How to Cook Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot (One-Pot Wonder)


An Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that has become increasingly popular recently. This device has revolutionized how people cook, allowing for easy and efficient preparation of meals. One of the most appealing aspects of the Instant Pot is its ability to cook whole chicken quickly and easily.

By the end of this post, you will be equipped with all the knowledge you need to create a delicious and juicy whole chicken in your Instant Pot.

Guide on How to Cook Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot

Cooking a whole chicken in an instant pot is a quick and easy way to create a delicious and flavorful meal. The instant pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can cook food faster and more efficiently than traditional cooking methods. 

Here’s a step-by-step instruction on how to cook a whole chicken in an instant pot.

Ingredients:

– 1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon black pepper

– 1 teaspoon paprika

– 1 teaspoon dried thyme

– 1 onion, chopped

– 3 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the chicken

Remove any giblets or organs from the chicken cavity and discard them. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then rub it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Step 2: Season the chicken

Mix 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, paprika, and dried thyme in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture generously over the chicken, rubbing it in to ensure it covers the whole chicken.

Step 3: Prepare the instant pot

Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the bottom of your instant pot. This will create steam and help cook the chicken evenly. Place the chopped onion and minced garlic on top of the broth.

Step 4: Place the chicken in the instant pot

Carefully place the seasoned chicken on top of the onion and garlic in the instant pot. Ensure it is sitting on the trivet or raised rack if your instant pot has one.

Step 5: Cook the chicken

Close the instant pot lid and set the valve to “sealing.” Select the “pressure cook” or “manual” setting, then set the timer for 25 minutes. Adjust the cooking time if your chicken is larger or smaller than 4 pounds.

Step 6: Allow the pressure to release naturally

When the cooking time is up, let the instant pot release the pressure naturally for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the chicken remains moist and juicy.

Step 7: Check the temperature

Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken in the thickest part of the meat. It should register at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Step 8: Rest the chicken

Carefully remove the chicken from the instant pot and place it on a cutting board. Cover it loosely with foil and rest for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure the chicken is moist and tender.

Step 9: Carve and serve

Carve the chicken into pieces and serve hot, with your favorite sides and garnishes.

Tips to follow when cooking chicken in an instant pot

Some tips and tricks can make the process smoother and ensure your chicken turns out perfectly every time. 

Here are some tips to follow when cooking chicken in an instant pot:

1. Use a meat thermometer

One of the most important things you can do when cooking a whole chicken is to use a meat thermometer. 

This will help you ensure the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, careful not to touch any bones. This will give you an accurate reading of the chicken’s internal temperature.

2. Let the pressure release naturally

When the cooking time is up, it’s important to let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes. This will help ensure that the chicken remains moist and tender. The chicken can become tough and dry if you release the pressure too quickly.

3. Add aromatics for flavor

Adding onion, garlic, and herbs to the instant pot can help infuse the chicken with even more flavor. These aromatics will release their flavors as the chicken cooks, making for a delicious and fragrant meal.

4. Adjust the cooking time for larger or smaller chickens

The cooking time listed in the recipe above is for a 4-pound chicken. If your chicken is larger or smaller, you must adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

Generally, you can cook a whole chicken in an instant pot for 6 – 8 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure it is fully cooked.

5. Brown the chicken for added flavor

If you prefer a crispy skin on your chicken, brown it in a skillet or under the broiler for a few minutes after cooking. This will add extra flavor and texture to the chicken.

6. Save the broth for later

The chicken broth you add to the instant pot can be saved and used for other recipes. It’s a great way to flavor soups, stews, and sauces.

What Is the Cooking time for different pounds in an instant pot?

Here’s a table showing the recommended cooking times for whole chicken in an instant pot based on the weight of the chicken. 

Chicken weightCooking time
3 lbs18 – 20 minutes
4 lbs 24 – 26 minutes
5 lbs30 – 32 minutes
6 lbs36 – 38 minutes
7 lbs 42 – 44 minutes

Remember, it’s important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit before consumption. Adjust the cooking time as needed based on the size of your chicken, and let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes before opening the instant pot.

What is an Instant Pot, and why should I use it for cooking a whole chicken?

An Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that can also be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. It’s a versatile kitchen appliance that can save you time and effort when cooking meals. 

Cooking a whole chicken in an Instant Pot is a great option because it cooks the chicken quickly and evenly, and the meat comes out tender and juicy.

How long does cooking a whole chicken in an instant pot take?

The cooking time for a whole chicken in an instant pot depends on the weight of the chicken. Generally, you can cook a whole chicken in an instant pot for 6 – 8 minutes per pound. For example, a 4-pound chicken would take 24 – 26 minutes.

When cooking a whole chicken, do I need to add liquid to the instant pot?

Yes, adding at least one cup of liquid to the instant pot is important when cooking a whole chicken. This can be chicken broth, water, or a combination of both. The liquid will create steam and help cook the chicken evenly.

Can I cook a frozen whole chicken in an instant pot?

Cooking a frozen whole chicken in an instant pot is not recommended. The chicken will not cook evenly and may not reach a safe internal temperature. It’s best to thaw the chicken completely before cooking it in an instant pot.

How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?

It’s important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit before consumption. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, careful not to touch any bones. If the temperature has not reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, continue cooking the chicken for a few more minutes and check again.

How do I store leftover cooked chicken?

Leftover cooked chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months. Cool the chicken completely before storing it to prevent bacteria growth.

Can I add vegetables to the instant pot with the chicken?

Add vegetables such as carrots, onions, and potatoes to the instant pot with the chicken for added flavor and nutrients. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and place them around the chicken in the instant pot.

Cooking Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • Remove any giblets or organs from the chicken cavity and discard them. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then rub it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, paprika, and dried thyme in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture generously over the chicken, rubbing it in to ensure it covers the whole chicken.
  • Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the bottom of your instant pot. This will create steam and help cook the chicken evenly.
  • Place the chopped onion and minced garlic on top of the broth.
  • Carefully place the seasoned chicken on top of the onion and garlic in the instant pot. Ensure it is sitting on the trivet or raised rack if your instant pot has one.
  • Close the instant pot lid and set the valve to β€œsealing.” Select the β€œpressure cook” or β€œmanual” setting, then set the timer for 25 minutes. Adjust the cooking time if your chicken is larger or smaller than 4 pounds.
  • When the cooking time is up, let the instant pot release the pressure naturally for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the chicken remains moist and juicy.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken in the thickest part of the meat. It should register at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.Β 
  • Carefully remove the chicken from the instant pot and place it on a cutting board. Cover it loosely with foil and rest for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure the chicken is moist and tender.
  • Carve the chicken into pieces and serve hot, with your favorite sides and garnishes.

Video

Keyword black pepper, dried thyme, pressure cook

Conclusion

Cooking a whole chicken in an Instant Pot is an incredibly easy and convenient way to prepare a delicious meal quickly. With just a few simple steps and a little patience, you can have perfectly cooked chicken that’s moist, juicy, and full of flavor.

The Instant Pot’s beauty is that it significantly cuts down on cooking time, so you don’t have to wait hours for your chicken to cook. Instead, you can have a hearty meal in just over an hour.

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