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.

Cooked, shredded chicken on a white plate, in front of an Instant Pot.

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.

A raw whole chicken, sprinkled with pepper, on a yellow cutting board.

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.

A raw chicken nestled inside an Instant Pot.

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.

Three garlic cloves, half a lemon, and sprigs of parsley.

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.

A cooked and seasoned whole chicken inside of an Instant Pot.

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

4.78 stars (79 ratings)


  • 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!


Cooking Time: I’ve detailed this below but a good rule of thumb for whole chickens is to cook them 6 minutes per pound in a stovetop pressure cooker and about 8 minutes per pound in an InstantPot (or other electric pressure cooker). Naturally release the steam for 15 minutes (meaning, let it sit off the heat or unplugged) and then quick release the remaining pressure.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 330kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 102mg, Sodium: 104mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe