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How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals

January 30, 2016

Learn how to optimize your time and still get real food on the table using your Instant Pot to make a whole chicken in under an hour without compromising nutrition!

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

Routine…

These days I literally thrive off of it. My desire to keep my kitchen real food based plus a house full of little ones makes routine a necessity.

I physically don’t have the time to be in the kitchen all day. It’s that simple!

So for years my kitchen routine – specifically my chicken and bone broth routine – has been on autopilot…literally. It was something I didn’t have to think about.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

I made a whole chicken or two on a Sunday and use the meat for the next few days while freezing the rest. I would dump the bones back into the oven roaster or slow cooker and let it go overnight until the next evening when I would strain it off, cool it in the fridge overnight, and then pop it into the freezer. All in all it was a 2 day process – though certainly not all hands on time. I honestly could do the routine without even thinking about it…

…and then my Instant Pot arrived.

And it sat…

…and sat.

And sat.

Until about a month after I had it {still in the box} my husband asked if I was ever going to “try that thing out” and I decided I better try. I kept reading about chickens being made in less than an hour and bone broth in hours instead of a whole day and while it intrigued me….it’s just hard to teach an old dog new tricks!

But it can be done!

Over the last few months my routine has fallen in love with my brand new kitchen buddy…my Instant Pot! I can have a week or so worth of chicken meat and the bone broth done in half a day versus 2 days…that my friends is a game changer!

I still very much love to slow roast my chickens , especially in the winter. You just can’t take the traditional foodie out of me – there is something about warming the house up in the winter with a slow roasted chicken and a pot of simmering bone broth! But I am finding that the days don’t get less busy as you step out of newborn-hood – they actually get busier! And being able to stock up on nourishing pastured chicken and bone broth so quickly is so helpful!

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

I decided to lay this out “tutorial style” for all those “old dogs learning new tricks” like I was….take a deep breath – this is not much different than you were doing before!

Put the veggies and garlic into the bottom of your Instant Pot bowl, pour in the water, and set the rack for the chicken on top of the veggies.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!
Gently lift the skin on the chicken breast and spread about a half palm-full of herbs and sea salt over the breast. This is optional but gives really good flavor to the meat. I don’t even measure – just sprinkle it into your palm and gently stuff your fist under the skin to rub the season on the meat.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

Set the chicken breast down in the Instant Pot right on top of the rack, and sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and herbs if you wish to the chicken as well as to the liquid in the pot as this will give the meat stock leftover great flavor for soups or other cooking.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!
Turn the vent valve to closed, plug the Instant Pot in, push the “Meat” setting, and then bring the time down manually to 25 minutes. It will turn on automatically and will say “On.” while it comes to pressure for about 10 minutes.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

Once the pot comes to pressue, the 25 minute clock will count down. After your chicken pressure cooks 25 minutes, turn it off and let it sit in there to naturally release about 15-20 minutes. Turning that valve right away to release the pressure will pull all the moisture out of the meat – you don’t want that! Let it sit and release naturally and then release the valve and open the top.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

From there you can take your chicken out, chop it up and either freeze it for later in the week or use it right away. You can strain out the liquid in the bowl (called meat stock) to use for soups or other cooking, and then toss the rest of the chicken carcass back in to make your bone broth.

How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!

5.0 from 8 reviews
How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, coarsly chopped
  • ½ head of garlic (just smash the cloves)
  • 2-3 cups filtered water
  • 1 whole pastured chicken (around 5 lbs)
  • Thyme, oregano, sea salt, and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the veggies and garlic into the bottom of your Instant Pot bowl, pour in the water, and set the rack for the chicken on top of the veggies.
  2. Gently lift the skin on the chicken breast and spread about a half palm-full of herbs and sea salt over the breast. This is optional but gives really good flavor to the meat. Set the chicken breast down in the Instant Pot right on top of the rack
  3. Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and herbs if you wish to the chicken as well as to the liquid in the pot as this will give the meat stock leftover great flavor for soups or other cooking.
  4. Turn the vent valve to closed, plug the Instant Pot in, push the "Meat" setting, and then bring the time down manually to 25 minutes. It will turn on automatically. It takes about 10 minutes for it to come to pressure and then the 25 minute clock will count down.
  5. After your chicken pressure cooks 25 minutes, turn it off and let it sit in there to naturally release about 15-20 minutes. Turning that valve right away to release the pressure will pull all the moisture out of the meat - you don't want that! Let it sit and release naturally and then release the valve and open the top.
  6. From there you can take your chicken out, chop it up and either freeze it for later in the week or use it right away. You can strain out the liquid in the bowl (called meat stock) to use for soups or other cooking, and then toss the rest of the chicken carcass back in to make your bone broth.

For more Instant Pot recipes you can follow my Instant Pot board on Pinterest!

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68 Comments

  • Reply How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals | Bloggers Point January 31, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    […] See more here: How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals […]

  • Reply Jessica February 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I love how you did this tutorial. So nice for those learning to use their instant pots!

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 1, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you Jessica!

    • Reply Jean Feher February 18, 2017 at 8:33 am

      After the 25 minutes, is it okay to let it go into the keep warm mode until I get home later?

      • Reply Renee Kohley February 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        Hi Jean! It depends on how long. I wouldn’t leave it all day or all afternoon. A crockpotted chicken might be a better option for you if you are gone all day and want to come home to it done. If you are just going to be gone an hour, I would say that is fine.

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish February 1, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    I love that Instant Pots can do anything. This is such a great tutorial!

  • Reply Janis February 2, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I love this recipe. Can’t wait to make this. I have one question. Why push the meat button and not the poultry button? Is there a difference?

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 2, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Janis! You can push poultry if you wish! It doesn’t really matter since you will be manually be setting the time for 25.

      • Reply Linda March 18, 2017 at 11:32 am

        I have A 6 lb chicken. Can I cook it in the instant pot?

        • Reply Renee Kohley March 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm

          Yes! I would pop your time up by a few minutes though.

  • Reply casey February 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Great tutorial Renee!! Just curious though, what did you do with the veggies? Did you take them out prior to making the bone broth?

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 2, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Casey! Great question! I strain the liquid out and use it for soups or sauces or other cooking. And then I toss the veggies back in to make bone broth.

  • Reply Instant Pot Bone Broth - Raising Generation Nourished February 3, 2016 at 6:42 am

    […] them on a sheet pan and roast them at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. If you are making a beef roast or whole chicken in the Instant Pot, you can just toss the bones right back into the IP after you strip the meat for your broth making! […]

  • Reply Quick and Easy Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup - Live Simply February 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    […] can cook a whole chicken in your Instant Pot in 25 minutes and have lots of budget-friendly chicken meat for the freezer. You can pull out a cup or two when […]

  • Reply Why I love my Instant Pot (and a recipe for macaroni and cheese) - Simply Healthy Home March 4, 2016 at 9:18 am

    […] whole frozen chicken (The link is not for a frozen […]

  • Reply Shelly March 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    This is really a great tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to make it! I wanted to ask, after you take the meat off the chicken, your tossing the bones back into the instant pot, adding water to make the bone broth. Don’t the veggies start to deteriorate being in the pressure cooker for so long?

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 19, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Shelly! Yes they are pretty soft by the end – I do sometimes add some fresh veg to the pot for making the bone broth – I usually keep a bag of veggie scraps in the freezer to put in. I hope that helps!

  • Reply Betsy W. April 3, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Great tutorial for us “newbies”! I was thinking about adding 4 medium potatoes, quartered. How much time should I add to the cook time?

    • Reply Renee Kohley April 4, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Betsy! I’m not sure on the potatoes but I have heard you just put them in later – they don’t take much time to cook in the pressure cooker at all. I’m thinking if they are in the whole time they might get too mushy?

  • Reply Maria June 3, 2016 at 10:59 am

    You made me feel more NORMAL when you said your IP sat and sat and sat. I bought this as my Christmas to myself and delivered to where I was going to visit so I could cook when I was visiting my son. Drove back home across the country with it in the trunk and didn’t use it for some time- still in the box unpacked. Eventually I hesitantly started using expecting it to blow up – I don’t know why but I was scared to try it(haha. Once I did, it’s become my new “best friend”. Your recipe is in it now. It’s my second time trying cooking a whole chicken. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Now I just need to not put the stock in the back of the refrigerator! Old dog learning new stuff🐶

    Maria Elena

    • Reply Renee Kohley June 3, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      That’s great Maria!!

    • Reply Vicky February 25, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      😂 I, too, have been a coward about using my InatantPot, which I’ve had for 7 weeks. I’m finally using it today….cooking a whole chicken NOW…smells wonderful!
      Vicky

      • Reply Renee Kohley February 26, 2017 at 8:22 am

        Good for you Vicky! It sure has been a game changer in our house!

  • Reply Lauren van der Horst July 17, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Any ideas on how long to cook this, if my chicken is frozen? Or should I be sure to defrost it before? Thanks!

    • Reply Renee Kohley July 21, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Lauren! From what I understand, it is not advised to do a whole frozen chicken – it cooks most thorough when it is thawed.

  • Reply Rachel Yance July 17, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    What kind of rack do you use in the instant pot?
    Thanks

    • Reply Renee Kohley July 21, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Rachel! I use the rack that it comes with!

  • Reply Kristi seibert July 31, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Your recipe calls for A 5lb chicken. I have a 6 pounder. How much more time should I cook it for?

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 1, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Hi Kristi! I add an extra 2 minutes per pound after 5lbs.

  • Reply Kim August 13, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Which size Instant Pot are you using to cook a whole chicken? Six or eight quart?

  • Reply Rosanna Hurrell August 19, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I am confused as the direction says to place chicken breast down, but in the photos it does not look this way? It looks like the breast is facing up in your photos. Can you please confirm? Thanks!!!

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 27, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Hi Rosanna – the first few pictures it is breast up – the picture of it in the pot it is breast down. I have it flipped breast up so I can get the herbs under the skin of the breast before I put it into the pot. I hope that helps!

  • Reply Susie Maurer September 30, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Thanks so much for the beautiful clarity of this recipe. Can tell you really are a wonderful cook!

    • Reply Renee Kohley October 1, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Thank you Susie! I’m glad it was helpful to you!

  • Reply AMANDA BEAUCHAMP October 9, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    I just tried this to the letter and the chicken only reaches 98 degrees.

    • Reply Renee Kohley October 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Amanda! I have been finding out more and more lately that sometimes Instant Pots run different temperatures because I will try other’s recipes and either be too overdone or underdone. In this case you definitely can put the lid back on and pressure cook another, say 10 minutes? I am not sure why this is as I am still fairly new to using the IP myself!

  • Reply Missy November 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Thanks to the great tutorial — I’m trying today and can’t wait! I’m also planning on making some chicken noodle soup. Would you recommend using the stock from this recipe or the bone broth for my soup? I’ll be making both.

  • Reply Judy December 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Thank you for your easy instructions and recipe for the whole chicken. I can’t wait to try it. We just got our Instant Pot a couple of weeks ago so I’m still learning how to use it.

  • Reply Carol December 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Cooking now. Will use chicken for chicken and dumplings

  • Reply tiffaney January 3, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Followed your recipe and the chicken was very tender and the leftover meat broth was delicious too! I’m a new instant pot user so your tutorial was so helpful! Thanks so much for this tutorial and recipe

    • Reply Renee Kohley January 4, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      That’s great Tiffaney! Thanks for coming back to let us know!

  • Reply tennille January 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Hello! I have the costco version of the instant pot, which is a power pressure cooker. Do you happen to know if they all basically work the same and if this recipe can be applied to all? Realize it is a crazy question!

    • Reply Renee Kohley January 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      That is a great question – I sure hope someone on reading through can help answer it because I truly don’t know! There are a couple of great Instant Pot groups on Facebook if you happen to use facebook – just search instant pot groups and they should come up – you can join and ask there. I often see people post recipes using different pressure cookers.

  • Reply Tracie January 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

    You’ve inspired me to open the box! I’m excited about a quick and delicious chicken for dinner. Thanks for the step by step for us newbies:)

    • Reply Renee Kohley January 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      That’s great Tracie! You’re welcome!

  • Reply 100+ Paleo Instant Pot Recipes - My Heart Beets January 7, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    […] Whole Chicken […]

  • Reply Rebecca January 21, 2017 at 11:05 am

    This worked perfectly and the leftover chicken stock was amazing as well! Thank you so much.

  • Reply Angela Burch February 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I’m about to use my IP for the first time. I did a “test run”, and after reading this post, I feel confident.

    Thank you so much for all that you do, Renee- and with such a sweet spirit. You are awesome! 🙂

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Angela! I am so excited for you! You are going to love your IP! Let me know how it goes! And thank you for your kind words – that really means a lot!

      • Reply Angela Burch February 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

        You’re welcome! 🙂

        The chicken is cooked to perfection! Now to make bone broth.
        No stopping me now! 😉

        • Reply Renee Kohley February 4, 2017 at 10:03 am

          It is such a game changer isn’t it!

  • Reply Ardis February 24, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I too have been on stock/broth autopilot. Takes forever but I have system. I’ve been staring at my new IP and haven’t taken the leap. This was a great tutorial and I just successfully completed my first batch of stock, thanks to you! On to broth…. Thank you for the great tutorial!

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      You sound like me Ardis! I was the same way! Just had always done it the same way and was my routine! Now my IP is my routine!

  • Reply Erica Kotin March 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this! I have the chicken in as we speak and can’t wait!! I too was a crockpot person, but love my IP now! Quick question- any reason I can’t leave the liquid in and just add more water, etc. to make the bone broth? Thanks!

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 7, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Hi Erica! I strain that liquid after making the chicken and use it as broth – it is called “meat stock” – it has gelatin and great benefits! While different than bone broth, it is still healthful and its like a free broth for cooking in! Then I make the bone broth with fresh water. I hope that helps!

  • Reply Nicole March 5, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Do you cook the organs with the bird or save them for the broth?

  • Reply misty dawn March 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I just wanted to say that this was a great recipe! I wanted to do something simple for my first instant pot recipe as well, and this one hit the mark! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 14, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Great Misty! Thanks for coming back with feedback!

  • Reply Jason Wong March 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Can’t wait to try this but I have a smaller chicken and a 5qt model IP. Do you think your 25 min timing works out to 5 min per pound? Meaning if my chicken is only 3 lbs I should cook for 15 min?

  • Reply Pattie Abram March 22, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Bought my Instant Pot on Monday and I’m trying this chicken tonight. Thanks for the tutorial…us newbies need all the help we can get!

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