Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

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My easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe can be made in a fraction of the time it takes to cook a whole rotisserie chicken. And it even has crispy chicken skin!

Whole chicken with crispy skin on a white serving platter in front of the Instant Pot it was cooked in.

My whole family enjoys eating roast chicken for dinner. It takes a long time in our oven, so I started making it in our Instant Pot.

I love the simplicity of this cooking process… it’s truly the easiest way to make juicy chicken with crispy skin! All you need besides an Instant Pot Duo Crisp is a chicken, some chicken stock or water and a good spice blend for the best chicken dinner.

Next time you want to serve tender chicken for dinner, try my easy recipe. It pairs well with many different side dishes.

Ingredients

  • 3-pound whole chicken
  • Olive oil spray
  • ¼ cup cajun seasoning
  • ½ cup chicken stock

Equipment

  • Instant Pot Duo Crisp
  • Instant Pot air fryer pan
  • Measuring cups
  • Paper towels
  • Cutting board

By the Numbers: How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to learn how to make the best Instant Pot Whole Chicken with crispy skin.

Step 1: Season Chicken

Remove the gizzards from the cavity of the chicken and discard, then pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Lightly spray or rub the entire chicken with olive oil. Rub the entire chicken down with the cajun seasoning so that all of the skin is coated.

Raw chicken being seasoned with cajun seasoning on a glass plate next to an Instant Pot.

Step 2: Put Chicken in Instant Pot

Add half a cup of chicken stock to the Instant Pot inner pan. The chicken stock adds extra flavor, but if you don’t have any, you can also use water.

Place the chicken breast side up inside of the air fryer pan, then place it into the Instant Pot inner pot. If you don’t have an air fryer pan, you can place it on a rack or trivet so it’s up off the bottom of the pot.

Seasoned whole chicken ready to be cooked in the Instant Pot.

Step 3: Pressure Cook Chicken

Place the lid on your Instant Pot, make sure the valve is in the sealing position and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. My chicken was a little over 3 pounds, so depending on the size of your chicken, it may need a shorter or longer cook time (see cook time charts in the tips section below).

Once the pressure cooking time is up, allow for a full natural pressure release then open the lid. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165° F. Be sure to test both the breast and dark meat. If it’s not to temperature, put the lid back on and cook for a bit longer.

Pressure cooked chicken inside of Instant Pot.

Step 4: Use Air Fryer Lid to Crisp Skin

Using the air fryer lid is an optional step, so if you don’t want crispy skin, you can serve the chicken now. If you do, then you can place the air fryer lid onto the Instant Pot and cook on Air Fryer mode at 400° F for 10 minutes.

Whole chicken after being pressure cooked and then cooked with the Instant Pot air fryer lid.

Step 5: Remove, Cut and Serve

Remove the air fryer lid, then take the chicken out of the Instant Pot. The chicken skin should be golden brown and crispy now!

Whole chicken with crispy skin on a white serving plate.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Answers to all of your questions about making the best whole chicken in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker that even has crispy skin!

Other seasoning options

While my family loves my Homemade Cajun Seasoning, you can use any seasoning blend that you like with chicken. Here are recipes for some of my family’s other favorites:

Fresh whole chicken cook times

Depending on the size of your chicken, you may need to adjust the pressure cooking time. A general rule of thumb is that you should cook fresh chicken for 6 minutes for every pound of chicken.

Chicken WeightCook Time
2 pounds12 minutes
3 pounds18 minutes
4 pounds24 minutes
5 pounds30 minutes
6 pounds36 minutes

Note: As long as the chicken fits into the pot, you can pressure cook it.

Whole frozen chicken cook times

If you have a frozen whole chicken, you can cook it in the Instant Pot very similarly to cooking fresh chicken. You’ll need to increase the cooking time by 5 minutes per pound, so a total of 11 minutes per pound.

Chicken WeightCook Time
2 pounds22 minutes
3 pounds33 minutes
4 pounds44 minutes
5 pounds55 minutes
6 pounds66 minutes

Why I don’t quick release pressure

A lot of chicken recipes call for you to quick release the remaining pressure after 10-15 minutes. I prefer to allow a full natural pressure release for my whole chickens (but not cut up chicken).

They tend to come out more tender that way because you’re letting the chicken rest while the pressure releases. In general, a quick release will make meat tougher.

Air fryer lid alternative

If you don’t have the Instant Pot air fryer lid, you can also pop the chicken onto a baking sheet and place it into the broiler for a couple minutes to crisp up the skin.

Make stock with leftover bones

Pro tip: When you’re done eating your cooked chicken, be sure to save those bones and make a batch of Instant Pot Chicken Stock! And you can use the pan drippings / juices to make Gluten Free Gravy to serve with a batch of Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes!

Storage tips

Leftover chicken should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and eaten within 4 days. You can also freeze leftover meat for up to 2 months.

Free Instant Pot quick start guide

If you’re new to cooking with your Instant Pot, be sure to sign up for my free quick start guide. It’ll give you all the information you need to start successfully pressure cooking!

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More Instant Pot chicken recipes

If you like cooking chicken in the Instant Pot, here are some different ways to make it:

Best place to buy whole chickens online

Obviously the easiest place to get a whole chicken is the grocery store. However, there are so many great places to order chicken online!

Perdue Farms is one of my favorite places to shop for whole chickens. They have both conventional and organic chicken as well as chicken bundles to fill the freezer with.

Whole chicken with cajun seasoning on a white serving platter.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Learn how to make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot that has delicious, crispy skin! It’s the best way to quickly prepare a whole chicken for dinner or weekly meal prep!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Pressurizing Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Recipe Servings: 6

Ingredients

Equipment

Instructions

  • Remove the gizzards from the chicken cavity and discard, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then lightly spray the entire chicken with olive oil. Rub the chicken down with the cajun spice mixture so that all of the skin is coated.
    Raw chicken being seasoned with cajun seasoning on a glass plate next to an Instant Pot.
  • Add half a cup of chicken broth to the bottom of the pot, then place the chicken in the air fryer pan and set that in the Instant Pot inner pot.
    Seasoned whole chicken ready to be cooked in the Instant Pot.
  • Cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes, then allow for a natural release of pressure and open the lid. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165° F. If it's not, cook for a bit longer.
    Pressure cooked chicken inside of Instant Pot.
  • If it is, then place the air fryer lid onto the Instant Pot and cook on Air Fryer mode at 400° F for 10 minutes.
    Whole chicken after being pressure cooked and then cooked with the Instant Pot air fryer lid.
  • Remove the air fryer lid, then take the chicken out of the Instant Pot. The skin should be nice and crispy now!
    Whole chicken with crispy skin on a white serving plate.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2369IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2mg

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