Instant Pot Frozen Chicken is rotisserie whole chicken cooked without thawing. Pressure cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot requires only 5 minutes of prep and it comes out super juicy!

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

Instant Pot 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 website, pressure cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot is the most popular one in our house!

Instant Pot frozen chicken 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!

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.

Why Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot?

  • It’s easy: Instant Pot frozen chicken takes 5 minutes of 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. Imagine putting whole frozen chicken in Instant Pot and having tasty chicken in an hour-ish.
  • It’s delish: Even chicken breast comes out juicy, tender and flavorful, and you can crisp up the skin, yes!

Because chicken is affordable and relatively healthy meat, we cook it a lot.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Frozen Chicken

Whole frozen chicken on a plate, try the regular call my garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and oil in bowls.

Pressure cooking frozen chicken requires basic and simple ingredients, but you will be amazed at the mouthwatering taste and aromas of this chicken!

  • Chicken: Frozen whole chicken, about 3 – 6 pounds 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 blend can be substituted.
  • Salt and pepper: To bring out flavors in all ingredients.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot

Here is how to cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot in step-by-step with photos. Full recipe card is located below.

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

Person rubbing chicken with oil on a plate.

Sprinkle chicken with spices: Place bird 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 chicken onto a plate.

Add frozen chicken to Instant Pot: Add trivet and 1 cup cold water to your Instant Pot. Place frozen chicken in Instant Pot breasts side up, close the lid and set valve to Sealing position.

Instant Pot display showing 50 minutes manual cook time.

Cook: Cook Instant Pot frozen chicken on High pressure as per cooking times chart below. It largely depends on the size of your chicken.

Instant Pot display says cook time finished 56 minutes ago.

Let pressure release naturally: Super important step is to allow the pressure to come down on its own until the pin drops because chicken keeps cooking with residual heat. Learn more about Natural Pressure Release.

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot?

Time for pressure cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot 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 pressure cooker that takes only 15 minutes.

For 6 quart Instant Pot:

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

For 8 quart Instant Pot:

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

For 3 quart Instant Pot: Honest disclosure is that I do not have this Instant Pot 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 frozen chicken in Instant Pot on a trivet.

Tips for Best Results

Here are my top tips for the best Instant Pot frozen chicken recipe results!

  • If your chicken has giblets: You can cook frozen chicken with giblets inside and remove them after cooking. Most giblets are in a paper bag (I haven’t seen them 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.
  • 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 above, my chicken has finished cooking 56 minutes ago. It is super helpful info since we do not sit and watch pressure cooker cooking and Natural release is a must with frozen chicken in Instant Pot!
  • Don’t do quick 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. Do not follow the Quick Release, turning Sealing valve to Venting position if pressure pin is still up.
  • To get crispy skin: Carefully transfer cooked chicken in Instant Pot 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!!!

FAQs

Can you pressure cook frozen chicken?

Yes. You can pressure cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot without thawing. Unlike when you cook whole chicken in slow cooker for hours, pressure cooking happens fast without harmful bacteria getting a chance to grow like with slow cooking method.

Do you have to use a trivet when pressure cooking frozen chicken?

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

Can I cook fresh chicken in Instant Pot?

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

Why is my cooked frozen chicken in Instant Pot still looks pink?

The most reliable way to check if your chicken in Instant Pot is ready is to insert an instant read thermometer into its thickest part. If it registers 165 F, your chicken is ready. You can’t use the color of the meat to reliably know the doneness of chicken. Sometimes chicken does look pink, especially chicken thighs, and even possibly with red blood vessels.

Cooked Instant Pot frozen chicken served with quinoa salad.

What To Do With Chicken Broth at the Bottom?

After pressure cooking frozen chicken, you will end up with delicious juices at the bottom of the pot. It’s golden liquid! Make any soup recipe with it or try it in borscht recipe! Refrigerate chicken broth until ready to cook. You can also save the bones and make more Instant Pot chicken broth with it, possibly combining with raw chicken, leftover cooking liquid and more water.

This is basically how I cook Instant Pot chicken noodle soup. Keep flavorful broth at the bottom of the pot, throw back in the 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 the lid and let soup cook with residual heat another 5-10 minutes. Season to taste.

What Do I Serve Instant Pot Frozen Chicken with?

To serve Instant Pot frozen chicken, treat it like rotisseries chicken. Here are a few ideas:

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 Instant Pot frozen chicken leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

To freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

More Instant Pot Frozen Recipes

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes to Try

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

Cooked frozen chicken in Instant Pot placed on a trivet on gray platter.
Instant pot frozen chicken on a gray platter with dill.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken is rotisserie whole chicken cooked without thawing. Pressure cooking frozen chicken requires only 5 minutes of prep and it comes out super juicy! 
4.93 from 268 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
    I’ve made this several times now, and it is just the best recipe for a whole, frozen InstantPot chicken. The spices are just right. And it is easy.

  2. 5 stars
    So incredibly overcooked.

    I’m a relative newbie to IP. This is the third time I have gotten an overcooked chicken using an internet recipe.

    It suddenly occurred to me that IP chicken needs an altitude adjustment. I live at 4200 feet. I think we need longer to come to high pressure and at 21 minutes I finally released the pressure and it took 2 minutes still to have the post drop.

    1. Hi Emily, altitude adjustment needs to occur for Instant Pot recipes – general rule is if you live at an altitude above 2,000 ft, increase pressure cooking time by 5% for every 1,000 ft above 2,000 ft elevation. You can find more details on Instant Pot whole chicken.

    2. 5 stars
      Hi, Olena! I’m one of those “Jump to Recipe” moms because I just don’t have the time to read about the typical unrelated banter in recipes. That being said, you have absolutely impressed me!! You have included every single IMPORTANT detail. I especially appreciate the information about IP and the “why” behind the instructions. I look forward to trying your other recipes now that I have discovered you. You have taught me a lot today, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! (Also, I am so very sorry for everything your country has been enduring and Ukraine is in my prayers) ❤️

      1. So glad you found it informative and thank you for the kind words! Can’t wait to hear what you try!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, that was the best chicken I ever made!! I was excited/anxious at the same time but it came out perfect!! I love my instant pot even more (didn’t think that was possible hahaha) now! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes!!! Love from Devon, UK

  4. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe to a T and checked internal temp, but when I pulled it out pink fluid came out from the inside of the chicken and I no longer trusted it. I put it back in for another 15 min…hopefully it will be ok.

    1. Hi Lindsay. Pink fluid could be from the bones and carcass area. If T is OK, you can into the meat and juices are clear and meat is falling off the bone, your chicken is cooked. Should be cooked.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe calls for the same amount of water, regardless of the size of the chicken or size of Instant Pot used. I did five pound chicken in a six quart size pot, and used only about a quarter cup of water. A frozen bird still has a bit of liquid inside of it, as ice.

    1. Hi, you need to use 1 cup of water as recipe states. This caused it to come to pressure too fast and did not give your chicken adequate enough time to both thaw/cook.

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