I am excited to share with you how to make a perfect whole chicken in an Instant Pot. The secret is using the perfect settings on the instant pot for whole chickens to turn out perfectly cooked, moist, fall-off-the-bone and easy!
I love my Instant Pot. Have I mentioned that lately? I seriously use it 4-5 times more than my crockpot. I am not exaggerating.
I can make perfectly cooked meats fast, perfectly cooked rice and quinoa fast, amazing soups, and great dishes fast and all in one pot.
In the past year, I don’t think I have cooked a whole chicken in the oven once. I didn’t know how to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot a year ago, but since then have found and tested over and over the perfect whole chicken cooking method in an Instant Pot.
I want to share it with you now!
Please note, if you are looking for a roasted whole chicken with the crispy skins, you will not get it from an Instant Pot. The Instant Pot will make perfectly cooked, fall-off-the-bone chicken that will all be soft and moist. If you want the crusty, roasted skin, you will need to bake it in the oven instead.
However, for our family, we want the fall-off-the-bone option because I am breaking up the chicken anyway for 3-5 meals for my family.
The Instant Pot has been the best solution to using all of the chicken because I can get everything off when it is falling off the bone and I have an amazing broth in the end to use for one of the 3-5 meals.
You may have read my article on how I make 5 meals from one whole chicken. So why am I saying 3-5 meals now?
Well, I can get 5 meals from the whole rotisserie chickens that are pre-cooked from Sam’s Club or Costco. But in February, I had the opportunity to buy fresh from the farm (never frozen) whole chickens with no added hormones or antibiotics for cheap (read how I did this here).
I purchased a case and received 10 whole chickens. These are smaller chickens than Sam’s Club or Costco, but the price per lb. is less too. So I am not getting less for my money, I am just getting smaller chickens. I am perfectly fine with that because I don’t want anything added to my chickens and I love that they are fresh from the farm and directly to me.
But because they are smaller, I am averaging 3-5 meals from these chickens instead of my usual confident 5 meals.
Does that make sense?
Anyway, it has been far more economical for me to buy my own whole chickens and cook them myself and get every bit of meat off the bones and also have an amazing broth at the end.
So how do I make the perfect whole chicken in the Instant Pot? It’s all about the timing and the settings on the Instant Pot.
Perfect Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot
Here’s how to make perfectly cooked chicken in the instant pot:
- Wash your whole chicken
- 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.
- Once your chicken in ready, you can dash a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- If you want, add onions, garlic, lemons, etc. to the bottom of the pot for more infused flavor.
- Here’s the easy part: you don’t have to tie up the chicken legs like you do with oven roasting. All you have to do is just set the chicken in the Instant Pot.
- I like to sprinkle olive oil and salt and pepper on the chicken too!
- Make sure you have high pressure, and set the timer to manual for 40 minutes. This is the secret to it turning out perfectly!
- 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!
I will then pick off every bit of meat and divide the meat into portions to use for 3-5 meals.
I also made a video showing how I do this whole process.
We even did this process this past week and we made different meals than we normally do from our chicken.
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- Hawaiian Haystacks (made with SOS mix for the gravy)
- Chicken Pasta Salad
- Chicken Chili
Four fantastic meals this week from one chicken…but that is not all!
We also had a roast this week and had just a little bit leftover roast. So I made a steak soup (simple with just soup base, roast chunks, onions, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings and penne pasta). For the soup base, I actually used some beef broth, but to save money, I added a new ingredient.
I always save the juices from the whole chicken in an Instant Pot as it makes for an amazing rich broth. When you store it in the fridge, you should get two layers – the fats that harden on top and the gelatinous broth base is on the bottom (when it is gel like, that is the best!) and I added that to the beef broth with water to double the amount of liquid to make it a soup! I scrape the fat layer off and toss it before adding the actual jelly broth to my recipe.
In this case, it was amazing. This is the first time I have used it in a beef soup as I normally use it in a chicken noodle, chicken rice or chicken potato soup. But since we had leftover roast and hadn’t made a soup yet this week, it was perfect!
So for the whole week, our whole family enjoyed 4 meals from the whole chicken and two meals from the roast, plus one meatless dinner. Our meat expenses was just the cost of one chicken and one roast for all of 7 of us for the whole week (we have one vegetarian in the family, so he doesn’t count for this with the usual 8 number:)).
I hope these tips and the instructions for the perfect whole chicken in an Instant Pot will make your life easier, save you money and save you time!
This is the Instant Pot I have:
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