Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Instant Pot chicken with optional gravy

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 42 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
989 Calories
52g Fat
21g Carbs
106g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 989
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 52g 67%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 334mg 111%
Sodium 449mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 106g
Vitamin C 72mg 362%
Calcium 98mg 8%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 1139mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you like tender, juicy rotisserie chicken, you won't be able to get enough of this Instant Pot whole chicken. The bird is perfectly cooked with a combination of rotisserie-style spices in just 30 minutes—allow about 10 to 15 minutes for pressure buildup, and another 12 minutes for natural release, and it's ready!

Serve the Instant Pot chicken as a main entree with the optional gravy, or use it as an ingredient in other dishes. The chicken makes wonderful sandwiches with or without the sauce. Or chop it and use it to make chicken salad. A homemade chicken pot pie is another excellent option, or use diced-up pieces in your family's favorite casserole.

If you have another spice mixture you like, feel free to use that instead of the included rotisserie-style spice blend. Try a Cajun or Creole seasoning blend or a rub blend made for poultry.


  • 1 (5-pound) whole chicken

  • 1 onion

  • 1 lemon

  • Fresh herbs, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup chicken stock, unsalted or low sodium, or water if not making gravy

For the Gravy (Optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups broth, optional

  • 2 tablespoons butter, optional

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, optional

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 dash pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Instant Pot whole chicken ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Remove the innards from the cavity and discard or freeze for another use, such as chicken stock.

  3. Peel the onion and cut it into quarters. Cut the lemon into quarters. Put the onion and lemon pieces in the chicken cavity along with several sprigs of herbs, if desired. 

    Quarter the lemon and onion

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. Combine the paprika, onion and garlic powder, thyme, pepper, and salt. Mix well and rub over the chicken.

    Rub the spice mixture over the chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  5. Place the Instant Pot trivet in the pot and add 1 cup of chicken stock. 

    Add broth and herbs to the Instant Pot

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Place the chicken on the trivet in the Instant Pot. 

    A chicken in the Instant Pot

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  7. Lock the lid in place and choose either the poultry or manual setting and high pressure. Make sure the venting knob is turned to "sealing." Set the time to 30 minutes for a 5-pound chicken. For other sizes, calculate 6 minutes per pound. 

  8. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. If the chicken was defrosted, it should be perfectly done. If in doubt, check it with an instant-read thermometer. It should register at least 165 F in the thickest part of a thigh (not touching bone). If it isn't quite to temperature, leave it on warm and place the lid back on the pot. Check the temperature again in about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Cooked chicken in the Instant Pot

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  9. For crispier skin, transfer the chicken to a baking pan, and place it under a preheated broiler for a few minutes or until browned.

    Use the chicken for sandwiches or casseroles or serve it along with the optional gravy.

    Gravy with Instant Pot chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    For the Optional Gravy

  10. Gather the ingredients for the gravy, if making.

  11. Strain the liquids left from the chicken into a fat separator or strain them into a cup and skim off any excess fat. You should have about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside. 

  12. Add the butter to the Instant Pot and select the sauté setting. When the butter is hot and bubbling, add the flour. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes.

    Optional gravy, Instant Pot

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  13. Gradually add the defatted liquids and continue cooking for 2 minutes longer, or until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • For a frozen chicken, add about 5 minutes per pound. Also, plan for extra time for a frozen chicken to come to pressure as it will take about double the normal time.
  • A 6-quart Instant Pot easily accommodates a whole 5-pound—or slightly larger—chicken.