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an overhead image of a whole chicken on a white serving platter topped with fresh lemon slices and surrounded by herbs

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 whole chicken
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Create the juiciest chicken ever and extra crispy skin with ease with this Instant Pot recipe! Perfect for feeding a crowd, it’s ready in no time and always delicious.


For the Marinade: 

  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup naturally refined avocado oil or melted butter

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme)

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

Instant Pot Whole Chicken:

  • 1 chicken (4-5 pounds), giblets and excess fat removed

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed

  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste


  1. Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the chicken. Use paper towels to pat it dry inside and out.
  2. Use fingers or the backside of a spoon to loosen the skin, starting from the breast. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the brine. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Gently rub half of the marinade on the meat of the chicken underneath the skin, spreading evenly.
  5. Place a trivet rack in the center of the Instant Pot, and add the stock. Add the chicken to the post, breast skin side up.
  6. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with garlic, lemon, and onion. Add the remaining brine to the top of the chicken skin and around the legs, making sure to coat the entire outside.
  7. Pat the skin dry with a towel, making sure no moisture remains. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Place a trivet rack in the center of the Instant Pot, and add the stock. Place the chicken on top of the trivet, skin side up.
  9. Using fingers or the back of a spoon, carefully lift up the skin on top of the chicken breast and near the legs, careful not to tear it to create a small space to rub the brine.
  10. Gently rub half of the marinade between the skin and the meat, spreading evenly. Reserve the remaining ½ of the brine to add to the top of the skin.
  11. Add the garlic, squeezed lemon, and onion to the cavity of the chicken.
  12. Pour the remaining marinade on top of the chicken and around the legs, making sure to baste the entire outside.
  13. Pressure cook on high for 24-30 minutes. Allow for a 15-minute natural pressure release before letting the rest of the pressure manually release.
  14. Transfer the chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet or roasting pan. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, and broil the chicken at 500˚ F for 10-12 minutes or until the skin is browned. Cover the breast with foil if it begins to burn before the legs have finished browning. Rest 10  minutes before slicing.


As a general rule of thumb, cook chicken on high pressure for 6 minutes per pound. Then, do a natural release for 15 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.

For an oven-baked option see here.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 57 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 4 ounce cut
  • Calories: 158
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 51.4 mg
  • Fat: 4.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.7 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 25.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 82.7 mg

Keywords: air fryer, instant pot, whole chicken, chicken, main