Pressure Cooker “Roasted” Whole Chicken
Want all the flavor of a roasted chicken without the fuss (or long cooking time)? This easy pressure cooker chicken is the answer!
Well, happy Thursday!
I’m checking in with an ultra fast pressure cooker action item: how to cook a whole chicken in the pressure cooker.
It’s a mimic of delicious roasted chicken. Except it isn’t roasted, it’s pressure cooked.
And dare I say, it might be the most tender, tastiest chicken you’ll ever eat.
I love cooking whole chickens in the pressure cooker because: a) it’s an inexpensive way to get your chicken fix, b) it can be faster than oven-roasting and c) you can reuse the bones for some ridiculously easy pressure cooker chicken broth.
The presentation on a pressure cooker whole chicken isn’t as pretty as other traditionally roasted chickens but if you’re all about utilitarian instead of gourmet presentation and want or need juicy, cooked chicken for an upcoming recipe (a bazillion of my favorite recipes that use cooked chicken here), you’ll love this.
Start with a whole chicken (shocker, I know)!
And go ahead and salt and pepper that chicken like crazy.
This adds a ton of flavor and you don’t want to skimp on the s + p.
I’m using my InstantPot for our little demo today but this obviously works great in a stovetop pressure cooker, too (and cooks a bit faster – details below).
Heat some oil until hot and rippling, using the Saute function on the InstantPot, and add the seasoned chicken breast-side down.
You can skip this browning step but I think it adds a little boost of flavor and while you won’t get crispy skin like in a traditional rotisserie chicken, it will add a bit of nice browning action on the top of the chicken.
After it browns for 5 or so minutes, carefully take it out and stuff the inside of the chicken with some fresh parsley, half a lemon, and fresh garlic.
Put the chicken back in the pressure cooker, breast-side up, add the broth, and then lock the lid and cook on high pressure for about 8 minutes per pound of chicken.
Let the pressure cooker naturally release for 15 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure.
Don’t forget to save those chicken bones for super fast pressure cooker chicken broth!
As I mention below in the recipe, I’ve found that my stovetop Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker, since it gets to a higher psi, cooks the chicken faster – I plan on about 6 minutes per pound of chicken (versus the 8 minutes per pound for the InstantPot).
Adapt as needed depending on your pressure cooker.
A good test is to use an instant-read thermometer and make sure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 degrees F.
If not, crank that pressure cooker back up to high pressure and cook a few minutes longer.
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Pressure Cooker “Roasted” Whole Chicken
- 3-5 pound whole chicken
- Coarse kosher salt
- Coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Half of a fresh lemon
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Remove anything from inside the cavity of the chicken. Liberally salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken. I use about 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1/2 tablespoon coarse pepper but you may want to use more or less than that depending on the size of the chicken or how seasoned you want it.
- In a stovetop or InstantPot (using the Saute function), heat the oil until rippling and hot. Place the chicken, breast-side down in the hot oil and let it brown for 5-6 minutes. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and put the parsley, lemon and cloves inside the chicken.
- Place the chicken breast-side up into the pressure cooker and add the broth.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker. For the InstantPot, select Manual and set the appropriate time for high pressure, about 8 minutes per pound of chicken (for instance, a 5-pound chicken will cook for 40 minutes). For a stovetop pressure cooker, start timing once high pressure is reached. Cook for 6 minutes per pound of chicken (for example, a 5-pound chicken will cook for 30 minutes).
- Remove the stovetop pressure cooker from heat once the time is finished – for the InstantPot, hit the cancel button.
- Let the pressure cooker naturally release for 15 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure. You can test the internal temperature of the chicken (at its thickest part) to make sure it registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. If not, simply secure the lid and bring it up to high pressure again for a few minutes.
- Carefully remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones. Remember to save the bones for quick pressure cooker chicken broth!
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
88 Comments on “Pressure Cooker “Roasted” Whole Chicken”
This recipe is beyond delicious! We season the chicken inside and out with the Montreal Chicken Seasoning. We cook the chicken in the instant pot and turns out perfect each time with Mel’s recipe. (except we skip the oil and browning the chicken in the instant pot and place it on a cookie sheet and under the oven broiler for about 6 minutes to brown the skin! ) This chicken is the best!!!
I wasn’t able to find a 5# bird, so bought 2 2.5#birds. Do you think I could get away with cooking them together? If I didn’t have 3 hungry boys I wouldn’t worry about it, but they can clear a table! Your pretty famous at our house too!
I mean, as long as they both fit in the pressure cooker safely, I think you should be fine! 🙂
My 8qt IP says to use a minimum of 500ml or about 2 cups liquid. I don’t understand why recipes don’t include this detail! There should be a note to use extra liquid if you have an 8qt.
I recently made this recipe. By far, the most moist tasty chicken I have ever cooked. Loved it. Thank you for all the time you put into putting these recipes together for us.
This was delicious and easy! What is your recipe/method for making ridiculously easy chicken broth with the bones??? Thanks for all the great recipes!
Hi Laura, I usually put the bones in a large stockpot with cut up onions, carrots, celery and salt and fill to cover with water and then simmer for several hours and strain.
Love this pressure cooking recipe for chicken.
I followed your directions implicitly. Once removed from the PC, the results were as expected. The meat was falling off the bone and was thoroughly cooked… but somewhat stringy and tough.. Although it was edible, it was a disappointment.
The problem lies not in the cooking, but the dismal quality of the bird from the beginning. It was under five pounds, the smallest one of the lot, but cooked up not much better than the tired old unproductive layers one usually expects at the chain store. You know: Legs and Thighs 79 Cents a Pound. This one was priced at over a dollar a pound and touted as a young broiler. Riiiight. They failed to mention that he was the sole survivor of a cockfight.
I suspect that I can see the slinky touch of the EPA, SPCA, or some other federal animal ” rights” group here. Pity.
I love your recipes and this one is great too! My only change is that my rule of thumb for chicken in my Instant Pot is 6 minutes per pound plus 2 minutes (so a 5 pound chicken would be 6X5=30+2=32. So 32 minutes of cooking time). This makes for perfectly cooked chicken every time. 🙂
I am a pressure cooker fan since I am a kid and I have hundred of chicken ricepes but I only roast an all chicken when I make my dog food because, sorry, it does not taste like a real roasted chicken like you can do in an oven. It just “boils” the chicken.
Did you make this recipe?
Smells fantastic! So glad to find a method to simulate roasting in my electric pressure pot. First dish: Paleo Chicken Pot Pie soup!
Where’s the recipe for the pressure cooker chicken broth?
I used this recipe when making your Baked Garlic and Fontina Spaghetti (which was a big hit with my family!) and now I pressure cook a whole chicken at least once a week! Today I used the chicken for Baked Chicken Taquitos that my husband took to work, yum! I also love that I can save the stock and freeze for soup this winter! Thanks for posting 🙂
I have done a whole chicken in my Instant Pot several times. I season it liberally with a dry rub, stuff it with a quartered lemon. I brown it on sauté first, then put it on the rack with 1 cup of chicken stock. 6 minutes per pound with 15 minute NPR and it is perfectly cooked. The first time, I did 6 minutes per pound with an additional 2 minutes (so for a 5 pound chicken 32 minutes). It was a little overdone and falling apart. I would think that 8 minutes per pound would be way too overcooked unless you are making it to shred rather than slice. The stock makes delicious gravy to serve with IP mashed potatoes.
Best whole chicken ever in my instant pot. I brown my chick but when I took it out I asked why – cuz I throw skin into broth too. So I will not be browning if I plan to make broth!
Thank you so much—have never been able to figure out how long to cook a larger chicken. 8 minutes per #—-now I won’t have to turn it back on to cook it longer.
I have power pressure cooker XL what setting would I use and how long would I cook the chicken in it for
I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with that pressure cooker, but you can probably cook it on high pressure for the same amount of time specified in the recipe.
What timing do I do for a whole frozen chicken
Hi Anna – I’m not sure, honestly. I haven’t tried it…can you google IP timing for a frozen chicken?
Hi Mel, I have been reading about the fastest ways to cook chicken(yes, a last minute whole chicken dinner) Anyway, I keep seeing the “Instant Pot” that does everything I can imagine. I have to HAVE one now! Until then I will use my grandma’s old pressure cooker. I thank you for sharing the recipe with a whole chicken using just a pressure cooker. It seems every time I have tried to do it I end up ruining it. I am so excited to try this and do it right.
Hello, I am trying to figure out why you say 8 min/lb in an IP (EPC) and 6 minutes for other types of pots (Stove top) or am i reading that wrong???
What elevation are you at? I do not need to adjust for elevation so I’m wondering if you do.
I have read over and over that the rule of thumb for a whole chicken in the IP is 6 min/lb plus 2 minutes (ie 5 lb bird = 32 minutes)
I do not need to adjust for elevation so I’m wondering if you do and that why you have 8 minutes.
THANK YOU! and I look forward to your response as i enjoy your website and recipes 🙂
Hi Monika – I give different times because stovetop pressure cookers cook at a higher psi than electric pressure cookers so not as much time is needed for recipes. Does that make sense?
I just braved a whole chicken for the first time EVER, following your directions for my instant Pot. It came out fantastic!!! I substituted coconut oil for the veg oil and stuffed the chicken with several halved key limes instead of lemons, as that was all I had. FANTASTIC flavor! Thank you so much!
What size instant pot do you have please? I’m deliberating between the 6L and 8L size. I definitely want to be able to cook a whole chicken in it, this looks amazing!
Hi Emma – I have both a 6-quart and an 8-quart; if you can swing it, I’d recommend an 8-quart (although the 6-quart is probably the most popular model and most recipes are written for that size).
Can you make gravy from what’s in the pot?? Or is what’s in there good to save for broth for soup or something? I know u can make broth from the bones too.
Sure, you could certainly repurpose the broth for gravy.
I love your site and make your recipes often. However, I had a bit of a fail tonight. I could not for the life of me get my Instant Pot to come to pressure. I think it was because I didn’t have enough liquid in it. You see I only read the tutorial part, not the actual recipe. In the recipe you mention 1 cup of broth, but I think that was missed in the tutorial. I will for sure read all the way through next time but I thought you might want to know!
Ah, I see what you mean. I just added the broth part to the actual post. Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
Hi. i have now made a couple of delicious whole chickens in my instant pot. The only difficulty is that the skin sticks to the pot when I first try to sautee the chicken. Am i using too hot a setting? Advice please. Thanks!
I’ve heard you need to make sure it says HOT first then add the oil to heat bit. Make the stainless steal nonstick.
At what point do you add the chicken broth?
After you have prepared the chicken and put it in the pressure cooker. “Place the chicken breast-side up into the pressure cooker and add the broth.”
SO sorry if you’ve answered this before. ( by the way, you are on a first name basis with my children…. oh, mom… is this a “mel’s”?….. always gets me a little bit of luck). Do you always to time per pound or do you use the poultry function on your Insta-pot. thanks in advance.
I just time per pound (using manual). Hope that helps!
An extra step but one that crisps up the skin and makes the bird look nicer is to pull the chicken and put it under the broiler until it browns up a bit. I also like to cook some rice in the juices left in the instapot.
Trying this today. Hopefully I didn’t add too much liquid. Didn’t have chicken broth, so I made my own with bouillon cubes so I made two cups of liquid, another recipe I was viewing said to add 1 1/2 cups of broth. I will definitely put it in a mason jar and use if for other recipes. My husband refuses to eat the frozen chicken breasts so this is how I have to make my chicken meals from now on. I think it’s going to be great, with tons of flavor. Excited, and hopefully it works out. I have two chickens so if I mess up the first one, I will know what not to do the second time around. Thanks for the tips!!
I have a 4 qt cooks essentials PC, and 15 minutes was not enough. I ended up cooking 15 minutes… Realizing the meat was not falling off the bone, I cooked it another 10 minutes, letting the pressure drop completely. Otherwise a great tutorial. Thanks!
Thanks for the feedback!
Hola ,acabo de comprar la ip duo 60 yen realidad me da un poco de miedo no usarla bien. Ya lei sus consejos para hacer el pollo entero y serálo primero que cocine en esta olla.
Me gustaria saber si puedo hacer un pernil de cerdo asado y si la piel queda crujiente como en el horno .
Muchas gracias por sus consejos.
This is now my “go to” for cooking a whole chicken. Once it cools, I pull everything off the bones and use it in all kinds of recipes. Even the dog gets some now and then. Whole chickens are so affordable and this makes it easy to use them.
This post prompted me to ask for a pressure cooker for my birthday. I specifically asked for an InstantPot, but my sweet husband went a little fancier and got me one from Williams-Sonoma, the “Breville Fast Slow Pro Pressure Cooker.” While I appreciated the gesture, the machine intimidates me and I’m not sure I understand it completely. Specifically, is it normal for an electric pressure cooker to take so long to preheat? I love that it took me only 20 some minutes to cook a chicken (I LOVE the above method/recipe), but is it normal that it took my machine at least 15 minutes to preheat? I feel like that kind of detracts from the concept of speedy pressure cooking. Does the InstantPot take so long to preheat, for both pressure cooking and sauteing? Or is something potentially wrong with my machine? Thanks so much!
Hi Sarah – that’s a great question! Yes, the InstantPot also takes some time to preheat, also. That’s probably the one downfall (as opposed to a stovetop pressure cooker which I have which heats MUCH faster on the stovetop) because a recipe that calls for 20 minutes cooking time will obviously take longer if you consider the preheating and the cool down. I think the model you have is acting “normally” for an electric pressure cooker. One way to combat that is to add ingredients to the pot that are already simmering or hot (which isn’t possible in all recipe). I had to get used to the fact that seeing a recipe that says 3-minute steel cut oats does not mean those oats will be ready in 3 minutes. The appeal comes from being able to still cook it faster than the traditional method without having to keep your eyes on the pot the whole time.
Instead of using a lot of salt and pepper try “Old Bay Seasoning” it will add a little kick to the bird,
Mel! I’ve been petrified of pressure cookers my whole life…I witnessed a small accident involving my grandma…my cousin…AND beans…he probably deserved it! You convinced me to give the Insta pot a try AND is amazing…just made your chicken chili AND I can’t believe beans cooked in 20 little minutes…because if you I continue to rock in the kitchen…just in less time tonight! Thanks so much…me and my sisters…and my nieces and friends really LOVE you so much! And my relief society…hahaha! You know..homemaking DAY!
I’m so happy to know you are a pressure cooker covert, Jill (although, yikes, that childhood incident sounds scary). Thanks so much for your sweetness!
Just finished making this and am so excited to try it. Dumb question. Do you just dump the liquid that’s left after cooking the chicken or do you save it?
Yes, I usually dump it (I’m sure that will rile some people up) although you could probably keep it and use it for chicken broth in a recipe.
I make a LOT of chicken as my older dog with an iffy stomach does best with chicken (and premium grain free kibble 🙂 !! ). My fav organic free range chicken typically is on sale in some form. So far, I’ve done several whole chickens per your instruction less the browning step which doesn’t seem to affect flavor to me. It seems so much easier in the Instant Pot than roasting maybe because the cleanup is easier – the stainless steel insert always cleans easily compared to a roasting pan.
This morning I did 5 large boneless, skinless breasts. I added 1 cup water, 2 T olive oil, oregano, lemon pepper and turmeric. I had about 4 pounds of meat so did manual and then 30 minutes with natural release and the meat was perfect (internal temp at 182 on release so probably could have gone with 20 minutes ? ). I put the entire insert in the frig, covered with foil. When I went to shred the meat about an hour later, it fell apart in my hands, i.e. I hand shredded it easily. And it tastes good! Again, easy clean up. I usually oven poach the breasts and shredding is a hated task, but this was so quick and easy.
I love this, Liz! Thanks for including such detail about cooking the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I was sitting here figuring out how I’m going to get chicken cooked for a chicken chile lasagna I’m making tonight and you just saved me. Thank you! 🙂
I thought someone might want to know about doing boneless, skinless chicken but I didn’t think it would be you – glad it was timely!! Also glad it worked … I had a moment of panic after loading the cooker thinking maybe I should have tried just 1 to start. All’s well that ends well.
YAY! I’ve been using my Instant Pot for 2 weeks now! LOVE it. I made the whole chicken and then chicken stock last night and now I’m working on your Classic Chicken Noodle soup. Yum! Looking forward to adapting more recipes for my pressure cooker. Loving the savings in time it makes.
So, I’m late to the party but am so excited that you’re doing the pressure-cooker Thursday posts! I will be checking back often for yet another reason. We have a very nice Fagor stovetop set and have had a lot of successes with it. But I am eager to learn more recipes to add to my repertoire given your tests and best practices. The dulche de leche post was riveting! (yes, I’m a nerd like that)
Ok…after reading your blog on the pressure cookers…and this one with the chicken…consulting with many friends…..I took the plunge and am going to just get over my fear of pressure cookers….ordered the InstantPot……looking forward to seeing pressure cooking recipes from you…..you always have the best recipes here…thank you
You’ll love it! You really will. I’m excited for you to get started using it!
I just made it this morning (the store only had 6+ lb chickens, so mine was 6.5. The timing was still accurate. And it was soo delicious, my 5 year-old and I could probably have eaten the whole thing. This will be a weekly recipe around our house! My parents just got me the instant pot for my birthday two weeks ago, and I have loved using it so far. Please keep posting recipes!
Just tried it tonight with a 5.5 pound chicken. Set the timer for 45 minutes, forgot to add any liquid, but it was delicious. So tender and juicy. This is now my new way to get shredded chicken for recipes.
I use my stove top pressure cooker to do whole chickens. So fast and so moist.
I HAVE to comment on the butter syrup. Oh. my. goodness. Sooooo good. That is a staple in this house from now on.
I was under the impression you always need at least 1 c. of liquid in order for it to come up to pressure, but since the liquid doesn’t evaporate, you don’t need more than that.
I’m always excited to see a pressure cooker recipe on your site! Thanks!!
Hello Mel! I bought an instant pot thanks to you and am loving it! This weekend I attempted to adapt your rock salt roasted chicken to an instant pot recipe. I did something very similar to you here, but I used 2 cups of broth. It was swimming in the broth when it was done! It was more like soup!Afterwards I read somewhere you don’t need extra liquid when cooking a chicken in a pressure cooker, because there is already a lot of water in the chicken. So now I’m not sure what to do! Did you think the broth helped? Added flavor? Thanks so much for all of you wonderful recipes!!
Hi Cara – I still like to add a little broth to help with flavor but sounds like you could definitely try leaving it out (I always get nervous not putting any liquid in the pressure cooker but that’s just me).
You are quickly convincing me that I need to give this pressure cooking thing a try!
My favorite pressure cooker recipe is about 3 pounds of boneless pork sirloin cooked with 1 jar of salsa verde and about 1/4 jar of water. The first night we have it with the juice over rice. Then I reduce the rest of the juice with the browning setting on my pressure cooker and add it back to the shredded meat. Then I use the rest of the shredded pork for tacos, quesadillas, or enchilada casserole. Our Winco has boneless pork sirloin for less than $2 a pound at least once a month.
Future post suggestion-
Any chance your shredded ham recipe that boils in vinegar can be made into a pressure-cooked meal?
I think there’s definitely a possibility – the trick (for me) is finding a pressure cooker big enough to fit the ham in. I’ve never been able to find a ham that could fit in my stovetop pressure cooker and haven’t wanted to drag out my huge pressure canner.
Fagor makes an 8qt electric multi-cooker!
I know I’m late to the game…just found your blog. Love it! I sometimes use a 12 qt. Kuhn Rikon stockpot pressure cooker. I’m sure that baby would accommodate a ham. The cooker is a beast, and is great for making soups and stock for freezer storage. Thanks again for the terrific posts!
I bought an Instant Pot based on your post the other day (electric pressure cooking had not even been on my radar until that post) and I have had some great successes and some not so great successes but what I love most about it is the convenience of the whole chicken. I no longer need to worry about getting to the store to pick up a deli chicken for my son’s lunches; I simply buy a chicken during my weekly shopping and then cook it on whatever day I need it. The chicken is always incredibly moist and great for salads and sandwiches, so I rarely have to buy deli meat anymore (yay for healthier choices!) I also found a great recipe for making a gravy right in the pot with the chicken and I have done that a number of times now. So thanks for saving me time and money Mel.
So happy to hear this, Kathy!
Hi Kathy: Could you post the recipe for gravy? Would love to try it.
THANK YOU! I got an Instant Pot a couple weeks ago and I’m excited about all the possibilities. I was amazed at how quickly I got over my fear of it! Looking forward to all you can throw at us on pressure cooking and recipes. I was less than impressed with the cookbook that came with my appliance–Purple Yam Barley Porridge just ain’t gonna happen in this household. 😉
Haha, I totally hear you. I thought that when I read the Turnip Cake recipe. Probably delicious but not going to chance it.
Any idea if this can be used for split chicken breasts instead of the whole chicken? Maybe even a turkey breast?
Yes, I think it could definitely work. For smaller pieces of meat like that, you’ll want to adapt the cooking time (less time for sure). And I’m going to be cooking a turkey breast soon so I’ll report back when I figure out the timing in the pressure cooker.
YUM! I made a roast and veggies in my electric pressure cooker last night for the first time and couldn’t believe how it was so moist and just fell apart. Looking forward to roasting a whole chicken in my pressure cooker this weekend! Such a time saver – and so delicious.
Thank you so much! This is fantastic, I need some help learning to use my Instant Pot. I would totally make this and look forward to doing so as soon as possible.
Quick question– when you put the chicken back in after browning do you use the rack that comes with the instantpot?
No, I don’t use the rack but you can if you prefer.
Yummy! I love my pressure cooker!
I am soo excited about this one! I just got my instantpot and have 2 frozen chickens in my deep-freeze. I have a question…do you recommend thawing them first ( I know you can cook frozen meats, just didn’t know if that also meant a whole chicken) or can I pressure cook them frozen? Looking forward to trying them with this method!! (Your salt rock chicken is my daughters favorite!!!) and my next question, if I were going to make broth from the bones (which I typically do in the slow cooker), how long would I cook those for?? Thank you so much for all of your awesome hard work…you ROCK!!!!
I would thaw the chicken first mostly because it’s a larger piece of meat and obviously still has the bones (I’ve found in the InstantPot the meats that cook best from frozen are one solid piece like a chuck roast or frozen chicken breasts). Here’s a good recommendation for broth (I usually just kind of wing it but this gives a good guideline): http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooked-chicken-broth-lesson-6-making-chicken-stock-in-the-pressure-cooker/
Have fun with that InstantPot!
Oh thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!! 🙂