to Make Instant Pot Whole Chicken:
Remove the chicken from its packaging and pat it dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and use your hands to smear it around so that the whole chicken is coated in oil.
Sprinkle the chicken (both sides and all of the edges) with sea salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and dried parsley.
Pour the apple cider (or chicken broth) into the bottom of the Pressure Cooker and insert the trivet. Place the chicken on top of the trivet. Add chopped apples and/or onions if you’d like.
Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and press the Manual Pressure or Pressure Cook button. Adjust the time for 30 minutes (or 6 minutes per pound of chicken) and keep the pressure valve sealed. Allow the pressure cooker to run its course – it will take 5 to 10 minutes to heat up before it gets going.
Once the time is up, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release (and go into keep warm mode) for at least 20 minutes. I often let mine go for 40 or 50.
Note: Chicken is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Verify the internal temperature by poking the thickest part of the breast with a meat thermometer.
Remember that it is this process that helps make the chicken nice and tender, so while it will be fully cooked after the 30 minutes, for the juiciest, tenderest results, be sure to allow it to go through the natural release.
Removing the chicken from the Instant Pot is a bit of a to do. The chicken will be hot, and because it becomes very tender, it will feel like the whole thing will fall apart if you try to pick it up.
I use a spatula to get underneath the chicken to have some leverage to lift it out. I use one hand to pull it up with the spatula and the other hand to stabilize it. Transfer it to a cutting board to serve immediately or to a baking sheet to broil the skin to make it nice and crispy.
If you have an extra person around, one of you can use tongs to grab the trivet that’s underneath the chicken to lift it while the other person removes the chicken from the pressure cooker.
Of course, you can always pick pieces off the chicken while it is still hot in the Instant Pot and then remove the rest of it later as it cools off.
Serve the chicken with the cooked apples and/or onions if you added them along with any side dishes. I’m always game for brown rice and veggies with any animal protein entree.
Engineer a different way to get the hot chicken out of the pot? Let us know in the comments below!
The juices left at the bottom of the Instant Pot are pure gold. You can serve the chicken with the juices or turn it into gravy if you’d like.
For Crispy Chicken Skin:
When you cook skin-on chicken in the pressure cooker, whether it be a whole chicken or chicken pieces, the skin turns out soft, even if you sear the chicken before pressure cooking it.
For those of us who love crispy chicken skin, get this! You can easily achieve crispy skin by broiling the chicken in the oven after it is finished in the pressure cooker.
Simply transfer the whole chicken to a large cookie sheet, turn your oven on the high broil setting, and place the chicken on the shelf that’s second from the top for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the skin has reached your desired level of crisp.
That’s it! Everything you need to know about making the perfect, finger-lickin-great Instant Pot Whole Chicken! This is a fabulous meal prep recipe and also perfect for feeding the whole family.
Let me know how you like it, and if you change it up to use different seasonings or ingredients, let me know what you try!
Instant Pot Whole Chicken forever!
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Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Remove the chicken from its packaging and pat it dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and use your hands to smear it around so that the whole chicken is coated in oil.
- Sprinkle the chicken (both sides and all of the edges) with sea salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and dried parsley.
- Pour the apple cider (or chicken broth) into the bottom of the Pressure Cooker , add the apples and any veggies (such as onion, carrots, etc) and insert the trivet. Place the chicken on top of the trivet.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and press the Manual Pressure or Pressure Cook button. Adjust the time for 30 minutes (or 6 minutes per pound of chicken) and keep the pressure valve sealed. Allow the pressure cooker to run its course – it will take 5 to 10 minutes to heat up before it gets going.
- Once the time is up, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release (and go into keep warm mode) for at least 20 minutes. I often let mine go for 40 or 50 for the most tender result.
- If you love crispy chicken skin, transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and place your oven on the High Broil setting. Place the chicken on the rack that's second from the top and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the skin has reached your desired level of crisp.
- Serve with your choice of side dishes and enjoy!