Do you want to learn how to cook 2 whole chickens in an Instant Pot at the same time? You may be wondering why this kitchen hack is a good one to know, and I will tell you why it has been useful for me.
First, a couple of weeks ago, I shared the settings and steps to cook the perfect whole chicken in 40 minutes in an Instant Pot.
This has been my “go-to” meal solution and from there, I can make 3-5 meals from one whole chicken.
Well, I am getting the “fall cleaning and organization” bug and part of that was a challenge to have a freezer meal day where I cleaned out my freezers and pantry (you may have remembered me talking about this in our email newsletter a couple of weeks ago).
I wanted to cook a few whole chickens at once to make the job fast and easy, with the intention of freezing the meat for future meals. Cooking whole chickens to freeze the meat is a smart thing to do so same money (as whole chickens are quite inexpensive per lb) and time now and in the future.
And, there could be a time when you need two chickens at once for a big dinner gathering too.
You may have remembered that we buy our meat in bulk just a couple of times per year, so I bought a case of whole chickens. I froze them whole (see the video on Facebook) and just been pulling them out a day or two before I intended to cook them to defrost.
In my ambitious food clean-out day, I wanted to cook most of the meats in my freezer so that I can make meals super fast during the busy school year.
That’s when I decided to try to cook two-whole chickens in an Instant Pot together.
It worked and they came out just as moist, juicy and fall-off-the-bone as the single chicken, but I saved a lot of time!
Using the same cooking methods as one chicken, I can cook one chicken perfectly in 40 minutes. But I can cook two chickens perfectly in 55 minutes!
Again, the results were fall-off-the-bone, delicious, moist and perfect for those future meals.
I have also shared multiple times how I can make 3-5 meals from one chicken.
When I cooked these two chickens, I divided the meat up (which comes off super easy when cooked this way, which also means that you can get every piece of meat off and not waste any of it) into several ziploc bags. Now, if I want to make chicken tacos, chicken soup, chicken sandwiches, chicken pasta, chicken casserole, chicken and rice, etc. I can just pull out those bags FAST.
With this simple cooking hack, dinner time has become even easier. Now I know that if I find a good deal on whole chickens, I can cook a bunch fast and freeze the meat for a fast dinner solution.
So just how do you perfectly cook 2 whole chickens in an Instant Pot at the same time?
How to Cook 2 Whole Chickens in an Instant Pot
- Wash your whole chickens and pat them dry
- Add any flavorings, spices, rubs, etc. you want to your chicken on the outside and stuff the chicken with anything you want too. The sky is the limit! I love to use our homemade taco seasoning as a rub (as most of the meals I make from the chicken will be Mexican themed), I also love just salt and pepper, or lemon basil (stuff the chicken with lemon wedges, garlic and basil (great flavoring to use the chicken for soups and casseroles). I have done a little bit of everything, but those three options end up being my favorite.
- Dash a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the Instant Pot to prevent sticking.
- If you want, add onions, garlic, lemons, etc. to the bottom of the pot for more infused flavor.
- Place the two chickens in the Instant Pot. It’s fine if they are not side-by-side or one if on top of the other. The Instant Pot cooks all around and so it doesn’t matter how they are arranged, what will matter are the settings.
- IMPORTANT SETTINGS: Make sure you have high pressure, and set the timer to manual for 55 minutes. This is the secret to it turning out two perfectly cooked chickens!
- Wait for your chicken to cook!
- Open the Instant Pot and you will notice that the chicken will fall off the bone! I bet you can’t even take it out of the Instant Pot onto a serving platter without it falling apart before you!
*Don’t forget to keep the delicious chicken broth that will naturally be made during this process! It is a perfect soup base for your first meal using the chicken you just cooked!
I have also froze the chicken broth before, but most of the time, I do use it fresh and immediately.
By the way, in case you are wondering, I have the 6-quart Instant Pot. There are bigger ones and there are smaller ones (like the 5 qt.). I could easily fit 2 whole chickens in my 6 qt. so I think you still should be able to fit them in the 5 qt.
Do you have any suggestions on What size Instant Pot to buy? Amazon had the 8 at on sale last month for a great price, but I was worried it would be too big. Is that even a concern when cooking with one? I have 4 people in my family.
I have the 8 quart Instant Pot for our family of 4 and it works great for us. I wouldn’t want it any smaller; there have been times I wish it was larger!
Only my husband, myself, and my 1 year old and I’d never want smaller than an 8 qt.!
HAHAAAA… have you seen the people that have 2, 3, and even 4 Instapots set up side-by-side all cooking at the same time! I LOVE it!!! I SO wish I had one of these when all my kids were still at home. We have 2 now (8 qt and 6 qt) and use them both constantly. My kids are requesting them for Christmas/Birthday presents!
Wow that’s wonderful!
Do you add water to the pot?
No, just the oil. 🙂
What size were the chickens you used?
I am new to the Instant Pot world, so just starting! I bought the 8 qt. Instructions said to always put 1.5 cups of water in the bottom, that the steam does the cooking. It seems like that would be too much for veggies!
Could you veterans comment on the adding of water; I see you added none for this delicious sounding recipe!
I only add water to certain things. The chicken is naturally filled with moisture and so I guess it would make for quite a “soup” instead of chicken. But on potatoes, I definitely add water. They would burn and the pot would burn without it. The same with all veggies. Meats on the other hand, not as necessary. 🙂
Mine had the burn notice and I had such a hard time. I have the 8 qt. I had to take both out and scrape the bottom and put it on the trivet.
Also, could you clarify if this is natural release or quick release please.
I just got an 8-quart instant pot (and was so excited at the prospect of being able to cook two whole chickens at once!) I followed the directions here exactly, but it didn’t work out…I got the “burn” warning, so I had to stop and remove the chickens, and scrub very stuck-on chicken skin off the inside of the pot, and the pot wasn’t able to build up enough pressure to make it to cooking mode (tried it twice with the same results) 🙁 I did put a decent amount of coconut oil in the bottom of the pot, but no other liquid – but I’m thinking the lack of liquid was the culprit?? Or could it be the version of instant pot? (it’s the duo plus 8 qt)
I added water to mine and it came out perfectly. I think I added around 3/4 – 1 cup. My IP is picky and I get the burn warning if I don’t have enough liquid covering the bottom.
Natural or quick release?
Does the chicken need to rest for 10 minutes after cooking? I had heard that sometimes the meat will be rubbery if the pressure is released too quickly.
Always let meat naturally release it’s always so much better!
i just used your recipe to cook 2 chickens in the insta pot .
only i am not sure how to do MANUAL on mine as i have different insta pot
i have ninja
so i might of cooked it to high don’t know it seems fine
broth to me smells funny but this is new to me
what i want to do is now CAN some of the broth and chicken — have you done that ?
i can’t find any recipes doing .. i would think just put some chicken in clean jars — add some broth
leave broth as is . add water when make the soup et
then cook in canner 20 min ?? i am a cold pack canner