It's simple and energy-efficient to make a pressure cooker whole chicken in the Instant Pot. And, it results in the juiciest meat ever!
Since moving to a dairy-free Paleo diet this month, I've been using my Instant Pot a lot more. One of the things I've found it useful for is for cooking a whole chicken.
I usually cook chicken pieces. But, I needed a bunch of bones to make some homemade chicken bone broth. So, I picked up two air-chilled organic chickens at Whole Foods.
It turns out it's super easy to pressure cook whole chicken in the Instant Pot. And, there's even a Poultry button to make it even easier!
The electric pressure cooker has a much smaller volume than my convection oven. That's why I'm sure it is also a much more energy-efficient way to cook as well.
Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Whole Chicken
I used ingredients that are easy to find. I use all of them so often that I usually have them on hand!
Look at the size of your Instant Pot and make sure you are using a chicken that fits inside of it. I used a medium-sized chicken that was about 4-5 pounds.
Use your favorite type of oil on the chicken. I used olive oil, but you can use ghee, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
This is the spot where you can be creative and use your favorite herbs and spices. I used garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Other herbs that taste good with chicken include parsley, oregano, and thyme.
Slice an organic lemon and stuff it inside the cavity of the chicken. If you don't have a lemon, you can use lime as a replacement.
The apple cider vinegar really adds juiciness to the chicken. You only need a little bit. Instead of apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- For a crispier skin and exterior, saute the chicken in the Instant Pot before you cook it.
- Use enough water and vinegar. If you don't use enough water, it might give you a "BURN" warning as it cooks.
- Let it do a natural pressure release at the end. This will allow the chicken to continue to cook.
How To Make Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken
All the exact steps are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. First, here are some additional tips and a quick overview.
Season The Chicken
The seasonings are up to you. Most of the time, I just rub olive oil over the skin and then sprinkle on some garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
This time, I chose to give the chicken some lemon flavor by stuffing the cavity with organic lemon slices. I also used fresh minced garlic and stuffed it under slits made in the skin.
Feel free to customize the pressure cooker whole chicken with your favorite flavors. The herbs and spices I used in my pressure cooker turkey breast recipe would also work on the chicken.
Sauté The Chicken
If you like your chicken to be nicely browned on the outside, you can get that with a pressure cooker whole chicken. You'll just want to use the "Sauté" setting to sear the chicken before you pressure cook it.
I didn't bother browning the chicken because I was using the meat to make a bone broth-based soup. No need to brown the skin for that!
Add Water And Set It To Cook
Now it's time to add the water and apple cider vinegar and seal the Instant Pot. Turn it on, let it come to pressure, and cook. When it's done, let it go through a natural pressure release.
That's it! It couldn't be any easier!
What To Serve With A Whole Chicken
Not sure what to serve with this juicy pressure-cooked chicken? Here are some low-carb recipes to go with it.
This keto gravy will taste delicious on top of the chicken. It has many of the same flavors. On the side, make some roasted broccoli and cauliflower. They are lighter-tasting veggies that won't overtake your chicken's flavor.
What is dinner without soup? Serve dinner with a hot bowl of keto broccoli cheddar soup. Dinner is ready in minutes!
Frequently Asked Questions About Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken
Before we get to the recipe in the printable recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about chicken and pressure cookers.
Does an Instant Pot take up a lot of room in the kitchen?
If you haven't bought an electric pressure cooker because of kitchen space, you definitely need to check out the Instant Pot Mini 3 quart model. It does everything that the standard 6 quart does but in a smaller size.
Is the cost of a pressure cooker worth it?
The cost of an Instant Pot and other electric pressure cookers may seem like a lot. But, I can tell you it's an investment that will save you in the long run.
It's been worth the money just to make homemade low-carb yogurt. I've even been making yogurt out of coconut cream using the standard yogurt method. I'll share my dairy-free yogurt recipe soon.
Where can I find more pressure cooker recipes?
In fact, I love pressure cooking so much, I decided to create more low-carb Instant Pot recipes.
What else can you make in a pressure cooker?
Of course, I stick to keto-friendly dishes in the electric pressure cooker like this pressure cooker whole chicken. I also love making soup in the Instant Pot. One of my favorites is my low-carb taco soup.
In addition to pressure cooker whole chicken, I also use my Instant Pot for steaming vegetables. I just put them on a vegetable steamer basket in the pot with water underneath and cook on the "steam" setting.
I'll admit that I didn't really get started with pressure cooking until this year. But, it didn't take long for me to be hooked. It's such a convenient way to cook!
More Instant Pot Recipes
If you enjoyed this pressure cooker whole chicken recipe, here are some more keto Instant Pot recipes you should try next. They are some of my favorites!
- Instant Pot Short Ribs in the pressure cooker always come out completely full of flavor and falling off the bone.
- Instant Pot Lasagna Without Noodles has a zesty tomato-based sauce and lots of melted cheese.
- Venison Chili made in a pressure cooker has spices that infuse into the meat.
- Keto Pot Roast In The Pressure Cooker is super tender and only has 2g net carbs in each serving.
- Instant Pot Salmon is a scrumptious way to cook frozen fillets without any work.
Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken
- 1 medium whole chicken 4-5 pounds
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 dash ground black pepper
- 1 medium organic lemon sliced
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Cut three slits in chicken skin on top. Stuff minced garlic into each slit.
- Drizzle olive oil over chicken, then sprinkle and rub on salt and pepper. [To brown chicken first, add a tablespoon or two of oil into bottom of pot. Press "Sauté" to heat up the bottom of the pot and then sear all sides of chicken in hot oil. Cancel setting and remove chicken from pot.]
- Add water and apple cider vinegar to the pot. Place rack in pot.
- Place lemon slices in the cavity of the chicken then place on rack in pressure cooker.
- Cover with lid close the vent valve. Press the "Poultry" button and adjust timer to 25 minutes.
- When timer goes off, allow the pot to sit there for a natural pressure release for about 15 minutes. Open valve and remove lid. Remove chicken and allow to cool slightly before cutting.
Array ( [serving_size] => 5 [calories] => 209 [carbohydrates] => 1 [protein] => 41 [fat] => 5 [monounsaturated_fat] => 1 [sodium] => 474 [potassium] => 15 [vitamin_c] => 3.3 [calcium] => 10 [iron] => 0.2 [serving_unit] => ounces )
Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Unauthorized use of this material without written permission from Lisa MarcAurele is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes.
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First published on October 5, 2017. Updated on October 7, 2021, with new images and additional recipe information.