How to Cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot

Cooking a Frozen Whole Chicken in your Instant Pot is SO easy. This is a perfect recipe even for pressure cooker beginners. There is no need to defrost the meat, so you can get dinner made quickly.

close up of whole chicken that was cooked frozen in an instant pot

Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links.

My recipe for cooking an Instant Pot Whole Chicken has been one of the most popular posts on this site. And, readers often ask if they can cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in their Instant Pot.

I decided to experiment and found that it’s SUPER easy to cook a frozen whole chicken in an Instant Pot. It just takes a little bit more time and a slightly different technique.

As you’re reading this post, please keep in mind that this is more of a “technique” most than an exact recipe. You’ll get to season the chicken with your favorite spices. Plus, you’ll want to make sure that you calculate the cooking time based upon the size of your chicken – also making sure that your chicken is small enough to fit inside your Instant Pot.

opt in form for weekly meal planning worksheet

Free Printable
Meal Planning Sheet
Simplify your weekly meal planning with this easy to use planner!
GRAB IT NOW!
printable
close-link

What You’ll Need to Cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot

frozen whole chicken in its packaging
  • One whole chicken (between 4-6 pounds is an ideal size)
  • Olive oil
  • Spices of your choice (I am partial to a combination of garlic powder, smoked paprika, and dried rosemary)
  • 1 cup of water
  • One 8-Quart Instant Pot
  • Optional: Instant Pot Sling

How to Prepare the Frozen Chicken for the Instant Pot

Step One

  • Rinse the chicken with warm water to remove the layer of frost.
  • If your chicken has the neck and giblets inside a plastic bag in the cavity, you will need to run the chicken under warm water until the chicken legs have thawed enough that you can pry them apart far enough to remove the bag of neck/giblets.
  • I usually buy organic chickens and the neck and giblets are loose in the chicken’s cavity. In this case, I just leave them alone and cook the frozen chicken with them still inside.

Step Two

raw frozen whole chicken covered in spices
  • Place the chicken breast side up on a cutting board and drizzle a big glop of olive oil over the chicken. Using Your hands, rub the olive oil around, until the chicken skin is covered.
  • Season the top of the chicken to your liking.

Step Three

frozen whole chicken in an instant pot inside an instant pot sling
  • Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  • Place a raised trivet inside the Instant Pot and place your chicken on top of it – you do NOT want the chicken to sit in the water.
  • Optional (but Awesome) Step – I recently purchased this Instant Pot “Sling” and it has been a life-changer! If you’re using a sling, simply place your frozen chicken into the sling, secure the handles, and place it on top of the raised trivet.
  • Securely close the Instant Pot lid.

Step Four

  • Set the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” and manually select the number of minutes you’d like to cook the chicken for.
  • I have found that the perfect number of minutes for cooking a frozen chicken in the Instant Pot is to multiply the weight of the chicken by 11 minutes.
    • I’ve tried doing 10 minutes per pound and while it was mostly done, there was a bit of pink close to the bones. When I cooked it at 11 minutes per pound, it was perfect!
  • When the chicken is done cooking, allow the Instant Pot to natural release for 15 minutes.
    • If you are new to using an Instant Pot, this means to totally ignore the machine and let it do its thing. If you allow it to do a natural release for 15 minutes, you will be able to open the lid without turning the valve to let out steam.
    • I know it can be hard to wait, but please DO NOT do a quick release with this recipe. The chicken needs to finish cooking and if you try and speed up the process with a quick release, there is a very good chance your chicken will still be raw when you remove it.

Step 5

  • Carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and place it on a platter for serving.
Whole chicken in a pot and instant pot sling

Will the Instant Pot Whole Chicken Have Crispy Skin?

No – it will absolutely not have crispy skin! In these pictures, the appearance of crispy skin is due to the fact that smoked paprika browns beautifully. This chicken has essentially been cooked using “water power” and has no chance of crisping.

If you really want crispy skin, you can place it in an oven safe pan and stick in under the broiler for a few minutes until it reaches your prefered level of crispiness.

sliced cooked chicken on a white plate

Will the Whole Chicken Fall Apart When I Remove it From the Instant Pot?

If you are not using an Instant Pot Sling or a very large spatula to secure the bottom of the chicken, it will very likely begin falling apart when you remove it from the Instant Pot.

I’ve only recently discovered the sling and have had more than my fair share of chicken break in half or lose a leg or wing on its way out of the Instant Pot. It’s just that tender (and yummy).

I personally think it’s fine if it begins to fall apart and I usually let it cool a bit on my cutting board and then use a fork, knife, and my fingers to remove the meat from the bones.

This is a very moist and tender chicken, so in all honesty, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to present a beautiful chicken on a platter and carve it in a traditional manner. It’s much more like a rotisserie chicken than an oven-roasted chicken.

More Easy Instant Pot Recipe You Will Love

opt in form for weekly meal planning worksheet

Free Printable
Meal Planning Sheet
Simplify your weekly meal planning with this easy to use planner!
GRAB IT NOW!
printable
close-link
Whole chicken in a pot and instant pot sling

How to Cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • One whole chicken between 4-6 pounds is an ideal size
  • Olive oil
  • Spices of your choice I am partial to a combination of garlic powder, smoked paprika, and dried rosemary
  • 1 cup of water

Instructions

  • Step One
  • Rinse the chicken with warm water to remove the layer of frost.
  • If your chicken has the neck and giblets inside a plastic bag in the cavity, you will need to run the chicken under warm water until the chicken legs have thawed enough that you can pry them apart far enough to remove the bag of neck/giblets.
  • I usually buy organic chickens and the neck and giblets are loose in the chicken’s cavity. In this case, I just leave them alone and cook the frozen chicken with them still inside.
  • Step Two
  • Place the chicken breast side up on a cutting board and drizzle a big glop of olive oil over the chicken. Using Your hands, rub the olive oil around, until the chicken skin is covered.
  • Season the top of the chicken to your liking.
  • Step Three
  • Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  • Place a raised trivet inside the Instant Pot and place your chicken on top of it – you do NOT want the chicken to sit in the water.
  • Optional (but Awesome) Step – I recently purchased this Instant Pot “Sling” and it has been a life-changer! If you’re using a sling, simply place your frozen chicken into the sling, secure the handles, and place it on top of the raised trivet.
  • Securely close the Instant Pot lid.
  • Step Four
  • Set the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” and manually select the number of minutes you’d like to cook the chicken for.
  • I have found that the perfect number of minutes for cooking a frozen chicken in the Instant Pot is to multiply the weight of the chicken by 11 minutes.
  • I’ve tried doing 10 minutes per pound and while it was mostly done, there was a bit of pink close to the bones. When I cooked it at 11 minutes per pound, it was perfect!
  • When the chicken is done cooking, allow the Instant Pot to natural release for 15 minutes.
  • If you are new to using an Instant Pot, this means to totally ignore the machine and let it do its thing. If you allow it to do a natural release for 15 minutes, you will be able to open the lid without turning the valve to let out steam.
  • I know it can be hard to wait, but please DO NOT do a quick release with this recipe. The chicken needs to finish cooking and if you try and speed up the process with a quick release, there is a very good chance your chicken will still be raw when you remove it.

Step 5

  • Carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and place it on a platter for serving.
Author: Snug and Cozy Life

Similar Posts

2 Comments

  1. Can you is chicken broth instead of water?

    1. Yes, absolutely. This will make an even more flavorful gravy as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating