How to Cook a Whole Chicken in The Instant Pot

It’s true! You can totally cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. Here’s how.

It's true! You can totally cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. Here's how. 

Instant Pot recipes can be intimidating for some, but once you face your fear, you’ll find out just how easy it is to use. I just know that once you learn how to cook a whole chicken in your Instant Pot you won’t want to do it any other way. Before you know it you’ll be cooking chicken breast in it too. So handy for premaking protein, and for getting dinner on the table in record time.

So, how does it work? First, remove the innards from your chicken and stuff the cavity with an onion. This will help prevent the chicken from collapsing in the pressure cooker. Take your prepared seasoning and rub generously all over the chicken. Then pour the water in the Instant Pot (with trivet inside) and place your chicken in the pot. Garnish with the sliced lemon and fresh rosemary. When placing the lid on the Instant Pot be sure the valve is turned to sealing.

Cook your chicken 6 minutes per pound. (Example, my chicken was 4.5 pounds so it cooked for 27 minutes.) Then let the pressure naturally release for at least another 10 minutes to achieve a perfectly cooked chicken. It’s tender, moist and delicious. The chicken is juicy and flavorful and pressure cooking it really helps to retain all the flavor.

Just like that, dinner is served and your family is enjoying their favorite meal with so much less work.

A Tip: If you’d like crispy skin, remove chicken from Instant Pot, brush with oil and place under the broiler until browned, 2-4 minutes.

A Second Tip: Don’t throw away the water at the bottom of the Instant Pot. Use it as a stock or turn it into gravy right in your Instant Pot by following these instructions.


How to Cook a Whole Chicken in The Instant Pot

It’s true! You can totally cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. Here’s how.

  • Author: Tawnie Kroll
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole chicken (innards removed)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut in half
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Seasoning for chicken

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne


  1. Put the trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot insert and pour 1 cup water into the pot. To maintain the chicken’s form while cooking, stuff the cut onion in the cavity of the chicken.
  2. Mix the chicken seasoning ingredients together then rub the seasoning all over the chicken. Next, place the lemon slices and rosemary around and on top of the chicken. Place the lid on and be sure the valve is on sealed. Cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes per pound of chicken (mine took 27 minutes). Once it has cooked, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes. Then, turn valve to venting and remove lid. Always temperature check poultry. (Should be 165 degrees F or above.)

Tawnie Kroll

Tawnie Kroll is a California based food blogger and healthy recipe developer. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a lover of cooking and baking! Follow her blog for recipes, healthy living tips and practical scientific evidenced-based advice to help you improve your health and well being.