by Olena

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 127 votes

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Instant Pot Frozen Chicken or IP 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 follow Instant Pot chicken breast recipe for fresh ones.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken or IP 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 cooked in electric pressure cooker (not stovetop) from frozen is the most popular in our house! It is my husband’s Alex favorite IP 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 the perfect recipe for beginners new to Instant Pot cooking to master (check out these other best of beginner recipes, too!)

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.

Why Make Frozen IP 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 (and bags with freezer meals). 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!
ip chicken served with quinoa salad

Ingredients for Pressure Cooker Frozen Chicken

  • Chicken: Frozen whole chicken, about 3 – 6 lbs or more, depending on the size of pressure cooker you have.

If your chicken has giblets: You can cook frozen whole chicken 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.

  • 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, rosemary (cho it up), Italian seasoning can be substituted
  • Salt and pepper: To bring out flavors in all ingredients.
whole frozen chicken on a plate, spices and oil in bowls

How to Make Instant Pot Frozen Chicken

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

You can also mix all spices in a small bowl and sprinkle onto chicken – just make sure to grab larger oregano flakes each time. This method allows you not to touch the spice jars with dirty hands or have them open before you start seasoning.

  • 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.
  • 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!

  • Let pressure subside: Super important – allow the pressure to come down on its own until the pin drops because chicken keeps cooking with residual heat. This is called a natural release – valve still on Sealing position but pressure pin has dropped.

How long it takes approximately? 8 quart IP – 40 minutes, 6 quart IP – 15 minutes.

  • Optional broil: Carefully transfer 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!!!

Why Do You Rinse It?

I rinse frozen chicken so oil and then spices will stick to it. Otherwise, spices will end up at the bottom of the pot and you will “burn” fingers with the frost.

It is absolutely OK to rinse raw chicken imho. If you carefully rinse raw meat in the sink, then wash sink with a cloth and dish soap, then wash your hands with hand soap – it is safe. I also recommend to place dish cloth and kitchen towel into laundry after handling raw meat each time. You may find these basic food safety guidelines helpful for years to come.

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot?

IP chicken cooking 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/lb 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.

Frozen Chicken in pressure cooker on a trivet

IP Chicken Common 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 IP chicken 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 a beef roast to rest – same idea.

Do not do Quick Release (turning Sealing valve to Venting position if pressure pin is still up). Just in case.:)

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.

instant pot roast chicken served with quinoa salad

Serving and Storing Suggestions

Do Not Throw Away Golden Liquid at the Bottom

Make soup! Refrigerate IP chicken broth 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.

  • Combine broth, bones and water: Keep that flavorful broth at the bottom of the pot, throw back the bones and add desired amount of water. And even some leftover chicken meat.
  • Pressure cook on High for 1-2 hours.
  • Then add frozen vegetables (mixed, corn, peas, broccoli etc.) and “sprinkle” pasta (to prevent sticking).
  • Close the lid, don’t press anything and let soup “cook” for 5-10 minutes.
  • Season to taste with spices and fresh herbs.

More Instant Pot Recipes

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

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {Easiest IP Chicken}

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken or IP chicken is rotisserie style whole chicken cooked in your electric pressure cooker without thawing with 5 mins prep. It comes out super juicy! 
4.93 from 127 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 318kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Rinse frozen whole chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}
  • 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.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP 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.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}
  • 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).
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}
  • Holding onto the sides transfer chicken onto a large plate.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}
  • To the Instant Pot, add water and trivet (steam rack with handles is more convenient if you have one).
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}
  • Place whole chicken inside IP breasts side, close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High Pressure or Manual (this IP cooks only on High):
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}

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.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}
  • 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.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}
  • Open the lid and you will have the juiciest and most flavourful IP chicken ever. Serve however you like, shred for meal rep, freeze for later, save bones for bone broth. Oh, and that flavourful broth at the bottom makes amazing soup the next day (don’t throw away!). So many options, it’s crazy!
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken {IP Chicken}

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: 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.

      Video

      Notes

      • Cooking 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.
      • If your chicken has giblets: You can cook frozen whole chicken 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. I buy same chickens from Costco all the time to avoid this issue.
      • Why to rinse chicken? I rinse frozen chicken, so oil and then spices will stick to it. Otherwise, you will “burn” your fingers on a layer of frost and losing all spices. If you carefully rinse raw meat in the sink, wash sink with dish soap and then wash your hands with soap, it is absolutely OK imho. I also place dish clot hand kitchen towel in the laundry after handling any raw meat.
      • Fresh whole chicken: It requires twice less cook time than frozen. If your chicken is thawed, then use this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe.
      • 3 quart IP: Honest disclosure is that I do not have this IP size. However, in comments below I gave a reader Miranda suggestion to cook the whole bird for 17 minutes/lb with Natural Release and she said it came out perfect! 
      • 10 quart IP: 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.
      • Regular paprika: If you don’t have smoked paprika, you can use regular but will be missing the smoky flavor. Chicken will be good and have nice color but I highly recommend to get smoked paprika for next time.
      • Optional broil: Carefully transfer chicken onto baking sheet and broil for a few minutes to crisp up the skin. If you have an air fryer lid, it’s even better!!!
      Serving Suggestions

      Nutrition

      Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 532IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
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