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Top view of a cooked Whole Chicken on a white plate with green herbs, leafy vegetables, and apple slices

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Instant Pot Whole Chicken. Learn how to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. A pressure cooker whole chicken is easy and comes out tender and delicious!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword pressure cooker whole chicken, whole chicken in instant pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
NPR 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 - 6
Calories 165 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton


  • 1 cup Water or Broth (for the pressure cooker. larger (8+ qt) pot use 2 cups)
  • 3-6 lbs Whole Chicken (or any size that will fit in your pot)
  • Spice Rub or Salt & Pepper


  • 1/2 medium Onion, cut in wedges
  • 1 sm Apple, cut in wedges
  • 1/2 large Lemon, cut in wedges
  • Fresh Herbs, rosemary, sage, thyme


  1. Pour the cup of water into the inner cooking liner of the pressure cooker.

  2. Rub the chicken with a spice rub, such as my Rotisserie Chicken Spice Rub, or salt & pepper (mix the spice with a little olive oil if you are browning the chicken first. See Notes).

  3. Stuff the cavity of the chicken loosely with the onion, apple, herbs, and/or lemon wedges. 

  4. Set the chicken on the trivet/rack and lower into the pot (you don't have to use the trivet, but it does make it easier to get the cooked chicken out of the pot).

  5. Close the lid and set the vent to the Sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button or dial, and then the + or - button or dial to select the cook time in minutes (High pressure):

    6 minutes per pound, and a 10 minute Natural Release (A 4 lb chicken will cook for 24 minutes, NPR for 10 min.).

  6. After the cooking cycle has finished, let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes (10minute natural release or NPR). Then turn the steam release knob to the Venting position to release any remaining steam/pressure.

  7. Carefully open the lid once the pin has dropped down. Remove the chicken to a platter, or to a baking sheet if you are going to broil it to crisp up the skin.

  8. If you are broiling it, set the broiler to 450° and set the chicken under it until the desired crispness is achieved.

  9. Serve immediately, or let cool and store for use in recipes that call for cooked chicken meat.

Recipe Notes

Alternatively you can set the pot to the Sauté setting and add olive oil to the hot pot. Brown on both side for a few minutes until the skin gets some color.


Then add the broth, deglaze the pot (scrape up the browned bits), place the trivet/rack in the pot and the chicken on it. Pressure cook as directed.