Instant Pot Frozen Chicken is rotisserie style whole chicken cooked in your electric pressure cooker without thawing with 5 mins prep. It comes out super juicy! 

If you have fresh chicken, check out this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe. Got chicken breasts? You can make Instant Pot frozen chicken breast or fresh Instant Pot chicken breast.

Instant Pot whole frozen chicken on a platter garnished with dill.

So, can you cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot? Absolutely! Out of all Instant Pot recipes on my blog, this IP chicken in electric pressure cooker recipe (not stovetop) from frozen is the most popular in our house!

It is my husband’s Alex favorite Instant Pot recipe to make because it is so darn easy! It is “embarrassing” how easy it is, actually!

Imagine putting whole frozen chicken in Instant Pot and having tasty chicken in an hour-ish. Even chicken breast comes out juicy, just like with Instant Pot turkey breast.

I think being able to cook meat from frozen is one of best features of Instant Pot! And it’s one of the best Instant Pot recipes for beginners to master.

Also be sure to check out this Instant Pot frozen ground beef. Life changing!

Cooked chicken served with quinoa salad.

Why Use The Instant Pot for Frozen Whole Chicken?

  • It’s easy: Instant Pot frozen chicken takes 5 mins prep. Not to mention it’s made with all staple ingredients.
  • Much healthier than rotisserie: I don’t know about you but where I live organic rotisserie chicken is hard to come by or costs a lot. Also by using simple spices you skip on MSG and loads of sodium.
  • It’s so darn convenient: My freezer is always stocked with 2-4 organic whole chickens from Costco. Rotisserie chicken guaranteed any time you feel like one.
  • It’s delish: Roast chicken comes out juicy, flavorful and you can crisp up the skin, yes!

Because chicken is affordable and relatively healthy meat, we cook it a lot. I combined our 20 favorite Instant Pot chicken recipes we make again and again.

What You’ll Need

Whole frozen chicken on a plate, spices and oil in bowl.

It’s so basic and simple, but you will be amazed at the mouthwatering taste and aromas of this chicken!

  • Chicken: Frozen whole chicken, about 3 – 6 lbs or more, depending on the size of pressure cooker you have.
  • Oil: Any mild tasting oil like olive oil, avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
  • Smoked paprika: Gives lots of flavor and “roasted” look.
  • Garlic powder: Dried powder will stick to frozen chicken better than fresh grated garlic.
  • Dried oregano: Any dried herb like basil, crushed rosemary, or Italian seasoning can be substituted.
  • Salt and pepper: To bring out flavors in all ingredients.

If your chicken has giblets: You can cook whole chicken frozen with giblets inside and remove after cooking. Most giblets are in a paper bag (I haven’t seen in plastic bag for a while). If you buy fresh whole chicken, you can remove giblets before freezing. If you find out after cooking giblets were in the plastic, it is best to discard the chicken. That’s why, I recommend to use familiar to you brand of chicken for this recipe.

How to Make Instant Pot Frozen Chicken

Once your chicken is prepped, just let the magic of the Instant Pot do the rest!

Rinsing frozen chicken in a sink.

Rinse chicken: Place whole chicken in a sink, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Keep the twine on the legs to prevent chicken from falling apart. It will be hard to remove anyways.

You need to rinse chicken so oil and spices stick to it.

Avocado oil being poured onto whole chicken on a plate.

Rub with oil: Place on a plate or right inside Instant Pot and rub evenly with oil. Your fingers will get cold quickly, washing with warm soapy water immediately helps.

A hand rubbing chicken on a plate.

Sprinkle with spices: Place chicken breast side down and sprinkle with spices in the following order – salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and oregano. It helps more ground spices stick first.

Transfer onto a plate.

Add chicken to IP: Add trivet and 1 cup cold water to your IP. Place the bird breasts side up, close the lid and set valve to Sealing.

Instant Pot display showing 50 minutes manual cook time.

Cook: Cook on High pressure as per cooking times chart below – it depends on the size of your chicken.

Leave Keep Warm on before cooking: By default, every Instant Pot has Keep Warm function on at all times unless you press Cancel before selecting cook time. It is indicated by L0:00 display. What it means is that, for example in the photo below, my chicken has finished cooking 56 minutes ago. It is super helpful info since we do not sit and watch IP cooking and Natural release is a must with frozen chicken!

Instant Pot display says cook time finished 56 minutes ago.

Let pressure release naturally: Super important – allow the pressure to come down on its own until the pin drops because chicken keeps cooking with residual heat. Learn more on why and how to natural release Instant Pot.

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot?

Cooking frozen chicken time varies based on the size of your chicken AND Instant Pot.

Why? Because larger size Instant Pot has larger volume (area) for more pressure to build up. Thus, it takes longer to bring pressure down. Therefore, 8 quart pressure cooker keeps cooking chicken while bringing down pressure for 40 minutes vs. 6 quart that takes only 15 minutes.

For 6 quart Instant Pot:

  • 3 lbs whole chicken – 50 minutes.
  • 4 lbs whole chicken – 60 minutes.
  • 5 lbs whole chicken – 70 minutes.

For 8 quart Instant Pot:

  • 4 lbs whole chicken – 40 minutes.
  • 5 lbs whole chicken – 50 minutes.
  • 6 lbs whole chicken – 60 minutes.

 

For 3 quart Instant Pot: Honest disclosure is that I do not have this IP size. However, in comments below I gave reader Miranda a suggestion to cook the whole bird for 17 minutes per pound with Natural Release and she said it came out perfect! 

For 10 quart Instant Pot: I never used one but logically since its capacity is even bigger than 8 quart, I would reduce cook time by 10 mins less for each size of chicken that is listed for 8 quart. Just like the difference between 6 and 8 quart.

Cooked Instant Pot whole frozen chicken in pressure cooker pot on a trivet.

FAQs

Do you have to use a trivet?

No but without the trivet the skin on the chicken will be a bit soft. But you can cook frozen whole chicken Instant Pot without a rack.

Why should I do only Natural Release?

Please do not vent pressure by turning valve to Venting and come back and tell me your chicken was raw. Your Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down on its own during which time meat keeps cooking with residual heat. It is like letting sirloin tip roast rest.

Do not follow the Quick Release, turning Sealing valve to Venting position if pressure pin is still up.

Can I cook fresh whole chicken?

Yes. Fresh whole chicken requires twice less cook time than frozen. If your chicken is thawed, then use this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe.

How can I get crispy skin on my chicken?

Carefully transfer cooked chicken onto baking sheet and broil for a few minutes to crisp up the skin. If you have an air fryer lid, just pop it on top – even easier!!!

Cooked Instant Pot frozen whole chicken cut into pieces on plate with quinoa salad.

What To Do With Chicken Broth

Make soup or try in borscht recipe! Refrigerate chicken broth at the bottom of the pot until ready to cook, save bones and do it at your pace throughout the day.

This is basically how I cook Instant Pot chicken noodle soup. Keep flavorful broth at the bottom of the pot, throw back bones and leftover chicken meat then add desired amount of water.

Pressure cook on High for 1-2 hours. Add frozen vegetables and pasta, close lid and let soup ‘cook’ another 5-10 minutes. Season to taste.

Serving Suggestions

How to Store

For meal prep transform chicken into Instant Pot shredded chicken and use throughout the week. Make healthy chicken salad or chicken tostadas. Perfect for busy weeknights!

To store refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

To freeze your whole chicken fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter. Freeze bones from a few whole chickens to make Instant Pot chicken broth.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Whole roasted chicken on trivet on gray platter.
Instant pot frozen chicken on a gray platter with dill.

Instant Pot Whole Frozen Chicken

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken is rotisserie style whole chicken cooked in electric pressure cooker without thawing and 5 mins prep. Super juicy! 
4.95 from 235 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 318
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Rinse frozen whole chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Drizzle with a bit of oil and using your hands rub it all over chicken. This step will ensure proper “sticking” of spices to frozen chicken.
  • Place frozen chicken in Instant Pot breasts side down. Sprinkle half of each spice evenly on one side of chicken in the following order: salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and oregano.
  • Carefully flip the chicken (we don’t want to disturb the spices) and season the other half with remaining spices (might seem like a lot but trust me). Holding onto the sides transfer chicken onto a large plate.
  • To the Instant Pot, add water and trivet (steam rack with handles is more convenient if you have one). Place whole chicken inside IP breasts side up, close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High Pressure or Manual (this IP cooks only on High):

For 6 quart Instant Pot:

  • 3 lbs whole chicken – 50 minutes.
  • 4 lbs whole chicken – 60 minutes.
  • 5 lbs whole chicken – 70 minutes.

For 8 quart Instant Pot:

  • 4 lbs whole chicken – 40 minutes.
  • 5 lbs whole chicken – 50 minutes.
  • 6 lbs whole chicken – 60 minutes.
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep, display will say OFF and now it needs to bring pressure down on its own before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. It is called Natural Release. 8 quart will take about 40 minutes and 6 quart – 15-20 minutes. Do not do Quick Release (turning sealing valve to Venting position). Wait for a pin to drop down on its own.
  • Open the lid and you will have the juiciest and most flavorful chicken ever. Serve however you like, shred for meal rep, freeze for later, save bones for bone broth. Oh, and that flavorful broth at the bottom makes amazing soup the next day (don’t throw away!). So many options, it’s crazy!

Video

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.
  • If your chicken has giblets: If giblets are in paper bag you can with them inside and remove after cooking. Or remove giblets before freezing. 
  • Fresh whole chicken: It requires twice less cook time than frozen. Use this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe.
  • 3 quart IP: Cook the whole bird for 17 minutes/lb with Natural Release.
  • 10 quart IP: Reduce cook time by 10 mins less for each size of chicken that is listed for 8 quart.

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 686mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is my all-time tried and trued recipe – we LOVE it! Have made 2 recipes now of frozen hens around 4 pounds each and each time the bones slip out of the meat in just around 1 hour. Or most recent hen was closer to 5 lbs; I split the cooking time of between 40-50 mins to 45 on HIGH, with natural depressurization total cook time was 1HR 15 mins – and it was worth every minute of it! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us 🙂 For this recent recipe, I also added a hefty handful of small yellow potatoes and some fresh chopped carrots. Put on top of the hen. The entire meal was a hit! Saved the rest of the meat for our Li’l Terrier, as chicken is her idea of steak

    1. So glad everyone loves and what a feast for the Terrier :). Thanks for letting us know the times it took you as well for the sizes.

  2. 3 stars
    Love the ease and flavour of this dish, BUT 50 mins was not enough. the middle of the chicken was still raw. I used a small chicken as well as natural release. Needed another 15 mins.

  3. 5 stars
    Recipe was great I used Lemon pepper, seasoning salt and Italian seasoning with the garlic powder and olive oil. In addition to the paprika I used about 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke add to water. The flavor was awesome chicken very juicy and tender.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe worked very well. The bird was tender and moist and the work in the kitchen bordered on zero. In addition, the broth made a wonderful chicken vegetable soup the following day.

    Note that in my case, however, it took an extra 10 minutes for a 3.3 lb chicken when cooked for 53 minutes initially.

  5. To say a fresh chicken takes “twice less cook time” is a head- scratcher. I’m guessing you mean half the cook time?

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