Wondering how to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot? It’s so easy! Let me show you how!
How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot
These directions are based on MY experience and what worked for me with my 8 quart Instant Pot. I’ve cooked whole chickens regularly since owning my Instant Pot and I use this method every time.
One thing I’m finding about Instant Pot recipes is that everyone seems to have different techniques and outcomes. I highly recommend the Facebook group: Instant Pot Community. The community is very resourceful and always willing to help with any questions or concerns.
If you are new to Instant Pot cooking, please READ your manual so you understand how your IP works and my directions below.
1. Place the following in the bottom of the pot insert:
- 1-2 carrots, cleaned, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1-2 celery stalks, cleaned and cut into large pieces
- 1 large onion, cut into large pieces
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 whole peppercorns
- 3 cups of water
2. Place the trivet (that came with the Instant Pot) on top of the vegetables. See below pic.
3. Sprinkle the inside of a whole chicken with salt and pepper and place the chicken on the trivet. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush on the chicken. Sprinkle on garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. See below pic.
6. I use the manual setting of high on my Instant Pot for cooking a whole chicken. I use the calculation of 6 minutes per pound to determine how many minutes I need to cook the chicken. For example: if the whole chicken is 5 pounds, I set the IP timer for 30 minutes.
When the set timer goes off, I allow a Natural Release for 15 minutes and then I do a Quick Release to relieve the rest of the pressure until it opens. Using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 180 degrees. If for some reason, it isn’t at that temp, you can place in a 350 degree oven until it gets there, but I have not had this problem with my method.
Side note: I allow to cool slightly, then I use oven mitts to carefully remove the trivet holding the chicken. I place the trivet and chicken on a platter. Be careful of any splatter.
7. Do NOT throw away the liquid in the pot. It is delicious stock that can be used for soups, gravy, and casseroles. Allow to cool and then strain into a bowl. You can use immediately or refrigerate for a day and then pour into freezer container(s). I freeze in quart, 2-cup, and 1-cup portions.
7. Allow the chicken to sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting into it. I know this will be hard, but if you cut into it too early, you’ll release the juices and you’ll end up with a dry chicken.
8. Remove the meat off the bones to use as you please, BUT SAVE THE BONES! Listed below is my method to make chicken stock in Instant Pot.
How to Make Chicken Stock in the Instant Pot
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 2-3 carrots, washed, peeled, and cut into large chunks
- 2-3 celery stalks, washed and cut into large chunks
- 1-2 large onions, peeled and quartered
- many garlic cloves, outer paper removed
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- chicken bones
Place all of the ingredients inside the Instant Pot. Add about 10 cups of water which should almost cover the bones. Turn on IP and press Manual. Change the time to 120 minutes.
When the time is up, allow the IP to naturally release which will be another 25+ minutes. When the pressure releases, carefully open the IP and allow the stock to cool so you can remove from the pot. I use a Pyrex measuring cup to move the stock from the IP and strain into a larger Pyrex bowl.
The stock can be used immediately, OR place the bowl in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The next day, skim any fat that has risen to the surface. Stir well and place in freezer containers. The stock should last about one week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer. I use containers of different sizes: 32 oz, 16 oz and 1 cup.
The stock can get very gelatinous and thick and that is a good thing. Do not be alarmed, this equals flavor. When you cook the stock in your soup or dish, it will thin out.
I hope my method to cook a whole chicken and make chicken stock in the Instant Pot works out for you. If you have any questions, please post in the comments.