Real Food

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

I will admit, my favorite way to cook a whole chicken is in the oven to get that crispy skin and perfectly golden color (future post!). But sometimes I’m in the mood for a rotisserie style chicken. The Instant Pot is great for recreating those delicious store bought rotisserie chickens! Plus, making them at home lets you choose which type of chicken your family will be eating! I used to buy the rotisserie chickens whenever a recipe called for cooked chicken because it was SO EASY! Unfortunately, it’s impossible to buy a rotisserie chicken near me that was raised in a sustainable way on an open pasture and fed organic feed. That’s the kind of chicken I prefer to serve my family.

If you’re lucky like me, you know someone that raises their own chickens! (That would be my Dad πŸ˜€ ) If not, the best thing you could do is to get to know a farmer that produces pasture raised chickens. If that seems to be impossible in your area, check the grocery stores for pasture raised chicken, or free range at the very least, but make sure its organic too!

I have plans to write a post on all the different labels for chickens and eggs.

Cage free, free range, pasture raised… The definitions of these are very interesting! The USDA certifications (which is the industry standard) and theΒ Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) actually have different definitions of these terms! So its even important to know which organization certifies the chickens! But, like I said, that’s a post for another day! πŸ˜› For now, let me just show you how I cook a chicken in the instant pot.

For this recipe, you will need:

  • Whole chicken, roughly 4 pounds (mine was 4.5#)
  • Cooking oil (I used avocado oil today, though lard or tallow would work well too)
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Salt
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1 cup of water or broth
  • Instant pot πŸ˜› with the steamer rack

Instructions:

  • Rinse and dry the chicken and tuck the wings behind the back.
This is one of the chickens my Dad raised. His chickens have the best life a chicken could ask for up until the end. Complete freedom during the day and a very well protected coupe at night!
  • Heat the instant pot using the saute feature. Allow the pot to warm up for about 1 minute and then add cooking oil. I used avocado oil today, but tallow, lard, bacon grease, ghee or coconut oil would also be great options.
  • Place chicken, breast side down, in the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until breast is a nice golden color.

  • Using a spatula and/or tongs, flip the chicken over and brown the back too. This will help give the skin on the backside a nice golden color.
  • Remove chicken from instant pot placing it on the rack. Season with salt and poultry seasoning. If using the lemon, place it inside the chicken.
I’m not a huge fan of citrus on my meat, but I know my husband loves it! So sometimes, I’ll throw a lemon in there just to see him smile πŸ˜€.
  • Transfer chicken (with rack) to the instant pot keeping the bird breast side up.
This chicken has been browned on the top and bottom. Now it’s ready to be pressure cooked. I added salt and poultry seasoning, but feel free to get creative with whatever seasoning sounds good to you! I use garlic and onion granules with salt and pepper on a regular basis! I actually buy organic garlic and onion seasoning by the pound on vitacost.com! So much cheaper that way!
  • Add 1 cup water or broth, close lid and set instant pot to pressure cook for 6 minutes per pound. For my 4.5# bird, this was 27 minutes.
  • After the cook time, use the quick release method and remove chicken. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

It doesn’t matter how many YouTube videos I watch on carving a chicken, I don’t think I’ll ever do it “Pinterest perfect” πŸ™‚ Luckily, no matter how you slice it, it still tastes great!

Now you can use it for whatever you want! This works great as a main course for dinner, OR you could de-bone the chicken and make any recipe that calls for rotisserie chicken. This tastes great cold over a nice green salad, or hot in a chicken quesadilla!

I paired it with some zucchini and squash with a little sauerkraut for the kiddos.

Since the munchkins ate more veggies than I assumed they would, I cooked up some rice and added that to the veggies for my hubby before he got home from work. Everyone was happy πŸ™‚

I always make a double dinner. That way I know what we’re having for lunch the next day. This is my husbands dinner for today and packed lunch for tomorrow. Boom! DONE!

Don’t forget to save the bones to make some gut healing bone broth afterward! Check out my recipe for bone brothΒ in the instant pot!

5 from 3 votes
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Instant Pot Whole Chicken

This is a great recipe to replace store bought rotisserie chickens. Whether as a main course or in place of any recipe calling for rotisserie chicken, this recipe is sure to please!

Course Main Course
Keyword Rotisserie in the Instant Pot
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author MommaDarlin

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, roughly 4 pounds pasture raised
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil I used avocado oil
  • poultry seasoning
  • salt
  • 1/2 lemon optional
  • 1 cup water or broth

Instructions

  1. Rinse and dry chicken and tuck wings behind back.

  2. Heat instant pot using the saute feature and add cooking oil.
  3. Place chicken breast side down in the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until breast is a nice golden color.

  4. Using spatula and/or tongs, flip chicken over and brown the back too.
  5. Remove chicken from instant pot placing it on the rack. Season with salt and poultry seasoning. Put lemon in chicken (if using).

  6. Place rack inside the instant pot, keeping chicken breast side up.

  7. Add 1 cup water or broth, close lid and set instant pot to pressure cook for 6 minutes per pound. For me, this was 27 minutes for a 4 1/2 pound chicken.

  8. After the cook time, use the quick release method and remove chicken. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing

Recipe Notes

I don't always make this recipe with poultry seasoning. Sometimes I like to add salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder instead.Β 

You don't have to do a quick release for this recipe! I'm typically in a hurry, so I do a quick release whenever possible.Β 

****NEVER do a quick release for soups, broth or anything with a lot of liquid! Ask me how I learned that little trick πŸ˜‰ ****

5 thoughts on “Instant Pot Whole Chicken


    1. It has before! There’s a few steps that are important for preventing this:

      1) Make sure the chicken is dry before searing
      2) Heat the instant pot before adding oil
      3) Gently remove chicken from the pot. If it’s still very stuck, it may not be done searing yet

      Let me know how this recipe works for you! πŸ™‚

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