Cooking A Whole Chicken In An Instant Pot

Have you heard of an Instant Pot?  This pot has become my favorite appliance in the kitchen.  I love it for a few reasons.  I purchased an Instant Pot with 7 features (pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté/browning, yogurt maker, steamer and warmer) and feel I could eliminate a few appliance on the counter with just this one.  With the warm season upon us, we have utilized the Instant Pot instead of the oven.  I love how FAST this pot cooks everything.  Cooking a whole chicken is very quick, simple and easy to do!  In the past two weeks, we have used our instant pot to make stews (grabbing frozen meat and having a meal ready in 30 minutes is AMAZING), bone broths (cooks in two hours what I spent cooking for 2 days) and steaming vegetables.  The Instant Pot continues to amaze me!

This recipe is for how to cook a whole chicken in an instant pot.  If you do not have an instant pot, but a pressure cooker it will still work.  However, your process for getting the pressure will be different, please follow your pot instructions.  The cook time should be the same.

Whole Chicken

Cooking A Whole Chicken In An Instant Pot


1 whole chicken

Seasonings of choice

1 cup water

1 tbsp coconut oil


1.  Place one cup of water in your Instant Pot and place the steam rack inside the pot.

2.  In a large skillet heat the oil.

3.  Cover the chicken in seasonings and place in the oil and allow the skin to sear for one minute on each side and remove from heat.

4.  Place the chicken in the Instant Pot on the steam rack.

5.  Lock the lid and set the Instant Pot to Chicken (it should be on high pressure) and adjust the time (you will need to do some math, it’s 6 mins per lb of chicken and then add 2 minutes to the total time.  Example: 3lb chicken would be 3×6=18+2=20 minutes).

6.  Allow chicken to stay in the pot and steam to release naturally for 15 minutes.  You can leave the chicken in the pot longer, but I do not recommend longer than 30 minutes.



  1. Jane says:

    Where can we find the fancy shmancy magical instant pot you speak of? I’m curious! I have a Crockpot w/ a timer for cooking, multiple heat temps, and auto shutoff, that’s all it does.

    • Stacy says:

      I found mine on Amazon and it was a ‘lightning deal’ getting it for around $100. It’s a magic machine…we use it 3 times yesterday in prep for the week (pot roast, pork lion and mushroom soup).

    • Marie says:

      Bought mine at Absolutely love it.

      • Karyn Zaremba says:

        I got my IP from Amazon on sale for $78. One trick I learned with a frozen chicken. Follow the timing rule (6 minutes per pound plus 2 minutes) and let pressure drop for 15 minutes afterward. Use a minimum of 1 cup of water under rack After it has cooked, put the chicken on a cookie sheet and pop under the broiler to brown up the skin. Works great and makes the best chicken ever, pus a little yummy broth.

        • Willena says:

          Did you know that you can saute the chicken in the instant pot with a little bit of oil before you put the lid on and cook it?

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  3. Cindy says:

    I am way too lazy to sear my chicken. Would it still turn out ok if I skipped that step? Thanks! Recently got an instant pot and am trying to figure out how to use it!

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  6. Jen says:

    Can you cook a frozen chicken?

  7. Ellen says:

    It will not brown because it is just steam
    To add a bit of color use some Kitchen Bouquet on the skin. It can also be used to add some color to cooking in Crock Pot and microwave and those large electric roasting pans, where foods do not brown.
    It is a liquid and should be in the spice section of your grocery store. Brown bottle with bright yellow label and red words..

    • Stacy says:

      I’m not familiar with this item. I’ll have to look next time I am at the store, I do not normally go down the inside isles.

      • Susun Allen says:

        Stacy, I’m with u. Stay out of those middle isles!
        I Always brown my meat on saute first & then pressure cook it.
        Browning adds an Extra layer of flavor, without adding artificial color and flavor!!
        Ain’t nothing like the Real thing baby!! lol

  8. Ellen says:

    4 lb chicken today. 1 cup of water, sprinkled some seasoning over it and put it on the steaming rack inside the IP.
    Set it to poultry and changed time to 30 min.
    Let the pressure come down completely on its own. (Still checked with instant thermometer to make sure it was 180 degrees and juices were clear)
    The chicken literally fell off the bones. I’m using it in other related I pies so it didn’t mattdr. Skin came off easily and there was nothing left but bones and skI .
    Poured juices in a measuring cup, covered it with plastic wrap and in refrigerator to let the fats solidify easily and will freeze the broth for another day. From 1 cup of cup of water I got 2.5 cups ofbtoyh.

  9. Dave says:

    Yeah, ditto that question on the Frozen Chicken… Would be great if we could just add some time to make up for the frozen-ness? For those of us who don’t plan ahead before discovering a lone chicken in the freezer.

  10. Swarna says:


    Do you have more Instant Pot chicken/beef recipes? Thanks

  11. Lisa says:

    How would I adjust this recipe if the chicken is frozen?

  12. Jeanne says:

    Just bought an InstantPot – I am wondering about the whole chicken overfilling the pot…I don’t see this addressed. I have a 6 quart pot. Perhaps yours was bigger? The directions say not to fill it more than 2/3 full.

  13. mike says:

    i read other recipes for whole chicken making sure it fits in pot and not touch the sides and of course make sure you can lock the lid is it ok if it touches the side using a 6 quart pot what is the size of the chicken c=you cab use mike

  14. Karyn Zaremba says:

    I was told to try 50 minutes for a frozen chicken. I am wondering if you can throw in veggies with the bird? Like baby carrots and onions.

  15. shawnmiles says:

    I’ve used this recipe twice now, in less than a month. Thanks so much for posting such simple steps it’s much appreciated!

    • Stacy says:

      Yeah!! THANKS for sharing! If you use Instagram, tag me..I love to see my recipes in action. It’s an easy cheap recipe to do a lot with. You might like my post on how to make Lime LaCroix Butt Chicken (it’s cooked in the oven…tastes like a deep fried chicken).

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  18. sc says:

    got my pot at Walmart, $75

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  20. Beth says:

    FYI, you set the same identical time whether your chicken is completely frozen or thawed. Frozen chicken will take a lot longer to come to pressure though.

    But no additional “time” on the timer is needed for frozen.

  21. Nicole says:

    I have not yet gotten a InstaPot but looking at getting one soon. Can you cook larger chickens? I have farm grown chickens that are 7-8 pounds. Will those fit and can you use the same formula?

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  24. Lisa says:

    I did not sear my whole chicken. It was frozen solid, and I think between 4 and 5 pounds. I did not put it on the rack because it wouldn’t fit. As for not over filling the pot, this is generally with liquids. Usually meat and veg come above the 2/3 line, but they are not solid, lots of space between pockets.
    After the 30 minutes at high pressure, I let it come down off pressure naturally. About 20 minutes. My chicken was not done! Only came up to 120 on my thermometer, and it was still frozen on the inside. This is when I discovered my foster farms chicken had a neck, liver and heart shoved in the cavity.. Which were frozen solid still. Along with a still attached kidney and part of the lungs… Gross, they don’t clean their chickens well.
    I then cooked the chicken in the IP another 30 minutes under high pressure.

    Chicken was fall off the bone tender, and juicy. I thought for sure it would be tough. The drippings I strained into another pot on stove and made fabulous gravy for the spuds. I “shredded” the chicken for serving because I fed 15 people with that 5 pound bird, and had a little for lunch the next day.

    HINT: Clean your chickens before freezing!! Apparently foster farms stuffs the cavity with the neck and some organs.

  25. Kelly says:

    After making the chicken I refrigerate the drippings/broth for soup. Do you have a good ratio of water to drippings to make broth?

  26. […] Click here for the recipe. Ingredients: chicken, seasonings of choice, water, and coconut oil […]

  27. Goldie says:

    So your math isn’t clear because you added 20 mins. Where did that come from? It’s very frustrating to read instructions and not be told all the facts. Do you mean to add the extra minutes to the already added poultry settings? because I haven’t used my Instant Pot yet and don’t understand how it works exactly to time and properly cook with it yet. Thanks for understanding my question. I hope you can clarify in the future.

    • JJ says:

      I think it may have been a typo. I’m guessing it was meant to say

      My IP is supposed to be arriving today and looking forward to trying this.

    • Janie Riddle says:

      You sound like you are just learning. I am enjoying my instapot because I can forget and burn anything on the stove. I look at several different sites because I do not follow directions well. Eventually I find what I need to cook. We are eating at home more because of the instapot as well as eating better

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  29. Maria Elena in Oconomowoc, WI says:

    A, cooking this now with nice little Amish free range chicken for the first time. After that, I’ll try regular grocery store chicken. Maybe it doesn’t make much difference. Looking forward to making the stock! Thanks for your recipe

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